Looking to grow your brand on Instagram? Use these 19 tips to get more Instagram followers, including using hashtags, contests, and what to post.
Shelley Walsh June 27, 2020
Do you want to know how to get more followers on Instagram in 2020?
Even though there was a reported drop in user growth, Instagram still retains its position as the second most used social networking channel (in the U.S.) behind Facebook.
The Instagram app is the second most popular app for the iPhone (after YouTube).
For a brand wanting to reach or increase engagement with their audience, there’s a lot of users in one place waiting to meet you.
Do you need any more reasons to use Instagram for a business?
But, like all social media, you have to find the right tone of voice.
Or, risk looking like your dad crashing a festival and trying to dance with your friends.
Nobody wants to see that.
So, to get more followers on Instagram and increase engagement here are 19 steps for your brand to succeed.
Hold onto your Instagram stories, posts, feed, bio, and hashtags.
1. Have a Plan & Create a Content Calendar Full of Great Ideas
When we write content, we labor over ideas, delivery, and optimization.
It should be no different when we share photos and videos on a business or brand’s Instagram account.
Take the time to brainstorm clever content ideas that align with seasons, holidays, your business’ upcoming events, and (most importantly) your overall traffic and sales goals.
You can still be flexible and post spontaneously as ideas come to you.
But having a library of ideas and a (tentative) schedule will keep you ahead of the game instead of scrambling for something to post.
Depending on your business, you could potentially post several times a day or several times a week.
Make an Instagram content plan and stick to it.
2. Only Post Well-Composed Images & Videos + Make Sure They’re in Focus
Only use high-quality photos and videos when posting to Instagram.
By high quality, I mean crystal clear, unpixelated shots.
Instagram, above all else, is a visual platform.
There’s no room for blurry photos.
Or images that have part of the image cut off.
OK, it doesn’t need to be to a BBC or National Geographic standard. But it must be in focus.
Low-quality content won’t get any engagement.
It might even cost you some followers.
3. Use Instagram Analytics to Feed Your Persona Research
With an Instagram business account (which is free), you’ll have access to analytics that shows when your audience is most active.
Use that data to optimize your posting schedule.
Instagram also gives you insights into the age, gender, and location breakdown of your audience, which can be a starting point doing persona research.
4. Tag People in Your Photos Who Interact with Your Brand
Another way to be discovered by people who aren’t following you is to tag relevant accounts so that you show up in their tagged feed.
If you own a fitness studio and you take a group shot after a Zumba class, tag every single one of those people in the photo. It will populate into all of their tagged feeds.
Their followers (some of who likely have similar interests) will see the post, and discover your studio.
This strategy also applies to other brand & business accounts.
For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, a best practice is to tag the vendors from a wedding in your photos.
A photo of the reception, for example, could potentially tag a DJ, cake baker, wedding planner, and wedding venue tagged all in the same photo.
It’s good for all the businesses involved: each gets additional exposure, and leads to more discovery as brides-to-be search for vendors – chances are if someone is looking through Instagram for a wedding venue, they are probably also looking for a photographer and a lot of other related vendors.
If you can share the spotlight and tag others, do so.
It’ll circle back to bring you more Instagram followers and leads, as well.
5. Optimize Your Instagram Bio with Branded Hashtags & CTAs
Your bio should be used to feature a call-to-action, branded hashtags, and a link, which is a big deal in the quest for new Instagram users.
It’s this section where users will discover who you or your brand are and whether they will follow you.
Don’t, however, plead, sound desperate, or come across as spammy.
For example, do not include “Follow People Who Follow Me!” in your bio.
You want to let users know who you are and why they should follow you.
Make sure this section is updated when needed.
If you were running a contest, you could mention that piece of information in your Bio.
6. Ask Questions in Your Posts & Include CTAs
At the end of each post, include a clear call-to-action or a question aimed at boosting engagement.
CTAs include things like:
- Learn more – link in bio!
- Double-tap if you want to see more videos like this!
- Follow us so you’ll never miss an update.
You can also post questions.
Let’s say, for example, you own a yoga studio and you post a quick video where a teacher demonstrates how to go into a certain pose.
At the end of your caption, you could write something like “Tell us what poses you’d like to see demonstrated in future videos in the comments!”
This will keep your audience engaged, show that you actually care what your audience wants to see, and give you ideas for what to post in the future.
7. Add a Link to Instagram in Your Website & Email
Make sure existing clients and customers find your Instagram by adding an Instagram icon to your social links, or embedding Instagram content on your site.
You can also link to your brand’s Instagram account from your email signature.
And use a plugin to feed your latest Instagram posts directly to your website.
This can be a great way to promote your new account to people who regularly visit your site, building your following of clients.
8. Cross-Post Your Instagram Content to Facebook & Twitter
Users who didn’t know you’re on Instagram and following you on other platforms will then discover that you’re on Instagram, too, since the post will note it was shared from Instagram.
You can adjust your settings for every post to cross-post automatically, or you can do it manually for select posts.