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This post was originally published on July 18, 2019, and was updated on Dec. 10, 2019.
So, your business is all set up on Instagram. You’re posting great content at a regular cadence and getting a fair amount of likes. But, you know you could be doing more to get more Instagram followers.
As a savvy Instagrammer, you know that more followers means more likes, and more likes means spreading more word-of-mouth about your business.
You also know that spreading the word about your business, especially on Instagram, is a great way to get new customers in your door. But first, you have to get more Instagram followers.
How to get more Instagram followers
Use these four strategies to boost your Instagram fan base:
- Make your Instagram bio awesome.
- Infuse your Instagram with personality.
- Use effective hashtags to attract new followers.
- Incorporate fan content into your Instagram Stories.
Let’s take a closer look at each Insta tactic, shall we?
1. Make your Instagram bio awesome
Find your voice and put together an Instagram bio that scores clicks to get more Instagram followers.
You want people who are likely to follow and engage with your business on Instagram to find you easily. This means that your Instagram bio should represent who you are and show off what you’re all about. It should also have the right link (since Instagram bios can only include one!)
Consider that your bio link is often your first introduction to a potential customer.
In this example, The Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans, LA says, “A Garden District gem — Established in 1927.” Right away, you know their location and that they’re a long-standing establishment in NOLA. Then, they point to their link.
The Pontchartrain says, “Book your stay with us!” ahead of the link.
Help them take the next step to book with you.
The Pontchartrain also included a hashtag in their bio — the popular and localized, “#FollowYourNOLA.”
If this makes sense for your business, think about using a widely-used hashtag (more on that below). Or, you can always add your own branded hashtag if you want to encourage your followers to use it in their posts.
Adding these elements to your bio will make it easy to get more Instagram followers (and more business) when users come across your page.
2. Infuse your Instagram with personality
Your business has a unique personality, and so does your Instagram.
Don’t be afraid to use your authentic voice, incorporate humor, and have fun with everything you’re posting to get more Instagram followers.
Instagram users appreciate authenticity. They want to engage with content that feels genuine and real. And, they’re astute at identifying content that’s either lazy or trying too hard.
So, go for the voice that feels like you! They’ll appreciate getting to know the real personality behind your business. Your genuine vibe will only help you get more Instagram followers.
How can you infuse personality into your content? Try using user-generated content, questions and team shout-outs.
Have you started using user-generated content, yet? Your customers are giving you great content to repost. Take advantage and share their posts on your feed to get more Instagram followers.
Here’s an example from East Austin Hotel in Austin, TX. They loved a photo posted by another user, so, they shared it on their account and gave him credit in their caption by saying “?: @ryann_ford.”
View this post on Instagram
Thirsty Thursday! Head upstairs to @theupsidebar for amazing cocktails in a gorgeous setting. ?: @ryann_ford .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #eastaustinhotel #theupsideatx #austin #atx #austintexas #austintx #eastaustin #austinlife #exploreaustin #trueaustin #igaustintexas #visitaustin #365thingaustin #austin360 #do512 #512 #atxlife #bar #cocktail #cocktails #drinks #mixology #bar #austinfoodstagram #drink #instagood #drinkup #thirsty #nightlife #craftcocktails
You can also use your Instagram captions as a good time to ask your audience questions to encourage engagement and get more Instagram followers.
It can be as simple as “How do you take your coffee?” like the Graduate Seattle Hotel in Seattle, WA asks in the example below.
Or, you can ask your audience for feedback like, “What’s your favorite dish on our menu?” and “If you could have the recipe to any of our dishes, what would it be?” paired with a photo of a fan favorite.
Showcase your team
It’s also never wrong to show off your team. It gives your employees a shout out, and it presents a familiar face to the people who love and follow your business.
Here’s an example from M3Yoga in Athens, GA wishing one of their instructors a “Happy Birthday.” You can see in their comments that their followers sent lots of birthday wishes as well:
If people searching for your business see varied content like this that incorporates content from their fans, interactive captions and posts and team appreciation, they’ll be attracted to your account. If they love what you’re doing, you’ll be sure to get more Instagram followers.
3. Use effective hashtags to attract new followers
Hashtags create great visibility for a post or campaign on Instagram and can help you reach your target audience to increase your following.
In addition to adding any brand hashtags you’ve created to your posts, (70% of hashtags on Instagram are branded), use relevant hashtags that you know your audience already follows. That way, anyone searching for a hashtag relevant to your business will come across your page and could become a new follower.
This Washington, D.C. restaurant, Rose’s Luxury, posted their newest selection of cocktails on Instagram with effective hashtags:
View this post on Instagram
Our seasonal cocktails are soooo delicious we’ve decided to make variations sans alcohol so that everyone can partake! Mezcal, Suze and orange bell pepper meet your little cousin orange bell pepper soda. Agricole rhum and sugar snap peas meet your niece sugar snap pea cordial. . . . . . #rosesluxurydc #megustathat #forthewin #michelinguide #michelinguidedc #michelinrestaurant #michelinstar #oadtop100 #foodtravel #bonappetit #eeeeeats #feedfeed #foodandwine #igdc #thrillist #thrillistdc #dclife #eater #eaterdc #dcdining #f52grams #washmagphoto #eatdrinkdc #washingtondc #capitolhill #easternmarket #barracksrow
The descriptive caption is followed by branded, industry and local hashtags. They also break it down to individualized neighborhood hashtags to make sure they reach their community members.
- Branded hashtags: #rosesluxurydc
- Industry hashtags: #michelinguide, #foodandwine
- Local hashtags: #thrillistdc #dclife #eaterdc #dcdining
- Neighborhood hashtags: #capitolhill, #easternmarket, #barracksrow
Users can discover content by searching hashtags on their own or tapping through related posts for a particular hashtag.
If they are searching for one of those hashtags above, they will likely come across the post from Rose’s Luxury. Seeing a great post like this might make them follow their account and like their posts. This is the kind of attention Rose’s Luxury is working for to get more Instagram followers through effective hashtags.
4. Incorporate fan content into your Instagram Stories
Take your followers along for the ride — repost from customer Stories to your Story to get more Instagram followers.
Fun fact: 70 percent of Instagram users watch Stories on a daily basis.
Keep an eye on your fans who are posting about your business in their Instagram Stories, then share that content on your own Story.
Here’s how you do it:
- If a user mentions you in his or her Story, the Story will appear in your DMs.
- In your DMs, click the “Add this to Your Story” prompt that appears there.
- In the Story creation screen, resize the Story and add stickers, text and more to the background.
- Share that user-generated content with your followers.
Remember, users are more likely to trust recommendations from strangers than from their friends and family.
86% of millennials say that user-generated content is an indicator that a brand or service is good quality.
Every time you share user-generated content into your Instagram Story, it’s like sharing a mini testimonial from people who love your business. And, like all of these ideas, it’s a great way to get more Instagram followers!
Image by: Brooke Cagle on Unsplash