It’s one of the most popular social networking sites on the planet, with over 1 billion active monthly members sharing 95 million images and 4.2 billion likes per day. Instagram quickly outgrew its first impression as a fun app for kids and has become a serious content marketing, networking, and audience building tool for individuals and brands.
Just how awesome is it? Engagement rates for brands on most social networks are less than 0.1%, but Instagram blows them all away.
If you want to learn more about Instagram hacks and effective strategies for Instagram growth, you can join Digital Scholar’s Online Digital Marketing Course!
The average Instagram engagement rate for brands in a 2014 Forrester study was an epic 58 times higher than on Facebook.
You can’t argue with numbers like that. But that’s just average. And as I advocate across all manners of online marketing, you don’t want to be average!
Average isn’t something we aspire to be.
It’s not a dream or a goal.
58 times greater engagement than something else sounds great, but you can do so much better than that on Instagram. Whether you’re a big brand or maybe just wondering how to become Instagram famous, I don’t want you to strive for average — I want you to reach for the stars and become an Instagram unicorn. A digital unicorn is that magical, rare creature that in this case outperforms all others by orders of magnitude.
And you’re going to accomplish this by working these amazing Instagram hacks for more followers into your social strategy. Check out these Instagram caption ideas and see what to post on Instagram to get way more visibility and engagement.
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1. Cross-promote your dedicated hashtag. That’s nice that you created a #joesgarage hashtag for your company, but who knows to use it to share content about you? Make sure it’s in your profile, but take the game offline and have it printed on your receipts, in print ads, on signage in your store and at relevant events. If you’re on radio and TV, direct people to use your hashtag. Integrate with offline by ensuring it’s listed on your other social profiles, on your website, and in your email blasts. Don’t just hope people will find it.
2. Get creative with hashtagging. When it comes to Instagram caption ideas, you need to look beyond the one word, obvious hashtags. Sure, you want to use those, too, but mix it up and use hashtags to tell part of your story. Be funny, ironic, or outrageous–just don’t be BORING. Collaborative workspace company WeWork is great at this, and they include a fun mix of Instagram content, too.
3. Participate in massively popular conversations. For every post, use a mix of topically relevant hashtags such as #woodconstruction for a carpentry company, for example, as well as trending, super popular hashtags wherever you can. The really specific hashtags are like longtail keywords in that they show more intent and help you find the right people, but the universally trending hashtags like #instagood, #tbt, #photooftheday or even plain old #fun get you in front of more people in general. You need both to make it on a social network as big and noisy as Instagram.
4. Make the most of your bio URL. It’s prime real estate on your Instagram profile… do you really want your bio to only link to your website homepage, now and forever? Yawn. Change it up at least bi-weekly and use that clickable link in your bio to drive traffic to your newest or most popular content.
5. Get descriptive. A picture is worth a thousand words, but you can’t skip the words entirely. National Geographic is fantastic at using storytelling alongside their Instagram photos to generate engagement and sharing. While traditional media brands have dropped like flies, NatGeo has thrived across digital and become one of the top brands on Instagram, with over 50 million followers. Like the other Instagram hacks to get followers I’ve included here, this is something you’ll want to commit to working into your strategy over time, so don’t worry if it feels weird at first. Your writing will improve as you find your Instagram voice.
6. Go all in on influencer marketing. Visit the profiles of each person you’ve identified as an influencer in your space (AKA a person who influences the people you want to get in front of) and “Turn On Post Notifications” to be notified every time they share new content. You can then interact with them regularly and become one of their favorite people or brands.
If you’re having trouble identifying influencers in your niche, you can use this great tool by Influencers Club to find micro-influencers for free.
7. Remove tagged photos of you from your profile. If you only want to feature the best user generated content about you or your brand on your Instagram profile, you can. Now, you can’t remove the tagged photo from the site entirely, but choosing “Edit Tags,” selecting the ones you want to remove and choosing “Hide from Profile” (you may need to confirm) does the trick.
