Social has recently emerged as a highly effective marketing channel. Although, all of the different social media options can be overwhelming since each requires a unique approach. That being said, depending on your green business or brand, specific channels are much more logical to pursue than others.
Instagram is one of the largest channels today. Increasing Instagram followers is one of the highest leverage things to do because of the value each follower has. Recently, they announced that there are 25 million active business profiles on the platform. There is a reason many businesses are flocking to create accounts. It is because an effective strategy can have a long-term impact on the success of protecting the online reputation of your green business.
Here are 5 things you can do starting today to double your Instagram following:
1. Use more hashtags
There is a fine balance to be struck when using hashtags. Too many, and you will feel spammy. Too few, and you are missing an opportunity for higher growth and reach. Therefore, it is essential to maximize the value of your hashtags. Do your research to determine which will cater most to the audiences that you are trying to target. There are plenty of tools to see the popularity of different hashtags at each point in time.
You can also monitor the hashtags that your competitors are using, as well as other industry leaders. Staying up-to-date with the constantly changing trends will put you in a position to capitalize on the most popular hashtags.
To get creative, you can also make a unique hashtag related to your company. This could represent your brand or a value that your company represents. You could also create incentives (like giveaways) for people to include your hashtag when making posts.
All of these hashtags will put your brand in front of more people, leading to more followers and potential customers. As you are testing hashtags, you can also use each of your posts as a data point. You can see which ones move the needle and try to pull out most effective hashtags.
2. Post consistently
Continually finding useful and unique images to post is a challenge. This is especially true if you are short on time. Setting up a process to publish consistently is critical, though. One study found that posting daily increases your followers by a 4X relative to posting less than once a week.
More posts sensibly lead to more likes, and when people are engaging with your posts, their followers will be exposed to your brand. You might not know how to post each day in a creative and non-monotonous way. It helps that you can look at countless other Instagram accounts that are able to do so efficiently.
The time of day that you post also matters significantly for engagement. There is no single best time since it is entirely based on who you are trying to target. Students are on Instagram at different times of the day than young professionals. Therefore, you can explore the data that exists about posting times and look at your competitors’ timing strategies. Plus, you can test different times for yourself to see how they impact engagement rates.
3. Make your account easier to find
When the only place that you promote your Instagram account is on Instagram, your reach and opportunity for growth will be limited. Although you might feel like you are being spammy by promoting your Instagram account in other places, there are subtle ways to do so efficiently. For example, if you have a high following on any of your other social media accounts, you can make posts directing your followers to Instagram.
You can also place Instagram links and content in your emails. It is easy to add an Instagram link (as well as other social platforms) in your email signature. It might even make sense, from time to time, to include an embedded Instagram image in emails that you send to partners, customers or leads.
These embedded images can also be useful in company blog posts or your ‘About Us’ page. You should not force including an image when there is not a good fit, but in cases where it makes sense, including images can dramatically increase the reach of your account. It will direct more people to your account, and, consequently, will lead to more followers.
4. Meaningfully interact with others
There are great tools to grow your Instagram followers organically. Although, there is also still inherent value in manually interacting on Instagram. This can create relationships between your brand and individuals as well as other brands. Others are more likely to feel a connection to your business and mission when they know that you have a stake in them.
Interacting with others also opens the door for them to share and engage with your content more frequently. You can send people messages that comment on your posts or reply to them directly in the post. You can also post photos of individuals or brands (with their consent), which will likely lead to them sharing that content with their audience. These interactions will lead to more loyal followers and more exposure to your account.
5. Get Creative
Instagram is a unique outlet for creativity. There is a lot of freedom with what you post, the messages you try to convey and who you target. Therefore, one of the best ways to grow your following is to get creative.
For example, you could run contests to get more followers. This could be a giveaway to whoever follows you or a donation to those in need based on the number of additional followers that you get. You can also be creative about how you craft your bio and profile for others to see.
This creativity will lead to more engagement with your posts, more attraction to your brand, and, consequently, a higher following.