Instagram is not failing to surprise the marketers every passing day. The app which took shape as a simple picture sharing app has now grown by leaps and bounds over the years. Instagram growth has defied the usual forecasts and trends. Within the first 3 months of its launch, its user base had touched 1 billion. Huge! Yes and there is no stopping. It has only known growth and in this span of 9 years has reached almost 800 million users. If you are getting it right, Instagram means serious business.
If you still think otherwise, think again! It has over 500 million users being active every day. To get straight to the point, it means your business stands a chance to reach out to 500 million people every day. Not only that, a massive chunk of this 1 billion, to the tune of 71% are young with an upper age limit of 35. The numbers are eminently compelling for any business to give it a deep thought and make it a prominent part of the social media engagement strategy.
How to Get Real Instagram followers?
We stand at a moment in history when the use of Instagram for building your brand was never as pronounced. The idea is to carve a social media engagement strategy in a manner that you are able to make a real impact and a deeper engagement with the audience. Remember, if you are aiming for lasting success, then you have to work in a manner in which you are genuinely connecting with your audience and addressing their pain points and giving them best-in-class solutions. Once this is taken care of, the secondary goals of getting more followers, comments, likes, etc. are well handled. Here are some Instagram strategies which will help you increase your brand presence on Instagram.
- Hustle with Hashtags: This will serve two purposes- one to keep your current audience engaged and the other to reach new ones who are searching for similar content. Now there are some hashtags which are popular and trending but it is quite possible that these do not match your brand or product. Adding such kinds of tags will definitely hand you increased audience but not a lasting relationship with them. It will not possibly result in the generation of leads that ultimately convert. It is hence important to use only those hashtags which are relevant and appear in popular searches. Tools like Websta, IconoSquare can be used to find relevant hashtags. A maximum of 30 hashtags is allowed per post on Instagram. Another point to note is that the popularity of any keyword is not forever, and it keeps changing so you need to revisit them regularly. One can actually split the keywords across three verticals like brand, product, and location and then conduct the hashtag keyword search. It is a good idea to make a repository of the same as this will save you a lot of time spent on every post.
- Filters: Instagram gives you a choice of filters for every post, and every filter has a specific audience. So, yes you have to be mindful of the filters which you pick. Research has shown that a large part of the Instagram user-base responds to certain filters more than others and can have a dramatic effect on the overall user engagement. As per a study carried out by TrackMaven, it was proven that Mayfair, Ludwig, and Hefe were able to get maximum attention. Other well-liked filters which have a great impact on visibility and engagement are Clarendon, Juno, Valencia, Gingham, Lark, Amaro, and definitely Normal.
- Timing: This one cannot afford to go wrong on and this only comes after a lot of forethought and a thorough revision of one’s strategy. One way to have a clearer idea is to refer to Instagram Analytics meant for business accounts which come as a free tool under the Followers. There are many tools available for social media scheduling. You have to conduct a search on what have been the times of your posts and what were the times when your audience was most active. It is the overlap of the two which will give you the best possible results. Even a routine post will make a great impact if it is well-timed and vice-versa.
- Calls to Action: Instagram is an interactive app and is more of a conversation than a publishing platform. Why are you posting and what kind of response are you looking at? These are basic questions that have to be addressed before you post. If you have been posting randomly and wondering why people have not responded it is mainly because even they were wondering what to do next. Now again, a perfect CTA cannot be isolated and has to be linked to perfect and relevant. Now again if the latter is not considered then if not earlier you will lose the lead or can also say a valuable lead when he or she cared to follow your CTA but left as was not well-attended.
- Captions: Content still matters in this world driven towards videos and images. A picture may say a thousand words but cannot replace the impact which is generated by words. We all know no one captures better images than National Geographic. With more than 121 million followers, the giant did not limit its Instagram strategy to showcasing its core competency of unmatched photography but ensured that every post is accompanied by a highly creative story which itself is so engrossing.
- Stories: Ground rule is to be authentic. Don’t make stuff about your brand or product which does not exist just to make things look interesting, be genuine. Stories are gaining ground with the audience for videos are growing across the digital space. Stories can range from product development to displays to everything that happens behind the scene, the teamwork, user reviews, random brand surveys or community programs. Everything but in a way that is relatable to the user.
It is not about increasing numbers but getting real Instagram followers who not only visit but care to engage at a different level. Instagram can win you real leads that can engage and turn into loyal customers. Real followers look for real content which addresses their needs and desires besides any pain point. Hence, your Instagram strategy has to be well thought out taking care of all the subtleties like filters, timing, content, etc. Your content has to be compelling that your audience engages with it actively. Let every touch-point leave them with the best of experiences.