As we know that Instagram is a social media application under the Meta (formerly Facebook) company. It uses exquisite picture filters and frames, fast and fun sharing methods to share pictures taken by users in a timely manner, receive comments, mark friends, mark location, etc., to promote the activity of the application. Instagram also has a story and a live broadcast function, allowing users to enjoy the experience of short and long videos.
In fact, more than 500 million Instagram users browse Instagram posts and watch IGTV every day, making the social media app home to some of its most active consumers. Instagram can be a highly targeted visual marketing channel for brands, giving businesses the opportunity to build a loyal consumer base that can grow with the brand.
In this post, we’ll show you how to use Instagram most effectively to increase consumer engagement and grow your followers quickly over time — and we mean real followers here, not inactive ones fake accounts. Below are 15 proven strategies to help you grow your following on Instagram. So, Let’s dive into how to implement each strategy for Instagram success.
1. Use the right Instagram hashtags
Your goal on Instagram is to get your current followers to interact with you on a regular basis and achieve Instagram success at the same time. The first requirement can be satisfied by posting new, interesting, and engaging photos, but in terms of how to gain followers quickly, one thing you will find very important is to add hashtags to the photos you post. Add hashtags to photos so people who are searching for those specific terms can easily discover your photos.
So which hashtags should you use? Like Twitter and other social networking sites, users on Instagram use specific hashtags. If you use popular Instagram hashtags in your photos, you are more likely to reach new users and have your brand discovered by them.
At the time of writing, the top 20 hashtags on Instagram are as follows:
If you looked at the list above and thought “but none of this applies to my product or brand,” you’re probably right.
Using hashtags and using the right hashtags are two very different things.
The trending hashtags listed above may get you more engagement and likes, but they won’t lead to long-term engagement, Instagram followers, and most importantly, sales conversions.
If you want to get the right hashtags for your photos, you need to find and use the hashtags that are most relevant to your brand. That said, do your proper research and make sure you’re using hashtags that not only describe your brand but also what people search for on Instagram.
To find relevant hashtags, you’ll need to use free online tools such as IconoSquare or Websta.
The example below uses Websta to search for key hashtags that are closely related to a brand to find popular hashtags that are relevant to that brand of men’s accessories. For example, by searching for the hashtag #MensFashion for the hashtag #MensFashion, we were able to extract the following list of other keyword hashtags and their usage count (popularity).
You can also find more related hashtags and their popularity if you search for any target keyword directly in the Instagram app. You can use this as an opportunity to practice trying different keywords to describe your brand and products and build your hashtag keyword list.
Remember that Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post. Also, popular terms change over time, so make sure to revisit your hashtag keywords every few months to make sure you’re using the most appropriate terms.
If your competitors or similar accounts have the target followers (consumers) you crave, you can also imitate the hashtags they use. But ultimately you’ll want to create your own hashtag groups so you can use hashtags that are relevant to your particular account.
Tip #1: This is a trick that a brand merchant uses in their e-commerce business. For every product and product category in the store, the merchant did a survey to see what the most popular Instagram hashtags were around those product categories. The merchant also came up with 15-20 popular hashtags for each category of products they sell and selected 5-10 popular hashtags as a basis to describe the overall situation of the brand and product. Finally, the merchant also creates a list of popular location-specific hashtags relevant to the brand.
(Brand Keyword Hashtags)
#mybrandname #mensfashion #mensaccessories #mensgoods #fashion #mensstyle #instafashion #menswear
(product category keyword hashtag)
#bugatchisocks #happysocks #corgisocks #socks #sockswag #socksoftheday #sockgame #sockswagg #socksofinstagram #happysockday #sockwars #funsocks #happysockday
(Location-Specific Keyword Hashtags)
#Toronto #TorontoFashion #TorontoFashionBloggers
All of these keyword hashtag groups are stored on Evernote pages. Merchants are optimized for the most relevant keywords, which makes it easy and efficient for merchants to post new Instagram pictures anytime, anywhere.
Businesses can easily open Evernote and add brand, product, and location-specific benchmark hashtags to each photo ready to post. Some Instagram scheduling tools also allow merchants to save caption templates that can be used to store groups of hashtags.
