During a Periscope broadcast recently, I discovered that a number of people wanted to know more about Instagram – specifically how to get more followers there. It’s a good question, especially for businesses that are highly visual or those with products they want to feature. With more followers you’re going to get more eyeballs on your content and, ideally, more business…or at the very least more brand awareness.
So how do you get more Instagram followers?
- Follow others.
Instagram operates very much the same way as Twitter, in that to get people to follow you back you must follow them first. However, you don’t want to follow just anyone, you want to follow targeted users. You can do so manually or use a semi-manual app like Crowdfire to follow new accounts. I recommend starting by following the people who follow competitors and influencers in your niche.
If you operate a local business and are looking for users who are in your local area, look for businesses in your immediate area who are on Instagram and follow people who follow them.
You can also do keyword or hashtag searches on Instagram to find people who have specific interests. To do this, however, it’s essential that you know EXACTLY who your ideal client is and what interests they have.
- Engage, engage, engage.
It’s pretty simple: the more you engage, the more followers you’ll have. You can do this manually as you’re following new accounts or you can do this using tools like Instagress.
Trust me, however, if you want to get someone’s attention and get them to follow you back, the best thing to do is to start liking and commenting on a BUNCH of their pictures. At the very least, all the love you’re giving will get their attention and then they can decide whether or not your account is one they would like to follow.
- Complete your bio.
If you do nothing else, make sure that you take the time to complete your bio. Your bio should include a call-to-action (preferably sending them to your free offer), any branded hashtags you have, and a quick summary of who you are and what you do.
The bio section is where users will discover who you are and is typically the determining factor in whether or not they will follow you.
However, whatever you do, don’t come across as a spammy account or advertise that you will automatically follow back people who follow you. The bio is where you ENCOURAGE people to follow you because of the immense value you provide.
- Post frequently, but not too often.
Typically, a 2-3 photos per day is a good rule of thumb. Just make sure that you’re not flooding your audience’s feed with 10-20 images a day… they may like you, but they want to see content from other accounts too. <wink>
You could post manually or use a tool like Schedu.gram to schedule content and have it post automatically.
Hootsuite also has the option to schedule now but it doesn’t do it automatically. Instead, you receive a notification on your phone at the time the post is scheduled to go live, at which time you complete publishing the image on Instagram in the app.
- Post at the right time.
Typically, a photo only has four hours before it gets lost in the newsfeed, so it’s important to post when YOUR IDEAL AUDIENCE is most likely on Instagram. People are often on when they have downtime and have access to their accounts. When is that time for your audience? First thing in the morning? Over lunch? At night when they’re watching TV?
Hot tip: If you’re posing at night when people may be watching TV, try posting JUST BEFORE the top of the hour. For example, instead of posting at 9PM, try posting at 8:57, which will allow you to catch people scanning Instagram during a commercial break before a 9PM show starts.
Do you have any great Instagram tips you would like to share? Do you have any tools you would recommend? I would love to hear them!