With over 1 billion active users, Instagram quickly outgrew its initial impression as a fun app for kids, with brands taking advantage of this platform for serious content marketing, audience, and lead building. With approximately 30% of internet users being active on Instagram, this is a social platform where you would want to grow your presence as a brand.
Gaining followers isn’t just about posting beautiful pictures. It requires consistent effort and strategies. There are a plethora of tips available online guiding internet users on the various ways of growing an Instagram account. However, not all may work well, depending on the state of your account. Nearly all strategies can help big accounts expand their following. However, for an account with few hundreds of followers, specific tips come in handy.
The easiest way of growing an Instagram following is buying followers. However, those will be nothing more than numbers, which don’t play a significant role in Instagram’s algorithm. That said, check out the following easy tips that can help you gain followers on Instagram for free.
Creating your own hashtag is a sure way of building a community and gaining new content for your Instagram account. Create a unique hashtag, ensuring that it hasn’t been used before. Always make sure that you use the hashtag for a specific purpose or gain traction towards a certain brand activity.
Once you have the hashtag, encourage others to use it. Make sure to include it in your profile, print it in your receipts, ads and other offline methods. Once your followers start using the hashtag, repost their images giving them due credit, captioning the images with the hashtag. If you are on TV or radio, mention to people to use the hashtag every time they post something related.
Once people start noticing your username, they might begin by checking out your account. It is here that you should give them something to like. Creating a theme for your photos on Instagram comes in handy. Find a theme, stick to it and let it be obvious from your posts. Perhaps a catchy theme is one not too bright, artistic and full of love. Demonstrate it in your pictures.
Instagram is more of a community, and the best way to be involved in a community is finding people who update posts that interest you, following their accounts and interact with what they post. This is perhaps the most natural way you can draw other Instagram users’ attention to your account.
Interacting with other users is beneficial in two ways. First, once you follow their account, they will be notified that you have followed them. They might decide to check your account and might end up following you or not. Secondly, you will be viewing their posts on your news feed, and you can interact, like and engage with them if you want. When building your following, appreciate your followers by responding to their comments and engaging with their posts.
Social media is there for you to get social. However, this doesn’t mean that you jump straight into any conversation online. Instagram houses a lot of popular conversations, and participating in one can be a good way to get followers for free. Find trending conversations, which shouldn’t necessarily be related to your industry. Join the conversation, giving insightful tips that show your deep knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.
By doing this, other users, who could be learning from your keynotes, will be interested in finding out who you are, more about your brand and what else they can benefit from following your account. Always try to maintain a positive brand image, and avoid being too salesy when making your points. Nonetheless, you can throw in some words marketing your brand.
Pictures are worth a thousand words, they say. However, you can skip the words completely. Instagram is more of a visual platform, and pictures are a great source of Instagram engagement. However, whereas you can purely operate with pictures, having interesting captions can be a good source of followers. When making the captions, ensure that you give an interesting story capturing the details of the picture, be it in the form of humour, insight or just a thoughtful statement.
You should maintain an active Instagram account to gain more followers. Perhaps the easiest way of maintaining your account active is by posting at least every day. Otherwise, you can’t grow any following if your posting intervals are weeks apart. Your followers expect some of your content, which is why it is important that you deliver to them.
New posts are an opportunity to attract new followers. Every time you post, you will find that a significant percentage of comments made by your followers are tags to other Instagram users, whom they feel can benefit from your post. By doing this, your followers will be helping you reach a new audience and gain more followers.
Your posts should be not only relatable, insightful and interesting, but also aesthetically pleasing and shareable. For sure, none of your followers can screenshot or share your hilarious meme if you have watermarked it with bold prints across the entire image. Your Instagram users may be willing to repost your image, but can’t do it if you’ve included a huge promo over it. Let users repost your content and credit your account.
8. Run Contests
Running contests is another great way of expanding your reach whilst increasing engagement on your posts. Publish a contest, asking people to accomplish a certain activity for a giveaway. Add some user-generated content to the contest, for instance, by asking people to post their own photos captioning it with a specific hashtag, follow your account and much more.
Gaining your followers for free is very easy with Instagram. All you need to do is identify your brand voice and stick to your theme. This will make it easy to stand out from other Instagram users. Besides the above-mentioned in-house Instagram tricks, you can increase your following by promoting your Instagram account on other social media channels, and by using free Instagram growth tools.