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Social media marketing is more prevalent than ever before – and Instagram may just be at the top. But how do you grow your follower count quickly and authentically?
Whether you’re looking to grow your customer base or build brand awareness, follow these five top tips to get more followers on Instagram.
Whilst there’s no one trick to get more followers on social media, there are a few ways you can help boost your visibility to organically grow your followers. If you follow these five tips, you’re giving your Instagram account the best possible chance to grow.
One of the easiest things you can do to grow your social media following is to increase your visibility and make sure you’re easy to find on search. You can do this by thinking carefully about your username and profile bio.
Make sure your Instagram username is clear. It should match the name of your business – or your personal name if that’s what you professionally go by. Avoid confusing usernames with lots of numbers and punctuation, as these are easy to mistype.
If you’re a business who relies on local customers, you can also include your location in your username to make it clear where you’re based. An example of this would be ‘businessnamenorthampton’ or ‘servicenameleeds’.
When writing your Instragam bio, make sure you’re clear about what you are and what you do – but don’t overload with information. Keep it short and simple to entice customers. You can also link to your company website if you have one.
Remember that Instagram profiles also show up in Google search results, so you can use this opportunity to think about your SEO reach.
One of the best things about using Instagram as a marketing tool is that it allows you to connect with your followers on a more personal level. One way to do this is by showing the behind the scenes of your business. If you sell candles, you can show the process of making them. Or if you do garden landscaping, share before and after pictures of your latest projects (with permission from your customers).
You can also comment on and like your followers’ posts – to remind them that there’s a real person behind your account. Whilst it’s important to be authentic and not to spam with copy and pasted generic comments, this is a good way for you to keep your business at the forefront of your followers’ minds.
It’s important that you don’t treat your Instagram account as a solitary thing. If you want to use Instagram as a marketing tool for your small business, then you need to treat it as part of a wider marketing strategy.
You can do this by linking to your profile wherever possible. This can be done digitally through your company website, your other social media accounts, or in your marketing emails. But you can also include your Instagram handle on your business cards or packaging to further spread your reach.
If your business relies on local customers, you can still use Instagram to your advantage. Instagram allows you to tag a location on your stories and your posts – meaning users can then search by a specific location.
This can work for your business in two ways. The first is by making your profile visible to anyone searching for that location.
Imagine you own a restaurant. If someone is planning to visit your town and is searching Instagram for things to do, they’ll be able to see any content posted by you or your customers from your restaurant. As well as geotagging your own posts, you can encourage your customers to tag you in theirs.
You can also search locations yourself and follow potential local customers. If you run a bar, you may choose to follow people who regularly post content from similar bars in your area. Following them and engaging with their posts gives your own bar more visibility.
Of course, one of the most reliable ways to get more followers on Instagram is to genuinely post good content. Only share content that’s relevant to your business – which will be the main reason potential customers follow you.
Defining your content pillars can help you make more strategic decisions about your content. To learn more about content pillars, check out our guide with tips from businesswoman Lucy Hitchcock.
Exactly what you post will depend on your business, but some ideas include:
Whatever you end up posting, make sure it’s also of a good quality. If you’re taking your own videos and images, you can find some top tips for taking excellent product photography here. It’s also important to make sure your descriptions are clear and well-written to avoid confusion. If there’s a point to each post, make sure that’s clearly signposted.
When you’re first trying to grow your Instagram following, you might be tempted to buy Instagram followers – but we don’t recommend doing so. Whilst it’s true that your follower count will be larger, your post engagement will be lower than ever before.
This is because the followers you buy are bots and they can’t interact with your posts like a real follower can. Some bots can be trained to comment on your posts – but they very rarely look authentic.
For example, you could have five thousand purchased followers that aren’t engaging with your content – which leaves you with only ten likes on each post. This makes it clear to anyone who looks that you’ve bought Instagram followers.
We asked Simply Business’ Social Media Manager, Danielle Read, how to boost your engagement authentically – and not rely on purchased bots: “A high follower count made up of purchased followers may make a business look successful or credible at a glance, but it only takes looking at one or two of your posts to see there’s no real engagement.
“The best way to increase your followers – and your engagement levels – is to post authentic, quality content which targets the interests of potential customers.
“Do your research and look at what your competitors are doing. See what works and what doesn’t. It may take a bit of trial and error but you’ll see a genuine engagement level that you just won’t get with bots.”
If you want to invest money into your Instagram account in an attempt to grow your reach, we recommend boosting your posts. This allows you to turn one of your regular posts into an ad, showing it to more people outside of those who already follow you.
When you choose to boost a post on Instagram, you’ll be able to enter audience criteria to choose who your ad reaches. This can be incredibly useful when attracting a specific type of customer audience.
To boost one of your Instagram posts, you’ll first need to convert your Instagram account into a business profile. Check out Instagram’s guide to boosting posts to learn more.
Being verified on Instagram may not automatically lead to more followers, but it can help you to create validity for your brand. There are two ways to get verified on Instagram. The first is to apply to Meta Verified, which costs a monthly fee but gets you a verified badge.
However, if you’re a brand using a business Instagram account, you can also apply for a verified badge. One of the requirements to be verified on Instagram is to be a public account with a bio and profile picture – so make sure you go back and read our first tip before you apply for verification.
If you really want to organically grow your Instagram following, then you’ll need to be regularly posting quality content. One way you can make sure you’re posting consistently is to schedule your posts on Instagram.
You can follow a guide on how to schedule your Instagram posts here but before you begin, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve converted your profile to a business account. After that, you’ll be able to schedule up to 25 posts a day. You can schedule traditional posts, reels, and stories.
As well as using the Instagram app to schedule your posts, you can also use third party apps such as Hootsuite. Check out our roundup of some of the best social media management tools for businesses.
The best time to post on Instagram can differ depending on your business, your audience, and your location – so it’s important that you experiment with different posting times to find the time that works best for you.
However, social media management tool Hootsuite did a study which revealed that people are more likely to engage with your posts during work hours in the middle of the week. Their study revealed that the best universal time to post on Instagram was 11am on Wednesdays.
We hope that these tips help you to grow your social media following. Remember that whatever method you choose, it’s important that your Instagram strategy is part of your overall business marketing strategy.
Do you use Instagram as a social media marketing tool? Let us know how you grow your followers in the comments below.
Rosanna Parrish is a Copywriter at Simply Business, specialising in legal and HR content. Trained at London College of Communication, she has been creating content professionally for eight years at publications across the UK and Spain. Starting her career in health insurance, she also worked in education marketing before returning to the insurance world. Rosanna also writes about wellbeing in the workplace. She lives by the sea and does her best writing in coffee shops.
We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer
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