When it comes to researching, organizing, and saving the most applicable and popular hashtags, thorough upfront work can not only save a merchant a lot of time but can also increase consumer engagement and help a business attract new followers.
Tip #2: If you’ve been posting photos on Instagram for a while and feel like you’re missing out on all the opportunities to build an audience by using keyword hashtags, you can still look back at photos you’ve posted in the past and use new hashtags Keyword list to post a comment. Next, you’ll see likes and followers pouring in.
Use hashtags in your Instagram Stories
In addition to having to add a hashtag to an Instagram post, in order for users who follow that particular hashtag to be able to see the business’s Instagram story, the business should also add the hashtag to their story.
Businesses can use hashtag stickers (available in the Instagram stickers menu when creating a story), or they can use hashtags directly in their posts so that the story will appear in the hashtag story.
Users can follow a hashtag, so people following that hashtag and anyone viewing that hashtag can see a business’s Instagram story.
2. Use the right photo filters on Instagram
Keyword hashtags aren’t the only thing merchants need to be aware of. The Instagram community responds more kindly to some photo filters than others. Using these preferred filters can impact brand engagement. According to Iconosquare, here are the 10 most popular photo filters on Instagram right now:
Normal (No Filter)
TrackMaven conducted a study of Instagram accounts to understand how photo filters affect user engagement. The results of the study found that Mayfair, Hefe, and Ludwig drove the most user interaction.
But more important than which specific filter the Instagram community likes is what a particular consumer’s favorite filter is. Consider the custom diagram below. This graph shows how photo filter usage correlates with engagement on a brand’s own Instagram account:
Merchants can use IconoSquare to view the performance of their accounts to understand which hashtags are currently useful and not useful to them.
3. Publish your Instagram posts at the right time
In addition to adding appropriate hashtags and using the most appropriate filters, businesses should also consider the timing of posts.
One targeted approach is to analyze past posting times to see which times were good for engagement and which were not. By visiting IconoSquare’s Optimization section, merchants can analyze their posting history and user engagement in detail. The report can also highlight the best time of day and best day of the week.
Black circles indicate when a business usually posts. Light gray circles show when a business’s community interacts. The largest light gray circle represents the best time to post for the business.
In the Followers section, businesses can also get a lot of great insights from their Instagram Analytics for Business account for free. To understand when your audience is most active, you might also consider using a social media scheduling tool to schedule and automate posts.
4. Steal Your Competitor’s Followers on Instagram
One of the best ways to gain Instagram followers is to find the Instagram accounts of your closest competitors and engage with their audiences. These people follow your competitors’ accounts, which already shows that they have a certain level of interest in the products you carry.
So, how can you effectively steal your competitors’ followers? You can engage with this competitor’s followers to attract them to follow your account. There are many ways to engage with Instagram users, and the more work you put in, the more followers and users that will generate repeat engagement.
The three engagement types on Instagram are:
comment on photo
Some merchants used their own business accounts to conduct informal tests to see how competitors’ followers responded to their own marketing progress. A merchant targets the followers of a local competitor with whom they have strong competition. Knowing in advance that many of their competitors’ followers are local, merchants add their own city to their profile to increase the sense of familiarity between the brand and their target audience.
First, the merchant followed 100 followers of the competitor as the first group. The merchant then follows another 100 followers as a second group. The business takes a moment to like the photos of the second group of 100 followers. Finally, the merchant followed another 100 followers, and then liked and commented on the photos of the third set of 100 followers.
Here are the test results:
Follow: 14% follow each other
Follow + Like: 22% follow each other
Follow+Like+Comment: 34% follow each other
While there were many variables and the test was far from a science, the results were clear. The more time a merchant invests and the more interaction with followers, the more revenue they will get from it.
Note: While this is against Instagram’s Terms of Service, some merchants use automated tools to accomplish the same process described above. The House of Hannie used this strategy.
5. Pay for Sponsored Posts and Product Reviews
All optimized content is perfect for posting to your social accounts. But if you really want to make an impact with these posts, then you need to use influencer marketing on Instagram to expose your brand to a wider audience.
