Instagram has become the cornerstone of so many brands’ marketing strategies—and for good reason. It can drive profitable traffic to your landing pages, grow conversions, build brand awareness and create an engaged audience. We talked about how the Instagram algorithm works in a previous blog, and now that we understand how it works, let’s use it to help optimize your Instagram game and increase organic followers.
It’s important to note the word “organic” above. Sometimes brands take the easy way out when trying to get more Instagram followers by buying them. Pay for likes and follower sites are everywhere, but these shortcuts are never worth it. In fact, the Instagram algorithm specifically looks out for “fake interactions” and ranks them accordingly.
Optimize your Instagram account
Before you even think about growing your followers, one of the most important steps is having your account fully optimized. Think of your brand’s Instagram bio as the “homepage” of your account. Without a bio, image captions, a profile image or proper username, how will people know the account belongs to you?
It seems really obvious, but on Instagram, your bio and image help create the foundation for your brand identity. The link in your bio is your one and only spot to drive Instagram traffic to your site as you can’t create clickable links in any of the image captions you share.
If you aren’t sure where to link, try pages that relate to specific keywords, hashtags, or campaigns on your account. Linking to your homepage is fine, but why not give users an experience when moving from your bio to your site? This has led to the popularity of IG link landing pages such as Linktree or Flowpage that host several relevant links related to your content.
As far as your username, when you create one directly related to your brand, you should make it as search-friendly as possible. If you have a long business name, try shortening it to something your audience would recognize. Avoid using numbers or special characters if possible, and try to make it consistent with any existing social media handles on other channels.
Keep a consistent content calendar
The worst thing you can do when trying to gain followers on Instagram is to post content at random, willy-nilly times. If you’re lucky enough to get users following you in the beginning, you don’t want to make them forget why they followed you in the first place.
To make sure that doesn’t happen, keep to a regular posting schedule. Typically, brands shouldn’t post more than a few times a day to avoid spam, but whatever you decide to do, just keep it consistent. There are roughly 200 million daily Instagram users, so try posting a few times throughout the day to see what time works best for your brand. SproutSocial has created a rather helpful chart to help pinpoint the top times of the day/week to post content across multiple industries.
Schedule Instagram posts in advance
While the Instagram algorithm has changed to show users more content they like, posting at the right times can still give your posts more visibility by increasing the overall engagement they receive. There are a number of scheduling tools you can use to do this too.
Showcase your Instagram everywhere
How do you expect people to know about your account unless you tell them about it? Make sure your Instagram account is listed on your website and other social networks. Creating visibility and awareness is one of the best ways to get discovered. If you truly want to get more Instagram followers, let people know where to find you. This could be as simple as adding a social media button on your website where you have your other sites listed.
However, make sure you’re not just asking for a follow, Instead try promoting unique content on your Instagram so users have a reason to follow you there.
Post content followers actually want
While this is easier said than done, it’s smart to learn what content your followers want to see. You’ll quickly find on Instagram that some content performs better than others, and this is why testing is so important.
Whether it’s filters, captions, content types or post times, the smallest detail can make all the difference. Keep your ear to the ground and eye to the screen to find new Instagram trends to jump on and create.
Instagram continues to grow in popularity with audiences across many demographics, so taking advantage of these tips will help optimize your Instagram game overall. If you’re ready to step it up and beat out your competition, give Rooted Web a call!
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