Whether it’s a personal page, or a company one, gaining a large social media following doesn’t just happen with luck, neither does it happen overnight. We bring you the best tips on how to gain your first 1000 followers on Instagram. I’m about to share with you some golden tips on social media marketing, so get your pens ready and open your minds (…I sound like a teacher).
Stand out with your brand
Your brand can be your company brand (your products or services), or your personal brand (i.e. who you are; blogger, fashionista, photographer etc). People are not going to follow you unless you have something to offer them. Beautiful photography like in the works of @martinjsylvester, is a great example of a successful account as the audience are genuinely interested in the content that is being put out there. How do you know that? Because followers translate to likes, and comments. So find out what it is you can offer the audience; whether it’s fitness tips, motivational quotes, your products, pictures of food, clips of you dancing or a collection of postcards you’ve gathered over the years. There is always a community of people interested in your content, you just have to find them… with the right hashtags.
Make sure your bio screams who you are and what you can offer to someone considering following you. Include important details if they are relevant to your brand such as, link to website or blog, full name, occupation, company name, location and other contact details such as email or phone number. Using fun and relevant emojis makes you seem more friendly and approachable, and most importantly, makes you look more human. The problem with users feeling like they’re interacting with a bot has been here since the invention of the Internet. Therefore, it’s important to reply to comments as users like to interact with people , not anonymous corporations.
Right platform, right time
Take a look at what you want to achieve, and consider if Instagram is the right option for you. It’s a photo-sharing app, so can you offer high quality images, while at the same time conveying your message? Sure, a photography account on Instagram is a no-brainer, but what about the grey areas such as consultancy firms, or a local bakery? Knowing where your target audience spends most of their time is the key to effective social media marketing. Generally speaking, LinkedIn is for B2B Marketing, and Facebook is for consumer marketing, but it all depends on the needs of your audience and the type of products or service you provide. Nevertheless having a good social media presence, with a strong focus on the key, traffic-driving platforms is a must.
It’s very important to post consistently, as well as at the right time of the day. This can be tricky as unless you have selected that you run a business page on Instagram, you can’t view the analytics. Analytics are really helpful in identifying your target market’s geographical location meaning that deciding the best time to post is much easier. Take a look at the infographic I’ve created, to see what time is best to post across all your social media channels.
Know your audience
Creating a successful social media account needs to be a commitment to delivering the content that your target audience wants to see. Your social media account belongs to a community full of individuals thirsty for your type of content, and you may not even know it. That is, unless you do your research, of course.
Consider asking yourself the following questions:
- Who is my content aimed at? People who share similar interests, or potential customers?
- What is the purpose of my content? Is is to educate or share your hobby, increase brand awareness or clicks to your blog?
- What can my analytics reveal about my current audience? Is my current audience the right type of people I want to target? Why is the audience attracted to my type of content?
- What type of content gets the most interaction? Images of a specific nature, animation, videos, text, or a combination of different types of content?
Interaction is key
There are hundreds, if not thousands of spam account posting comments on real people’s posts like ”want followers? click here —-> *dodgy looking link*”. Then there are these followers that follow you only so that you follow them back, and then they unfollow you. As much as I despise this manipulative tactic, it unfortunately works. But one way of preventing it is to download the app Unfollowers, which can identify people you follow that don’t follow you back. You must also be wary of what are known as ”ghost followers”. These are followers who do not like, comment or share any of your posts and you wonder why they follow you in the first place. It’s not worthwhile to follow ghost followers either, as they have nothing to contribute to the success of your account.
The most successful accounts are the ones where there is real interaction – people follow you for the content you provide them with, and they show their appreciation with likes and comments. In order to encourage interaction on your account, you need to take the read, comment, like and share other people’s posts. That way, the audience will see that you are truly investing and dedicating your time and effort into your passion, product, or message. Sharing content is how we can connect with other people around the world, it is extremely powerful but needs persistence for the effects to shine through!
