You never know what to do on Instagram. You Google the who’s, what’s, when’s, where’s, how’s, and why’s, and thousands of results show up. You don’t know what to click, and when you do, you don’t know who to listen to. There are contradicting “rules” about when to upload pictures, how much you should be posting, and more.
We understand that with the overload of information there is out there, it can be a little confusing. That’s why we’ve written this article with some of the best practices to gain more followers for brands on Instagram.
By the end of this, you will know what to do now to get you started on your road to success on Instagram. Follow these, do them consistently, and see what comes out of it.
Best practices for brands to gain more followers on Instagram
1. Upload every day
While the when’s and how many’s are topics debated constantly and never agreed upon, everyone will tell you to post every single day. While the data of when to post is backed up by evidence, by most bloggers, the reason that it differentiates is because they’re analyzing their own data. Unless you share their same niche and followers, you might find that their data isn’t working for you.
The variable that remains constant here is uploading every single day. In my opinion (and in the opinion of a few others), it’s best to experiment with the when to post and how often to post. However, upload every single day. When people notice that you’re a constant presence on Instagram, they’re more likely to follow you than if you only posted once a week.
2. Know your followers
You may be on Instagram to promote your brand, business, or blog, but in the end, you’re there to provide value. Understanding who your followers are is KEY. You need to know what they like, how they like it, when they like it, and why.
You have to pinpoint your ideal client, and give them the content they want to see. Understanding who your followers are has two parts: Knowing who cares about you and who doesn’t. You can promote ads for a week straight to the same person, but if they’re apathetic toward what you do, you’re not going to break the barrier between you two. The person you’re targeting needs to care about what you’re offering them. They must have a problem they need to desperately solve.
How to get to know your followers:
- Ask questions on Instagram Stories (use the Questions, Poll, and/or Slider stickers)
- Link them to a survey (Use the ‘Swipe Up’ option on Instagram stories or share the link in your bio)
- Look at who they’re following, what they’re commenting on, and what they’re liking (Access this information by going to the ‘heart’ at the bottom, then click the ‘Following’ tab in that page
- DM followers directly, and ask them what they would like to see
- Study your analytics (access with Business Profile) and study what gets the most engagement
Give your followers what they want, and more will come your way.
3. Engage with your followers
You’d be surprised how many people work hard and spend money to gain more followers, but when said followers engage, they’re ignored. Gaining followers is one thing, but keeping them is another. You must engage with your Instagram followers.
Interacting with your followers means:
- replying/liking their comments
- answering their DM’s
- answering their questions on your Instagram lives
liking and commenting on their posts (if you follow them back)
- giving them a chance to interact
If you don’t engage with your followers, you’re putting out the idea that you don’t care about them.
For example, you uploaded a picture yesterday, and today it has five comments. Responding to five comments should only take a few minutes, but you haven’t done it. One of those people will later click the comments and notice that you haven’t replied to any of them. They’ll start assuming that you don’t care about them. Why should they give you the time of day?
You won’t respond to a single comment of theirs, even though you only have a few, so they unfollow you.
4. Be creative
There are millions of active Instagram accounts. There are millions trying to get more readers for their blog, sell their products, and promote their businesses. You’re just another one of those people. You won’t gain a hundred followers on the first day because you simply think you’re different and original.
You have to put in the work, and work to stand out. People are uploading countless pictures every day, so why would someone stop to look, like, and engage with yours? What is going to make you stand out?
Being creative and original doesn’t mean that you have to invent a type of picture that no one else on Instagram has uploaded before. It means that you create a story with your picture. A story unique to you and your brand.
Rather than posting a picture of your product—say a stuffed animal—what if you took a picture of your daughter taking a nap and cuddling with the stuffed animal?
Don’t just sell the stuffed animal, sell the experience. Most people don’t care about the stuffed animal itself, they care about seeing their kid feeling safe with it at night. They don’t want the product, they want the feeling. If you can get user-generated content, that’s even better because they’re like a testimonial, and testimonials work.
Be creative. Tell stories.
5. Use trends to your advantage
Look for any wacky holidays, trends, or big events in your niche that you can revolve your Instagram content around. For example, if you host a podcast, September 30th is International Podcast day. That’s the perfect time for you to upload something relating to your podcast, and mention the holiday.
Create meme’s out of your posts just like entrepreneur Lewis Howes does. Keep an eye out for what’s popular, and use it to your advantage. You want to stay relevant, and have people remember you because you’re fun.