One of the most common questions as a branding consultant is - how do I get more followers for my brand’s social media (Instagram, more specifically)? And now, more than ever, since digital connections have superseded IRL ones
As a new brand or as a brand that’s just starting out on your social media journey, how do you achieve that 10k followers mark so you can unlock the ‘swipe up’ feature?
Treat your Instagram page as a person, as you. If you wanted to grow your network, what would you do? You’d be more social, linking up with friends, maybe joining some communities that are relevant to your interests, build your profile on social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), explore referrals from trusted sources, and so on.
Once you adopt this mindset for your social media, let’s think about how to get more exposure for your Instagram page; how it can be more ‘seen’, literally.
I’ve summarized them into 10 digestible pointers that are the foundation, the building blocks of your social media audience growth. These are the basics you need to do right before you level up to more fancy techniques and tactical strategies. Before you build the house, you need to set the foundation. Before you walk, you need to crawl. This is where we start -
1. Is your profile page setup?
And by this I mean 1) have you fully utilized all the features of the professional account to communicate your brand offerings and made it easy for customers to get in touch? 2) is your grid active and eye-catching?
I ask because once someone clicks on your profile, there’s got to be something to interest them and prompt them to click ‘follow’.
2. Treat ‘Highlights’ as your website pages
If you don’t have a website especially, Instagram is your 24/7/365 business card. Even while you sleep, it’s helping fortify your brand. And you can treat the ‘Highlights’ as each page of your ‘website’ - About Us, Menu, Reviews, How to Order, etc.
Keep your Highlights topics relevant and content updated.
This also drives back to the same intention of point #1 - when a viewer clicks on your page, they will look at your bio, Highlights and your grid. These three factors are your ‘first impression’.
3. Is your grid curated aesthetically?
A 2021 study by Sprout Social shows that over 68% of users prefer image-based content and 50% users like video content (text-based posts accounted for just 30%), which means it’s all about how your page looks.
Is there an energy that it emits? Is there a clear vibe that you’re putting out there? The answer should be a resounding ‘yes’.
4. Get hashtagging
Make it catchy, make it snappy. Include it in the caption of every post, make sure it’s in your bio, have it show up on your IG stories, even on your packaging, storefront, receipts and other touchpoints. Own it as a unique part of your brand identity.
The reason for this is because followers can browse your hashtag as well to get a feel for your brand and your vibe - if it’s something that resonates with them and prompts them to click ‘follow’.
Research the top #s in your industry and use those as well. Save them in your notes so it’s easy to copy/paste them into the comments thread (not into the caption directly - keep your caption neat and clean, only have your brand #s show up there).
Also a tip to not use certain #s like #followforfollow #follow #followme, etc.
5.. Encourage others to tag you and use your #s
Run contests, giveaways and engage in Instagram collaborations with other brands. The entry mechanics should have people follow your page and tag you and/or repost your content to gain more visibility to their audiences.
6. Have your IG page and hashtag show up on other digital communications platforms (your email sign-off, Facebook, your menu, your email newsletter, etc.) as well as physically on-site as well if you have a brick and mortar space.
7. Repost UGC
User generated content (UGC) is the best hype tool there is - make the most of it when a fan of your brand (i.e. customer) tags you. Reciprocate the love by reposting their post and ensure to credit them.
8. Post on IG stories
More and more users are spending more time watching IG stories rather than scrolling down their feed. Take advantage of this by posting stories regularly and at specific times - this helps to condition your audience to know when to expect to hear from you, intrinsically they’ll need their ‘fix’ of you daily.
Also use community GIF stickers (like the ‘stay home’ one) as it makes your IG stories circle light up in a different color, catching the eye and increasing the likelihood of views.
9. Post regularly
Make sure your feed is constantly updated. If a new potential follower lands on your page, clicks on your latest post and it’s from a few weeks ago - then the probability of them following you will dissipate. “What’s the point? There’s nothing new here anyway.”
10. Create shareable content
Are you posting reels, videos and/or guides? The latter has been particularly useful and relevant lately with the #benderaputih cause. These types of content will have a higher chance of appearing on the Explore page, attracting fresh eyes to click on your post, and, ultimately, on your profile.
And here’s a quick snapshot as to why people click ‘unfollow’ as food for thought-
I hope this helps you navigate your way to hitting that 10k mark organically without spending much (content creation will be the bulk of any expenses here).
Feel free to comment below if you have any questions, hit up @riuhinthecity or DM me directly.
Also a quick plug for riuh’s upcoming online workshop, “SEO for Beginners” with Aisha Preece - due to overwhelming response for the first session (sold out!), there will be a second workshop on 1st August. Click here to find out more.
Stay safe! Be kind, be brave, be well.