Building an audience on social media platforms such as Instagram takes strategic effort. Unless you are a celebrity or you have a post that happens to go viral, there are no magic, overnight tricks to follow. But, with 1 billion users on the platform, there is a high chance that your brand will grow with an organized and detailed social media plan and growth hacking strategies, a social media content calendar, and consistent engagement, along with unique images and content.
According to eMarketer, a leader in providing objective data, analysis, trends and forecasts in digital marketing, Instagram will bring in more than $6 billion in global mobile ad revenue in 2018.
Growth hack marketing starts with determining your audience. Once you’ve established who your target audience is, you can effectively develop relevant images and content that will attract your audience. Similar to Pinterest, many members of Instagram often get their inspiration from posts that they can relate to. For example, if an Instagram user has a passion for autos, he or she will search for the best accounts that offer amazing images and useful tips on new cars or car care. The next big step in establishing a presence on Instagram is to define and create a unique Instagram brand by developing a distinct persona with an overall theme. Images are, in fact, the key ingredient for a successful Instagram account, but building a content calendar for future posts will allow your account to appear alive and well maintained.
The growth hacking tips below will help not only to increase your followers, but encourage more user engagement. Sharing other posts that are related to your theme is a great way to build your account (and be sure to give credit); however, it is crucial to create original content for your audience. Originality will help build your brand and increase your chances of being discovered on Instagram’s explore page.
Public vs. Private
It seems obvious that you would create a public account on Instagram to grow your brand. But some growth hackers are changing the game. Reid Hailey, founder of Doing Things, a media company that manages a network of Instagram pages totaling 14 million followers, told The Atlantic magazine that about 75 percent of these managed accounts are set to private. Hailey says if you’re public, Instagram users don’t feel the need to follow you because they can always view your page at their leisure. He continued to say that this growth marketing ultimately did not become mainstream until the algorithm came in at full speed more than six months ago.
Jack Wagner, a Los Angeles-based director who manages several meme accounts also told the magazine that people go private because they get more followers when a follower sends a post to their friends and therefore that person has to follow the account to see the post. Wagner said it’s a weird growth hacking technique that users began noticing and now a large number of users have jumped on this new trend.
Attract a Smaller Niche
Here’s another growth hacking technique that may seem far-fetched, especially for newcomers – attract smaller audiences. Growth hackers often discover that these groups tend to be more close-knit and more passionate about their interests, according to Prague Post. These smaller audiences are also often more eager to receive content, especially since they are often overlooked by those who supply larger audiences.
One of the most effective ways that you can build a strong following on Instagram is by engaging on the network. This means following accounts that post in the same genre as well as commenting on and liking posts that you find interesting. “Go on a photo-liking and commenting spree,” Neil Patel, an online marketing expert, suggests. “This is an excellent way to get on the radar of potential fans. Type in a hashtag related to your business in the search bar. Find a few promising accounts, like their content, and leave thoughtful comments. Make sure you like and comment on multiple photos. Three is a good number. You can gain followers this way without necessarily having to do the tacky ‘follow-for-follow’ routine.”
Don’t Overuse Hashtags
Since the beginning of the social media craze, hashtags have always been one of the most effective ways to grow brands. But using hashtags that are not related to your content, will not help you attract followers who are actually interested in your brand. Relevancy is key. Remember, hashtags are directly related to Instagram’s search function – this makes it easier for users to find you, resulting in higher user engagement and follow rates.
Your overall strategy for growing your brand has to be methodical and relevant. It is about discovering techniques within techniques to help build your brand.