Instagram is becoming ever more popular for many brands and companies throughout the world, for many Instagram offers a great platform for visual marketing opportunities and the chance to build a strong and loyal customer base.
It’s stated that over 500 million Instagram users browse the website on a daily basis, this means as a business owner or marketer, you have plenty of ways to interact and engage with your target audience.
Typically, one of the easiest ways to get more followers on Instagram is to use the correct hashtags. Similar to Twitter and other social sites, users on Instagram use certain hashtags over others. If you use the right hashtags within your photos and posts, you’re much more likely to reach new users and be discovered more easily.
As of 2019, here are current top 10 hashtags on Instagram:
Remember the use of the hashtags just mentioned should defiantly give you more exposure, however you still need to consider that they may not lead to long-term engagement, rather they’re a short-term solution. This can be great if you want to create instant hype or awareness in a short period of time.
If you would like a more targeted approach, visit websites such as Websta, you can easily drill down to key hashtags which are suitable for your business, product or service. For example, let’s take the word bike, if you’re selling bicycles you may want hashtags which appeal to your target audience. Websta recommended hashtags such as:
And so on
You can also do this for other keywords, such as Guitars. Websta recommended hashtags such as:
And so on.
Keep in mind that Instagram allows for a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. Furthermore, the popular words will change over time, so make sure you revisit your hashtag keywords every few months to make sure you’re using the best possible terms. Equally, using Hashtags on Instagram posts is assumed as standard, but you should also be using hashtags in your Stories for the chance to be seen by users who follow that precise hashtag.
You can use Hashtag Stickers (which can be found in the Stickers menu when creating a Story) or just hashtag directly in your captions for a chance to be featured in a Hashtag Story.
You should also use the right filters on Instagram too, remember users on Instagram respond more favourably to certain photo filters than others. This can have a huge impact on your engagement and interaction rates
As of 2019, here are the 5 current most popular filters on Instagram:
Normal (No Filter) – “Normal” was the most popular Instagram filter last year, used in 89.5% of cases.
Clarendon – Clarendon does is to “cool down” your photo, as it slightly increases saturation and contrast, but then adds a cyan tint in pure highlight areas and cools down shadows and highlights. This filter can be good for selfies
Juno – Juno is a great movie style filter – It’s quite simple and doesn’t do much more than to slightly manipulate the contrast and vividness of the photo.
Ludwig– This filter reduces saturation and luminance for yellows, greens, cyans, blues, and magentas, except for the colour red, which actually becomes more saturated. It can be good for: Portraits, geometric shapes, architecture
Lark – It increases exposure, which makes your picture brighter, decreases vibrance a bit. This filter can be good for nature shots.
One of the main elements many business owners forget, is about posting at the right times on Instagram. Many companies and marketers fall into the trap of posting when its convenient to them and not their target audience. For most industries and sectors, the best time to post on Instagram is during the early evening to late evening, a hotspot tends to be around the 6pm to 8pm area.
Some companies may also find that around 10am till 12 noon can also work well, however this does vary but can be lucrative if your audience are checking Instagram during a work break or lunch time.
Unfortunately, not everything in life comes for free, sometimes you may have to pay for sponsored posts and reviews. This means you may need to take advantage of influencer marketing on Instagram and align your company and its products or services with an influencer who has an established following in your industry.
To get started, you’ll need to make a list of large accounts in your niche. For example, if you sell bike products, you’ll want to find large accounts from bike riders and bloggers.
There are a few things to look for in the profiles results:
- A large following—usually around 20k to 200k+
- An email address in the profile
If there is an email address in the profile, it typically means they’re open to sponsored posts or a sponsored Story. You’ll want to email them and ask them their sponsored post pricing. The rate of pricing can obviously vary depending on the influencer, size of audience and so on, however by a general rule of thumb, the average rate to be around £20-£50 per post.
Another cool feature many owners and marketers overlook is using geotags, this can be fantastic if you’re in a certain location, such as a venue, retail store or even where a video or photo has been taken. Remember locations not only have their own feed on Instagram but also their own Story just like hashtags that you can contribute to when you use the location sticker in your own Stories.
It goes without saying that local businesses tend to get the most valuable out of using geotags, obviously its recommended to post regularly and make your posts engaging to get the attention and interest of your target audience.
Some companies also love to organise their stories into highlights, as we lead busy lives, highlights give marketers and business owners a quick chance to convince and raise the interest of the person viewing your profile. Remember attention spans are much shorter these days and people don’t have the time to read through your entire page, thus highlights can work to your advantage in most cases.
As Stories have a 24-hour lifespan, Highlights can be used to give them a second-life and tempt others to follow you so they don’t miss out on more Stories in the future.
You should typically use Story Highlights to:
- Create trailers that tease your audience
- Organise your Stories into themes
- Explain your products through pictures and videos
Statistics and Metrics
Remember it’s important that you also keep a close eye on your statistics and metrics, it’s all well and good getting new Instagram followers to your profile, but what if you’re losing them just as quickly? This makes the whole process quite useless in the long-run.
Check out Social Blade, which is a free tool for analysing the growth of your following (or your competitors), showing you followers added and lost over time and on exact days.
Equally, with an Instagram Business account, you also get an Instagram Analytics dashboard which offers insight for free that you won’t get anywhere else. You can see how many people are removing themselves from your profile, how many people your posts have reached, what your most engaging posts are, and where most of your followers are from.
You should always look for patterns, for example, if you see a pattern of posting at a certain time of the day and a loss of followers quickly after, you know that you need to be posting at a time which is suitable to your target audience.
Another easy tactic you can ultise right away, is simply aligning your business, brand or product with current trending topics or hashtags. This can be anything from local news, world events or even national holidays. For example, if you own a bed or mattress store, you may want to align your business with #NationalSleepDay and so on.
It’s a good idea to have a content calendar to mark relevant events, so you can pre-plan your content in a timely manner.
Finally, there’s nothing wrong in asking for people to follow you. Remember call to action on social media is a strong strategy for many companies. Sometimes we need to give people a nudge in the right direction, it’s similar to how YouTubers ask their audience to follow them at the start or end of their videos.
It can be a good idea to ask your audience to follow you in your captions or even as part of your content.