Instagram can drive tons of traffic and produce record levels of engagement for a lot of brands, especially B2C companies.
Having a strong presence on this super-popular platform is a must for both local and national businesses.
All of this is easy to say and repeat, and we're all aware of this by now.
But how do you actually attract followers?
You've probably heard that some people buy followers for instant social proof, but this comes with its own set of problems.
Bought followers tend to be bots, spam accounts, and the occasional real person, and they're not targeted at all.
What's the point of having 100,000 followers if half of them aren't even a real person, and none of them are really interested in what you're selling?
Marketing guru Neil Patel has some great advice for brands.
The truth is, just a few simple best practices, plus some perseverance, can be the key to watching your follower number skyrocket. If you want tens of thousands of followers that actually matter, this is how to go about it.
Respond to your followers’ comments and questions
Let’s start from the top.
I’m not trying to bore you with trivialities, but the first two steps are an essential part of the routine.
The first order of business is to spend a few minutes engaging with your followers.
Identify all valuable comments and questions, and respond to them individually.
If you’re just starting out and currently have a minimal following, you can do this in no time.
Leave at least three comments
I like to be on the offense when building a following.
Unless you already have a built-in audience, it’s up to you to make the first move.
Look through the photos of the people you follow, pick three photos, and leave comments.
Post at least once per day
One of the great social media debates is how frequently you should post.
This, of course, depends on the specific network in question, but the average Instagram account posts once per day.
However, profiles with larger followings usually post more often than that.
Post at the optimal time
You probably already know the timing of your posting is a major factor dictating how much visibility your content receives.
You need to figure out the optimal time to post.
Numerous variables go into determining this factor, including where the majority of your audience is located, when they’re most active on Instagram, etc.
Different studies suggest different optimal posting times.
Use 11+ hashtags
Hashtags are a big deal, especially on Instagram.
Countless studies have attempted to figure out the ideal number of hashtags for each social network.
While some people may use only one or two hashtags on average, others may use as many as 30 (the maximum).
My last point demonstrates that hashtags are a good thing on Instagram.
But how do you go about choosing hashtags to populate your posts with?
Should you just pick them at random, or is there more of a science to it?
Kill it with your captions
The way I look at it, captions can turn a great Instagram photo into an epic one.
Follow three accounts
Finally, be sure you’re continually following new brand-related accounts.
I recommend seeking out at least three or more each day and following them.
Ideally, they’ll be major influencers because any engagement from them can quickly boost your following.
This will ensure you stay on the radars of others, which should bring additional exposure to your account.
You can learn more about how to grow your company's Instagram account over at Quicksprout.
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