8. Approve photo tags before the content shows on your profile. Speaking of giving you greater control over which tagged photos appear on your profile, you can change your Instagram setting so tagged photos won’t show unless you approve them first. You’ll find this under “Options,” “Photos of You,” and “Add Manually.” I’m trying to think of why any company would NOT want to do this… Nope. I’ve got nothing. You should absolutely set this up to avoid potentially embarrassing situations.
9. Develop your own Instagram style. It’s human nature to want to fit in, but on Instagram, you want to stand out. Indian beverage brand Frooti has developed such a unique visual content style, it’s instantly recognizable every time a user sees one a Frooti post in their newsfeed. Check it out:
10. Get local. See what’s going on in a specific area (say, your neighborhood, a city you’re targeting in ads, or even an event in a certain location) by going to the search page and choosing the Places tab. Then, type in the name of the place to see all geotagged posts for that location.
11. Remember your calls to action! Instagram, like other social networks, is a conversation, not a broadcasting platform. What action do you want people to take on your post? If you don’t know that, start over and figure it out. Staples is great at generating engagement by letting people know exactly what they expect them to do with their posts (bonus points if you make it sound fun). Often, that call to action cleverly gets people to share or virally spread Staples’ content.
12. Run fully automated drip marketing campaigns from your Instagram DMs!
Perhaps the most universally appreciated Instagram DM tools by Customers.ai, are drip marketing campaigns.
Drip campaigns have been available to Customers.ai users on Facebook for some time now. Not surprisingly, drip campaigns are popular among Customers.ai users because they’re extremely effective in both increasing engagement on instagram, as well as working Facebook leads down your marketing funnels.
Want a live demo on how Instagram DM drip campaigns work?
Check out Larry Kim’s Instagram page and click on the “Message” button.
Then, send Larry a direct message using the word “DRIP” to trigger the drip sequence! You’ll receive 5 helpful messages over the course of 5 minutes.
Want to learn more about Instagram direct message marketing campaigns, such as drip sequences?
Here’s how to create Instagram DM drip campaigns, step-by-step!
Bonus: 14 Instagram marketing tips. For the latest and greatest Instagram strategies, check out these 14 Instagram marketing tips from top-performing digital agencies!
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Frequently Asked Questions About How to Increase Your Instagram Following
Q. How can I get more followers on Instagram?
A. Using hashtags, creating interesting and engaging content, and interacting with other users are some of the most popular ways to gain followers.
Q. What’s the best way to use hashtags on Instagram?
A. When using hashtags, be sure to use relevant and popular hashtags that are related to your content. Also, use a reasonable number of hashtags (between 3-5) to avoid looking spammy.
Q. How do I find the best hashtags that will increase my views on Instagram?
A. You can use a tool like Hashtags.org to find popular hashtags related to your topic or industry.
Other hashtag finder tools like RiteTag or TagsForLikes can also help you find the right hashtags to use for your posts.
You can also search for hashtags on Instagram itself and see which ones are being used the most.
Q. What’s the best way to create engaging content on Instagram?
A. Share photos and videos that are both interesting and importantly, on-brand.
Be sure to take advantage of Instagram’s many features, including Stories, Live Video, and Boomerangs. Experiment with different content types to see what works best for your audience.
Visual interest is key on Instagram, so use creative filters and effects, as well as interesting compositions and perspectives.
In addition, make sure to include a strong call to action in your posts, such as asking users to tag a friend or visit your website.
Consider using relevant hashtags and keywords in your captions to increase the reach of your posts.
And don’t forget to engage with your followers! Respond to comments and messages, and like and comment on other users’ posts.
Q. What’s the best way to interact with other users on Instagram?
A. When you want to grow your influence and exposure in a certain vertical but you find that no one is engaging, the answer may lie in the fact that you’re not actually engaging with anyone else in the community.
