Summer was a little hotter this year when Twitter unleashed the purge. It was a shameful one, as politicians, actors and influencers got stripped down to their actual small number of followers. Facebook had had a similar crackdown earlier in the year. So, for anyone looking to grow their social media numbers- you need to gain REAL followers, or it will be all for nothing.
Instagram has grown from a small photo-sharing app to a gem for both businesses and people looking to upgrade their social status. Sophisticated algorithms that have improved the app have also made it a pain in the back to gain new followers. People are getting fewer likes and fewer followers with every wake.
To gain real Instagram followers (without spending a dime), you will have to upgrade your game. Below are eight strategies that you can implement on your Instagram page to open the floodgates of new followers and likes.
1. Put up an Impressive Profile
Think of your profile as a chic exterior design of a home, or an impressive book cover that draws people to take a peek inside. To attract users to hit the follow button your profile must be complete and compelling.
Your profile must contain a full bio or business description – write this excitingly. Minimize on the emojis and provide reliable information. Otherwise, potential followers will scroll past you. What sells more in an Instagram bio is your profile picture. Upload a beautiful high definition picture. Closeup shots are preferable to correctly show your face so people can see how you look.
2. Clean Up Your Feed
Beyond your profile, your Instagram feed should be aesthetic. After looking at your bio, potential followers will move on to your feed. Do some purging here -remove those pictures that look like the back end of a bus. These might be photos you took with an unclear phone camera- they do you no justice. Poor picture quality is a turn off on Instagram.
New content sells like hot nuts in winter. If it were a website, you would be working daily to put up new material – new pictures and new videos or new articles. Instagram is no different. The digital world is a sucker for new content. People want to follow pages whose feeds are not dormant.
3. Use Instagram Stories
You can use Instagram Stories to introduce your business or personal brand to followers and potential followers. It is like a trailer that gives people a sneak peek into the movie of your life or business. If you get it right with Instagram Stories, it will be easy to woo new followers with good content.
Instagram Stories usually appear on your followers’ profiles and on the explore page. New people that don’t follow you can see your stories and click on your profile. To better use, this follower-grabber tool, make sure to use hashtags (use hashtag stickers) and add locations on your story.
4. Use Hashtags Appropriately
Hashtags are small hinges that will swing large open doors of followers. Whenever you post a photo on Instagram ensure you tag it appropriately and generously. But please note, liberally doesn’t mean excessively. Just two or three hashtags are enough, or else your content will be interpreted as spam by Instagram algorithms.
Keep the hashtags relevant. Avoid tagging your post with general hashtags such as # happy # nice and other one-word descriptions. Do yourself a favor and research the trending hashtags in your niche to borrow a leaf from them.
Geotagging is also necessary. The second hashtag should speak about your location. For instance #FashionWeek #London. Proper tags will help to spur interest in the right community and the right niche of followers. You don’t just want more followers; you want followers who can interact with you or buy what you are selling.
5. Take Things off Page
Don’t keep telling on a beaten track- forge your one ways with off page optimization. It calls for some basic PR skills, but the effort will be worth it. Whenever you get a chance to do a TV or Radio interview, make sure you share your Instagram names during the media interviews so new people can follow you.
Another strategy here is to convert your email contacts to Instagram followers. How? Include links to your Instagram pages into your email footer.
6. Write a Story to Your Photos
You need to accompany your picture posts with detailed descriptions. Hashtags are just a part of it- you need real captions. By telling people how the picture was taken, when, where, why helps to excite them and increase engagement levels. With great stories, people will like and share your posts with their friends who will do the same in a continuous chain that will garner you more followers.
To get captioning right, you will have to sharpen your writing skills. Ensure your captions answer all questions that users might want to ask after seeing your post.
7. Ask People to Follow You
apply that wisdom on Instagram in what is called a call to action. After putting up a nice profile, the right bio, and an excellent post with the proper captions and tags, what do you want people to do? Tell them.
Tour calls to action should not come out as demanding, commanding or begging- make it sound fun. Ensure that the post is relevant and thought-provoking first before rushing to ask people to follow you for more.
8. Scratch Their Backs
Social media such as Instagram are not for people to be uptight and focused on numbers. These sites are meant for socialization and fun. Be genuinely interested in what is happening in your friends and followers’ lives. Like their posts and leave nice comments. Your comments have to be thoughtful and not generic. Ask questions, make suggestions and recommendations.