If you’re one of the 70% of brands expected to use Instagram to market their businesses this year, you could probably stand a tip or two to up your number of Instagram follower numbers.
Here’s how the cool kids are getting people to follow them on this social media channel.
1. Use Hashtags
It might seem like a pain to add a hashtag to every post, but there’s a good reason to do it.
People who are interested in a particular subject (#summernails? #unicornswag, anyone?) often peruse hashtags and follow people using them. So you quickly get to the very people you’re trying to target when you use hashtags.
Just a note: Don’t be an a$$h&le with your hashtags. Having 10 or more is so junior high. Pick a few of the most relevant ones.
2. Follow the Folks Who Like Your Pics
Not everyone who clicks the heart to like your photos is following you (some found you through searches like mentioned above).
But a day or so after you post a photo, go back and follow anyone who likes it. Often, they’ll see that you followed them and will reciprocate.
Just a note: Depending on your aim, you can be picky here. If you just want your Instagram follower numbers up and don’t care if they’re actually people who care about your brand, follow away. If you want people who might become customers, do a quick look at their profiles to see if they’re a fit before following.
3. Like Lots of Photos
Because some people use the #2 strategy, you can get follows simply by liking other photos. Stick with photos that speak to your own brand’s ethos; for example: if you sell yoga gear, you can like photos of people doing yoga poses in an effort to attract customers.
Just a note: If you’ve got the time, go one step further and leave comments on the photos you like. Just don’t be lame and comment things like “great shot!” Try to add value with your comment.
4. Search Hashtags
The flipside of #1 is to search hashtags that relate to your brand and follow people using them. Again, in return, many will follow you back. And you’ll find plenty of Instagram inspo with the images you find!
Just a note: If you want to reach a local audience of Instagram followers (such as those who frequent the neighborhood where your retail shop is located), follow people who use local event hashtags. If your community has a Taste Of event, find that hashtag and follow people, since they likely will live near your business.
Increasing your Instagram follower numbers takes time. I like to work on it whenever I have a few free minutes in my day. After a while, you may hit the maximum number of followed people that Instagram allows (currently around 7,500) as you work to grow your followership.
In that case, I suggest scrolling through the people you follow and unfollowing some, especially if they’re not a good fit for who you’re trying to reach, or their accounts aren’t active.