If you're reading this post, you've realized that Instagram is a growing platform that lets individuals and businesses alike create a brand for themselves.
To the average user, it can seem like the odds are stacked against them. It can be difficult to amass a huge following on Instagram without some hard work. Growing your Instagram account takes time and effort on a daily basis.
You may have asked yourself, can't I just buy followers?
Purchased followers are either fake or low-quality profiles which really serve no purpose except to artificially inflate your follower count. Not only will these kinds followers likely not interact with you, but purchasing followers will also make it more difficult to track your progress.
Crafting an attractive Instagram profile takes some trial and error, by polluting your count with fake followers, you won't be able to determine what works if you can't track what actually makes people want to follow you. With Gen Z having an attention span of less than a goldfish, it's especially crucial to capture their attention almost immediately.
Here are 5 ways to multiply your follower count organically:
1) Create and optimize your profile.
The basics: You want your profile to be aesthetically pleasing, tell your potential followers who you are, and give them a reason to follow you.
First off, you want a recognizable and easily searchable username, especially if this is a business name. If your business name is already taken, you still want to try to keep your business name as a part of your username, that way people searching for your business are more likely to find it. For example, according to marketing expert, Deep Patel, if you were creating a social account for Adidas, and @adidas is taken, try @adidasUS, @realadidas etc.
Tip for businesses: Make sure your profile is set to public to ensure you get the most exposure for maximum growth.
Be sure to use the same profile pictures across all of your social media accounts, for example use your company logo. This will help your followers from Twitter and Facebook find and identify your Instagram profile, and vice versa. You want to maintain the same colors, logos, etc. To instill a recognizable brand in your followers' minds.
Fill your bio with relevant information about your business. Include who you are and what you do, you can't go wrong with a clever Instagram bio, so be creative with this part.
2) Develop brand guidelines.
If this is a bigger business, you might find that a lot of people might want to have a say in what's posted. That's when an organized brand guidelines doc comes in hand. This document should act as a basis for all posts on your Instagram account.
It can be very easy to tell when multiple people are posting to an account, which can throw off the aesthetic of your profile. Establishing solid brand guidelines will help reduce the risk here.
3) Work on your photography and editing skills.
This doesn't mean you have to be a professional photographer, or certified Instagram expert, but you should get familiar with Instagram's photo editor, and try to create a theme using your brand guidelines.
Try to follow these guidelines when posting to Instagram:
- Focus on one subject at a time.
- Follow your brand guidelines, theme, etc.
- Look for symmetry.
- Make your followers laugh from time to time.
4) Focus on captions just as much the images themselves
You should spend just as much time coming up with captions as you do taking and editing photos because they are just as important.
You should also try to only use a handful of hashtags. Most social media experts encourage small business owners to utilize as many as they can.
This can be helpful for gaining likes and can bring some new followers, but something about using too many hashtags, even if they're in the first comment of a post, is off putting to most Instagram users.
5) Start posting.
Once you've worked on the steps above, it's time to start posting. It's a good idea to have at least 15 or so posts up before you start really engaging people and working down this list. This way when new users first visit your profile, they'll see a full screen of photos rather than just a few, so they know you'll be posting great content regularly.
Keep your target audience in mind when you first start planning out your posting schedule, this often makes a huge difference (especially if you're targeting a market in a different time zone).
However, because Instagram is primarily a mobile app, most users tend to use the service regardless of what time it is.
For instance, though many users engage with content more during off-work hours than during the workday, some businesses have also seen success with posting at earlier in the day during the week, and Fridays at 7:00 PM at the same time. Experiment with different times on different days to see what brings you the most interaction.
You'll want to maintain a regular posting schedule after you've figured out what time of day works best with your target audience. For instance, posting too often can tend to annoy some of your followers by flooding their feed, and not posting often enough can sometimes give the idea that your page is inactive. Good luck!