With over two billion monthly active users, Instagram is an asset for brands looking to boost their brand visibility. If you increase your Instagram followers, your presence grows on Instagram, too. That means the higher the chances of you generating sales.
However, increasing Instagram followers remains a challenge for most businesses. That leaves some brands desperate to use band-aid solutions like buying followers or using bots.
Fortunately, we have better alternatives to help you increase your Instagram followers for better brand visibility. Follow these tips:
1. Optimize Your Instagram Profile
Your Instagram profile is the face of your Instagram account, which is why you must ensure it’s optimized. You want people to quickly identify and be impressed by your profile from the get-go. If your profile visitors are impressed by your profile, then they will most likely follow your Instagram page.
There are several aspects of your profile that you should optimize. You want your Instagram name to be easy to remember, so don’t use complicated words. Also, you want people to identify your name with your business immediately, so use your official business name as your Instagram name.
You must also pay attention to your Instagram bio and profile photo to increase your followers. To optimize your Instagram bio, clearly describe what you do. Your personality and tone should be consistent throughout the 150-character description. For instance, if your tone is fun, use relevant emojis, as Starbucks does.
The other vital aspects of your bio are the in-bio link and the call-to-action button above the link. Your CTA could guide your users to whatever action you wish them to. For example, you could direct users to click on your in-bio link to read a blog post or to follow your Instagram account.
For link-in-bio, avoid having it always lead to your site’s homepage unless it’s doubling up as a landing page. Alternatively, you can use linking tools like Linktree, like what Ikea does (see image below):
The Linktree link can lead to multiple other links—blog posts, other social profiles, or multiple landing pages—as shown below.
Your profile picture should help your social followers easily identify your profile. So use a great photo of your product or logo.
Finally, ensure you include contact information like your email address that will prove you’re the original social media account and make it easy to reach you. You can provide the details on your profile or just include a link to a virtual business card on Linktree.
2. Create Different Types of Content
Your great Instagram profile might garner attention, but quality content is what really convinces people you’re worth following. You shouldn’t just create good-quality content. You should post great content consistently.
Developing new visual content ideas for business accounts is often challenging, even for professional content creators. But Instagram has enabled brands to navigate this by providing various formats–Instagram Reels, feed posts, Stories, and Instagram Live, among others–to package their content.
Remember, Instagram's algorithm shows users the types of content they interact with most, so if you cover all the bases, you can capture different categories of users and increase Instagram followers. Follow in Hubspot’s footsteps, which posts Reels and posts, among other types of material.
To get new content ideas, you can also perform competitor research. Find out what your competitors are posting to get ideas or identify visual content gaps. This research will also help you stay informed on Instagram's general and niche content trends. One way to do that is to use a tool like SEMRush Eye On.
Captions are also a crucial part of your content. A compelling caption is enough to capture users' attention and encourage them to share it, especially on Stories with “read caption” stickers. This could easily lead to your post going viral.
3. Leverage Content Scheduling
Scheduling your Instagram content allows you to publish posts automatically. It helps you identify the best times to post on Instagram. When you reach your audience at the right time, you can increase Instagram followers and boost your brand's visibility. Content scheduling enables you to optimize your posting strategy to grow your content’s reach.
To find your account's best times, you can experiment with different times according to existing historical data. Use Instagram Insights and Analytics tools to guide you. You can access these from your Meta business suite. Look at the time your best-performing posts were posted, and also identify your followers' most active times and days.
Alternatively, you can use a social media management tool like Later or Hootsuite to help you find the optimal posting times. The suggested posting times are based on the Instagram likes and the entire account's engagement history.
Now that you know when to schedule your posts, the question is, how do you schedule posts in the first place? You can use Meta Business Suite for this. Click on “new post” or story to open the composer, as shown below.
Upload the visual content, include the caption and hashtags, and click on the calendar icon to select the time and date. Then instead of publishing, click on the drop-down arrow and select “schedule post.”
You can also reschedule posts, as shown below.
Content scheduling doesn’t just help you optimize your content strategy and reach the right people simultaneously. It can help you when designing your Instagram grid layout, too. The outlook and feel of your profile page determine the grid layout. You can easily get users’ attention if your profile is aesthetically pleasing. Scheduling allows you to predict and adjust your content in advance to retain the aesthetics of your grid layout.
4. Use Relevant Hashtags to Reach New Users
Hashtags allow profiles to be searchable on the social media platform. So, make sure you use them in your posts. The more people can find you (this is also brand visibility), the higher your chances of getting more Instagram followers and boosting brand visibility again.
But you can't just use any hashtag. You must prioritize branded hashtags that your target customers or audience are more likely to search for or connect to your brand. You can use trending hashtags which you can find on your Explore page, with the help of Instagram’s hashtag autocomplete feature, as shown below.
You can also use third-party tools to find hashtags like Brand24 and RiteTag.
Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags, which means you can use a variety of hashtags to gain your ideal audience's attention. Just make sure they’re relevant to what you’re posting, too.
Also, use long-tail hashtags with higher intent, like #digitalmarketingagencytexas, since they attract interested users who are more likely to convert into followers. As a final tip, use other tags to compliment your hashtags, like geotags and username tags.
5. Engage With Users
People love feeling appreciated. That’s why you’re more likely to encourage more Instagram followers by engaging them.
There are various ways you can directly engage your relevant users. You can respond to comments, like and pin top comments, and repost user-generated content (UGC). With UGC, you can even provide social proof for your users, which is positive social PR that leads to followers' growth and brand visibility.
Responding to UGC is another way you can engage users. This Shani Darden UGC post is a great example. Notice the brand's reply to user 2eachherown even if the user didn’t tag the brand and, therefore, possibly didn’t expect a response:
When engaging relevant users, avoid generic and repetitive auto-responder replies. People want to feel they’re engaging with a human being, so personalize your responses and match their energy. For instance, if the comment is meant to be funny, respond with an equally humorous reply.
6. Run Instagram Giveaways
Instagram giveaways are the other followers' magnet you should consider investing in. The entry requirements of an Instagram giveaway alone are enough to increase Instagram followers since they often require people to follow your account, tag accounts, and share the post with a branded hashtag.
Ensure you offer relevant gift(s) to your brand and your users to encourage participation. For instance, if you sell courses, offer a free course. Doing this ensures that the followers you attract are more likely to convert into customers and drive sales.
The next step is creating the perfect Instagram giveaway post. While the perfect post key qualities vary, it’s advisable to include the image of the expected gifts for the winner(s) and a compelling caption. Also, include a disclaimer as required by Instagram promotions guidelines, as the example below does.
Ensure your requirements are clear and simple. For instance, avoid asking people to tag 100 accounts since most users will end up tagging random people just to win. It’ll also seem like a direct ploy to gain followers with no real value to the user and discourage quality users’ participation.
Considering the high number of users on Instagram, your brand is missing out if you have yet to build a strong Instagram community. Increasing Instagram followers, however, is not an easy task since you have to convince people that your profile is worth following.
But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Increase your Instagram followers and brand visibility by optimizing your profile, scheduling content, publishing quality content with relevant hashtags, and engaging users, and running Instagram giveaways.
Follow these six steps and reap the best results. All the best!