Instagram’s rapid growth and popularity is unprecedented in the social realm. While Facebook still rules with the most global followers, Instagram is coming up as a fast competitor for the favorite platform among millennials.
The network’s one billion users tend to gravitate towards the platform thanks to the gorgeous images and videos. They also love that it’s a more positive place to express oneself and interact with friends and families.
Users also like to connect with their favorite brands here. It’s a more casual setting for them to meet and discuss what they have in common. Brands attempt to fill the needs of their customers who follow and engage with brands in return. If your brand is working on attracting Instagram followers, the key is most often found in building a strong Instagram presence. The way that consumers and other brands perceive you will help to build your following and promote sales and other metrics. If you’re in a need of a better presence, use the following tips to get started.
Consistency is hands down the most important metric for those trying to build an impressive Instagram following. You should be posting at least once per day if possible. Just make sure that you only post the highest quality content to avoid lessening your brand’s reputation.
Focus on an Overall Aesthetic
Along with consistency in posting, you’ll want a more consistent aesthetic. That way, when people interact with your content, they subconsciously know it’s yours before seeing your handle.
This aesthetic will vary depending on the type of brand you have. A fashion brand, for example, will focus on high-quality photos and videos that feature only the greatest looks and design inspiration.
Also, “consider limiting your range of filters to one or two, and apply them to every photo,” recommends Adina Jipa of SocialMediaToday. “Having a limited range of filters to choose from can also go a long way in creating a niche for your account, as well as helping build brand recognition.”
Use Hashtags for Traction
According to Sue B. Zimmerman, the self-proclaimed Instagram Expert, “The right hashtags can expose your images to a large targeted audience. You can add up to 30 hashtags, and interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.”
To find the right hashtags for your posts, she suggests searching Instagram trends and Top Posts. You can use the traffic being generated by popular hashtags on your own profile. This will even help you get more Instagram likes.
“If you go this route, don’t copy and paste the string of hashtags from a post,” she warns. “Stay relevant to your audience and use only the hashtags that make sense.”
Build a Solid Bio
If all goes well with your Instagram posts, your target audience will eventually find its way back to your bio. There, they’ll see the description of your account, your profile image, your handle, and your latest photos and videos.
Building a good bio is important for cementing brand recognition and gaining more followers. As discussed previously, building a strong Instagram aesthetic can help with this, as can using a good username and profile picture. It’s probably best to use the same handle and a similar photo across all social channels so that your brand remains synonymous for users who may have found you elsewhere.
You should also fill out your bio with the most important and memorable details about yourself. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be concise and clear. You should also use emojis in your description, which increases your searchability.
Finally, incorporate a great link to your website. You only get one link, so choose the webpage where you want to receive the most traffic. Change it often so that you’re driving traffic to multiple pages.
Set the Tone
Instagram is a very visual platform, so the look of your profile should be strong and consistent, but it should also sound like you. “The tone is essentially your brand’s personality expressed through content and captions,” say Dalit Saad and Adam Rosenberg in a Forbes article. “Building a consistent voice will bring authenticity to your brand and loyalty from your follower base.”
They recommend conducting research on your target audience and your previous post to “determine if the tone and voice for the account will be a friendly, fun, provocation, inspirational, informative, innovative, eclectic, etc,” they conclude.
Get on Instagram Stories
For best results, post on Instagram Stories daily. It’s a feature on the platform that allows you to post photos with text overlay, boomerangs, short video clips, and more. They only last for 24 hours, so it’s perfect for creating a behind-the-scenes look at your brand, which followers enjoy.
When deciding what to post on Stories, Sarah Williams of JeffBullas.com says, “Personal tips work really well, especially when you can indirectly tie them to your business in some way. Behind-the-scenes, how you structure your day, how you come up with ideas, your work space, all these give people a look into your life/business.”
Engage with Like-Minded Users
You can generate a lot of traffic simply by connecting with others in your industry. Work together to promote your content and build your following. These partnerships work very well when you’re both just starting out and can offer mutual benefit.
You can also follow your followers, who probably have a lot of the same ideas and interests as you. It seems like a no-brainer, but according to Business2Community’s Deborah Sweeney, “many brands on IG only follow a select group of influential users and accounts. As you follow your hashtag and can like and comment on the content customers post about your business, follow these customers back! After all, they’re the biggest cheerleaders your brand has – and they’ll be thrilled that you made an effort to connect with them.”
Instagram is responsible for turning many no-name brands into household names. It can happen for you too if you’re willing to work hard and apply the right strategies for success.