It is one of the most popular social networking sites in the world. Every month, more than 1 billion people use it and share 95 million photos and 4.2 billion "likes." Instagram quickly outgrew its first impression as a fun app for kids and is now a serious tool for people and brands to use for content marketing, networking, and building an audience.
Instagram Hacks to Get Tons of Followers
How cool is it, really? Most social networks have engagement rates for brands of less than 0.1%, but Instagram beats them all.
You can sign up for Digital Scholar's Online Digital Marketing Course if you want to learn more about Instagram hacks and good ways to grow your Instagram account.
A 2014 study by Forrester found that the average engagement rate for brands on Instagram was 58 times higher than on Facebook.
When you look at numbers like that, you can't argue. But that's not that great. And I always say that you don't want to be average when it comes to online marketing.
We don't want to be like everyone else.
It's neither a wish nor a plan.
58 times more engagement than something else sounds great, but on Instagram, you can do so much better. Whether you're a big brand or just want to know how to get famous on Instagram, I don't want you to aim for average. Instead, I want you to reach for the stars and become an Instagram unicorn. A digital unicorn is a magical, rare creature that in this case outperforms all others by orders of magnitude.
1. Promote your hashtag in other ways. It's great that you made a #joesgarage hashtag for your business, but who will use it to talk about you? Make sure it's in your profile, but take the game offline and have it printed on your receipts, in print ads, on signs in your store, and at relevant events. Tell people to use your hashtag if you're on radio or TV. Make sure offline is part of your business by putting it on your other social media profiles, website, and email blasts. Don't just hope that people will find it.
2. Get creative with how you use hashtags. If you want to come up with ideas for Instagram captions, you need to look beyond the obvious one-word hashtags. You should still use them, but you should also use hashtags to tell part of your story. Be funny, ironic, or outrageous–just don't be BORING. WeWork, a company that provides shared workspaces, is great at this, and they also include a fun mix of Instagram posts.
3. Join conversations that are very popular. Use a mix of trending, very popular hashtags and hashtags that are relevant to the topic of the post, like #woodconstruction for a carpentry company. The really specific hashtags are like longtail keywords in that they show more intent and help you find the right people, but the universally trending hashtags like #instagood, #tbt, #photooftheday, or even just #fun get you in front of more people in general. You need both to make it on Instagram, which is a big, busy social network.
4. Use your bio URL to its fullest. It's the most important part of your Instagram profile... do you want your bio to always only link to the home page of your website? Yawn. Change it at least once every two weeks, and use the link in your bio to drive people to your newest or most popular posts.
5. Get descriptive. Even though a picture is worth a thousand words, you still need to use words. National Geographic does a great job of telling stories with their Instagram photos to get people to look at them and share them. Traditional media companies have been going out of business like flies, but NatGeo has done well online and is now one of the most popular brands on Instagram, with more than 50 million followers. Like the other Instagram hacks I've given you here to get more followers, this is something you'll want to keep doing over time, so don't worry if it feels strange at first. As you find your Instagram voice, your writing will get better.
6. Give influencer marketing your all. Visit the profiles of each person you've identified as an influencer in your space (someone who has a lot of sway over the people you want to reach) and click "Turn On Post Notifications" to be notified every time they share new content. Then you can talk to them often and become one of their favorite people or brands.
If you're having trouble finding micro-influencers in your niche, you can use Influencers Club's great tool to find them for free.
7. Take down any photos of you that other people have tagged. On your Instagram profile, you can only show the best user-generated content about you or your brand. Now, you can't completely remove the tagged photo from the site, but you can choose "Edit Tags," pick the ones you want to get rid of, and choose "Hide from Profile" (you may need to confirm).
8. Approve tags on photos before they show up on your profile. Speaking of giving you more control over which tagged photos show up on your profile, you can change your Instagram settings so that tagged photos won't show up unless you approve them first. This is under "Options," "Photos of You," and "Add Manually." I can't think of a reason why a business wouldn't want to do this... Nope. I have nothing. You should set this up right away to avoid situations that could be embarrassing.
9. Find your own style on Instagram. We all want to be like everyone else, but on Instagram, you want to be different. The Indian drink brand Frooti has come up with a style of visual content that is so unique that when a user sees a Frooti post in their newsfeed, they know it right away. Look at it:
10. Get local. Go to the search page and click on the Places tab to find out what's going on in a certain area, like your neighborhood, a city you're trying to reach with ads, or an event in a certain place. Then, type in the name of the place to see all geotagged posts for that place.
11. Don't forget to tell people what to do! Instagram, like other social networks, is a place for people to talk to each other, not to send out messages. What do you want people to do when they read your post? If you don't know that, you should go back and learn it. Staples is great at getting people to interact with their posts because they make it clear what they want people to do. Most of the time, this call to action is a clever way to get people to share or spread Staples' content like a virus.
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