Follow other users, comment on their photos, and like their content are all great ways to get started.
You can also join relevant Instagram communities and forums to connect with more people.
Remember that the more you engage with other users, the more likely they are to notice your account and return the favor by engaging with your content.
Q. Why are my followers not increasing on Instagram?
A. There could be a number of reasons why your followers aren’t increasing, such as using the wrong hashtags or keywords in captions, not engaging with other users, or posting content that’s not interesting.
You can also use Instagram analytics to determine what’s working and what’s not. If you need help increasing your followers on Instagram, consider using a social media marketing agency or studying social media experts. There are a lot of great accounts of social media experts that you can follow like Lauren Tickner, Sue B. Zimmerman, Vanessa Lau and more.
Q. How do I get more visibility on Instagram?
A. There are a few things you can do to help get more visibility on Instagram, such as using popular hashtags, posting interesting and engaging content, and interacting with other users. You can also join relevant communities and forums to connect with more people.
Q. Should I create a hashtag to increase my Instagram following?
A. While hashtags can be a great way to increase your following, it’s important to use relevant and popular hashtags that are related to your content (using only 3-5 hashtags per post).
Q. How do I use a drip campaign on Instagram to get more followers?
A. A drip campaign is a great way to slowly increase your following on Instagram by automatically sending out content to users who have subscribed to your campaign. This can be done through tools like Customers.ai.
Q: Does Instagram have good engagement rates?
A: Yes, Instagram has high engagement rates compared to other social media platforms. This is due to the platform’s focus on visuals and its convenient mobile app. With high engagement rates, you need to create unicorn content.
Q. What type of content works best on Instagram to get more followers?
A. Photos and videos that are both interesting and relevant to the hashtags you choose are more likely to get more exposure. Try to post a variety of content, including behind-the-scenes shots, quotes, and lifestyle photos.
Q. What is the best time of day to post on Instagram to get more followers?
A. The best time of day to post on Instagram for more followers is generally between 8 am-9 am and 5 pm-6 pm; when users are most active. However, you should experiment with different times to see what works best for you.
Q: What tools should I utilize to increase my Instagram followers?
A. Creating a plan and a strategy will help you garner better content leading to more followers. Utilize tools like SocialBee and Hootsuite to help you with scheduling posts, analyzing data, and reporting. Additionally, using a tool like Customers.ai for drip campaigns is a great way to increase followers over time.
Q: Is it a good idea for my company to take part in large hashtag discussions to increase its followers?
A. While it can be a good idea to take part in large hashtag discussions, it’s important to make sure that the hashtags you’re using are relevant to your content. Additionally, participating in these discussions can help increase brand awareness and create connections with other users.
Q: Does changing my bio help garner more followers?
A: Yes, updating your bio is a good way to let users know what you’re all about and can help you attract more followers. Be sure to keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Additionally, using relevant and popular hashtags in your bio can help.
Q: Is there a limit to how long my description should be to get more followers?
A: No, there is no limit to how long your description should be. However, shorter descriptions are generally more effective as they’re easier to read and understand.
Q: Does influencer marketing help increase my followers?
A: Yes, influencer marketing can be a great way to increase your following on Instagram. By partnering with an influencer who has a similar audience to you, you can reach more people and grow your following.
Q: Will getting my business account verified on Instagram help grow my followers?
A: Yes, getting your business account verified on Instagram can help grow your followers. This is because verified accounts are seen as more trustworthy and credible, which can lead to more people following you.
Q: Is there a way to get more followers without using any tools?
A: Yes, there are a few ways to get more followers without using any tools. One way is to find users who are following a large number of accounts and follow them back. Additionally, engaging with other users’ content and liking their photos can help you attract their attention. Lastly, using popular hashtags related to your niche can help you gain exposure.
Q: Should I add a location when posting to get more local followers?
