The Secret To Increase REAL Instagram Followers
July 30, 2021
Did you know?
You can add a “swipe up” link on your Instagram stories and redirect people to a purchase page once you reach 10,000 followers. But how do you even get 10,000 followers?
As a new brand who’s just launching their Instagram account, the process can be tiring. You need real followers to care about your brand and engage with it. A fake follower might boost your numbers but they won’t be of any help in your Instagram strategy for engagement.
Here are a few ways in which you can build your presence up the right way:
Complete Your Profile
Before starting an Instagram page, especially for your business, it is very important to decide on an aesthetic for your feed. A few things that you should decide on before starting are-
- The colour scheme for your feed
- The general layout or design of your posts
- The days you want to post
- The fonts for your posts
Once you have a well-planned out idea about the aesthetics, you have to think of a username for your account. For a business account, the username should be your business name.Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active user accounts so it’s possible that you won’t get your desired username at one go.
Here is the tricky part! You will have to try different combination or numeric additions to your username and pray it works. For example, our business name is Atsell. The desiredInstagram username should be @atsell, but if it isn’t available then the different combinations we can try are - @atsellsg (since we are based in Singapore),@atsell20XX or @atsellsg20XX (depending on the year we were launched) and soon.
Remember: An Instagram username is limited to 30 characters and must contain only letters, numbers, periods and underscores. You cannot use emojis or other punctuation marks in your username!
Once you get your username sorted, the next important thing is your profile picture. It is advisable to use your business logo for your profile picture. If you don’t have one, you can design a simple one yourself using a software like Canva, Adobe Illustrator,Adobe Photoshop etc. If you want a more sophisticated logo, you can hire a graphic designer or freelancer to do it for you.
If you saw these two profiles on Instagram, the later's profile picture is more clear, easy to understand and relate to the brand.
Post Consistently and At The Right Time
Before you start posting on your account, you need to decide how many posts you’ll be posting every week and on which days of the week, and probably will have to stick to that routine for as long as you plan on posting. It’s fine to post out of schedule on special occasions like festivals, anniversaries, influencer collaborations and so on but otherwise, strictly stick to the schedule.
While deciding on the frequency of your posts, there are two things to keep in mind –
- Fresh Content: Ensure that the content is fresh and not repetitive. Sometimes it happens that your business sells only one or probably a handful of products and you might not have a lot of content to post about. This is where the creativity comes in! How can you showcase one product in a fresh context every time? Well, it’s not easy but it’s not impossible either. Some tactics that might be useful are – placing the product against different backgrounds, showcasing the different uses of your product, taking pictures of the product from different angles and so on.You can consider hiring a professional product photographer and let them do the thinking for you!
- Quality over quantity: Posting 5 posts with quality content and design is better than 50posts with shabby designs and irrelevant content. It’s advised to post daily for the Instagram algorithm to boost your account, but if you think you have enough content to post twice or thrice a week only then stick to doing that.
Engage With Your Followers and Other Accounts
Instagram’s algorithm lovesss you if you engage with others on the platform. The more you engage the higher you rank.
Make sure you reply to all the comments and direct messages (DMs) you get. Engaging with your followers plays a very important role in maintaining and expanding your Instagram game.
But the engagement doesn’t stop there! It is important to find and keep track of accounts that compliment your business as well as your competitors. You can comment on their posts and attract their followers to your page. By doing this, you get higher ranking for good engagement as well as new followers.
Optimize Your Bio
Your Instagram bio is the first piece of information people see when they visit your account, so it is very important to decide how much and what kind of information we want to display there.
Your information should be short and crisp, to the point.
If you are a business owner, the first line of your bio should be about your product or services. Ask yourself! What problem is your business solving?
For example, if you are a product photographer, your first line should be something like “Professional photography to create a striking brand identity”. It’s simple and to precise. You can always take amore creative turn with your text like using rhyming sentences and so on. Make sure you use relevant emojis to make it look more attractive.
