Instagram serves as the bedrock for many brands' social presence. It gives them traffic, generates them sales, and keeps their customers engaged. Approximately 59% of marketers plan to invest more and more in Instagram. Competition on this platform is extremely harsh. Being prepared against your competitors is totally worth the risk.
Plus, there’s a lot more you’ll gain when you have too many followers. For instance, you’ll increase your brand’s awareness, product sales. If you have a website, you’ll be able to drive traffic there as well. By having the right strategies, you’ll be able to tell inspiring stories to new profile visitors and create a loyal fanbase. In this article, we’ll discuss 10 proven strategies to get you more followers on Instagram for free and help your brand generate more traffic.
Benefits of Having More Followers on Instagram
Having many followers on Instagram involves several benefits such as:
- More Visibility and Engagement: A massive and active Instagram following increases your traffic and impression. You keep creating quality content. In return, you’ll get consistent engagement.
- Chances of Becoming an Influencer: Your chances of becoming an influencer increase directly when you have a huge following. It’s because your followers will oblige you to collaborate with others in your niche. This will make you popular among brands that might approach you in future.
- More Sales: With more followers, your brand awareness and lead generation will automatically increase. It’ll raise your authenticity and credibility. It means your followers will trust the products, which you market.
- Better Networking and Business Ties: As you generate more sales for a brand via your Instagram following, those brands are likely to do more future business with you. It’ll help you in networking and developing business ties.
- Market Your Own Product for Free: Let’s say you have 100k Instagram followers. If you ever decide to launch a product, you can market it for free to your 100k followers, who’ll gladly purchase your products.
Challenges When Growing Your Instagram Followers
Growing your Instagram followers isn’t a walk in the park. As we’ve already mentioned it’s extremely competitive. Millions of users are racing each other to steal the limelight. You’ll face plenty of challenges. One of those challenges is to make your content visible to those not following you. That’s why knowing the right hashtags is important.
According to the 2022 Instagram Engagement Report, hashtags targeting specific communities and interests like location, TV shows, etc, get more engagement. The more relevant hashtags you add to your post, the better results you’ll see. Another common problem that many face is the timing. Posting your content at the right time is essential. Your potential viral post can turn out to be a total failure if you share it at the wrong time of the day.
HubSpot’s Instagram Engagement Report reveals that posts shared between 6 PM to 9 PM get more engagement. Timeframes from 5 AM to 12 PM offer a very low engagement rate. Engagement is normal from Monday to Friday but it becomes better during the weekend.
Get Familiar with the Instagram Algorithm
Every Instagram user is a target of Instagram’s algorithm whether they’re a small creator or a social media celebrity. Instagram algorithm is a combo of rules that rank your content. It determines what to show, in what arrangement, on whose Insta feed, explore page, Reels, hashtags, etc. It’s really complex, to be honest.
Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, often prefers to use the word “ranking” instead of “algorithm.” He said that it helps them keep the platform more valuable for each user. There are 3 most important factors involved in the Instagram algorithm. These include:
- Relevance: Instagram decides the relevance of each post. It considers recent posts more relevant than the older ones.
- Interest: If a user is more inclined to a particular type of content. Instagram shows them more like it.
- Relationship Between Creator and Audience: Following or messaging each other or leaving comments is more likely to display your content on specific users’ feed. This is very important for businesses.They must respond to DMs and comments to improve brand visibility.
Creating a Striking Instagram Profile
When you open Instagram, you must have seen some accounts that you just have to follow, right? It is because they have a very strong profile. Try to have a consistent brand identity in all of your posts so people can associate you with certain feelings and emotions. For example, Color Me Courtney uses a bright and vivid combination of pink and yellow in all of her posts.
This adds a playful flavor to her content and immediately gets attention. Other than that, pick a searchable Instagram username so people find it easy to search you. For example, @sheinofficial is more recognizable than @shein_sportswear1. Also, spend some extra time coming up with an amazing bio to stand out. You get just 150 characters, so use them wisely!
