Engaging with customers through social media can be challenging. As the social media marketing landscape becomes more competitive, some growth strategies that worked in the past are becoming ineffective. Additionally, marketing channels that used to be popular in the past are phasing out as younger age demographics shift their preferences.
Instagram remains one of the most competitive channels for online marketers. As such, driving organic growth of your follower base on Instagram can be particularly difficult. However, there are a number of growth hacking strategies you can employ to boost followers, increase likes, and engage with your community.
- Choose unique, specific hashtags.
One of the most common mistakes that new Instagram users make is choosing overly-popular hashtags. Many people believe that choosing popular hashtags will increase your exposure, but this is a misconception. In reality, putting highly-trafficked hashtags in your post descriptions will decrease the amount of users that see your post. When people search those popular hashtags, they’ll be overloaded with thousands of posts, and your content won’t be seen.
Instead, do some research to find hashtags that are much more specific for your community. Check to see how many times that hashtag has been used. Ideally, your best hashtags will have less than 300,000 uses. More people will see your content since there are fewer posts to search through.
Additionally, your content will be more relevant to the users that see it because the hashtags are more specific. By consistently using more focused, less trafficked hashtags, you can increase exposure for your content significantly. You can also get more Instagram followers and likes by engaging with posts with certain hashtags by using an automation tool. Here is a list of the best Instagram automation tools.
- Use Stories to drive content views.
Over the past several months, use of Instagram Stories has grown substantially. In fact, stories are becoming one of the most popular marketing channels across social media platforms. While Instagram users may not take the time to review new posts, they will take the time to look at stories. You can use this trend to your advantage.
For example, let’s say in a given day, you post three times. Prior to stories, you’d have to hope that a user will see the new post while checking their feed. However, for many users who follow hundreds of accounts, any individual post may not be seen due to the volume of recent activity. Now that users are engaging with stories more often, you can push users to your page by generating interest. Post a screenshot of your account with your new posts covered and encourage users to go to your page to check it out. This will build anticipation for new content among your followers and increase engagement.
- Leverage Instagram promotions for engagement.
One of the most effective methods of driving new Instagram user engagement is product promotions. You can incentivize users to share your content by offering discounts or giveaways. For instance, some retailers will offer discount codes to users who tag 2 users and share one of their posts. Alternatively, you can offer promotions for users that create new content with your product and tag your account.
This strategy has a few important benefits. First, you will be increasing sales at the same time as driving follower growth. Second, you’ll create brand recognition among users in other communities on Instagram. Some product promotions offered for content sharing have gone viral. While it’s unlikely that your post goes viral, you can successfully attract new followers at very low cost through these promotions.
- Boost your performance with analytics.
As the social media marketing industry develops, so does the industry for supplemental services. Many marketers offer consulting or freelance content creation services. Instagram users looking to grow their follower base can use these tools to do so effectively and quickly.
There are a number of services you can use that allow you to analyze your Instagram account. You can use a data driven Instagram analytics software like Owlmetrics to get more insights about your account. You can see what content is most relevant to your follower base and track customer conversion. Using data analytics is often the best way to determine how successful your marketing strategies are. You’ll also spend less time executing unsuccessful growth techniques and more time engaging with your most important followers.
- Get featured by larger accounts.
Ultimately, organic growth is difficult to achieve without the help of an established user with a large following. If you’re a retailer looking to sell your product, there are likely a number of users on Instagram that have influence in your community. One thing you can do to spread awareness of your brand is get featured by influencers on Instagram. For the same reason that basketball players are paid to endorse products, you can get popular users to endorse your brand.
First, you have to get noticed by influencers. Focus on producing quality content that highlights your brand in a relatable way. Start tagging well known users in all of your posts. Eventually, influential Instagram users will notice your content and may feature you on their page. If you get featured, you’ll be able to grow your followers and likes significantly.
You don’t have to focus on getting featured by huge accounts, either. Often times, niche communities will have users that are very influential without having a lot of followers. Develop relationships with these users and work together to cross-promote content. Successfully marketing your brand through other users is a cheap and effective method of driving growth on Instagram.