The second line should be about any social proof you have that can establish your credibility - What have your achieved? What rewards have you earned? For Atsell, the second line in the bio is “officialShoppe and Lazada partners” which clearly gives proof of credibility especially to those in the e-commerce industry in Southeast Asia.
Have a call to action. What do you want them to do? Do you want them to follow you? Do you want them to buy your product and services?Do you want them to engage by reposting or sharing? Trust me! People don’t know what they want or have to do. Give them the instructions you want them to follow.
And to end it all, attach an URL to your bio. But whatURL is the most suitable since you can only attach one? If you are a business page that has a website, attaching the link to your online store is the best option. If you write blogs, then you can attach the link to your blog page and so on. As more 85%of the Instagram users are on their mobile, you need to make sure that your website is the most compatible with mobile devices in terms of display and usability. Make your icons and visuals big and clear so its grabs instant attention.
Perform Hashtag Research
Did you know? Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags on each post.
While 30 might sound a lot, it is a great opportunity and shouldn’t be neglected. But using any irrelevant keyword is as good as using none. The most important hashtag is the one with your business name, for example, if the business name is Atsell the first hashtag should be #atsell. You can create several hashtags for your business name.
It is important to use popular hashtags related to your business. You can either do your own research or take suggestions from your competitors or influencers in the same industry.
Start searching with a core keyword and generate more ideas based on it. For example, for Atsell the core word could be “e-commerce”or “e-commerce enabler”. Once you have a list, search every hashtag and check its popularity and ranking. Upon doing this you will have a list of keywords most suitable for your business.
Remember: You don’t have to use the same hashtags forever and you shouldn’t. Keep updating your list of hashtags based on new trends and changes.
Utilize All Instagram Tools
Instagram has multiple tools like Instagram stories,IGTV, Live and reels that can help you better engage your followers and other users. Sometimes these tools work more efficiently compared to normal posts.Instagram stories is the perfect add on to posts. It is essential to add every new post as an Instagram story as sometimes the post might get lost in someone’s feed, but stories will appear in a sequence at the top of the front screen making it very difficult to avoid.
Instagram Reels is a recent addition to the social media platform and was launched as a competitor of TikTok after the later got banned in some countries, especially India. Creators can make short 60 seconds videos with trendy music to engage and attract followers. The Instagram algorithm has been supporting its new part, making it the perfect time to hop on the trend.
Going Live on Instagram is a popular engagement tool, especially for influencers and celebrities. But it can be very beneficial for businesses as well. You can go Live and answer questions people might have about your products or services, you can talk about the benefits of your business and even show a demo on how to use or engage with your business.
Organize Contests and Campaigns
Contests on Instagram can get you more followers if the participation involves asking people to follow you and comment on your posts by tagging one or more friends. The tagged friends will see your posts and might follow your account or might even want to participate. You can also ask participants to share the post on their story, this will give you access to all of their followers too.
You can also engage in collaborations with influencers. These are usually paid collaborations where you pay the influencers cash, credit in your store or even give them free products or services. The influencers in return endorse your business on their account and ask their followers to follow you or buy from you.
You can even generate unique “discount codes” for influencers. If their followers buy using their code they get X% off on their purchase and they influencers either get a commission or a fixed payment for a certain number of orders placed using their code.
Find Followers Beyond Instagram
You can find new Instagram followers through the platform itself but there are other ways that you might not have thought of!
Capitalizing on your existing client base and other social media accounts is a simple and effective way to grow your followers. If you are just launching your Instagram page, you can send out an e-mail blast to all your existing clients and spread the word. Make sure you have some content up on the feed and attach a link to the Instagram page in the e-mail.
Another way is to use your personal or existing business account followers on other social media platforms like Twitter,Facebook or LinkdeIn. There is no shame in publicizing your business.
Last but not the least, don’t forget to include a link to your Instagram and every other social media account on your website.
Instagram is the place to be, for you and your business. But growing genuine and real followers on Instagram very difficult and definitely not a short-term assignment. But with a well-planned out strategy and consistent efforts, it’s possible.