If you didn’t already know, Instagram is a killer platform to build brand awareness. For new and experienced entrepreneurs, exposure is critical. Without an audience there are no consumers. And without consumers, your chances of success are nonexistent.
To do this, you need followers. In this article I will share with you some secrets to help you gain the followers you need to gain more exposure for you and your business by harness the power of Instagram.
Unlike other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram allows you to grow your fanbase incredibly fast without the need to purchase advertisements. Used properly, anyone can grow their fan base through this platform organically. So let’s get to it! Here are two secrets worth mentioning to help you grow their account, fast.
Utilize the hashtag culture
In order to be found on Instagram you need to embrace the hashtag culture. Using hashtags on every photo or video you post will allow your content to be placed in categories so that others can stumble across your account. The more hashtags you use, the more likely you are to be found through these hashtags.
Instagram currently allows you to post up to 30 hashtags per post, so make sure you max out on this limit to increase visibility and gain new followers. Read more on using hashtags here.
When it comes to selecting which hashtags to use, make sure you keep your targeted audience in mind.
Three steps to using hashtags:
- Create your list of 30 hashtags (tips on this right below)
- Save your list onto a notes app on your phone. That way your hashtags are always handy when you want to post
- When posting a photo or video on Instagram copy and paste your list of 30 hashtags either into the caption of your post or into the comments. Note: In order for your post to be associated with hashtags in your comments, you need to be the first one to comment. Don’t wait, post your content, and paste the hashtags immediately after
Here are a few tips for creating your list of hashtags:
- Know where your consumer is located
- Know what hashtags are popular in that location
- What would your consumer be interested in besides your product or service
- What would your customer be motivated by
- Don’t create your own hashtags, unless you’re already big on social media. The chances of someone using #MarksAmazingApplePies is slim to none
Remember the old Myspace PC4PC or picture comment for picture comment?
Well that concept still holds strong on Instagram. S4S or shoutout for shoutout is a great way to get your business in front of a new audience.
The benefit of this strategy is not only getting in front of new individuals but also getting third-party validation from an established account. In basic terms, you negotiate with another account to share an original post of theirs on your account in exchange for them doing the same in return.
Executing a S4S Strategy:
Find accounts in your niche. The easiest way to get started is to do a search based on your hashtag list that you created. Once you do a search, take note of the top posts within Instagram. Top posts usually have high engagement and a high amount of followers.
Slide into the DMs. Send over a dm to one of those top accounts and ask if they would be interested in doing a shoutout for shoutout.
Get a game plan with the other account. Once you find someone who is willing to do a S4S with you, make sure you are both on the same page as far as posting times and goals. Are you looking to get more likes on a certain post, drive traffic to your website, or gain followers?
Don’t forget hashtags. Use that magical list of hashtags that you created earlier to increase exposure. If your post does well, gains exposure and engagement, the odds of doing another S4S with that person will be more likely to happen.
Here are a few tips to take note of when executing a S4S:
- Don’t do a S4S back to back. Take a day or two off before doing it again
- Have multiple accounts that you do S4S with. Don’t use the same person over and over
- Only reach out to accounts that have just as much followers as you, or slightly more. If you have 100 followers, don’t waste your time trying to do a S4S with someone who has 10,000 followers.
- If you really do want to get featured on an account with a significant amount of followers, be ready to pay some money
- Make sure the post you get from the other account is in high resolution. You want to make sure the quality of the photo or video looks good to increase engagement
Implement these two strategies and let us know in the comments how they have worked for you. You can also refer to The Small Business Blog for more advice on how to get the most out of Instagram.