With over 400 million members, who share more than 80 million photos and videos every day, Instagram is becoming increasingly important to your social media strategy.
Whilst it isn’t all about the number of followers you have, you do need to build your audience to ensure that you have someone to communicate and engage with.
These 12 ways to increase your Instagram following will help you grow your reach.
1. Use your Hashtags
Pick and use relevant Hashtags so that others can find your images they might be interested in and start following you. Use a mix of general Hashtags like #FF, #instafollow, #tbt and popular Hashtags like #love as well as brand specific Hashtags that you create. Don’t forget to regram images that share your brand hashtag and always make sure that your Hashtags are relevant to you and/or your image.
2. Follow others
Pick other Instagrammers that you find interesting, follow them and interact with likes and comments on photos you like. Their other followers will see your comment and profile picture (so make sure it’s a good one!) and are likely to follow you.
3. Get your timings right
Make sure that you post at relevant times for your audience and community. In general this is usually morning, lunchtime and early evening as the majority of people finish work, but you can use sites like Iconosquare that will give you more accurate and indepth information.
4. Be active
Post every day at different times so that Instagrammers know that you are active. You are much more likely to be followed if you are seen as active but don’t flood peoples’ feeds. Three times a day is a great place to start until you are more familiar with what your followers like and don’t like.
5. Get your images right
Instagram is a great way of capturing you or your brand’s personality using unique imagery. Keep your images high quality, of interest to your followers and relevant to your brand.
Promote your Instagram account on your other social media networks including regular email newsletters (with a link back to your Instagram account). Include your Instagram details on all your physical marketing materials, shop decals etc.
7. Encourage engagement
Ask questions on your posts and ask your followers for their opinions. Comments are a great way of growing your following organically as followers of your followers will see your conversations. Include competitions with a “like to enter” as part of your strategy.
8. Don’t overfilter
Pick your photographic filters carefully. Most recent research suggests that the most popular filter is none at all so get your photos right without the need to add to them and your images are likely to receive more likes.
9. Plan ahead
Create a strategy for using Instagram and follow it through. Make a schedule of what you are going to post and when. Regramming your followers images and any daily photo opportunities that you find should be extra. Knowing what, how and why you’re posting will help consistency and grow your following.
10. Tell a story
Dripfeed images or short videos to create a story for your followers. Use your captions and text on your photos and videos to entice your audience. Coca-Cola have recently used the New York Fashion Week hashtag of #NYFW to create a series of videos of fashion through the ages.
11. Regram user-generated content
Regram your follower’s photos, particularly those where they have mentioned you or are using your products or service. Photo competitions can be a really useful way of encouraging your followers to share and engage.
12. Geotag your posts
Geotagging your posts is particularly helpful if you are a local business. Adding a geotag or location will mean others who post photos in the same location will see your images. Looking at photos from other users in your locations is also a really handy way to see who is posting so you can connect with your local audience.