The following is a guest post by David Oragui. David is a product marketing manager at SkedSocial – one tool to plan and automatically post your spicy visuals on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
If you work in social marketing, then I am sure you already know who valuable your Instagram account can be. However, after initially setting it up, you might find that your follower numbers are stagnating. But, with these five Instagram growth hacks, you can get it moving again with a constant stream of new followers!
Networking And The Value Of Shoutouts
Let’s be honest, you probably already know the value of networking. However, almost every technique for generating more followers on Instagram relies on you having a network of people willing to tag you in posts, give you shoutouts and generally help you out. So, this is a sensible place to start this list.
The trick to effective Instagram networking is being generous. If people reach out to you for shares and shoutouts, give it to them! They may not have many followers yet, but this kind of ‘pay it forward’ mentality is win-win. Not only will others be happy to give you a shoutout in return, but you will also get a good reputation amongst influencers in your sphere. This will open doors in the long run and will make convincing other people to share your content easier. After all, we’re all in this together right, so help a fellow social marketer out!
The takeaway message here is: Do not underestimate the power of share for share and regramming. Although they are simple and can be frustrating, they are the foundation on which grander growth hacks are based.
Use Everything At Your Disposal
There was a time when just having pretty pictures was enough. Not any more. Instagram has evolved, with the inclusion of stories and Instagram Live, so you need to evolve too. Make use of stories to keep your audience in the loop.
Live can also be a great way to attract new followers, as live videos that are popular are shared right there on Insta’s Explore tab. A powerful tool here can be doing a live video with another person in your space, as this gives you a way to reach out to a bunch of new people with content they’ll be interested in. This sort of cross-promotional approach is incredibly powerful because a successful shared live broadcast gives you exposure to a huge number of potential followers. Make sure you get it right with this guide to Instagram live, and watch your follower numbers skyrocket.
Influencer Account Swaps
If you know anything at all about social marketing, then you’ll already know the value of influencers and influencer marketing. This is a technique that draws on that in a fun way and opens you up to whole new potential audiences. It’s a simple idea, basically, you swap control of your account with an influencer in your niche – so you hand the reins of your profile over to them, and they hand over their profile to you. Obviously, you don’t give up control for good, just for a day or two.
This is a great way to get your message out to an entirely new follower base, a follower base that is likely to be interested in your content. So, not only is it great exposure, but you can also expect a high follow rate because your content is going to be relevant. Also, by handing over the control to someone else, you inject some much-needed variety into your own content, which your follower base will certainly thank you for.
A great tactic here is to do a ‘day in the life’ style post, were both you and the influencer tell each other’s audience a little about yourselves through a first-hand view of a typical day. Alternatively, if you have longer than a day, maybe setting up for a Q&A style Instagram live stream is a great way to make a connection with a new audience. If you’re going down this road, make sure you give plenty of advanced warning so people know the Q&A is coming.
This method will be most successful if you and the influencer you’re looking to swap with have a similar number of followers, or you have more. As such, this might not be the best technique if you have a low number of followers unless you can offer the influencer something else besides exposure – maybe some freebies or even cold hard cash!
If you’re starting out, chasing big game is not necessarily the way to go. While it might seem counter-intuitive, you are much better off steering clear of the most popular hashtags if you don’t have the follower numbers.
Much like Google searches, people rarely dive too deeply into search results from a particular hashtag, choosing instead to look at the most popular content. This means that as a smaller account, you’ll be swamped out if you go for the big hashtags.
However, there’s a whole world of more niche hashtags that you’ll be able to get top ranking for. Now, of course, these are going to have a much smaller audience, however, people searching for more niche hashtags are also more likely to be interested in the content.
So, they’re more likely to enjoy your content and follow you compared with those people you’ll find through generic hashtags.
The Thunderclap Technique
The dramatically named thunderclap strategy is designed to maximize impact. Essentially, it is a coordinated shoutout across multiple accounts and platforms.
If you have a particularly great piece of content, or perhaps are launching something new o have a big announcement to make, you can set up to announce it thunderclap style. This means reaching out to as many influencers and friends as possible (did I mention how important networking is?!) and getting them to run the same announcement as you. Then, you coordinate so that all these shoutouts happen at the same time, across all these accounts. This should give you a huge reach for whatever it is you are launching or announcing, and across a diverse follower base. Even if you only pick up a fraction of these as new followers, this should still lead to a significant jump in numbers for you.
This technique is even more effective if you announce a giveaway or competition because this will increase audience engagement. And if your competition involves tagging a friend, or reposting, you can be looking at a pretty massive snowball effect…
So that’s it – five little-known growth hacks for Instagram. While each of these hacks is incredibly powerful on their own, for really dramatic results consider using these tactics in tandem. What you will find is followers get you new followers, so as your follower numbers increase, these tricks become more and more effective! Good luck and happy ‘gramming!