By Crystal Rose, Posted on 10th March, 2018 at 10:05 AM
10 Tactics To Grow Massive Followers On Instagram
Instagram is a complete powerhouse among other social platforms. With more than 800 million active users, experts are of the notion, that it will reach a billion by 2018 and by 2020, 26.9 million new users in the US alone will be joining the social platform. That’s more than double the active monthly users on Twitter and roughly three times the number of users on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
The social giant is also enjoying a greater adoption among the younger population besides growing mobile ad revenues. You can say that Instagram is living its golden age.
Also, followers on Instagram matter a lot since they represent the number of people interested in your business or brand. Unfortunately, it can be a truly onerous task to grow your followers. Leveraging on just the greatest content isn’t enough, by itself, to expand your follower base.
What’s the solution?
Well, fret not, since we’ve compiled ten ingenious proven tips that will teach you how to grow massive followers on Instagram. We’ve also cited some of the buzzing Instagram accounts out there.
Here goes the exhaustive list!
1. Clearly Differentiae Your Brand In The Bio
What is your competitive differentiator? Is your energy drink free from sugar? Is your food gluten-free? Is your camera waterproof?
Whatever makes your company/brand stand out from the rest is something which you would like to highlight in your bio section. This holds especially true if you want to grow your followers and acquire new customers on the platform.
For instance, Tarte Cosmetics, with over 7.6 million followers, highlights in their bio that they are cruelty-77free besides being mineral oils, gluten and parabens free.
This sets them apart from other high-end cosmetic brands that use animal ingredients in their products.
While shoppers who don’t care about cruelty or animal-free stuff may not find this appealing, it certainly doesn’t harm the company either. However, it immediately spikes interest among people who shop cruelty-free. So, think of something that makes your brand stand out, be loud and clear in your bio.
2. Create A Theme
Create a theme this practice is almost mandatory on Instagram. If you observe, the Instagram feed of leading brands, you may not see their most recent posts, but find them in a grid. That’s why it’s crucial to build a cohesive theme that makes the look and feel of your feed like a visual marketing platform that’s in tune with your brand.
As a highly visual brand in the apparel space, Ryu apparel Inc. is all about inspiring their followers-and it can be seen on their feed.
An easy trick to achieve this is by remaining with your photo composition. The prime thing that impacts this is the image itself-the subject and the way it’s framed. Next comes editing. By using the same set of filters for your posts, you can easily build a consistent visual theme, eventually enriching your profile and making it enticing for potential followers. Beauty and fashion vlogger Kelsey Simone have achieved tremendous heights on her YouTube channel; however, her real success story lies in her Instagram account, which has over 744k followers.
According To Simone, The Key Element To Get A Minimal Feed Is To Have Tons Of Negative Space Pictures And Fillers. She Also Suggests Users To Use Three Main Colors Since Having Too Many Colors Will Not Have A Cohesive Tone Or Color.
3. Ask For A Tag
This strategy may appear bizarre to many of you, but when done well, it works wonders. Take the case of beard king, a beard care and grooming products company. They have been super successful in boosting their Instagram following by asking their loyal followers to tag a friend.
This strategy can have multiple benefits. Firstly, it enables them to grow their follower base rapidly through someone’s referral. Secondly, it assists them to establish their content library through User Generated Content.
The company also allows their followers to send images and if they have great features and are of high quality, it’s likely that they will post them on their Instagram account and tag the sender.
Because of this, the bearded model and/or the photographer gets exposure from Beard King’s 63,800 followers. It also gives the company a consistent supply of new images to be used, a win-win situation for both.
4. Launch An Important Campaign With User Generated Content
This is a sequel to #3 but goes in depth. Buffer grew their Instagram followers by nearly 400% to 21,000 from a mere 4,250 followers. A major chunk of the growth was a result of sharing User-Generated Content (UGC).
In short, UGC consists of content of various forms that are created by consumers and users about a product or brand. It’s not paid for, and its legitimacy makes the user the advertiser of the brand as well.
UGC can Boost up the engagement levels on Instagram, indicating more real Instagram likes and comments on posts. And the more users engage with your posts, the higher will they be prioritized in the feed!
Women’s clothing store Aerie runs a campaign with the hashtag #Aeirereal, which focuses on UGC.
Here’s an example:
There’s been a huge cry and broad debate over the excessive use of image editing in marketing and advertising. And many are concerned about the impact of edited images on a woman’s sense of a healthy body image and self-esteem.
So aerie decided to abstain from retouching images of models in their bathing suits. For every Instagram user who posts an unedited image of herself in a bathing suit, the company donates $1 to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).
