When you hear Instagram, you’re likely going to hear terms such as the hashtags, outfits of the day, aesthetics, designs, and even pretty pictures. As a marketer, you’re likely going to recognize that these “terms” can actually be used to leverage your branding, and you can actually capitalize on these Instagram “hot terms” to propel yourself to relevance and popularity. Just how exactly can you hope to achieve this? In this article, you’ll learn how to grow your Instagram followers and get them to interact more with your brand.
If you’ve ever considered using Instagram to up the ante on your branding – be it your personal branding, or the branding of a company – then you’re on the right track of tapping into a huge power base. In fact, Instagram has just reached its 1-billion user milestone this June 2018, placing itself among YouTube and Facebook to have the largest user-base in the world.
Interestingly, tapping into Instagram gives you access to a huge demographic as well. Aside from teenagers and a lot of people below 35, many Instagram users appear to have a lot of money with them. In fact, it’s estimated that adults below a USD30K annual salary (32-percent), within the USD30K to USD49.9K (38-percent), within the USD50K to USD74.9K (23-percent), and those above USD75K (31-percent) are a part of Instagram. Not only that, but Instagram users will most likely be Pinterest and Facebook users as well – potentially giving you access to not just one, but two other social platforms.
In terms of businesses, 80-percent of Instagram users actually follow a company or business they like on Instagram. In fact, 60-percent of users tend to find new offerings via the platform, with 75-percent of the platform’s users usually seeing posts first before acting on them.
Instagram Dominance: Gaining More Followers, Interaction
With the above taken into consideration, it’s quite obvious that being able to tap into Instagram followers can help boost your branding’s appeal – especially since Instagram in itself caters more to the aesthetic aspects of brands. Being able to tap into Instagram followers who understand the appeal of your brand design can mean slowly “developing” loyal followers who can instantly recognize your brand even outside the social media platform. If you want to benefit from this kind of exposure, however, then you’ve got to follow these tips to get the most out of your Instagram experience:
- Jumpstart your follower numbers by buying them: If you have the extra budget, you may jumpstart your follower numbers by actually buying them from services. This is a good way for you to be able to get that head start you need while you build the rest of your Instagram campaign. Don’t completely depend on follower numbers, however, and instead only use these sparingly. It won’t reflect greatly on your campaign numbers if you have a lot of purchased Instagram followers but couldn’t follow-through with your other platforms. Make sure you only buy followers as support while you build towards an attractive campaign.
- Maintain consistency with your branding as much as possible: If you want to maintain your relevance in the industry and to your followers, you’ve got to stick with your branding. This means your tone, use of colors, and overall “style” shouldn’t change unless you’re doing an overhaul across your platforms. Not changing your branding style allows you to be more flexible in terms of the freedom you have in choosing posts, but restrictive in a sense that you won’t go overboard because you have branding principles to follow.
- Identify trends and key topics of discussion: Even Instagram sometimes becomes a medium for discussing various trends and key topics, even remotely outside your niche. If you find a fun trend or a serious issue you think you could weigh in on, on a positive note, try to do so without jeopardizing your brand. For instance, if you’re a clothing brand and you know clothes waste is a hot topic on Instagram right now, you might capitalize on this by posting something about your brand not having a lot of clothes waste. Tapping into trends and topics your followers discuss and making it your own can be an inviting way to attract followers and to engage your existing ones.
- Take advantage of keywords and hashtags: When you want to write about a popular topic on a blog, the tendency is to find a keyword that’s used by a lot of searchers, right? You can use the same principle in writing your posts, and you can also take it up a notch by using popular hashtags to “categorize” your posts into sections that users will most likely find popular. By tapping into both useful keywords and popular hashtags, you instantly give your posts exposure and as such may even instantly attract consumers.
- Engage your followers in their own space: If your followers are public people, try to engage them in their own space without being intrusive. If they make a post about your brand or featuring your brand, a simple “thank you” comment can be a big deal for them. This is much more effective if the post is humorous or engaging and you start interacting with your follower in a civil manner. Not only that, but this gives the impression that you’re a reliable and relevant brand because you actually take the time to interact with your followers. This effectively “humanizes” your branding.
- Create posts with opportunities for interaction in mind: When you do marketing, you’ve most likely heard of call-to-actions, or CTAs. In marketing, CTAs are designed to invite people and potential clients into doing something – such as subscribing to an email, availing a promo, or even buying a product. Simple words such as “Buy now!” or “Click here to learn more…” are some examples of CTAs, which, if you think about it, can be subtly used in your posts. Simple inclusions of, “What do you think…” or “Check out…” or “Tell us in the comments…” can be inviting enough. While this may not immediately work at the beginning, doing this enough may eventually have a user brave enough to start conversing with you. When this happens, it’s only a matter of time before people start to talk with you and with each other in your brand space.
- Make sure your followers get to interact with you even outside Instagram: Perhaps one of the most efficient tools to secure followers that interact with you is through making sure your social media platforms remain intertwined. Make sure the level you pay attention to Instagram is the same as with other platforms, and make sure you share posts across these platforms. For instance, try to make sure you have plans for users in your other platforms to engage with one another, the same way you have your plans to have people interact in Instagram. This at least ensures your goals to have followers interact and remain consistent throughout your campaign are a success.
The Bottomline: Interaction Starts With Building Relevance, Relationships
When you want to grow your Instagram followers and get them to interact more, you’ve got to give them a reason to interact with you in the first place. As with the above, a lot of marketers tend to forget that before they can get to the status they want, they need to establish relevance in their respective niche and slowly build relationships with their followers. All of this can’t be done overnight, and certainly can’t be done in one swoop. Consider the above factors, consider choosing the right moments and approaches to meet these factors, and then you can truly apply these methods to gain Instagram dominance.