Do your hashtag research
One tactic that I can share with you about our social media strategy, here at dgtl Concepts, is how we use hashtags. As we write a quirky caption of what we’re doing, we might include the odd hashtag as well as tagging relevant clients. The secret to having a neat and professional looking account is to paste your hashtags in the comments section of the post. We put 5 dots and then up to 30 relevant hashtags. It doesn’t distract the user from the content so this approach makes all the difference!
Selecting the right hashtags however, requires purposeful research, as it is not a random process. Consider using tools such as Keyhole, Hashtagify, or Hashtracking to test the popularity of your proposed hashtags. Take a look at similar Instagram accounts and see what hashtags they use to attract the right type of audience. Learn the lingo and you will get noticed because people will search for those hashtags! If you work in the creative industry, take a look at the infographic I made on the best hashtags to use.
Importance of video
Good images can only go so far; video is the new hype on social media! In 2017, I believe a video has a huge potential of going viral. Videos on Instagram can only be 60 seconds long, so short, snappy and to-the-point videos are the most effective. Brands like Bumble do it right – they make people want to follow them even if they don’t use the app themselves. Bumble uses video to promote their campaigns on social media, such as in their new promotion of the Bumble Honeys on Tour campaign.
Unlike images, video has the potential to engage, and focus the attention of the user onto the message and purpose e of your brand An effective video has to be interesting, entertaining and sharable. For brand videos consider the following types; brand films, animations, highlight reels, and corporate videos such as explainer, interviews or product videos.
If your brand needs help in producing videos, take a look at what we can offer you.
Brands who do it right
We recently got the chance to supply aerial footage for TransferWise. Upon discovering their social media, I was blown away by how creative, and engaging their videos are (considering the typical corporate nature of their financial services). This is an example of a brand doing it right! Their Instagram page should be a role model to all companies who want to increase brand awareness through social media as their content is fresh, engaging and interesting. More importantly, social interaction is effectively accomplished which is the key to having a sustainable social media account.
All drone fanatics, like ourselves, have fallen in love with DJI and their Instagram page. This is another example of the importance of follower interaction in regards to video; their latest clip got over 65k views and it’s because of very simple reasons. It is fast-paced, exciting and shows the product in their best light possible – portraying the thrill of adventure when using their newest Ronin 2 drone. Because after all we all love flying and having that experience through the lens of a camera is the closest we will ever get (unless you fancy jumping from a place, that is.) DJI knows their target consumer so they can carry out targeted marketing according to the demographics.
To advertise or not to advertise?
Advertisements are not necessary if you follow all the above steps. However, if you would like to boost your follower count, Instagram advertising might be the right option for you. It’s important to consider that before you advertise, your Instagram account needs to be in the best shape possible – all content must be flawless; easily found using the appropriate hashtags, high quality, engaging and interesting. You need to have interacted with your target audience quite a bit and established a presence, which can be difficult, but not impossible, when you have under 1000 followers. Reaching your social media targets is about persistence and meeting the content needs of your followers.
When choosing the type of advert you want to put out there, research is essential. There are drawbacks and benefits to all types of Instagram ads.
Here’s a brief run through the 4 main types of Instagram Ads:
- Photo Adverts – one photo which presents your brand in the best light possible.
- Video Adverts – a video up to 60 seconds long; it could range from an interview, a highlight reel to a brand video or animation.
- Carousel Adverts – a slideshow of 3-5 images the viewer can look through, for a greater insight into your brand.
- Story Adverts – advertising on the latest feature, Instagram stories, where you now have the chance to advertise to its users.
So there you have it! To sum it up, in order to reach Instagram success, you need to post consistently, and at the right time. Do your hashtag research for your content to be found more easily, and thus for interaction to take place more frequently. Knowing your target audience will help you achieve your goals as you can publish your content accordingly. Take notes from brands who do it right and watch how they interact with their audience, as well as how they use hashtags to better their social media strategy. If you have the budget, consider creating advertisements on Instagram. Remember that good things take time, so it might take a lot of time for your Instagram account to get noticed by the ones you want to target.