If you’re just starting out in Instagram marketing, you may find things are a bit slow going. Even experienced Instagram users may find their growth becoming stagnant sometimes. Fortunately, you don’t have to sit back and hope for new followers or try worn-out techniques that don’t work.
There are lots of new strategies out there that are helping businesses and influencers grow their following like crazy. Read on to discover 12 killer Instagram growth hacks you need to know.
Then you can begin putting them to work for your brand and gaining the engaged following you’ve been dreaming of.
1. Outline Your Strategy
Perhaps more important than any other activity when it comes to growing your Instagram account is having a detailed marketing strategy. Having a plan in place will increase your chances of success far more than just winging it ever could.
You’ll want to determine precisely what you hope to achieve with your Instagram account. Things such as follower numbers, increased engagement, and lead capture might be on your list. Try to be precise and specific. Knowing what your exact goals are in advance will help you to best meet them.
2. Include User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is, as its name implies, content that comes from your users. It encourages followers and other Instagram users to post images that contain your business or brand. You can encourage people to make these kinds of posts by creating a specific hashtag that identifies user submissions.
Having a product that lends itself well to social media also helps. You can find creative ways to encourage people to submit such content such as with contests. Just giving them a shout out offers an incentive for many, as it helps them to feel validated and connected to your brand.
An added advantage is that user-generated content increases your reach and allows users’ followers to discover your brand.
3. Tell a Story
People are naturally drawn to stories. Our brains respond well to a narrative. So it makes sense to capitalize on this fact by incorporating stories into your Instagram posts.
When users hear your stories, they will feel more connected to your brand and also more inclined to follow through on things like making a purchase or signing up for your newsletter to stay in touch. Know your audience and strive to tell stories in a way that resonates with them.
You can do this by appealing to their emotions or by showing them how your product can add real value to their lives.
4. Use Video Content
Video is a powerful medium. People tend to watch videos more frequently on their phones and tablets than they do on their computers these days. You’re missing out if you aren’t using this form of content in your Instagram posts.
People love video content, so it’s important to get in on this trend while it’s hot. Videos can be uploaded to your feed, Stories or Instagram TV.
This gives you a number of outlets to share your creations and those of your fans. You can give a behind-the-scenes tour of your business, introduce your staff or offer a product demonstration. This type of content lets followers feel more connected to your brand. Tutorials are also extremely popular. People enjoy learning how to do new things.
5. Consider SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a common online strategy for boosting results in search engines. It involves using certain keywords in a strategic manner so that your site ranks higher in the search results.
While SEO is typically used in blog posts and website content, you can also put it to strategic use in your Instagram posts in order to boost your account’s rankings in the search engines. The more people who can find you, the better chance you have of gaining higher follower numbers and engagement.
6. Work With Influencers
Influencers can do a lot for your brand awareness. Working with these popular Instagram users exposes your business to their followers and offers a great deal of social proof for your offerings. People already trust these individuals.
When you collaborate with them on marketing campaigns, you’re gaining their seal of approval. This type of marketing does cost money, but it’s proving to be well worth the investment as more and more people are using Instagram and connecting with these influencers.
Another advantage of these types of collaborations is that you can usually see the results relatively quickly. Once your collaboration goes live, people will start to visit and engage with your business account. Give it a try!
7. Run Sales Promotions
Everyone loves a sale, right? That’s why you should be running them on your Instagram account. Giving people a discount is a time-trusted way to gain new business. People are willing to try something when they feel they are getting a good deal.
Contests and giveaways are also good promotions to run. Who doesn’t love a chance to get free stuff? When it comes to giveaways, an added bonus is that you can require entrants to follow your account or to tag a friend as a way to enter.
This gains you more followers and the potential for future sales. Providing discount codes or time-limited sales provides a sense of urgency. Folks will be more apt to try your product when they know their chance at a discount will go away soon.
8. Don’t Forget to Tag
Instagram’s tagging features offer you a goldmine of possibilities when it comes to account growth. You can tag up to 20 users in your Instagram post. Just be sure that you’re tagging relevant accounts so that you don’t come across as desperate or spammy.
Tag people who are featured in the photograph or who would be interested in some specific reason. Acknowledging loyal customers or tagging user-generated content is always a good idea. Geotags are also a helpful way to get noticed on Instagram.
These tags allow you to let users know where you are. You can tag by city or even by a particular venue in that city. Users may search that geotag to discover relevant posts within that area. This is a great way to be found by those who have something in common with your brand.
9. Get Local
Speaking of geotags, local marketing is a social media strategy that is all too often underutilized. Be sure to take time to do some local demographic research on Instagram. Check out the folks in your area or ones who frequent attractions near you.
These people have a common tie with you already. They may be more than willing to follow your business and engage with your brand. Find local events to follow through geotags and engage with attendees. Perhaps you may even consider creating your own locally branded event.
10. Engage With Regrams
A regram is when someone shares your post or content with their followers. These are a great conversation starter for you to start building relationships because these users have already shown interest in what you have to offer.
So don’t neglect your regrams. Take time to notice who shares your content. Then be sure to interact within the comments of their post. This will ensure that you show your appreciation and will allow you to be noticed by those who are following the post.
11. Mix Up Your Hashtag Game
Hashtags significant increase Instagram visibility. People use these tags to find topics that interest them. If you’re not using them, you’re missing out on a key segment of your marketing plan. Try to use hashtags that are specific to your niche.
This will increase the odds that relevant users will find you. Avoid using the most popular ones or else you’ll just blend into the crowd. Mix it up and try different strategies to come up with a hashtag plan that works for you.
12. Promote Brand Awareness
For too many businesses are hyper focused on sales. Yes, sales are your bottom line, and they matter. However, content that is constantly promotional is a real turnoff to most people. You’re likely to lose followers if you’re over-promoting yourself.
Instead, strive to create a brand awareness strategy. The goal here is to let people know who your business is and what you can offer them of value. When you show you can help people, they will be more apt to consider purchasing your product.
These strategies should give you a good start on increasing your Instagram account’s growth tremendously. You don’t have to remain stagnant in your social media activity. Give these techniques a try to get things moving.