If you’re running an eCommerce business, you need to have a strong presence on Instagram. It’s the norm. However, this means you constantly need to gain traction among your target audience and attract more followers on Instagram.
Instagram marketing is not only the most lucrative lead generation mechanism but also a promising conversions tool.
It is believed that approximately 80% of Instagram’s 1 billion active monthly users follow a business account on the visual content sharing platform.
As Instagram evolves into a more immersive platform with interactive features such as Instagram Stories, IGTV, and direct ‘buy’ options, your eCommerce business can hugely benefit from building a follow-worthy Instagram profile.
For a small eCommerce business or one that is just starting out, increasing followers on Instagram and building a loyal base of followers and advocates will take time and effort.
Having said that, there are a few things that you can do right away to build a credible list of followers on Instagram.
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7 Ways To Get More Followers On Instagram
1. Optimize Your Profile
Start by customizing your Instagram profile. Make it look professional and appealing by including a profile picture that should ideally be your brand logo.
Secondly, include a short description that tells your potential followers who you are and what you specialize in. The idea here is to give them a reason to follow you.
@WeWork: “Make a life, not just a living.”
@Oreo: “See the world through our OREO Wonderfilled lens.”
@Staples: “We make it easy to #MakeMoreHappen”
Your username should be your brand name – one that is easy to understand, easy to type, easy to search for. Ideally, your brand name should be the same as your eCommerce website’s domain name.
You can also consider crafting nifty Instagram hashtags to describe your brand. And while you’re at it, include a link to your eCommerce website in your bio.
This way, people searching for your business will easily find you, and this will increase your followers on Instagram.
2. Apply for a Verification Badge
You must’ve come across Instagram profiles of leading brands and celebrities with a blue dot next to it. This blue dot is called a badge, and it appears on accounts that are verified.
This badge works as a strong trust-building mechanism. When people come to a profile with this badge next to its username, it assures them that the business account or brand is not fake or bogus.
While Instagram has a list of eligibility requirements for the badge, the platform does allow eCommerce businesses to apply for one. You can learn more about that process in Instagram’s help center.
Remember, sporting a verified badge is a great way to increase followers on Instagram.
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3. Publish High-Quality Posts
Instagram is a purely visual platform. Which is why post quality matters a lot. A bad photo or an unclear video will hamper your brand image significantly.
While you may not necessarily need a professional photographer or a high-end camera, here’s what you should keep in mind for your product photography:
- Focus on one product or subject at a time
- Find interesting and unique perspectives
- Aim for symmetry
- Capture the little detail.
- Entertain your followers
Make sure your photographs are edited properly before you post them. Although Instagram suggests a 1080px x 1080px resolution, you should upload the image at the max resolution allowed, 2048px x 2048px.
Set a regular posting schedule to ensure that you are constantly publishing images and maintaining a steady momentum.
Create content templates and plan your posts regularly. Also, include witty and smart captions to entertain people who stumble upon your posts.
4. Use The Right Hashtags
Although Twitter pioneered the idea of hashtags as a means of topic segregation, Instagram has engineered it for better content discovery which is why hashtags are a great way of increasing followers on Instagram.
In fact, Instagram hashtags are the most effective way for people to search for content across the platform.
Which is why you must use relevant hashtags for your posts to get wider exposure. This way more people will be able to engage with your content and you’ll have a flood of new followers on Instagram.
However, you shouldn’t go about inserting random hashtags on your posts. There is a method to using hashtags effectively and that is to use them smartly and sparingly.
Try to limit the number of hashtags per caption to around three. However, avoid using #like4like or #like4likes. This will leave you with an array of low-quality followers.
Instead, dig deeper to search for trending hashtags in your industry or niche. The easiest way to do this research is in the Instagram app itself, in the “explore” tab (i.e. the magnifying glass icon).
When you search for a particular hashtag, it’ll suggest a list of related hashtags at the top of your screen.
For example, if you search for #fashion on Instagram, it suggests relevant hashtags such as #fashionnova, #fashionblogger, #fashionista, and so on.
To connect with your followers on a personal level, you can opt to use trending hashtags such as #tbt (“Throwback Thursday”), #MotivationMonday, #TransformationTuesday.
Supplement these hashtags with intuitive content and watch your followers increase.
5. Actively Use Instagram Stories
Although Snapchat introduced the feature of stories, Instagram Stories has grown significantly and now has over 400 million daily users.
With Instagram Stories, brands can share content on-the-fly. It gives eCommerce businesses a chance to humanize their brand for 24 hours and publish raw content that may not be as polished as a published photo.
Using Instagram Stories will enable your brand to engage with users in a variety of different ways and cultivate brand loyalty and appeal.
This will not only help to increase followers on Instagram but also to keep existing followers appraised of what you do on a daily basis and to give people a peek into the other side of your brand.
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6. Run Instagram Contests
Another great way to gain more followers on Instagram whilst increasing engagement on your photos is to run creative contests.
For instance, you can ask people to follow your account or like or comment on your photo in order to enter.
An effective way to get more people to participate in your contests is to add a UGC (User-Generated Content) element.
This requires your followers or prospective followers to post pictures of their own on their respective profiles and tag your brand or a specific hashtag.
In addition, they must follow your account. This is a great way to get people to engage with your brand and have them follow you.
7. Interact With Users
Instagram is a community of people who share images and videos that interest one another. And as an eCommerce business, you should post illustrious images that interest your audience.
Actively follow their accounts and interact with their content. Doing this will enable you to get people to draw attention to your own Instagram account.
They will want to check out your profile once they get the notification that you’ve followed them.
Furthermore, you can like and comment on their pictures. This will give them a chance to engage with you and follow you back or visit your store and even buy from you citing the special bond.
Increasing followers on Instagram requires precision, effort, and creativity.
However, with the tips mentioned above, it will be easy to build traction among your target audience and build a strong presence for your eCommerce brand on Instagram.