So what to do? First of all, unlike the aforementioned strategies for growing your account’s followers, this one usually doesn’t come for free. However, if you do it right, it can be very valuable.
First, you need to make a list of bloggers with a high following in your niche. For example, if you sell beauty products, you need to identify those accounts with a large number of followers among the many beauty bloggers.
You may already be following these accounts. If not, then you need to find them. One of the best ways is to use Webstagram (as mentioned earlier). At the beginning of this article, you have learned about some hashtag keywords, you can use Webstagram to search for some hashtag keywords that are closest to your brand. When searching, Webstagram can not only show related keywords but also show top Instagram accounts with those keywords.
On the profile page, the information you need to focus on is the following two points:
A large number of followers – usually 20k to 200k
Email address in profile
If you have an email address on your profile, it usually means they’re open to sponsored posts or sponsored Instagram Stories to help you spread the word.
You might want to email them and ask about their sponsorship rates. Generally speaking, depending on the number of followers, the average cost of each post is about 20 to 50 US dollars.
However, if you are selling unique and original products, you might also consider sending them your product for review and publication. The more natural and less ad-like an image is, the more engaged users will generally be.
You don’t necessarily need an influencer with a large following, but someone with a high level of engagement (likes and comments relative to the size of your followers). There are many influencer marketplaces that can connect you with suitable influencer candidates.
6. Use location tags on Instagram to let local consumers discover you
In addition to hashtags, businesses can also make their Instagram posts and stories discoverable by consumers in their location by tagging their location (the city they live in or the place where the photo or video was taken).
Not only do locations have their own Instagram feed, businesses can also add location hashtags to their Instagram Stories. Like hashtags, businesses can contribute when they use location stickers in their stories.
Local businesses can maximize value by regularly posting location hashtags to these feeds, and engaging with potential consumers who are actually nearby.
7. Set Instagram Stories as Featured
When a potential follower views a merchant’s profile, the merchant has only a short amount of time to convince them to follow their account.
One way to communicate your account information to potential followers is by organizing your Instagram Stories using the Featured feature on your profile.
Since Instagram Stories are only visible for 24 hours, curations can be used to give your Stories a second life, attracting potential followers to your account so they don’t miss out on more Stories in the future.
Stories Picks are available for:
- Create a trailer to give potential followers a taste of your account
- Categorize stories by topic (e.g. countries you’ve visited as a travel blogger)
- Introduce your products through pictures and videos
- Promote products using swipe-up links (you need at least 10k followers and an Instagram business account to do this from your stories)
8. Ask more people to follow your account
This is clearly what is meant literally. For what it’s worth, don’t be afraid to occasionally ask your audience to pay attention to themselves. This is the same as a YouTuber blogger will ask people who watch the video to follow him at the end of the video, and businesses can also ask their audience to follow their account for more information.
Sometimes people might really like what you post on Instagram, but it takes someone to give them a little nudge before they actually follow your account. There are also times when you just need to remind platform users that they can follow your account for more information in the comments on your posts.
You can also do this in the description text of your Instagram posts, or even market your account in the content, let users know what to get for following your account, or hint to them that you are about to publish something they don’t want to miss.
9. Capture trends and get more followers
When this opportunity arises, merchants can take advantage of the trend and keep the post content consistent with trending topics or hashtags to increase the discoverability of their posts and user engagement, so as to achieve Ins popularity.
For example, merchants can engage with trending topics or events, such as holidays, in a relevant way to increase engagement and impact. Alternatively, take advantage of the many holiday hashtags that already exist, such as #NationalCoffeeDay (October 1, 2022). Please mark relevant events in your calendar so you can prepare relevant content in advance.
Make sure to join this conversation in a meaningful way. When in doubt, ask yourself if your target audience will actually pay attention to this trend.
10. Offer giveaways to attract Instagram followers
One of the best comments you can get on any social media, business post (not just Instagram) is when someone tags a friend. Not only do these comments help increase engagement on your posts, benefiting the Instagram algorithm, but every tagging brings you, new audience members. These are people who learned about your account through referrals and are likely to become your followers.
