This is a question we hear pretty regularly. Getting real Instagram followers is only part of the equation though. What you want if you really want to grow your Instagram account is engaging followers.
While posting great content is the first step, there is a lot more to it than just that. Check out our previous post about why design on social media matters for your small business for tip on creating quality content.
The first step you should take it make sure that all your social media profiles are listed on your website. Cross promoting between platforms is the easiest way to ensure that your customers and fans know where to find you. If you have a strong following on Facebook or Twitter, the easiest way to grow your new Instagram account is to let them know you have one.
Start with a screenshot of your Instagram account and announce that you're on Instagram. From there, make sure you cross post on those accounts from your Instagram account. Another method would be to post manually and create a CTA or call to action on the bottom of the post with a link to your Instagram profile.
Hashtags are a large part of your post. They are essentially the categories and descriptors of what you're posting. Researching proper hashtags for each post you make is a very important part of posting. Finding the right hashtags is the SEO of social media.
You can add up to 30 hashtags on one post and we recommend using that or close to it. You want a blend of very popular hashtags and somewhat popular. With the right amount of hashtags that relate to your image, you can ensure that your post is seen by many. One tool that we recommend to new Instagrammers is Hashtagify. While tuned to twitter, it is a free tool that you can use to gauge the popularity of a hashtag.
If you're a local business, make sure to use city and area hashtags in every post. Local hashtags tend to generate a lot of attention and are frequently checked by people in the area. (Example: #Miami, #SoBe, #MIA)
Emojis are everywhere. Those smileys, hearts, and animals are in every post and profile. Emojis are becoming a more popular form of expression and can easily liven up a post. According to an Instagram report, Emojis are being used in half of all posts. These tiny pictures are replacing words and emotions.
Geo Tag Your Photos
We spoke earlier about using location specific hashtags. Similarly, make sure you that geo tag your photos. With every Instagram post, you can choose the location. Use the neighborhood your business is located or exact location the picture is taken. People who took a picture at that location or are looking for pictures from the area will easily find your post.
While not directly related to growing your account, this can make sure you're always up to date with you posts at the right time. You can use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule content to post on Instagram. With these, it will remind you when it is time to post and makes it east to copy and paste your post. Instagram doesn't allow auto scheduled posting like Facebook and Twitter so you're still going to have to make the post yourself.
Growing your Instagram isn't anything that will happen overnight. There's a lot of trial and error involved. With time and effort, you will see it grow! Instagram along with other social media is an untapped market for a lot of businesses. It's been shown to increase sales and interest greatly so get to it. It's never too late!
Check out our Instagram Services Page to see what we can do for you.
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