Instagram is turning into a social media giant and if you want to be a part of it, you need to follow the continually changing ‘rules of the game’. Things on Instagram are always evolving, so we need to be constantly on the move to catch up with the latest trends and strategies. But don’t worry about that – we‘ll go through all the proven growth hacks that you can use on Instagram to boost your visibility. Ready to get started?
Let’s Talk About Our Number’s Strategy
With millions of daily active users, Instagram is showing signs of exponential growth over the years. This is our goal for our accounts as well. To grow, and grow, and grow.
Let’s First Talk About Growth Hacking
Growth Hacking is a relatively new term used in marketing that places increasing importance on growth through creative and low-cost strategies. So the goal here is to bring in as many users as we can to follow our account. In simpler words, we need them to get talking about us! Once we got the momentum, then we need to scale it up.
Just a word of caution here: We are not saying that you should forget everything about your target audience and start targeting everyone and anyone. After all, we want our followers to be interested and engaged. What we aim to do is to grow our account with as many followers within our target audience as we can. Simple, right?
Hack #1: Popular Hashtag Search
So, our first hack that you can use to grow your Instagram following at no cost, is through using popular hashtags. For example, if you are a brand selling clothing and fashion items, then start searching for the most popular hashtags relating to your field. Through a quick search, we can see that the hashtag #fashion has 736M posts – which is a pretty big number! So next time you post something, make sure to add #fashion to your caption. This way it will start to show in people’s news feed who are interested in fashion, and it will encourage users to follow your account for more.
Hack #2: Get Started Liking and Commenting
Another way to grow your audience is through going on a photo-liking and commenting marathon. However, let’s take it step by step.
First, you need to find people that are likely going to be interested in your brand. How you do that? With Hack #1. Type in a hashtag that relates to your industry and choose a few accounts that seem promising. Head into their profile and like or comment on some of their photos. It will instantly trigger a press on your follow button. Try it and you will see.
Hack #3: Post Every Day at Ideal Times
Content is key. We can’t stress this out enough. So you need to make sure that all your content is being posted the right day and the right time to achieve the optimal results.
Let’s have a look at the optimal timings for your posts:
- Optimal days: Monday and Thursday
- Optimal times: 2am, 8-9am and 5pm
- Optimal time for videos: 9pm – 30% increase
As a final note on this point, we advise you to keep your hashtags around 5-10 per post. Too much of a good thing might be perceived as spamming and lower your credibility. This is what happens if you get way too excited about using hashtags (check the picture below) – users will just get confused and unsure whether the account is credible or not.
Hack #4: Have a Long-Lasting Narrative
So we want to make it clear that your brand needs to tell a story – a story that sells. Though… how do we come up with one?
The first question that needs to be answered in order to be able to craft your story is: Who are you targeting? Now, think broadly and don’t stick to the basics. Yes, gender and age are important. But try to think beyond that. What line of work are they in? What are their values? How is their diet like? What do they dress like? How do they behave in different situations?
Asking all these questions will help you understand your target audience thoroughly, and develop a narrative that matches their needs, wants and expectations. Sure, it’s easier said than done. For this reason, you might want to familiarize yourself with some guides and success stories, like this one by Foundr.
An inspirational example that does exactly that is Nike. Nike and the #justdoit tagline tells the story of super athletes, athletes who have made it big. Their story is definitely moving, catchy, and of course inspirational, isn’t it?
Hack #5: Be Consistent
This is something that many brands overlook. They might have the most fascinating story to tell, but not convey it consistently enough to position themselves in the minds of the consumer.
So what is the key takeaway? You need to be consistent with whatever your story might be. This is how you are going to grow your brand awareness and get customers to recognize your brand at a glance. Not only that – you will also increase sales, boost your brand engagement, and increase your brand equity.
And there is definitely something that will give you that extra push on this one: a branded hashtag. Search for @Asos on Instagram. Now, look at the number of posts. As of today it has almost 4 million posts with this hashtag. A branded hashtag can do wonders for your brand – so it’s high time you start using it within your marketing strategy.
While everything sounds great so far, one thing you should be on the top of your list is to optimize your Instagram profile for search. For example, you should have a complete profile with a user-friendly username, bio, and links. Another example is to use the right keywords for your content and profile info.
But, if these sound a bit too hard for you, how can you optimize your Instagram profile? Well, there are several apps and tools (like Canvas) that can help you out on this one. Go and check it out.
Hack #6: Partner with Micro-Influencers
Influencers have lately been ruling the world of social media. We are happy about it because influencers can provide a quick and cost-effective way to grow your brand through their networks.
Influencers are categorized according to their number of following and engagement – which instantly translates to the impact they have on their audience. So depending on your budget, you should decide whether you want to go for a micro-influencer which has a smaller number of following versus the big players which have millions of followers. If you are unsure about the categorization, check the chart below to get some good insights on this! We would suggest going for the former as they provide a much more cost-effective option to grow your brand. Not only that – micro-influencers have usually a much more engaging audience compared to the big guys out there.
Hack #7: Cross-Promote Your Instagram on Other Social Media Platforms
Supposing you are active on other social media accounts, like Facebook or Twitter, you can use other social media platforms to grow your Instagram. This is called cross-promotion, and it is a really effective tool to grow your audience pretty quickly.
Just make sure that you use an incentive to encourage users to jump into your Instagram account – whether this is a giveaway, a very engaging post, or some great influencer content. Get creative!
Hack #8: Giveaways
Giveaways are a great tool for giving your Instagram account that extra little push. By running contests and giveaways not only you are growing your Instagram account, but you are also building up your engagement, increasing your brand awareness, and enhancing your brand equity.
Check out this cool giveaway from @soflofooodie
Hack #9: Exclusive Instagram Content
By posting out exclusive content or special offers or giveaways on your Instagram account, then you are giving your potential followers a real incentive to start following you. So, let’s see you are a fashion retailer. You can offer your Instagram following a special unique promo code exclusively on Instagram. This way you are incentivizing them to follow you and keep an eye on your Instagram account for upcoming special offers. Pretty good, right?
So …How many followers can I gain in a month?
Unfortunately, we cannot answer this question. The number of followers you will gain in a month, week, or year, will be significantly impacted by the type of industry you are operating, the products you are selling, and of course how many of the above hacks you have put into use. Nevertheless, we can promise you that by following the above-mentioned hacks you can grow your Instagram visibility radically!
So, what are you waiting for?