Let’s Talk About Your Instagram Followers
Starting an Instagram account for your business is a great way to interact with fans, brand champions, and potential customers. However, according to Foundr, many businesses struggle to decide which tactics to use to build their Instagram follower base. There are a variety of different methods used to boost Instagram followers and reach a wider audience on Instagram while remaining professional. Here we’ve compiled the top six ways to leverage your corporate account to gain more Instagram followers and grow your business.
Instagram’s engagement rates are 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter. Leveraging those numbers should be a major priority for businesses and brands. With so many users and potential viewers, a consistent posting schedule is key to driving engagement and awareness.
Posting consistently can and should look different for each account, but businesses should post at least once a day to stay top of mind for their Instagram followers. Accounts with the highest number of followers tend to post up to 3 times per day, so find a cadence that works for your business. Followers look for relevant and interesting content on Instagram and are more likely to follow companies that provide them with this content regularly.
But, not just any hashtags. Research which hashtags are being used to discuss your industry and values. Find out which perform the best and use them to your advantage. Choose hashtags that are relevant to your content and your company. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags, and while that may seem like sensory overload, the right hashtags extend your reach without exhausting users.
Instagram interactions are the highest on images with over eleven hashtags, so don’t be afraid to load up your posts with relevant tags. Searching through existing hashtags on similar posts is another great way to source hashtag ideas. There are also plenty of free tools online that help companies discover and track hashtag performance.
Engaging with your audience and expand your reach in one move by hosting a contest. Instagram contests are typically simple – post a photo promoting a contest and ask people to follow your account, like your photo, and/or comment to be entered to win. Another contest example involves prompting users to share their own content and to use a specific hashtag in addition to following your account.
One of the keys to success for Instagram contests is the right hashtag – something that is memorable and drives followers to your account. Choose a hashtag that is short, relevant, and unique for the best results. Make sure that the hashtag is not in use already, or content will link back to sources other than your account, diluting the success of the contest.
Share User Generated Content
User generated content is any original, non-branded content created on an online platform – all personal Instagram accounts are filled with UGC. Today’s consumers trust user generated content more than branded content and 85% of consumers are more influenced by UGC. Leveraging original, user content provides more content for your account and builds social proof for your brand or company.
UGC can come from fans and followers or even company employees. A great way to source user content is through Instagram contests. The result is mutually beneficial for both the company and the consumer and has high returns for a low investment. UGC can also be repurposed across platforms. When featuring UGC, be sure to credit the owner of the original image. You can also ask them to promote your account and re-share their photo if they are a fan.
Interact with Users
Instagram is a social media platform – it’s all about interaction. Liking and commenting on other accounts is an excellent way to drive engagement for your account. Consumers appreciate companies that seem authentic and have personality. Company users have found that interactions drive more likes and followers on their accounts. Increasing your number of Instagram followers is a great goal, but focus on relevant accounts that fit with your industry or brand.
Looking at your “Explore” page on Instagram is an easy way to find photos and users that align with your brand. Go through and like several photos directly in the “Explore” feature to quickly boost engagement. Staying active in the community around your brand or company means your content will show up in relevant users’ “Explore” page and is an excellent way to grow your audience and Instagram community.
Video became especially popular across social media platforms in 2016 and is an excellent way to add variety to your content. Instagram videos have 2x the engagement compared to photos. If you aren’t already sharing video on your company account, it’s worth the time to create great video.
Instagram’s popularity lies in the great visuals and ability to tell a story. Carry this over to your video by telling a story, tapping into your audience’s emotions, and engaging the customer. Above all, design the video to be eye-catching and shareable. Instagram video provides a way to interact more dynamically with your network and boost your follower count at the same time.
Many companies and brands are unsure how to best leverage the power and popularity of Instagram. Posting consistent, relevant content – including video – paired with carefully selected hashtags helps drive visibility for a corporate account. Interacting with users via contests, likes, and/or comments is key to building loyalty and growing Instagram followers. Corporate Instagram account managers should be sure to integrate these six tips into their marketing and content strategy.
What other strategies do you use to gain Instagram followers? Let us know in the comments below!