According to Brandwatch, Instagram has over 25 million business accounts and more than one billion active users per month. It’s the second most engaged social network after Facebook and around 50% of Instagrammers follow business accounts. This means that an optimized business account on Instagram can boost your brand’s awareness and sales.
With a larger audience, you’ll enjoy more opportunities to engage with prospects and achieve higher conversion rates. Although brands sometimes choose to pay for followers and likes, you’ll enjoy better results if you build your following organically. For example, according to Sprout Social, you’ll find about 48 million fake Instagram accounts on the platform. Fake followers won’t visit your landing page, make a purchase or recommend your brand to others. So, to help you increase your brands’ authentic following on Instagram, here’s a list of the top 7 proven ways to attract a huge Instagram following.
Business Account Optimization
Your brand’s Instagram bio is like a site’s homepage. If your account doesn’t include a bio, a relevant username, a profile image or captions, users can’t tell who it belongs to. The profile must convince new users to follow you and visit your website. Include a link to a product or services landing page for lead generation. Although you can also link to your homepage, linking to a landing page will help you create a cohesive user experience.
For the best results, your account’s name must include less than 30 characters and a keyword. Use the same username as on your brand’s other social accounts. This way, followers from other social platforms can easily find you. And use the 150 characters allowance in your bio to feature your brand’s identity and convince users to follow you.
Photography and Editing
A post’s quality weighs heavily on Instagram. Unlike other platforms such as Twitter, where followers may overlook a couple of bad tweets, poor quality and irrelevant photos on Instagram can cause serious damage. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to post on Instagram, but you must follow the best practices before you start posting.
Considering that Instagram is a mobile app, you’re most likely using your smartphone to take photos. Top-quality posts focus on one subject at a time, include white space, and intriguing perspectives. Also, symmetry and humor are essential ingredients for engaging posts. Before you add a photo to your Instagram profile, use third party editing apps. Although the social network offers basic editing features, they’re not enough for an amazing photo.
Posting Schedule and Timing Best Practices
Before you publish content to your account, make sure you have at least 15 posts ready. This way, when users visit your Instagram profile, they’ll know you’ll be regularly posting content. Create a social content calendar and plan your Instagram posts. Also, set up a backlog of posts for emergencies. You must always consider your target audience when you publish content. Your audience’s preferences affect the timing and frequency of your posts.
Publish photos on Instagram any time from Monday to Thursday, except for between 15:00 and 16:00. To engage your audience in the US, combine Central and Eastern time zones, but for audiences outside the US, use their specific time zones. You’ll generate higher engagement rates if you post at 05:00 CDT starting on Tuesday until Friday. That’s because, usually, the first thing people do when they wake up is check their smartphones. On weekends, post on Saturday around 11:00 CDT.
A Consistent Brand Voice and Look
Showcasing how your product is made or sharing your employees perspective about your product, humanizes your brand. This increases your brand’s trustworthiness and makes it relatable. When you’re developing a brand voice, consider your target audience and the platform you’re using. For example, beauty influencers and important brands on Instagram have a casual style and voice but they also remain relevant, on-brand, and professional. When you’ve created a specific voice, maintain consistency throughout your comments, captions, bio, and the conversations with your followers.
Use Super Relevant Hashtags
A hashtag connects different users’ conversations who would otherwise be separated into different streams. Super relevant hashtags expose your posts to a larger audience beyond your followers. But you must use hashtags in a smart way. Limit the number of hashtags per caption to about 7 and don’t use gimmicks such as #likeforlike, #like4likes, or #tagsforlike. Although they may temporarily boost your following, these users only want you to follow them back or they’re spammers.
The best way to discover which hashtags your audience uses check different hashtags on Instagram’s search feature in the “Explore” tab. An effective approach is to use trending hashtags such as #tbt, #TransformationTuesday, or #MotivationMonday. And when you’ve gained a decent following, you can create your own hashtag including your brand’s name or motto. It’s an efficient way to develop your brand on Instagram and create a cohesive Insta presence.
Engaging and Shareable Post Captions
Great captions humanize your brand and help you win more followers. And if you make your content shareable, you’ll enjoy increased exposure. A winning caption on Instagram includes clever comments, relevant emojis and hashtags, and calls to action.
Clever comments and jokes, which are audience-appropriate personalize your Instagram account. For example, Netflix’s Instagram account and subaccounts include jokes, which you can relate to just like a friend. Netflix uses a casual, humorous, and trendy style. But it also stays on-brand.
Another efficient way to improve your posts’ shareability is to ask questions in your captions or include a call-to-action. For example, say “Double-click if you find this interesting” or “Share your ideas in the comments.”
Additionally, emojis can increase your engagement rates in terms of likes, shares, and comments. They add more personality to your account and make your posts stand out on a feed. Add relevant hashtags to optimize your brand’s posts.
An effective way to increase brand awareness on Instagram is to engage in conversation. The Q2 2016 report published by Sprout Social shows that about 35% of clients use social networks for customer care. Social media outranks other customer care channels such as email, live chat or toll-free numbers. So, you must be active and supportive on your Instagram account.
Respond to comments or questions on your account to attract more prospects and reach higher conversions. After a positive interaction with your brand, prospects are more likely to purchase your product or service. You’ll also gain more followers if you grow a conversation around your feed.
As the second-largest social network after Facebook, Instagram is perfect to increase brand awareness and boost your sales. But the competition is huge. Although some brands pay for followers or likes, they don’t enjoy real success. For the best results, grow your following organically. Play by the rules, implement the best practices and you’ll achieve real ROI. Although growing your following organically takes effort and time, you’ll have an engaged, a loyal, and an involved community. It’s what all brands aim for on Instagram.
If you have any questions, our team would be more than happy to help. Call us today at 215-393-9787.