How do you grow your Instagram following and create a valuable and free marketing platform for your business?

Instagram is a great way to engage with your target audience, whether they be existing customers or potential new customers. When used wisely, Instagram can be an exceptional marketing tool for businesses of all sizes, and best of all, it’s a free platform. So how do you grow your Instagram following so that you can use this platform to its full potential?

As with any social media platform, it is important to remember that the audience is also the curator of their own experience. Instagram users choose who to follow and thus which accounts posts will appear in their primary news feed

The best way to engage with your audience is to have them follow your account.. So now more than ever businesses need to be intelligent about how they tailor their content and target their audience to grow their following on Instagram.

Here are our top tips for increasing your following on Instagram.

Posting on your account:

As Bill Gates wrote all the way back in 1996 – content is king. While it will always be true that interesting and engaging content is vital to capturing new followers on Instagram, the key to growing an Instagram presence is to post that content regularly.

As with all social media platforms, content is only displayed in users’ news feeds for a limited period of time, so it is more important to post regularly and at times when your target audience will be active on social media, and therefore more likely to see your posts and follow you.

Posting at regular intervals will ensure that you are displayed in more users search feeds and will increase your discoverability. Additionally, posting regularly gives users a reason to follow whilst making your business appear active and relevant.

While you should post regularly and often, posting multiple times in a day can “over-saturate” your users with content, which can lead to losing followers. There is always a saturation point and so we recommend you  post no more than once per day.

Filling in your Profile Information:

How to edit your Instagram Profile

Ensure that your profile information is filled in fully and accurately.

A common mistake among Instagram business users is that they miss this step. Having an incomplete account makes your account look more like spam or an imitation account to other users. Editing your Profile so that every box is complete ensures that other users won’t not follow you, suspecting you to be a fake account.

This is the most simple and effective step that many businesses miss, so by filling in your Profile information completely, you will already be one step ahead of many other businesses.

Use appropriate hashtags and location tags:

An example of how to appropriately use hashtags and location tags on Instagram 

If posting regularly is the key to increasing your visibility, using Hashtags and Location Tags are great ways to increase your discoverability.

Try to determine which hashtags best suit both your posts’ content and your  brand. It can be tempting when choosing hashtags to use the most popular or broadest hashtags that apply to your post, but try to remember that when it comes to hashtags less is more. Someone searching or using a specific hashtag that fits exactly with your brand is more likely to follow you than 100 people searching broad tags are.

Using specific tags also means you will show up higher in search results for people who are specifically interested in the topic, this again increases your chances of growing your following through hashtag searches.

Try to remember that sometimes “less is more” and just because a broad hashtag has been utilized by more users, doesn’t mean it will result in more followers for you.

Locations are also searchable on Instagram so make sure you always place a location tag on your posts that is specific and relevant to both your business and the content you are sharing.

Instagram users are savvy with marketing and won’t be fooled by an excessive number of hashtags or false locations, so make sure your content is both relevant to your business and authentic to your brand. If you do this, you will be engaging with users who want to follow you, advocate for your brand and ultimately become your best customers.

Incentivize followers:

Give your existing and potential customers a reason to follow you on Instagram.

One great way to do this is to showcase special offers and deals exclusively through your Instagram account.

Many companies who are leading the way on Instagram, will offer regular discounts and exclusive deals that are not available through any other platform.

If you choose to do this, make sure you let your existing customers know about this incentive through your other channels of communication with them. Growth leads to more growth and the more followers you have, the more likely you are to reach prospective customers.

Engage with other Instagram accounts:

Engaging with other Instagram users by following them, liking and commenting on their posts is one of the best ways to increase your following on Instagram.

You can start meaningful engagement with other users by following 5-10 accounts whose audience would be interested in your content. Go to their accounts and leave a genuine comment on their most recent post. The most recent comments on a post are the ones that subsequent users viewing the image will see, so don’t worry if you are the last comment on a post, this is actually beneficial.

Statistics show that you are more likely to be followed by users that you engage with in a variety of ways. In other words, you are more likely to be followed by a user when you have ‘liked’ at least one of their posts as well as commenting on a post and/or following them, have followed them and liked and/or commented on a post or commented on a post as well as liking a post of theirs.

Engaging with other users content can be one of the most time consuming aspects of running a business Instagram account.

Pushgram automates these functions for you so that your account is systematically engaging with other Instagram accounts that fit into your target audience, and in turn increases your following much faster than you could do manually without a full time Instagram community manager.

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