- Make your account into a business profile and optimize the description.
Customize your Instagram profile to make it look good. Tell your potential followers who you are, and give them a reason to follow you.
- Designate an experienced content creator.
There should be one (maybe two) people managing your other social media accounts, and there should only be one or two people managing your Instagram account.
- Follow photography and editing best practices.
On Instagram, post quality matters. A lot. Your Twitter followers might forgive a few bad tweets, but a bad photo on Instagram is a big no-no.
- Adhere to a regular posting schedule.
Optimizing your schedule for your specific audience might take time and experimentation. Experiment with these times and days to see what works with your audience. You may find that your target users are most active and engaged at different times.
- Allow outside contributors to curate your content.
There’s a whole breadth of content you’ll want to post to Instagram, and more often than not, one person won’t be able to keep track of it all. One solution? Create a system where you can curate photos and content from members of your team.
- Use a consistent, platform-specific brand voice.
Photos and videos might be the most important part of your Instagram posts, but captions, comments, and other text should never be an afterthought. If you’re managing a channel for a brand or have more than one Instagram manager, consider developing a consistent voice that humanizes your brand.
- Write engaging, shareable captions.
Captions are an essential part of your post — the icing on the cake if you will. Consistently great captions can do wonders for humanizing your brand, winning over followers, and making your content more shareable — thereby giving you more exposure.
- Optimize posts with relevant hashtags.
On Instagram, a hashtag ties conversations from different users who wouldn’t already be connected into a single stream. If you use relevant hashtags, your posts will gain exposure to a wider audience and help you become discoverable to potential customers.
- Lean into trending content formats.
With the arrival of TikTok on the social media scene, short-form videos have become one of the most effective content formats on social media. When Instagram comes out with new tools, like IG Reels, don’t be afraid to use those features because they can help you gain Instagram followers.
- Post content your followers want to see.
It’s important to know who your audience is. Once you’ve created your Instagram account, you should take note of which posts perform best. Is it interactive content, behind-the-scenes stories, funny and relatable posts, or something else? When you have a general idea of what performs best, continue to create that type of content.
- Promote your Instagram.
If you start an Instagram account without promoting it, is the account even real yet? Well, yes. But, you’ll have fewer followers. One of the best ways to gain followers on Instagram is to promote your account. Embed posts in your blogs (like you see a few on this post), post on your other social media platforms, and share social links in your email newsletters.
- Engage with users through follows, likes, and comments.
Instagram is very much a community, and one great way to get involved in that community is to find people who post pictures that interest you, follow their accounts and interact with their content. It’s the most natural way to draw attention to your own Instagram account.
- Cross-promote with influencers and brands with similar audiences.
Once you build rapport with the folks behind accounts with similar audiences to your own, consider collaborating with them. Partnering with influencers and brands helps with discoverability, reach, and social proof.
- Run Instagram contests to encourage engagement.
A great way to expand your reach while increasing engagement with your photos is to run a contest or giveaway. As part of your contest, you can ask users to follow your account, like, and/or comment on the post to be eligible to win.
- Explore Instagram Stories’ interactive features.
With the introduction of ephemeral Instagram Stories, brands can also share on-the-fly, behind-the-scenes looks for 24 hours that may not be as polished as a published photo, but give your brand more personality on the platform.
- Use the Instagram Live feature.
Instagram also lets users record and share Live videos, another content format that’s proven to be hugely popular on other social networks. What’s unique about Live videos on Instagram? They disappear when users stop filming. This authentic, bi-directional experience lets brands share unscripted, raw moments with their audience to incorporate human elements into a social media platform that’s highly edited and polished in its traditional use.
- Share your profile link on your website and social media channels.
Have a website? Newsletter? YouTube channel? Make sure you include a link to your Instagram on every single platform.
- Post user-generated content.
Similar to cross-promotion, brands can publish user-generated content to show appreciation for existing customers and generate social proof at the same time. If you see a regular person endorsing a product on Instagram, you’re more likely to believe they really like the product.
- Diversify your audience to resonate with different types of users.
As your followers grow, it can be tricky to identify what content types will resonate with them. With this in mind, divide your audience into sub-groups and target your content to various demographics.
- Apply for a verification badge.
When an account on Instagram is verified, it has a blue dot, called a badge, next to the username. When another user comes across this profile or finds the verified username in search, the blue dot confirms to them that the account is the business, individual, or brand that it’s claiming to be.
- Create your own filters and badges.
When it’s time to promote a new product or feature, creating your own filters, stickers, or badges can help you reach a new audience. You can learn how to create your own filter or sticker to jazz up your Instagram Stories.
- Tag relevant users.
Another way to gain more followers on Instagram is to tag relevant users in your posts. Your posts will then show up in that person’s tagged posts, and anyone who looks through there will find your page (and hopefully, follow).
- Post content that’s meant to be re-shared.
Each post on your Instagram should have a purpose. It could be to generate likes, comments, engagement, shares, etc. However, you can’t expect followers to re-share content just for the heck of it. There needs to be a reason.
- Get on the Instagram Explore page.
Getting on the Instagram Explore page is easier said than done. We get that. However, creating posts that are aimed at getting on the Explore page means you’ll be creating easily shareable and trendy content. Think about viral trends and create a video that your audience might engage with. Additionally, use hashtags and tag other users and brands in those posts.
- Share educational content with Instagram slides.
Similar to creating content that’s meant to be re-shared, you can also create educational content in the form of Instagram slides. Instagram slides have become a popular way to educate audiences on an idea or topic.
Think about what you can educate your audience on and then create a simple Instagram slide post with an engaging title that entices users to click on the post.
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