So you have your amazing product and a beautiful Instagram account to showcase the product, right? Now all you need is for the world to discover your product. The easiest way to do that is to get Instagram followers that will eventually be paying customers. In fact, Instagram is proving to be the biggest marketing trend of the decade.
Instagram has been breaking barriers since it first exploded onto the market in 2010. At its inception, it was meant to be a social network that connected people from all over the world. While it certainly still does that, it has evolved into the ultimate marketing tool.
You need to boost your followers before ever making a profit off of those pretty square pictures. Small businesses and major brands alike have noticed this marketing trend in the social media platform, too. What once was an innocent social platform has turned into an uber-competitive marketing platform, meaning that you need to put a little more effort to increase your own follower list.
So how do you get (free) Instagram followers fast?
Luckily there are ways that you can create a successful Instagram account with a huge following. That means that you will be growing your followers naturally and increasing your likes, comments, and mentions. However, it will also mean that you are interacting more intimately with your target audience, which will then eventually be your customers.
The technical strategies combined with personalized engagements will increase your followers and earnings fast.
Here are 10 steps to organically grow your follower base on Instagram:
Step 1: Develop a content strategy that communicates the purpose of your account.
Your content is anything that you put up on your Instagram page. It’s the picture and everything that it contains. It is the text below it, the hashtags, and even your account description. And if your content is not consistent and does not portray the purpose of your product, then you will have equally misguided users browsing through your content without sticking around.
In order to create a large fan base that truly values your brand and what you have to offer, then you need to create content that feeds those interests.
What’s more, as Neil Patel says, you need to also have context with each post. Rather than simply posting pretty pictures with nice quotes, create a beautiful message that users can connect with. Attach meaning to your posts and get it to the users that need to see them.
Step 2: Post photos that potential followers actually want to see.
This may seem obvious but your pictures really do matter. There are nearly 700 million Instagram accounts and countless more posts. Create posts that cut through the crowded platform and catch the attention of users once and for all.
You can easily take your pictures from drab to fab with a few simple photo editing tools. A decent smartphone camera and a few free apps can help you create all of the beautiful content you need.
One of the best photo editing apps on the market is Snapseed, where you can finetune the lighting and apply filters to improve the photo. Canva is one of the best free online tools available for creating beautiful marketing images. With Canva you can create templates that use your brand so that your brand image and style are consistent.
Step 3: Add meaningful captions that help readers connect with you.
Instagram is so pervasive that there are unfortunately more senseless posts than there are quality ones. While the quality of your image is incredibly important in attracting users to your page, it is the overall message of your brand that will gain new followers.
You can easily connect deeply with users by creating meaningful captions that users can identify with. The old adage “content is king” can just as easily be applied to Instagram as it can be applied to the Internet.
Step 4: Add the right hashtags to increase your reach.
Hashtags are essential to increasing your followers on Instagram because they will help users find you. Not only that, but according to Buffer, posts with eleven or more hashtags have more engagement than posts with 10 hashtags or fewer. So which hashtags should you use?
Great online tools such as Hashtagify and Keyhole let you not only discover the most visible hashtags for your category but also let you track engagement based on engagement per hashtag. The more strategic your hashtags the better the reach you have for potential customers.
Step 5: ‘Like” and ‘follow’ relevant content to gain Instagram followers.
Another great (and free) way to increase your exposure to potential clients is by getting out there and liking and following relevant content. Do a quick search for the hashtags that you recently discovered in Step 4 and like content that is relevant to your own page.
In fact, Neil Patel recommends the following 50 relevant users per hour. It takes very little effort to do so and a good handful of users will follow you back each time. As you grow your following you can go back through and weed out the accounts that are fake or not quite as relevant as you originally thought.
One of the biggest problems that people have with this piece of advice is that most people don’t have time to log in to Instagram every hour in order to make targeted ‘likes’. In this case, applications like Growr can be incredibly useful.
All you need to do is create a free account, input your targeted hashtags and let Growr do all of the ‘liking’ for you. The automated process will ensure that your account is continuously interacting with relevant content while you continue running your small business or online profile.
Step 6: Interact with your community to increase exposure and authority.
First and foremost, your potential followers’ matter. This is, after all, a social platform. The more that you interact with your target community, the more than you will expose your brand. Not only that but according to Buffer, the more exposure you have the more it boosts your authority. This means that users are more likely to trust your content and view you as a reputable account.
Step 7: Partner with similar accounts.
One of the best ways to increase your exposure, and therefore your follower base, is by doing cross-promotions. You can do this by partnering with accounts of similar interest and a solid fan base. You may even want to launch an influencer campaign, where you hire a reputable account with a massive following to post content that advertises your account.
Online platforms such as Tribe, Famebit, and Influenz can easily connect you with popular Instagram accounts that are open to such an exchange. While these influencer campaigns do cost money, they will provide you access to a huge potential fan base that you normally do not have.
Step 8: Run a contest or challenge.
Contests and giveaways seem like the obvious choice when it comes to attracting new followers, but it’s not as easy as it seems. People like free things, not necessarily your account.
In order to truly reap the benefits of your contest, you need to ensure a few key strategies before launching the contest. Basically, you need to make the contest requirement your ultimate goal.
For example, the most effective campaigns require a ‘like’, a ‘follow’, or a comment in order to be eligible for any prizes. Be sure that the price is worth the hype and that you engage with your new followers as they enter. Take this opportunity to show these users why your account is worth sticking around for.
Step 9: Post at strategic times.
If you make your Instagram into a business account then you will have free direct access to all the statistics that you need. You will see the demographics of your followers, the most popular posts, the cities from where they come, the time of day with the most engagement, and their age and gender profiles.
Take the time to study this data and post when your target demographic is most likely going to see your posts. This will not only boost your brand’s visibility but it will also increase engagement significantly.
Step 10: Make your account easy to follow.
If you have a website, a Facebook page, an email, or basically anything at all connected to your brand, be sure to place an Instagram icon with a link to your Instagram account on each of these virtual sites. You want your content and your products to not only be accessible from anywhere online but also shareable from all of these online hotspots. Fans and customers that already like your brand are exactly who you want following your Instagram account. You don’t need to convince them to like your content because they already do!
While these 10 steps take a bit of effort and planning, they are essential if you want to grow your Instagram following organically. If you’ve been wondering how to get a lot of followers on Instagram, then hopefully this article will help guide you in the right direction.
Just as important as following these steps, be sure to pay attention to the results of each step. Fine-tune your approach so that you use what works and you ditch the rest. This strategy will help you to get Instagram followers that truly care about your content and your product.