Instagram is currently one of the most popular social networking platforms with it’s visual focus, search-ability, and high engagement rates. Anyone who has a bit of experience with Instagram will know that it’s relatively easy to get likes, comments, and followers. But the key lies in getting the right type of followers that will maximize your account for increased engagement and conversion rates. For this post, I researched 7 of the more advanced strategies that marketers can use.
1. Follow, Like, Comment
Follow, like, comment. Follow, like, comment. Follow, like, comment. The process is known as rinse and repeat. The more interest that you show in other peoples’ accounts, the more likely they are to do the same for your account. In this Shopify blog post, Richard Lazazzera described how he followed his brand’s competitors followers by 100 at a time, then commented on and like at least one of their photos. The response was as follows:
- 14 % of time time that he followed, they followed back.
- 22% of the time that he followed and liked, they followed back.
- 34$ of the time that they followed, liked, and commented, they followed back.
2. Post To Another Account
The above-mentioned rinse and repeat process, while effective, can be time consuming. In this article Lazazzera addresses how to accelerate the follower rate by posting to another account. To find an account that will post your content, search for posts that use the hashtags that are most prevalent to what your niche is. In looking at the top posters for those hashtags, you will likely find a profile that will repost other photos. They will usually have a way to contact them, and will charge a fee. Lazazzera describes witnessing an account grow by 3,500 follower with this method.
3. Run An Instagram Contest
This article by Wishpond recommends crowdsourcing photos around your niche market in an Instagram contest. As opposed to getting another account to post photos of your product, you post other people’s photos of your niche market. National Geographic is an excellent example of this. One of the most popular Instagram accounts in existence, with 67.1 million followers, Nat Geo encourages people to share photos with them using the hashtag #natgeoinspires. This gives people a chance to have their photos displayed in the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. By doing this type of contest, people are more likely to follow you, engage in your content, and are more likely to advocate your brand if they do well in the contest.
4. Ask For Feedback In Your Copy
Instagram posts are limited to 2,200 characters, but they will show 3 lines of copy below each photo before the reader needs to click more to read more of your post. In these 3 lines, be sure to engage your viewers of some way to invite feedback. You can ask them a question, have them fill in the blank to complete the copy you right on the post, or ask your followers to write the entire photo caption. The beauty of a photo can be that the communicative power lies in the eyes of the beholder. There may be a myriad of captions for a photo, and it can be a fun way for followers to engage, and in turn increase the validity of your content.
5. Make The Profile Website A Landing Page
Unlike other social media networks, the only place that Instagram allows you to post a link is in the website space on the profile. In Buffer’s Complete Guide to Instagram Marketing, Ash Reid addressed that when you post a photo, you can direct followers to a landing page related to the content with a short URL, and say see link in my profile. This placement of the URL in the image caption will let your followers know that you have expanded content. The note about the link will let them know how to go to your expanded content without having to type in a URL. The benefit of directing followers to a landing page, and not your homepage, is that you can customize the content more specifically for those interested in the specific product that you posted on.
6. Post To Facebook Too
Instagram makes it possible to post to a Facebook profile or page at the same time that you post to Instagram. This is actually demonstrated to increase your followers for Instagram and your engagement on Facebook. In this Buzzsumo study reference by Reid, 1 million posts from 3 million brand pages were analyzed. Posts to Facebook from Instagram received more engagement than native Facebook posts.
7. Optimize Use Of Hashtags
Instagram is unique from other social media accounts with the number of hashtags that it allows. Thirty is the max amount of hashtags allowed per post, and it is best to optimize their relevance since they are how many people find your content. In this Buffer article, Courtney Seider shares how she makes sure her hashtags are optimized. First add a few of the most relevant hashtags for your post. Then search Instagram for those hashtags, and see what other similar hashtags people used. Add these hashtags as a second comment to your photo. Also, Websta has a list of the top 100 hashtags. Use these if any of them apply to your product. To stay more organized, you may consider storing the best hashtags for each type of post in a separate document so you can easily repost them without searching again.
Instagram is a social media platform that can be a marketer’s best friend. This article has given 7 ways to gain followers, increase engagement, and direct people to more information about your brand. Remember these 7 strategies:
- Follow, like, comment
- Post to another account
- Run an Instagram contest
- Ask for feedback in your copy
- Make the profile website a landing page
- Post to Facebook too
- Optimize use of hashtags
What if you want to learn more? (Yes, there is more.) Marina Barayeva has published a comprehensive guide to Instagram for Business: The Detailed Guide to Instagram Marketing. This extensive guide is made up of six chapters of how to use Instagram for beginning and advanced strategies. Whatever your Instagram marketing query, remember the seven guidelines here, and refer to Marina’s guide for more.