How to Grow Your Instagram Following
Updated: Aug 5, 2021
Growing a following for your business can be tricky! One of the most common questions we get is: "How do we gain more followers on 'X' platform?"
Today, we're going to go through our top tips and tricks to growing on Instagram.
1. Create High-Quality Content
We're putting this first because nothing else we cover here matters if your content is low-quality content that nobody wants to see.
Every social media post from your business should be high-quality!
We too often see businesses posting low-quality stock photos that don't give their business the respect it deserves.
If you have to use stock photos, put them in a pre-built template that explains your product or service alongside the photo.
It's better to post less frequently than to have posts that people don't want to interact with.
The algorithm on Instagram will silently punish you for creating poor content by not showing your posts to your audience.
For more information on what to post and how we structure our digital marketing strategy for social media, read our article on The Three E's.
A key element of social media marketing is creating value for your customer. If you aren't giving them any value, they won't follow you, and likely won't bring you any value either.
2. Create a Hashtag Strategy
Businesses and marketers are always testing which hashtag strategy works best.
We've found that most times 8-15 defined and specific hashtags that relate to the content being posted are generating the best success for our clients.
Some people will say "Use all 30 hashtags for your posts!"
We disagree with that logic because it's often hard to find 30 hashtags that specifically relate to the content you're posting.
You wouldn't want to be posting about Pizza with hashtags about Tacos, for example.
We use hashtags with a mix of popularity. We use hashtags with less than 50k posts, 500k posts, and then some with millions of posts.
We've found that the hashtags with fewer posts can be a great way to get increased reach on our client's posts as it's easier to hit the "top" posts for those hashtags.
The hashtags with millions of posts are the homerun swing. If we get into those posts, it can mean thousands of extra impressions!
A business should be using hashtags with a mix of popularity to give themselves every opportunity to gain more exposure.
Just like most elements of digital marketing, you should be testing and analyzing what's working best for your business. These tests will give you key insights that will help you improve your overall marketing strategy
Have you ever had a post that performed really well and gave you a lot of extra reach and you weren't sure why it performed so well?
Well, there's a chance you made it into those "top" posts within a hashtag for a period of time!
You'll be able to find the breakdown of where your impressions came from by going to the post and clicking "insights."
When you see a post that you have impressions from hashtags, it's a good sign!
That means your post performed well enough to be featured in people's feeds that are following that hashtag or have searched for it on Instagram!
3. Interact With Your Target Audience
A great way to get in front of your target audience is to find them where they are!
By going through hashtags and locations within Instagram, you can find your target audience's posts.
This is a highly underutilized digital marketing strategy that drives great results for small businesses!
We utilize this strategy for our clients to grow their accounts, and it helps to quickly grow your following.
For example, one of our clients is a multi-family flooring company. They want to reach Seattle area apartment communities. We use (hashtag)seattleapartments to find posts to like and comment on to grow their audience.
Instagram also allows users to tag their locations. Going through the posts from the cities within your service area is an amazing way to start connecting with local customers that are inclined to support small businesses in your area!
This strategy allows our clients to grow their audience quickly with people that are likely to buy from them.
On average our clients see their following grow by 10-30% each month by using this strategy. Try it for yourself, it works!
4. Utilize Every Content-Type
Instagram is always rolling out new features. From carousels to IGTV, to Reels, the past few years have been full of change for Instagram!
By using each content type (especially video) you can reach a lot of people on Instagram.
One of our automotive clients gained 500 followers from one reel! Yes, just one reel!
After the advent of TikTok, Instagram saw the opportunity in creating a more exciting user experience for its users and began valuing the short-form video content that reels offer. If you aren't finding creative ways to use reels, you're missing out!
You can still grow without reels, however, it's a lot easier to grow when you do use them!
By creating high-quality and engaging video content, you can reach a lot more people than you would with just a single image post.
Carousel posts are also great to share longer messages, more detailed descriptions, and to show off more than one picture. We use these types of posts for when we want to show off multiple photos from a job on social media.
IGTV videos are great for sharing longer format videos from your business that don't fit within the Reels category.
By utilizing every type of content available, you can grow your audience much faster than if you were to just focus solely on one type of content.
Like we mentioned above, marketing is all about testing, analyzing, and optimizing! Test which content types work best with your audience!
Every audience is different when it comes to the type of content they want to consume.
Mastering your social media marketing is something that takes time!
Growing on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other platform requires testing, analysis, and optimization.
There's another key element: Time!
Digital Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. You're going to need to take the time to really put in the effort to find what works and what doesn't.
Marketing is often like a science experiment. You change one variable at a time until you find the right combination of inputs and processes that give you the desired outcome you're looking for!
It can be frustrating, but once you've figured it out, you're winning!
Get In Touch
Here at Entrust Marketing, we're your local Seattle area Digital Marketing experts.
With experience in social media marketing, email marketing, social media advertising, Search Engine Optimization, and much more, we can help you limit the time it takes to figure out the process.
With dozens of local clients, we help businesses with their marketing every day, and are on top of the changing trends and tactics of the industry.
If you're in need of a marketing consultation to see what is working and what isn't, get in touch with us here: Contact Us
If you're looking for a marketing agency to work with to start bringing you new customers or to improve your overall web presence, we'd love to get to know you and see how we can help!