An important takeaway, especially for marketers, is to give users an important reason to get involved in the campaign that’s probably bigger than Instagram. Whether it’s a donation drive or an awareness campaign, people will want to purchase from brands that patronize important causes.
5. Work With An Influencer
A speedy approach to growing your Instagram following would be to work with an influencer as a Social Media Influencer can teach you a whole lot of new things. For this, you need to select someone with an authentic and large following. You can easily do this by studying the engagement rate of an influencer. Engagement rates differ from one industry to the other, and this should be close to 2%.
For instance, Timex, an online watch store, recently worked with Amelia Liana, a beauty blogger with 519,000 followers on Instagram. Amelia has an engagement rate of nearly 2.75% on an average. This was found by studying her total follower count and average likes per post.
Here is a free percent calculator to evaluate influencers in your niche.
For this particular campaign, Amelia wore one of Timex products and then shared a photograph on her Instagram account. She tagged the Instagram account of Timex in her post, which allowed followers to click over to follow their (Timex’s) account.
Instead of working with an influencer on a one-time basis, it’s best to work with them over the course of multiple posts. Similar to an ad campaign, where frequency boosts recall, the same holds true for influencer posts.
Timex did it with Amelia liana on the second post where she was seen wearing a Timex watch and tagging the brand.
6. Behind The Scenes
Instagram is a fabulous place to share images that add a touch of personality to your product or brand. And one of these brilliant content types is undoubtedly behind-the-scenes content. It may be highlighting a typical day at your office or giving users a sneak peek at new products. These types of content are particularly engaging since they give a unique perspective on what your business is all about beyond the products you sell.
British actor, Tom Felton does this well.
Instead Of Showing Your Followers The Usual View Of Your Business Through Planned Posts And Finished Products, Behind-The-Scenes Content Allows Your Instead of showing your followers the usual view of your business through planned posts and finished products, behind-the-scenes content allows your audience peak behind the curtain of your brand and see what they wouldn’t have seen otherwise. It helps your followers feel special as you give them an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of your business.
It also helps to create emotional connections with your current and potential followers and improves the chances that others will follow you.
7. Run Contests
It’s surprising to note that the most comments on Instagram posts are related to contests. You don’t always need to post photos on Instagram to gain followers. Your engagement can be simpler if you ask participants to double click (like) your posts and follow you. This can get you tons of real Instagram followers without asking much from prospects.
Drinkwel, a manufacturer of multivitamins for folks who drink, hosts contest every week. These are very simple and, on an average, 60 people are drawn per contest. Contestants are entailed to double click the post and follow them. A winner is randomly chosen and notified through a mention. Once done, drinkwel asks for their email address and send further details. The prizes are their products.
Here’s an example.
Here’s an example from buffer:
You can also ask your followers to comment with their emojis or tag their friends to participate.
Social media examiner has some awesome tips to run a successful Instagram contest.
A study conducted by buzzsumo of over a billion Facebook posts from three million business pages discovered that images posted to Instagram via Facebook receive greater engagement compared to natively published images.
There’s a tremendous advantage to cross-post.
Image source you can also embed Instagram images in your blog posts or add an Instagram feed to your business page on Facebook. Take a look at buffer’s Facebook page with an Instagram feed.
Image source Instagram makes it super easy to share your posts on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr and this could be an awesome tactic to gain additional exposure for your brand.
9. Avoid Excessively Focusing Your Products
Product images perform better than lifestyle images on Instagram.
But does this indicate you should post only product photos?
Not every day!
While enticing product images can engage your fans, you can draw potential customers by sharing images related to your products. For instance, the north face, an apparel brand for athletes, often share landscape images.
Their products primarily focus on athletes who spend time skiing, running, hiking, and doing crazy stuff up in the mountains. Their Instagram bio says, “walls are meant for climbing” and their feed includes images of people climbing mountains. They are not overtly salesy and inspire their community to perform freaking activities. That said, product photos are essential but keep your Instagram feed fun and varied.
10. Respond To Comments
Although at the end of the list, this is a pretty important factor to garner followers.
Remember you can’t treat social media like a traditional advertising platform. It supports two-way communication between your brand and customers. When a user engages in your post, ensure to take some time and give a befitting response, especially if their activity shows an interest in your brand or products.
This is a great technique to gain some brownie points, and hopefully, a decent following. While replying to people, mention them. And if you check out their profile and like or comment on their posts, you’ll dramatically improve the chances of being followed.
An infographic from marketing profs that illustrates tripling your Instagram followers in 10 easy steps.
It’s Time to Get Started Now
Now that you’ve some solid strategies up your arsenal, it’s time to put these ideas into practice. Your follower count will not shoot up overnight. The best way to remain ahead is to stay consistent with your posts.