Instagram has become the holy grail of many brands’ social media presence and for a good reason. According to a 2014 Forrester study, Instagram has a higher engagement rate than Facebook.
It was estimated to be 58 times higher. Without a doubt, the platform has outgrown its impression of a fun app for kids and turned into a serious content marketing tool. With more than 200 million monthly active members, brands continue to look for ways of tapping into this market.
One sure way of doing it is to gain a following. The larger the following, the more opportunities you have to engage with your target audience and create unique experiences for them.
Here’s more about gaining a following on Instagram.
- Optimize your bio
Apart from content, the first thing followers look at when visiting an Instagram page is the bio. Think of it as your account’s homepage. It tells potential followers who you are, what action you want them to take, and what your company is about. It should include:
- A description of what you do
- A little about your personality
- A call to action
- A link
If you’ve a website, include a link in the bio. You can link it to your homepage, products, or services on the website. Some businesses include a standard link, while others change it to align it to the most recent posts.
Consider adding a branded hashtag to the bio too. It tells your audience which hashtag to use to catch your attention and when anyone taps on it, they can see posts from fans who have used it.
- Develop a consistent content calendar
You don’t want to post content randomly, especially when trying to gain followers. It can be off putting to some people. The rule of the thumb states brands shouldn’t post more than a few times a day. Too many posts can lead to spam. Three to four posts a day should do as long as you’re consistent.
According to Instagram’s algorithmic timeline, consistency is a critical element for determining a brand’s visibility. If you post regularly, are consistent, and picking up good engagement, Instagram is likely to show your posts near your followers’ feeds. With consistency is the question about the best time to post content.
According to HubSpot, your audience is most active during the day, i.e., from 9.a.m. to 3 p.m, so you want to post content at this time. However, the engagement can change dramatically based on the day of the week.
- Use industry-specific hashtags
When looking to attract followers, you want people interested in your products and services. As such, it’s important to use terms that resonate with your industry. This means using hashtags that your target audience would be browsing.
Be specific to increase the chances of attracting the right audience. Using precise tags also reduces competition from brands using similar tags to attract followers.
- Find your voice and create unique content
Followers resonate more with brands’ personality and content, not sales pitches. It helps you find a voice in an already crowded social media platform like Instagram.
A Sprout Social Index survey found 33% of the consumers remembered a brand’s distinct personality, while 40% found content more memorable.
The finding echoes the need to curate good content and develop a voice customer can resonate with. Here are tips on how to create a brand voice:
- Audit your current voice: Look at your current voice and study how you interact with the audience.
- Identify your persona and audience: If your target audience is young, use language that resonates with them.
- Know your tone: Since it varies depending on your audience, it’s important to document when to use specific tones. For example, you use a different tone when announcing a new product compared to when responding to a customer’s complaint.
- Learn how instagram algorithm works
Learning how the algorithm works can help you identify areas you can leverage. Instagram uses six factors to determine what is displayed on a person’s timeline:
- Timeliness: How recent a post is
- Interest: The extent to which a person likes the post based on previous activity
- Following: Posts from accounts the user follows
- Relationship: The accounts users engage with regularly
- Usage: The amount of time a person spends on Instagram
- Frequency: How often the person uses the app
Optimizing all such factors increases a brand’s visibility, ultimately attracting followers to your page.
Instagram continues to grow in popularity. Unlike personal Instagram accounts, businesses need to be more strategic when looking to attract followers, and the tactics explained should come in handy.