Well, following the current trend, your business profile is already on different social networks. Next comes the hardest part - increase the follower base. Wait a moment. Can you generalize the approaches to gain followers for every social media? The answer is simply, you can not. As a digital marketer, you are probably aware of the individual algorithms followed by the different social networks. So, the tactics you apply for each of them must be diverse as well.
Let’s dig into the follower growth tactics for Instagram in this post. For many businesses, it is the hardest part to decide what and how to post on Instagram that will attract more people. Instagram was born to be a social network of inspiration and discovery. Since the access is only available from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, it is no matter to follow the updates of favourite brands instantly. In my last post, I have discussed in details how ‘company profile’ can benefit from Instagram’s new feature. Today, I will reveal five powerful tips you must try when you are just set with your business profile on Instagram.
1. Use most searched hashtags
Do you know, a lot of Instagram users search by hashtags to find the image of their interest? Therefore, one of the best ways to gain more followers is - using the most searched hashtags while posting on Instagram.
For instance, #instafood is one of the most popular hashtags on Instagram which marks the images or videos related to food. Naturally, people want to find food images when they are searching for this hashtag. Now imagine, you are the owner of a restaurant. Using this hashtag you will increase the chance of finding your restaurant by many users.
Now the question is, how to find most popular hashtags? There are several tools to make that done. It is important to sort the one that is trustworthy. I can suggest Websta as the Alexa ranking for the site is quite good. This tool finds out the most popular hashtags along with the numbers how many times it has been searched. It also reveals the most followed and following profiles which are important to have a look if you are missing any potential customer.
I have gathered some points you should consider while using hashtags. Probably, they are already known to you, probably not.
Spaces and special characters like ‘%’, ‘!’, ‘/’and ‘$’ do not work as hashtag.
Up to 5 mentions (@) and 30 hashtags (#) are possible in a single comment. When it is more than that the post or comment will not be published.
Posting the same comment for multiple times is forbidden on Instagram including emojis.
Hashtags, using only numbers like #123 won't work. Similarly, #123yo doesn't work as they are starting with numbers. But numbers are just fine for recurring events like #conference2012 or #SXSW12.
A vital note is - include all the necessary hashtags at the time of posting any image or videos in the caption space. On 2015, Instagram has altered their ‘search order change’ algorithm. According to that, it will now order the image from the time that you have posted the original image, not when you applied that hashtag. This means that you will no longer be able to add hashtags in the content after posting it. Yes, adding the hashtag in comments is still possible. In that case, do not expect your content to show up at the top of hashtag searches. Because it simply has no effect.
2. Make the right use of ‘write a caption’
Along with the high-quality images and videos, a caption of the post also plays a great role to represent your company to the audience, to prompt them to take actions and finally to get more followers. Do not mess up your caption just only with a huge number of hashtags and emoticons - this is downright irritating.
Try to carry a message in the caption that is related to the content. Make it easy to understand and catchy for your audience. For instance, ask a question in the caption space considering the content you posted. It will encourage your audience to drive engagement through leaving their answers in the comment. At the same time, higher engagement will make your profile visible to new community/people which could be your potential followers.
3. Track your recent followers and unfollowers
Each day you will notice many people are following you. Some of them followed you back, and some are random. But it is necessary to keep the track who are following you newly and who are not following you back. Doing so, you will not lose your potential followers. The situation could be, some users are interested in your product and they are trying to get your attention through following and commenting on your post. Just only because you cannot trace them, it may call wrong impression for your brand.
Make use of any tool which will track this information for your business profile. There are a lot out in the market. Check the reviews and rating before installing. For example, the ‘Followers’ tool. The free version of the app provides you with the info like, new followers, who have unfollowed you, who are not following you back, whom you are not following back. Through maintaining this approach, it will not only satisfy your current followers but also provoke the new users.
Therefore, try to mention other Instagram users in your contents (photos, videos) either in the caption or in comments. Encourage your followers to tag their friends and followers in the comment section. You can provoke such action using a winning caption. For instance, in a layout image of 2 dresses, ask your followers to comment their favourite one and also tag their friends who will be an excellent fit for the other. Such approach will expose your profile to many people and help to grow your follower base larger.
5. Measure your strategy
It is a very crucial step to maintain. Probably you have set many strategies and followed them sincerely. The final result of gaining followers could be positive or negative. But in either way, you must review your metrics and analyze them on a regular basis. When the result have been positive, such analytics will ensure you to continue with the strategy. On the other case, probably you need to adjust the preset criteria.
The social media analytics tool is going to help you on this path. You can track which hashtags got higher engagement in previous posts, which type of content and when is the best time that gained greater engagement and new followers. Get the analytics of 2-3 weeks and check the changes over time.
On a serious note:
Do not tag or encourage your followers to tag any irrelevant content (for instance, avoid tagging anyone who is not present in the photo)
Do not buy followers. You might have millions of virtual fans but in reality none of them is the potential buyer of your products. Comparing to that, few but quality followers are better, right!
Do you have any other strategy in your mind? Just drop me your words. I will get back! :)