One way to encourage users to tag their friends is to ask users to post relevant content and share it one-on-one. For example, if you miss a leg day at the gym, the gym will ask you to make a post and tag a friend. That’s how gyms spread. But a more reliable way to get users to tag their friends is with a giveaway that encourages your audience to tag their friends in a post and follow your account.
Be sure to check out our more information on running a giveaway, and follow Instagram’s promotion guidelines and any legal requirements for hosting an event in your country. To give you some inspiration, here’s an example of a successful giveaway from Philip Kingsley, which encouraged people to follow their accounts and tag friends for a chance to win a collection.
11. Keep the content and tone of Instagram posts consistent
Make sure to have a consistent feed throughout and posts at a consistent pace. Like many of the other growth strategies we’ve covered above, this has important ramifications for increasing your follower count. As long as people who visit your homepage can see the content you post at first glance, even a simple model can achieve Ins explosion.
Think of your Instagram bio and the 9 most recent posts as your first impression of your Instagram presence. Is the content effectively conveying consistency to the user to the extent that it does through personalization, photo filters, colors, or layout?
Grid layouts are an often underestimated approach to adding creativity and aesthetics to your feed while adding rhythm and consistency to your posting strategy. Grid layout is a publishing method that deserves the attention of merchants.
In fact, many accounts that take this approach tend to be able to focus on converting visitors into followers, generating text graphics or other content at a faster rate, and simplifying the overall production of their Instagram content, making it easier to create Spend less energy on it.
You can easily pre-plan and arrange the look and layout of your feed using a tool like Later. The example of Sonnet Insurance illustrates how much brands have achieved in terms of the aesthetics of their Instagram layouts these days.
12. Keep tabs on your Instagram followers over time
If your Instagram followers are losing very fast, it is not enough to simply think about how to increase followers quickly. You need to focus on your growth rate and the overall engagement of your fans. Social Blade is an excellent free tool for analyzing your follower (or competitor ) growth, showing you how your followers have grown and lost over time and on specific dates.
With an Instagram business account, you can also access the Instagram Analytics dashboard. This dashboard gives you valuable insights you can’t get anywhere else, for free. You can see how many people are viewing your profile, how many of your posts have been viewed, what are your most engaging posts, and where most of your followers come from.
You can use this data to diagnose where you fall short and where you could be doing more. Please look for the most engaging patterns in your posts and try to replicate these in your future content.
13. Use Instagram tools
There are hundreds of Instagram tools that can help you, or help with your Instagram strategy. This article shares four key tools that can help you build your audience and engage with them over time:
- Later: Schedule and automate Instagram posts from your computer or mobile device
- IconoSquare: Information, analysis, and insights about accounts and followers
- Webstagram: Find the best hashtags for your posts and the best influencers for your sponsored posts
- Telegram: Find a group related to your own topic and speak in it, recommend your own Instagram account
14. Cater to algorithm and platform capabilities
After Instagram launches new functions, there will always be a slant of traffic for new functions. For example, after IGTV and video functions are launched, on the discovery page, videos will always occupy the top four spaces, while ordinary photos can only occupy one space. , which means that if you post more videos and IGTV, you have the possibility of more exposure.
15. Interaction keeps fans sticky and increases fan participation
Follower engagement is an important metric for Instagram recommendations. If your post has 90% likes and comments from followers, and another post has only 30 likes and comments from followers, then the first post will get much more recommendations and exposure than the second post, which is what we emphasize Reasons to increase fan engagement.
In order to improve the activity and interaction of fans, we can use the following methods
- 1: The copywriting of the post is carefully designed and has a story
- 2: Reply to comments from like fans
- 3: Ask a question in the copy of the post, or split the image into left and right parts and let fans vote
Develop an Instagram follower growth strategy to drive your business
In this article, we discussed the most effective ways to use Instagram to build a targeted following, but the number of followers is not a numbers game. As with any social network, the most successful strategy overall is to be authentic and social. If you’re not just concerned with growing followers, but engaging with them, then Instagram can be a great habitat for your products and brands, and can be a lucrative revenue stream for your eCommerce business.
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