While Instagram may have started as a relatively fun app that was primarily used for sharing photos and mostly used by young people, now it’s become a huge audience building tool for brands and influencers across the world. It’s also one of the most popular social networking sites ever created, now with over 1 billion individual users.
It even blows other social media platforms out of the water in terms of engagement rate. Other social media networks have an engagement rate of about 0.1%, whereas Instagram engages people at a rate of around 58 times higher compared to platforms like Facebook.
This isn’t even the upper limit you can potentially reach, especially if you leverage the right strategies and techniques for your Instagram profile. You should always endeavour to become the best you possibly can, whether it’s for a personal profile or for a small business.
We’re here to provide you with the top Instagram strategies to boost your follower count and improve your Instagram engagement rate. Follow these tips in your profile and you could go even higher than 58 times Facebook’s engagement rate. 100 times, or 1000… the end result is up to you!
Use Calls to Action
Don’t think of Instagram like it’s just a place for you to broadcast advertisements for your stuff or products. It’s a place to begin conversations with your followers and convince them to take action regarding your brand or business. To that end, you should always include a call to action on posts where you want to drive engagement. This is especially true for advertisement posts.
Just be sure to make your called action clever, rather than blunt. People hate realizing that they are being advertised to and won’t appreciate it if you come across as “spammy”.
One of the best ways you can boost Instagram engagement and increase follower count is to focus on things happening in your local area. You can do this relatively easily by going to the search page on Instagram and checking the Places tab. There, you’ll be able to check out all of the geotagged posts for your location.
You can get in on the fun and use these hashtags to promote your own content and follow current social trends. It’s what everyone else who’s serious about Instagram success will be doing!
Keep Your Style Unique
On Instagram, you will only succeed if your profile is unique enough to stand out from the crowd. That means you’ll want to develop a unique visual style or content type that makes your stuff easy to recognize from all the other profiles on the app. Being recognizable not only helps you stand out in the Instagram algorithm, but it also helps people remember your content and nowhere to go when they want something only you can provide.
Only Allow Approved Tagged Photos
One of the best ways to curate the ideal Instagram image across the website and app is to make sure that people can’t tag random photos of you without your approval. You should go to your settings and find one that allows you to add photos of yourself manually. Enabling this feature will prevent anyone from adding tagged photos of you without your approval and knowledge.
This great if you want to emphasize certain parts of your life for your influencing business or brand. But it’s also good to protect your reputation from things that you don’t want to necessarily be associated with your business.
Get Rid of Unwanted Tagged Photos
In relation to the above tip, you should also get rid of any content or photos of you that don’t contribute to your brand or overall style. This tip will likely be used by those who grow their Instagram profile and improve it beyond their earlier and clumsier attempts.
The point is just to remove tagged photos from the Instagram website entirely. You won’t be able to get rid of others’ photos of you, but you can get rid of any tagged photos on your own profile by hiding them once you go into your settings.
Using the content spreading and marketing skills of other influencers, even if you are one yourself, is crucial for your success. You should always find profiles of people who are influencers in your market space (these are often your direct competitors for followers) and turn on notifications so you know when they share content. You should then interact with these influencers all the time and even speak with their followers to draw their attention to your profile.
If you’re more of a collaborator, you can always make an agreement with other influencers to like and share each other’s content. A rising tide lifts all ships, or so they say!
Use Creative Captions
Captions aren’t just little blurbs to describe what’s going on in the photo. There are opportunities for you to bring your storytelling and creativity into account. Captions are often scanned by those checking out your video or photo content, and they can help you distinguish your profile from others.
On a platform where unique content and a stylistic voice is key, you should always be seeking to gain followers by making your captions eye-catching and memorable. Take every opportunity you can with your captions to draw people to other content you’ve produced.
You should also increase your follower count by using creative (but strategically placed) hashtags in the captions of your top-rated content.
Use Your Bio URL to Its Greatest Extent
Your bio URL is arguably the most relevant part of your entire profile. You can change it frequently, and we’d recommend it! You can use this clickable link to drive traffic to whatever popular content you’re trying to push at the time or you can tie it to a particular marketing campaign or current event.
The point is that your bio URL is a tool that you should be using to increase follower engagement and profile voice. It’s not meant to just sit and be the same for years on end.
Join Popular Conversations
Smart hashtag usage and joining popular conversations are both key strategies if you want to collect followers and bring your content to the top of everyone’s feed. You should use general hashtags, like ones that pertain to your general business or hobby, as well as longtail hashtags that more accurately describe the content they are attached to.
Don’t be afraid to use commonplace hashtags that everyone else is also including. Hashtags become popular for a reason, and there’s no shame in jumping on the bandwagon if you want your content to also be placed in front of the millions of potential eyes when a new one goes for around across the world.
Be Creative with Hashtags
At the same time, your longtail hashtags or more creative hashtag variants should showcase your creativity and unique voice to its greatest extent. If you decided to pair up with other influencers in your market, you can work together to create a hashtag that works for all of you and maybe even get it trending to drive engagement and follower count!
The sky’s the limit when it comes to hashtags and what they can bring for your brand and profile. Spend some time coming up with good ones and you’ll see excellent results.
The key is that you don’t want to be boring because profiles that only use run-of-the-mill hashtags that anyone could think up are usually forgotten sooner rather than later.
Similarly, you’ll always want to be working to cross-promote your hashtags, as these are some of the best ways in which you can spread the word about your brand or profile. Make sure that your hashtag is everywhere you have an online presence, like your other social media accounts or your business website.
But you should also take your hashtags into the real world. If you have a brick-and-mortar store location, make sure the hashtag is easy to see for everyone who comes into your store. This might draw their attention and pique their curiosity enough that they check out your Instagram profile when they leave.
You can also add your hashtag to different receipts, print advertisements, or make specific sheets that have your hashtag on them which you can distribute at marketing events relevant to your brand. You can even go the extra mile and make small stickers demonstrating your hashtag and place these everywhere you can around town. This method works better if your hashtag is particularly eye-catching or noticeable.
If you ever get the opportunity to do a radio or TV interview, you should be sure to mention your hashtag several times so that it sticks in the minds of listeners or watchers. Ultimately, cross-promote by tying every marketing effort you do into other marketing efforts. It’s the best way to get the most bang for your buck per marketing hour spent.
All in all, getting Instagram followers isn’t a matter of buying various bots and hoping that the Instagram algorithms eventually bless your profile enough that your content happens to drift in front of enough eyes. Effort does produce results and using smart strategies like the ones we listed above is the best way to directly improve your follower count and improve visitor engagement with your content.
Your Instagram success story may not happen overnight, but the above tips will make your journey to victory smoother and more likely than otherwise. Do you have any other strategies you want to share? Let us know in the comments!