Instagram is extremely visually engaging and with more than a billion active users, this is a highly desirable marketing platform for fast growing businesses. The potential to get loyal customers and followers on Instagram is often higher than on other social media networks. That said, it is important to note that to succeed on Instagram you will have to do a little more than just posting content daily or simply adding hashtags to the posts you publish. To get a loyal following, there certain principles you can employ. Only when an Instagram account grows organically can I brand boast of an engaging audience that is likely to buy its products or services. The following are five success pillars of growing Instagram followers organically for businesses of all types.
You cannot begin the process of growing your Instagram following without conducting marketing research. Doing this will go a long way in helping you identify the ideal strategies you can implement for your kind of brand to grow organically. Use the marketing tools available for Instagram market research and figure out:
- The best time to post
- The best type of content to publish
- How your competitors are engaging with their followers
- The type of content to avoid publishing
Creating strategies that work
After completing your market research, it’s time to create a working strategy. This process involves thinking outside the box in order to come up with unique and ingenious ways that your brand can meet its objectives. When trying to come up with a strategy, consider the following:
- What you hope to achieve with your Instagram account, including how much growth you are anticipating
- The timeline for achieving your objectives
- The amount of resources you are ready to use to try out different strategies
- How you can make changes to an old, common technique and use it to accelerate results
Identifying, creating, and publishing great content
Content is a central success pillar for any business that wants to grow its Instagram following organically. Take your time to analyze the content you’ve published in the past. Identify the types of content that your audience has engaged with the most. Do the same for your competitors. Include:
- Good quality photos – because Instagram is a visual-centric social media platform, you must ensure that you take good quality photos that put the elements you want to highlight in perfect focus. If you can, go ahead and buy a good camera and some good lenses. While a personal Instagram account could survive and thrive with photos taken using an iPhone, a business Instagram account might get a significant boost if you publish high quality photos taken using a professional camera.
- Post the best content – it is not enough to post every day if you are not posting your best content. If you don’t have a great photo, it might serve your brand better to skip publishing that day instead of posting an ordinary picture.
- Use great captions – if you have used Instagram for a considerable amount of time, then you know what a difference a great caption can make to a post. Take your time and come up with honest, witty, and heartfelt captions that will capture the attention of even the most passive followers.
The place for numbers
While quality is always more important than quantity, a full-fledged Instagram growth hacking initiative must also include numbers. After making sure that you have quality content, the next step should involve finding your strength in numbers. This will require you to value the idea of finding legitimate ways to increase your organic Instagram following and scaling it. Some of the ways you can do this include:
- Going on a commenting and photo-liking spree
- Piggybacking on your competitors’ following as well as that of influencers and other brands within your niche
- Figuring out the optimal times to publish your posts and ensuring that you post daily, seven days a week.
Small brands often find themselves unable to follow a consistent publishing schedule, or maintaining a consistent voice in all their social media channels, yet inconsistencies have been found to hurt many business brands. Consistency attracts new users and retains those you’ve already acquired. Every time your followers open their Instagram news feeds, they will, perhaps subconsciously, have an expectation to see posts from your brand and will immediately notice them if they have an appearance consistent with your brand voice. If this expectation is consistently unmet, these followers will slowly lose the attachment and loyalty they once had towards your brand.