Instagram is a social media platform that allows users to share pictures and short video clips. The platform has an estimated 700 million users world wide. On a daily basis, users amount to about 400 million! And a total of more than 40 billion photos have been shared on the platform. It has become a popular platform, and businesses consider Instagram a part of their marketing strategy.
Create A Strategy
As with any social media platform, the user should create a strategy tailored to attracting the targeted audience. This strategy should also have some uniqueness, since each platform is different. Essentially, the key with Instagram is that either the user should have a specific “brand” or post a certain type of picture. This will allow you to build an audience that regularly engages with that form of content.
There is obviously a difference between creating growing your instagram followers as an individual or a business. Given the visual nature of Instagram it can often be hard for businesses to regularly come up with new content. Especially if they are in the B2B space, rather than B2C. That said, it can be done and just requires a little bit of creativity on your part.
Utilise All of Instagram
Instagram also provides the opportunity to post other types of media including video clips. Video has become a popular trend with the increased popularity of Youtube and “vblogging” and typically sees better engagement on Instagram, as well as other social media platforms like Facebook.
In addition to one off videos a new feature from Instagram is called stories. With this users can update their post with little snippets of video or additional images. The idea here is to give followers an insight into the users daily life. Instagram stories has also proved to be incredibly popular and builds off a lot of the success seen by Snapchat.
Create Premium Content
That may sound rather subjective, and for some it may be. However, in Instagram terms that means posting pictures that are clear with high resolution. They should be meaningful and relevant to the context. When a posting a picture, you should also include appropriate hashtags and a caption.
The hashtag expands the reach of your picture and people can find your photos by searching for that phrase. If you are looking to build your instagram followers for free then you want to ensure that the picture reaches the largest audience possible.
There is some discussion that up to 30 is acceptable and create the largest net. The caption should equally contribute to the meaning of the picture. It should be unique and add some meaning to the picture.
Engage With Your Audience
Engaging with the audience helps you to attract followers and more importantly retain them! Engagement means liking pictures or content, and replying to comments or question. In particular, answering question is really important. It shows that you care about your followers, and take time to appreciate their perspective. It’s sort of like customer service. You can view your followers as your clients with whom you want to sell your product or service. This idea applies to a personal account too. If one wants to share their lives and create a social presence about what they are doing, then they need to still engage their followers.
Utilise Instagram Insights
Insights are data analytics that provide you with data about your target audience. It also can tell you about what time they are active. The insights show you the number of unique profiles reached, the engagement with the post (like or comment), and if others have saved it. This data shows you what works and what does not.
If you see a lot of engagement straight after posting picture, then this can help you. The time of day which the picture appears makes a big difference depending upon timezone and content posted. A lot depends on trial and error too. Once you attempt a certain frequency at different hours during the day, then the insights should tell you whether it works or not. If it does work, then continue. If not, then take the opportunity to revise your strategy.
Commit for the long term
One of the keys to succeeding with Instagram and build an audience is regular posting. An audience takes time to build. Continuous, regular posting is required from you in order to build your followers on instagram for free.
There is however no guaranteed time frame that equates to success. However, one cannot post a lot in the beginning, then stop and restart. The audience will disintegrate and move on and find another person who is similar to your niche. So while posting a large amount of content is important, this had to be spread over time and you also need to be consistent.
Also published on Medium.