Do you want to raise your Instagram followers? Want to increase user engagement and drive a large number of Instagram Followers to your profile? Instagram quickly outgrew its first impression as a fun app for kids to become a serious tool for content marketing, sales, networking, and audience building for individuals and brands. It is one of the most popular social networks on the planet, with over 200 million active members sharing 60 million images and 1.6 billion likes a day every month.
How cool is that? Brand engagement rates on most social media are under 0.1%, but Instagram amazes them all. Instagram’s average engagement rates for brands in the 2014 Forrester study were epic 58 times higher than Facebook’s.
You can’t argue with numbers like that. But this is just an average. And since I advocate all kinds of online marketing, you don’t want to be average! This is not a dream or a goal.
Sure, 58 times more engagement than Facebook is great, but you can do a lot better than that on Instagram. Whether you’re a big brand or maybe just wondering how to get famous on Instagram, I don’t want you to aim for the average; I want you to reach out to the stars and become an Instagram unicorn. The digital unicorn is a magical rare creature that surpasses everyone else by orders of magnitude.
And you’re going to achieve that by applying these eleven great Instagram hacks to your social strategy. Check out these engaging ideas for captions, hashtags, profiles,s and more on Instagram and see what to post on Instagram to get more Instagram Followers, as well as increase visibility and engagement.
1. Create A Branded Hashtag For Instagram Followers.
A dedicated, personalized, or branded hashtag allows you, in essence, to create a collection of your best content. When a potential follower finds you using a different target tag, they are more likely to follow you after viewing your popular posts.
You might also consider creating a branded tag for each of your Instagram marketing campaigns. In some cases, this is a better option because it often sounds less promotional than using something more specific to your business, like your company name. In turn, followers often use campaign hashtags, which then grabs the attention of their connections. If they have common interests, they can follow you too.
2. Cross-promote Your Special Hashtag For Instagram Followers.
It’s nice that you’ve created the #joesgarage hashtag for your company, but who knows how to use it to share content about you? Make sure it’s on your profile, but take the game offline and print it on receipts, print ads, signs in your store, and at related events.
If you are performing on radio and television, encourage people to use your hashtag. Integrate online and offline campaigns by making sure they are listed on your other social profiles, on your website, and in your email campaigns. Don’t expect people to find it.
3. Use Industry Hashtags For Instagram Followers.
You need subscribers who are interested in your offer. Using non-industry-specific terms in the first place will result in very few subscribers. In this case, you should use hashtags in your posts that your target audience will specifically view.
The more specific you are, the more interested the people you attract will be, and the higher the chances that they will become subscribers. Plus, using more accurate tags will reduce the number of competitors competing for followers of the same people you are targeting. As a result, your accounts will be easier to find and, therefore, easier to track.
4. Don’t Be Boring.
When it comes to ideas for signatures on Instagram, you need to go beyond monosyllabic, obvious hashtags. Sure, you want to use them too, but mix them up and use hashtags to tell part of your story. Be funny, ironic or outrageous – just don’t get bored. WeWork’s collaborative workspace is great at this, and they include a fun mix of Instagram content, too.
5. Use Hashtags Related To Events.
Event-related hashtags include events happening in your industry such as annual conventions, seminars, and training sessions.
It can also be well-known events in your region, country, or world that the masses are currently thinking about. They are often best suited for your more lighthearted, day-to-day posts. For example, have you photographed your team watching the World Cup during lunch? Submit … and don’t forget to add #worldcup! While it may not earn you a lot of followers, as it is such a generic and popular term, it can raise awareness about your business, which will support your follower acquisition efforts.
6. Engage In Popular Conversations.
For each post, use a mix of relevant hashtags, such as #woodworking for a carpentry company, and trending, super-popular hashtags wherever possible.
Truly specific hashtags are like long-tail keywords in that they show more intent and help you find the right people, but universally popular hashtags are good for introducing your business to more people in general. These include:
- #tbt or #throwbackthursday (or any of these 100+ hashtags for every day of the week )
- #wbw or #waybackwednesday
- #photooftheday or #picoftheday or #bestoftheday
- #summer (or any of the seasons )
or even the good old #fun will show you more people in general.
Just remember that popular hashtags shouldn’t be the main part of your strategy. They attract a wider audience, but they do have their rightful place in your success in marketing in social networks, as they can increase your presence and attract attention, perhaps you will attract new subscribers. When it comes to specific and general hashtags, you need both in order to grow on a network as big and noisy as Instagram.
7. Make The Most Of Your Bio URL.
This is the best real estate on your Instagram profile … do you really want your bio to only link to your website homepage, now and forever? To yawn. Change it at least every two weeks and use this clickable link in your bio to drive traffic to the newest or most popular content.
8. Make Captions Descriptive.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but you cannot completely miss the words. National Geographic makes great use of storytelling alongside their Instagram photos to grab attention and share. While traditional media brands are falling like flies, NatGeo is thriving in the digital world and becoming one of the top brands on Instagram with over 50 million followers.
Like the other Instagram hacks I’ve included here, this is something you’ll want to implement in your strategy over time, so don’t worry if it seems odd at first. Your copy will get better if you find the voice of your brand on Instagram.
9. Focus On Influencer Marketing.
Visit the profiles of each person you identify as an influencer in your space ( aka the person who influences the people you want to chat in front of ) and “Turn on post notifications” to get notified every time they share new content. Then you can interact with them regularly and become one of their favorite people or brands.
10. Remove Unwanted Tagged Photos From Your Profile.
If you want to post only the best user-generated content about you or your brand on your Instagram profile, you can do so. Now you cannot completely remove tagged photos from the site by selecting “Change Tags”, selecting the ones you want to remove, and choosing “Hide from Profile” (you may need to confirm). It does the trick.
11. Approve Photo Tags Before Content Appears On Your Profile.
Speaking of giving you more control over which tagged photos appear on your profile, you can change your Instagram settings so that tagged photos won’t show up unless you first approve them. You will find this under Options, Photo With Me, and Add Manually.
I’m trying to come up with a reason why no company would want to do this … No. I have nothing. You should make sure to tweak this to avoid potentially embarrassing situations.
12. Design Your Own Instagram Style.
It’s human nature to want to fit in, but on Instagram, you want to stand out. Indian beverage brand Frooti has developed a unique style of visual content that is instantly recognizable every time a user sees a Frooti post on their news feed. Check it out:
13. Get local Instagram Followers.
Find out what’s happening in a specific area (for example, in your area, the city you’re targeting in your ad, or even an event in a specific location) by going to the search page and selecting the Locations tab. Then enter a place name to see all geotagged posts for that place.
14. Remember Your Calls To Action!
Instagram, like other social media, is a conversation, not a broadcasting platform. What action do you want people to take on your post? If you don’t know this, start over and figure it out. Staples are great for grabbing attention by letting people know exactly what they expect them to do with their posts (bonus points if that sounds fun). Often this call to action cleverly encourages people to share or redistribute Staples content virally.
15. Avoid Using These Hashtags At All Costs.
Your goal is to attract interested subscribers who can become customers. There are a few commonly used hashtags that can get you a lot of followers … but not what you want or want. It is vital that you know who they are so that you can avoid them and grow followers that are really worth having. Here are some of them, which we will call the hashtags of despair:
# follow4follow (# f4f)
You should never use them (or their equally awful likes, reposts, and comments). Yes, you can get multiple followers this way, but in terms of quality, you will be scratching the bottom of the barrel. And this is really unnecessary! As we discussed, there are many other more effective hashtags for attracting followers on social media.