Instagram is one of the most powerful social media platforms in the world. Just check these monthly active users among Facebook, Whatsapp and Tumblr:
Leading social networks worldwide as of November 2015, ranked by number of active users (in millions)
Market leader Facebook was the first social network to surpass 1 billion registered accounts.
Seventh-ranked photo-sharing app Instagram had over 400 million monthly active accounts. Meanwhile, blogging service Tumblr had more than 230 million active blog users on their site.
It is well-regarded for its ease of use and overall quality.
Yet, there are many businesses which continue to linger behind with their Instagram account.
It is one thing to set up an account and another to ensure it is flourishing and remaining interactive.
Let’s take a glance at some of the most important tips and tricks to gain followers on Instagram in this day and age.
With these tips, growing your business will become easier.
Use Relevant #Hashtags
Ever seen businesses who seem to be flourishing on Instagram and adding hundreds of followers in minutes?
Look at their pictures. What are all of them doing?
All of them are using hashtags and that is what continues to bring people in.
There are many followers from the millions who sign on every day that use the search function. They will look at the images under these hashtags and share them.
This is when a business is not only able to spread, but find targeted followers who will most likely convert. Who doesn’t like the possibility of this?
When choosing the hashtags being used, it is important not to overdo things and start spamming.
This is when people are going to be put off.
Choose relevant, niche-based hashtags that are going to woo prospective followers into joining up.
TIP: Try Keyhole to get historical and real-time data for hashtags.
Build ‘Like For Like’ Relationships
This is one of the best methods to use with followers because there are many people who don’t mind doing this.
The goal is simple and is one that is used by numerous businesses around the world on Instagram.
The idea is to build a ‘like for like’ relationship where two users agree to like each others photos.
Now, this can be taken a step further because it does not just have to be a swapping of likes, but it can be a swapping of ‘follows’ as well.
Yes, this is a great way to find new followers who would otherwise not be joining up.
It is important to remember, quality content is a must here as that is going to woo the person to agree.
Make sure to build a perfect Instagram profile and Instagram posts. Here’s a great infographic showing the anatomy of a perfect Instagram post:
They will join up and it will not only increase numbers but add potential leads who are related to the niche in one way or another.
Don’t overlook this as an option because it will work and has worked for numerous businesses.
Swap Promotions With Other Accounts
It is tough to be the only business in a niche. This is rare and just does not happen.
Therefore, you are going to have a number of niche-related accounts on Instagram that can be worked with.
You want to build as many relationships as you can in this regard.
Of course, this does not mean you have to start dealing with your competitors. This often does not make sense and most would not want to do this anyway. Therefore, you want to look at semi-related accounts.
An example of this would be a computer company that connects with a software business.
Both are not direct competitors, but consumers who purchase from one will be interested in the other as well. The same idea is being applied here.
The goal is to find those semi-related accounts and connect with them to promote each other’s businesses to their followers.
This is a great way to build a proper brand and continue to find those new relationships that will come in handy down the road. Don’t ignore this as a possible option because it is proven to do the trick on Instagram repeatedly.
Build A Social Media Network
Instagram on its own is not going to help you reach maximum potential and it is as simple as this.
To gain as many followers as possible on Instagram, a proper social media web, and/or network has to be built from the ground up.
What does this mean?
You want to make sure this is being done as soon as possible. It is the only way to ensure all accounts are able to grow together.
If a prospective follower finds you on Facebook, they should easily be able to connect with their Instagram account as well.
This is how the web spreads and quality results are seen. Many businesses do this because it is one of the easiest ways to see consistent results.
Always remain interactive on these accounts as that is the only way to ensure followers are not leaving.
It is one thing to gain followers and another to keep them as they come in. Instagram does have a strong follower growth and you should capitalize on that.
You don’t want a situation where the results are just not coming because you refuse to pay attention to the account.
Larger businesses have specialists in place to handle their accounts, but that is not necessary for a smaller business.
It is simpler to do it on your own and remain on top of these things.
It will ensure the followers who are joining up can see you are not going to leave them hanging. This will lead them to join up.
Plus, the more pictures that are up with quality hashtags, the greater one’s chances of attracting people.
It is one of those things which will add up like a snowball rolling down a mountain. It will pick up speed.
Post In The Afternoon
The timing of one’s posts is something many businesses refuse to analyze and optimize.
Don’t you want to be putting up posts during the time when traffic numbers are at their highest?
Is this something one can do with ease?
Yes, you can do it and that is what you have to pay attention to.
Experts have done a lot of studies on this to see what time is best on Instagram. All results have the same thing to say in this regard.
Any time between 2-5 PM is fantastic in the region that is being targeted. This is when users are seen scrolling through their accounts the most.
Note: You should use a social tracking tool to test this for your niche.
Maximize ‘Mayfair’ Filter
What filter tends to attract the most users to look at your photo? It is the ‘Mayfair’ filter that has achieved this status as the best filter.
It simply attracts the eye on Instagram’s platform and is a must for businesses that are looking to optimize what they are doing.
It is a simple tweak and one that can be made in seconds. So, why not use it to gain more followers?
It works and is something that is not going to hurt the brand one bit. It is a no-brainer.
The next tip would be to hold contests as these are always going to attract people.
If you don’t want to waste time on a contest, you can do something simpler in the form of a giveaway. You can give something from the business for free as long as people are signing up.
It works and you will notice how there are many people who end up staying even if they don’t win.
This is one of the most exciting parts of a change such as this and what it can do for you and the business in general.
TIP: Try Shortstack Instagram to launch your first contest campaign.
Consider Paid Services
This is not the first recommendation but is being listed because it is an option.
Instagram paid services to gain new followers is a risky option to take for a number of reasons.
It can lead to fake followers inflating numbers and it costs money.
Yet, there are certain services which are able to provide respectable followers and can be considered.
It is certainly recommended to stay away from such services and build naturally because over time there will come a point where the followers add up in a hurry.
If all other options are not working out, this is a wonderful option to consider and give a shot.
If you don’t have money to blow away continue to work through natural means as a poorly thought out purchase (with the wrong service) can hinder the business’ chances of growth.
Plus, it could also lead to concerns with Instagram. Remember, it is always smarter to go through other means. Always.
Studies have shown a significant rise in the amount of conversions and loyal customers coming in from Instagram.
Followers on platforms such as this begin to trust the brand more and more over time. It creates an in-depth connection that leads to a long-term relationship between the customer and business.
Take these tips into consideration and devise a comprehensive plan which will ensure new followers are added every single day.
This is a must for those who are unable to see growth through other means and want something that is proven and effective.
With 27% of America’s population on this wonderful platform, the opportunities are endless.
Make the most of Instagram as soon as possible.
Jon Rognerud and Chaosmap work with Fortune 500 companies, small business and entrepreneurs to create digital traffic strategies that scale up customers, leads and sales with profitable returns. Mr. Rognerud wrote a best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur). Connect directly here.