Staying Punctual on Instagram
Staying consistent with your posts is one of the greatest ways to grow on this platform. The more consistent your posts, the more people will know about you. Also, you don’t have to post mindlessly. You must have a strategy. Create a schedule, even if it means posting once or twice a week. If your aim is to reach more audiences, you should make more Reels. Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, in June 2021, advised two posts a week, along with two stories per day to keep your profile growing.
Mastering the Hashtag Wizardry
Hashtags on Instagram can make or break your Instagram game. To use them properly, you must know how they work. Using the wrong ones can actually annoy your followers, so beware. Hashtags are an amazing way to build an online community on Instagram. Nike Los Angeles shared a video with #playinside in 2020 to get people active in their homes.
When you search a hashtag, Instagram shows you the number of posts there are with that hashtag. Use the ones with the highest number of posts, it’ll help your profile reach a large audience. You can also use a social listening tool called Hootsuite to monitor the hashtags you prefer. This way you’ll have all the relevant content on a single screen without needing to search each one separately. You can also get help from your competitors by looking at the hashtags they use on their posts.
Giving Your Profile an Engagement Boost
Engagement is extremely important to grow your audience. Your followers need to interact with your posts. To measure your profile’s engagement level, you can look at the number of comments, shares, likes, saves, story views, and messages that you get. What you can do is use attractive call-to-actions in captions. For example, “Let me know about your opinion in the comments!”
You can also use quizzes in your stories using Instagram’s Polls feature. Many followers love answering polls, it makes them feel connected. The more engagements you get, the more you get boosted by the algorithm.
Organize Instagram Contests and Giveaways
Instagram contests and giveaways begin with a post asking your followers to perform a task to win a free item or reward. This strategy creates a lot of buzz among your audience and increases your reach and engagement massively.
There are many ways to conduct contests and giveaways on Instagram:
- Tag a friend: Ask your followers to tag their friend(s) to enter the contest to win something exciting. The more friends they tag the bigger chance they have to win.
- User-generated content: You can tell your audience to share a photo on their feed with a branded hashtag or tag you to enter the contest.
- Like, comment, and follow: This is one of the most popular ways to get your audience into doing something in exchange for a reward. You ask them to like your photo, leave a comment, and follow your account to participate in a giveaway.
Teaming Up With Other Instagrammers
Teaming up with influencers is a great way to increase your profile’s reach. There are many influencers who are always eager to collaborate because they want to grow their following just like you. First thing you can do is to drop them a message. If they agree, you can negotiate the terms with them. If they disagree, it’s time to look for someone else. Influencers are actually very picky. So learn about their interests, values, and skills beforehand. They like to work with those whose brands align with their values. However, this process becomes a whole lot easier by using a social marketplace like Paysenger.
Paysenger allows you to send high priority paid messages to influencers and creators. Paid messages tend to immediately get the attention of influencers. In addition, without any extra back-and-forth communication, you can directly pay them to give you a shoutout. Because money talks, doesn’t it? Ownership of any content produced in collaboration is split between you and them. This means that if the content earns any income, it will be equally distributed to all owners.
Capitalizing on Instagram Ads
Instagram ads are a powerful tool for reaching new followers and promoting your content. With Instagram ads, you can target specific demographics and interests, ensuring that your content is seen by the right people. It’s important to create visually appealing ads that are relevant to your target audience. One great way to get more followers is to promote giveaways using paid ads. This quickly gets your giveaway in front of a lot of people and you are bound to get a lot of participants.
Growing a follower base on Instagram takes time and effort, but it is possible with the right strategies. By creating a strong profile, posting consistently, using hashtags effectively, engaging with other users, running contests, collaborating with influencers, and using Instagram ads, you can increase your reach on the platform and gain more followers.
Remember to stay authentic and true to your brand, and the followers will automatically come to you. Download Paysenger to up your Instagram game. Collaborate with other influencers to get more followers for yourself and establish your brand.