A: Yes, adding a location when posting can help you attract more local followers. This is because users who are interested in the location you’ve specified will be able to find your posts more easily.
Q: What should I do if my account isn’t growing as fast as I’d like it to?
A: If your account isn’t growing as fast as you’d like it to, there are a few things you can do to help speed up the process. Firstly, make sure that your profile is complete and that your bio is up-to-date. Additionally, post high-quality content that is both interesting and relevant to your target audience. Lastly, use popular hashtags related to your niche to get more exposure.
Q: Should I use a call to action in my posts to get more followers?
A: Yes, using a call to action in your posts can be a great way to get more followers. By asking users to do something, such as follow you or visit your website, you’re encouraging them to take action and hopefully convert into a follower.
Q: What’s the best way to use hashtags to attract more followers?
A: The best way to use hashtags to attract more followers is to use a mix of popular and niche hashtags. By using a variety of hashtags, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience and attract more followers.
Q: Should I optimize my Instagram profile for SEO in order to increase the number of people who follow me?
A: Yes, optimizing your Instagram profile for SEO can be a great way to increase the number of people who follow you. By including relevant keywords in your bio and using them in the titles of your posts, you can make it easier for users to find you.
Q: Is it true that using innovative new hashtags can help you acquire more followers and interaction?
A: Yes, using innovative new hashtags can help you acquire more followers and interaction. By using hashtags that are specific to your niche or industry, you’ll be able to reach a more targeted audience.
Q: Is it possible to get more Instagram followers for free?
A: Yes, it is possible to get more Instagram followers for free. However, this generally takes a lot of time and effort and may not be as effective as using a tool or service.
Q: How much money do I need to invest to get more followers?
A: Generally, you don’t need to invest any money to get more followers. There are a number of free tools and services that can help you grow your following. However, if you’re looking for more rapid growth, then investing in a tool or service may be a better option.
Q: Is it possible to increase the number of followers by producing Instagram Reels?
A: The effectiveness of Instagram Reels will depend on your specific niche and target audience. However, using a creative and engaging video format can help you attract more followers and engagement.
Q: What effect does running an Instagram contest have on my following?
A: Instagram contests can be a great way to attract more followers and engagement. By giving users the opportunity to participate in a contest, you’re encouraging them to take action and hopefully convert into a follower. Additionally, using a popular contest hashtag can help you reach a wider audience.
Q: Should I cross-promote my Instagram account to gain more followers?
A: Yes, cross-promoting your Instagram account can be a great way to gain more followers. By promoting your account on other social media platforms or on your website, you’re making it easier for users to find and follow you.
Q: Should I use automation tools or services to help me get more followers?
A: Using automation tools or services can be a great way to get more followers. By using a tool or service, you’re able to grow your following more rapidly and with less effort. However, it’s important to make sure that you’re using a reputable and trustworthy tool or service, like Customers.ai.
Q: Should my business be on IGTV to gain more followers?
A: Instagram TV (IGTV) can be a great way to reach a new and engaged audience. However, the effectiveness of IGTV will depend on your specific niche and target audience. If you think that IGTV would be a good fit for your business, then it’s worth experimenting with it.
Q: Should I use Stories to increase and engage with my followers?
A: Yes, using Instagram Stories is a great way to increase and engage with your followers. By using creative and engaging content, you’ll be able to keep users engaged and encourage them to follow your account. Additionally, using stories as a way to promote your business or products can be a great way to reach a new audience.
Q: Does UGC (user-generated content) increase my followers?
A: Yes, UGC can be a great way to increase your followers. By using user-generated content, you’re able to tap into the power of social proof and encourage users to follow your account. Additionally, UGC can help you create more engaging content.
Q: Should I create a lookalike audience on Instagram to help increase my followers?
A: Lookalike audiences can be a great way to increase your followers. By using this tool, you’re able to target users who are similar to your current followers. This can help you reach a new and engaged audience.
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Originally posted on Inc.com