For healthcare SEO, healthcare digital marketing, and Internet marketing for other industries, social networking is an integral element. And one of the hottest networks out there is undoubtedly Instagram.
Ever since Instagram became a popular social media destination among teens, youngsters and celebrities, businesses have been looking for strategies to capitalize on this social network. But these social networks keep changing too, in terms of how they’re used and users’ expectations of them. Instagram is no different. How people use Instagram has evolved over the years. So in 2018, you may need strategies different to the conventional ones for gaining hordes of new followers.
- The first steps to ensuring more Instagram followers need to be taken even before you start serious Instagram posting. You need a plan, and without it all your efforts could get wasted.
- You first need to figure out what your goals are in posting on Instagram. For sure, you want to gain more followers but what is the ultimate purpose of that? Do you want to increase the sales of your product or see more people sign up for your services? Do you want to get more traffic to your website and improve its traffic, conversions and rankings? Or do you just want to boost your brand awareness? The kind of posts you need to make depend on all these factors.
- You have to identify your target audience. Not only that, you must try to learn everything about them – their age, their passions and interests, where they stay, what work they do and, most importantly, what their Instagram and general social media habits are. That makes it easier to figure out what and how to post.
- You must decide what kind of posts you want to be posting on Instagram. That is closely tied to the answers you come up for the above questions, and the brand image you want to portray. Do you want to make product-oriented posts, motivational stuff, employee perspectives or brand humanizing posts? Or do you want to highlight how your products or services have made your customers’ lives better?
- Make sure that you always maintain a consistent personality. And that is revealed through the overall appearance of your account and the kind of posts you make. It would be great if your posts are instantly recognizable as distinctly belonging to your brand.
- Liking and commenting on other relevant posts helps, because they can like you back. That helps build new followers too. The more you like and comment, the more those people who’ve posted get interested in you. If your comments are interesting, relevant, or useful you have other readers getting interested in you as well, and they start following you.
- Getting to the posting part, make sure you post really compelling content – compelling for your target audience. We talked about the importance of identifying who your target audience is. Then analyze the kind of content they would like, share or comment on. Put yourself in their shoes, and then it becomes easier to decide what kind of content to post. You can also check what kind of content your competitors are posting on their Instagram accounts. Ultimately, your goals matter. Through your posts you must not only inform your audience, but engage and entertain them. Images, videos, captions, etc. all come into play here.
- There is the right time to post too. As per the research by Latergramme published on Huffington Post, 2am and 5pm EST are the best times to post photos since they draw the most engagement, while 9am and 6pm are probably the worst times to post and expect any reactions from users.
- Ensure you have a complete bio with the relevant hashtags and keywords, but make sure you don’t make it appear spammy since that would be a major turn-off. Include a link to your site.
- Using pertinent hashtags is very important. That’s how your posts can be detected by people looking for relevant stuff on Instagram.
- To increase engagement for your posts, add a question in the caption of your images. That certainly helps in evoking interest.
- Include a call to action in the captions of your photos. These could include asking them to comment on your post, share it or like it.
- Try adding appropriate emojis to your captions. Emojis have the unique ability to catch the eye of readers. And on Instagram they’re quite appropriate and go well with most accounts.
- Instagram does suggest users you can follow. It is worth following the suggestions. In your settings you can find the gear icon. There, click “Find and invite friends” and “Suggested Users” to find people you can follow.
- Geotagging your photos can help other Instagram users who post in your geographic region to see those photos. That can help you build a local audience and user base.
- It is important to be consistent with your posting, primarily in terms of your purpose for posting and your audience. That will ensure that you make relevant posts and keep increasing your follower count organically.
- If it is possible, try as much as you can to use photos having faces. According to research by Dan Zarella, images having faces get 35% more likes.
- Creating a collage by combining multiple photos can help build user engagement.
- Influencers are important since they are celebrities, industry experts or other prominent individuals who can influence others to like your posts or sign up for your services. They aren’t called influencers for nothing. There are influential Instagram users too. If you can ask any influential user to tag or mention your product, that would be great. It could be an influential user who has used your services. An influencer mention could possibly bring with it many new followers.
- Have you used the Explore tab? You’ll find the icon of a magnifying glass at the bottom of the app. Click it and you’ll find the Instagram Explore tab. The Explore tab gives you photos and videos that you may like. These are from accounts you aren’t yet following. These curated topics are what the algorithm believes your community would enjoy. You’ll also find Instagram Stories in the Explore tab.
- Instagram Stories are a great way to build up engagement. Make them interesting, useful and relevant, and you’ll have people getting hooked and following you.
- Make sure your Instagram presence and activities are promoted in your other social networks. Perhaps you already have a great following on other social networks out there. In that case, you don’t need to initially go anywhere else to bring in followers. First, tell your followers there that you have an Instagram account and that they could find some useful and relevant stuff there. You can also highlight the best Instagram posts you’ve made, ones that have drawn the most likes and comments. These followers could start following you on Instagram as well.
- At some point you will have to schedule your posts, particularly when your staff has a lot of stuff to handle. They may not be able to post at the opportune times we discussed earlier. So it helps to schedule your tweets with tools such as Hootsuite so that your posts get posted at the time you set. It ensures regular and more efficient posting.
- Tag relevant Instagram users in your captions. Your photos may contain other Instagram users, so tagging them makes sense. It motivates them to share your post with their followers, and they could end up following your account.
- You can also ask your followers to tag their friends while commenting on your posts. That’s a great way to provide greater exposure to your Instagram account.
Get started with these Instagram tips, and there’s a significant possibility of your followers increasing. Make your efforts and budget count.