Instagram: How to Gain a Following

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INSTAGRAM: How to Gain a Following
Image of Instagram App on iOS Device - Field 1 Post Digital Marketing Services

Instagram is a free social media application owned by Facebook used primarily for sharing photos and videos. A user can post content or share stories while their posts appear on their followers’ timeline to which they can respond by liking, sharing, and leaving comments.

Instagram accounts are not only available to individuals, but businesses as well. Businesses can register for a free Professional Account in order to promote their brands and services. These types of accounts can be used to market their products in order 

 

 to grow their Instagram following with the goal of connecting with more qualified customers. The great thing is business accounts can monitor engagement and impression metrics to track their traffic flow. Today, many businesses use this platform to increase their target market, drive the sales of the product and services as well as promote their brands.

 

Instagram as a Marketing Platform

Instagram has ultimately grown into the most accessible platform for marketing your brand and product. The platform offers many benefits that make it an attractive asset to your marketing strategy. Below are just some reasons it is considered a valuable marketing tool:

    • Efficient for showcasing products to a large audience.
      Today, Instagram is considered one of the best social media platforms for businesses to showcase their products as well as engage their customers. Currently, it has over one billion active users on a monthly basis and about 500 million daily Instagram Stories. For brands, that is a huge market to advertise your business. Many brands have already taken advantage of this huge market, employing strategies to increase their brand awareness. Your next set of customers might just be one post away

 

  • Users can customize their content at specific audiences and engage customers directly
    Instagram encourages users to make their content come alive. Brands can make their followers more engaged in their business, thus helping them to connect more easily with their customers in fun ways. As a business, you can think out of the box and create engaging experiences for customers. Things like capturing your daily life with live videos, sharing photos of a new product, creating polls and others will make followers feel more involved and generate more sales.
Image of Instagram App Account Metrics - Field 1 Post Digital Marketing Services
Image of Instagram App Account Metrics - Field 1 Post Digital Marketing Services

Instagram as a Marketing Platform

Instagram has ultimately grown into the most accessible platform for marketing your brand and product. It offers many benefits that make it an attractive marketing strategy for many businesses. Here are some reasons it is considered a valuable marketing tool:.

  • It is efficient for showcasing products to a large audience.
    Today, Instagram is considered one of the best social media platforms for businesses to showcase their products as well as engage their customers. Currently, it has over one billion active users on a monthly basis and about 500 million daily Instagram Stories. For brands, that is a very large market to advertise your business to. Many brands have already taken advantage of this huge market, employing strategies to increase their brand awareness. Your next set of customers might just be one post away.
  • Users can customize their content at specific audiences and engage customers directly
    Instagram encourages users to make their content come alive. Brands can make their followers more engaged in their business, thus helping them to connect more easily with their customers in fun ways. As a business, you can think out of the box and create engaging experiences for customers. Things like capturing your daily life with live videos, sharing the process of creating something new, creating public events and others will make followers feel more involved and generate more sales.

 

  • Businesses can promote without hard selling
    Instagram supports businesses to promote their products and services in a friendly and authentic way that focuses on building a relationship with customers. Brands do not need to engage in aggressive pitches and repeated calls to action before selling.

 

  • It boosts cross channel engagement
    Sharing your Instagram photos on your website invites those who have not followed you on Instagram to start doing so. When followers share your Instagram content, your brand starts to reach out to other audiences. You can also add links to your website on your Instagram account, that way your followers can be directed there where they will be able to view your other pictures and potentially make more purchases.

 

  • Photos engage more traffic than other social media platforms
    Research has shown that people often prefer websites that are visually focused. This is one of the reasons a lot more people are attracted to Instagram as opposed to other social media platforms. It provides them with numerous options to express themselves, such as posting an Instagram Story. Companies have realized this and taken advantage of it as the site to publish original content and enhance brand awareness.

How to Attract Followers

Now let’s dive into the fun stuff, it’s no secret that Instagram is a coveted marketing platform but the question remains, how can you increase followers? Nowadays every company has an Instagram presence, sometimes the process of simply getting started can be a little daunting. Fear not, the following tips will help answer some of these questions for you. 

Set up your business account

  1. If you don’t already have an account, the first step is to download the app. Using the mobile app is the best option because there are features that it offers that are not available through a computer browser.
  2. Sign up with your phone number or email address and then select a username. Another option is to sign up with your Facebook account. If you have an existing Facebook account for your business, you can easily link both accounts.
  3. Set up a company bio to include your brand message. Instagram bios are limited to 150 characters. It’s good practice to include a link to your website to increase cross channel engagement.
  4. Finally, upload a profile photo. The profile photo will be resized and circularly cropped to 110 x 110 pixels.
  5. Click Done

Determine your Audience

Prior to making any marketing effort or drawing a strategy, the first step is to determine your audience. What kind of audience are you trying to attract with your account? The answer to this question will determine the kind of content you will be likely to post. Are you looking to make your posts product-based? Are you trying to boost brand awareness? These answers will give your marketing strategy focus and you can also draw from your other marketing strategies if you already have them in place.

Market Research

In growing and keeping your target audience, you should be aware of the competition. Identify your competitors, research their content and check out their followers. Pay attention to their popular content and hashtags that are driving the most user engagement. Research the top search keywords in your industry and cultivate the habit of putting them into your content.

Create a Posting Schedule

Scheduling Instagram posts and Stories is an effective approach to manage time. When you set a posting time and schedule, it helps you to manage your content and maintain audience engagement. Posting last-minute irrelevant content will disengage your audience and potentially lose followers.

Committing to a posting schedule will also help your audience anticipate your availability, and increase your engagement and hopefully attract more followers . You can also use some apps and software to schedule posts ahead of time for time management purposes.

Consistency

Consistency is an important but often overlooked key to keeping and growing followers. Your posts on Instagram must be keep a consistent branding to ensure cohesiveness. Your feed is one of the first things visitors to your page will see. This implies that everything you post there should be able to communicate your brand. Every color, image, hashtag and videos should give your audience an insight into your world as a business. They should answer the question “What types of words come to mind when a user thinks of your product?”

Review Metrics

Analyzing your Instagram metrics help you understand your audience engagement better. You can monitor your follower growth, engagement rate, total comments and other essentials. Instagram has made it easier by creating Instagram Analytics, which business accounts can utilize in order to gain deeper information about their performance. Consistently reviewing metrics gives you a better sense of what content is working and what needs to be polished.

Conclusion

Instagram is one of the most powerful social media platforms catered to photo sharing. The platform produces more traffic as opposed to other sites which have led marketers to develop content strategies utilized specifically for the platform itself. Having an engaging Instagram account is critical to gaining an Instagram following. It might seem a little daunting at first, but with consistency and effort, you will gradually find your niche and leverage it as a digital tool to grow your brand and boost sales.