Instagram is undoubtedly one of the best social media platforms around today, especially for digital marketing, with over 700 million users. To maximize the effectiveness of Instagram, you need to have followers, a group of people who follow your account, but you don’t want just any followers.
Types of Instagram Followers
There are several different types of followers when it comes to Instagram followers, and you want to ensure that you have the right kind of followers. The right kind of follower will potentially lead to more clients or customers, but the wrong type could get you banned from the platform.
Many people are very aware of the Instagram Bots; they often account for a large number of followers for some accounts, and are automated responders.
Having Bots as your followers might not do much for your business from a marketing perspective. They are not real followers, and while they may be programmed to engage on some level, which Instagram’s algorithm likes, they aren’t leads, customers, or clients.
Besides, creating a large number of bots, or using a service that does, can get your account banned from Instagram, and that would just set you further back than before you started.
Ghost followers are accounts that have been set up by real people, but are now inactive, or at the very least, they don’t engage with your account. They are considered real followers and won’t hurt your account.
Just because they won’t hurt your account, doesn’t mean they will help either. Celebrities and famous brands have gone out and paid to have followers. Still, if those followers don’t engage with them, all it does is add to the follower numbers, but not increase engagement, ranking, or sales.
Organic followers are the ones you want to target and have more of if you are in marketing, or trying to sell something. Organic followers are real people who have chosen to follow you and interact with you regularly.
Not only do these followers impress Instagram’s algorithm, but they are actively interested in what you are posting and therefore, could become potential leads, customers, and clients.
If you do a Google search for Instagram followers automation tools, you’ll get back lots of different results, all claiming to have the ability to get you a certain number of Instagram followers quickly.
Sure, these tools may get your numbers bumped up quickly, but often they are just like Bots when it comes to Instagram’s thinking. There are a couple of problems that arise due to automation tools.
The first one is that there are only a certain number of engagements you can do per hour, and this number w quickly, every hour.
The second is that this engagement, which is supposed to be coming from you, shows up as coming from a country that is most often not the country of your regular activity, leading Instagram to know that something is up. Which again, could lead to penalties against your account.
Hack to Gain Instagram Followers
There is a multitude of ways to gain followers; however, gaining organic followers can take a long time. Most people nowadays want instant gratification, and as a marketer or business owner, we can see the importance in that.
The best way to grow organic followers, who will engage regularly is to check out your competitor’s Instagram account. See who follows them, and better yet, who engages with them, especially repeatedly. Set up an alert to be notified each time they post, and see who the top commenters are.
Put yourself in a position to come to the attention of the top engagers of your competitors, who you already know are interested in what you are selling, and chances are they will follow you and start to engage with you. While this method may take some work, it is proven to be profitable.
Many business owners don’t have time to spend hours on Instagram, checking out the competition, and engaging with their followers. Hence, they hire digital marketing agencies, or, more specifically, social media marketing agencies to help them out.
Other Ways to Gain Organic Followers
Spying on your competitors isn’t the only way you can find organic followers; it might be the fastest way to gain them. There are several other methods you can employ, and it recommended that you utilize more than one to obtain the most exposure and benefit from Instagram.
Another good marketing strategy to potentially get you more Instagram followers quickly is through Influencers. Influencers are people who have a lot of followers and influence in a particular niche or are considered experts in that area. Hiring an Influencer marketing agency is a good idea for this strategy as they will have already developed relationships with Influencer and know the proper way to go about setting up a partnership.
Hashtags and Other Tags
Hashtags can be used in a variety of ways, and don’t only have online uses; they can be quite useful offline as well. Instead of, or in addition to, a slogan or byline, create an original hashtag for your company.
This hashtag can be used in your advertising, on receipts, in newsletters, email signatures, on billboards, and of course, as part of your social media accounts. Add it to your account bio, your post descriptions, on your photos, and as part of your stories.
In addition to your personalized hashtag, use relevant ones to your content, or if you’re a local business, add a geotag and a hashtag to grab the attention of people who live nearby.
Tag other brands, or people, if relevant to your content, gaining their attention and those who follow tags with them mentioned.
Your Instagram schedule can help you gain followers and come to the attention of more people. Knowing when your target audience is generally on Instagram, and creating your posting schedule around that will help, as will consistency.
Instagram no longer organizes posts by date and time, with the most recent at the top, but the algorithm still favors recent posts. By posting consistently, when your audience is on the platform, you increase your chances of getting in front of these people, gaining followers, and increasing engagement.
Having consistency, and posting when your audience is online, doesn’t mean you need to be on Instagram at the same time every day, you can always prepare several posts at once, and then schedule them to go live at a specific date and time.
Join Other Communities
You don’t just have to stick to Instagram to increase your Instagram followers. Join online communities in your niche, such as Facebook Groups, or Reddit subreddits. By engaging in these communities, and including your Instagram in your bio, you can strike up relationships with others, who are bound to check you out, off the platform.
While some Facebook Groups have rules about self-promotion and such, there are many areas in Reddit where you can self-promote or add a link to a piece of content relevant to the topic promoting yourself.
Advertising and Contests
While these aren’t free strategies, they are still good to look into if you are able. Hiring an Instagram advertising agency to run ads for your business, or hosting a contest with a prize that would attract your audience, is a great way to garner interest in your account.
Instagram isn’t just for the younger generations, with over 700 million users, the platform has grown into something much bigger than just posting your lunch for your friends to see. People of all ages, as well as companies, are extremely active on the platform.
Having a consistently active account with high engagement will put you in favor of the Instagram algorithm, which will lead you to get in front of more people, gaining you more followers, which could lead to more customers and clients. In addition, the more engagement you have with your followers, the more chances they are to share your content, or mention you to others, possibly gaining you even more followers.
While it is a secure method, it will take some work to get to that point, but it’s the safest route without getting you potentially kicked off the platform for utilizing Bots and trying to skirt the algorithm.
Following your competitors, and seeing what they’re posting, who’s following and engaging with them, will help you get an idea of who your target audience is, or should be. You can still get some great content that will attract followers to you and your brand without copying them.
Knowing that they are already interested in that niche will help with this process, as opposed to just blindly going out and trying to gain organic followers without this information.