How to optimize your profile & gain an authentic Instagram following in 2019
We understand that growing your Instagram following can seem like a long and difficult process, but it’s the single most important thing you can do for your business to help it succeed in 2019. 60% of people are finding and discovering new products through Instagram, which is further proof that you can’t ignore Instagram as a marketing channel.
But it’s not only about attracting people to your profile, you need to learn how to attract the RIGHT people that are going to be able to convert into more likes, views, comments, clicks, and more importantly, overall fans of your brand who might do business with you.
Read on to learn a few important steps you should take in order to gain authentic followers for your brand in 2019!
1. Optimize your bio
When new users first see your Instagram account, their first impression is made up in about two-tenths of a second. So, it is very important that your bio draws them in and captures their attention. Yes, this can be hard to do in a few short sentences. If you manage to do this correctly, congratulations, you’re already ahead of about 95% of other businesses on Instagram!
Some very important things you need to add to your bio include:
- Headline and keywords – Clearly add your brand name as well as any keywords that best describes who you are. Adding a particular niche, job title or interest to your headline helps users understand what you do.
- Body section – This section is the bulk of your bio and should contain majority of your description. Remember to keep it clean with an easy-to-read list format, describing who you are as a brand & what you offer.
- About you – First, include a short version of your mission statement to let people know what your brand is all about. There is a word limit for the bio so remember to keep it short and concise.
- What are you offering? – Highlight anything that attributes value to your followers.
- Call to action / bio link – Include a call to action statement that entices your followers to click on the link added to your bio. Use words like ‘click below…’ or ‘check this out…’ can really help you guide your followers in the direction of becoming a customer.
2. Create quality content
Instagram is a very visual platform, and as such, everything you post should be of high quality while still resonating with your brand image This isn’t as simple as just posting content once daily.
It’s becoming more and more important to plan out your content monthly, as it allows you to a) tell a full story of your brand to your followers & b) create a cohesive Instagram feed that leaves a good impression on new followers. This keeps things interesting & attractive for your brand and puts you ahead of the competition.
When creating content, it’s important to keep these two things in mind
- Create a signature style- Your brand needs to be the main focus of your page. Regardless of whether you are a business or an influencer, every image that you post needs to reflect the purpose of your page. When you are able to define that focus, it then becomes easier to create a theme with a consistent element that links all your images together.
- Utilize filters and create a color scheme- Filters provide you with a quick and easy way to create cohesion in your feed. The same can be said for color. Choose one particular color and pepper it throughout your images as a way to tie them all together.
- Create variety with your content- Create different types of images like detail shots or flat lays to keep things interesting with your feed. Take this opportunity to show off your product, after all, that’s what everyone’s here for right?
If you feel like you might be running low on your own original content, you can add stock images or, better yet, user generated content. Not only will this ensure that your content will last longer, it also looks good to have visuals of people engaging with your brand!
- Plan your content- Using apps like Sked Social, Planoly or Later will not only make things easier for you when it comes to planning, scheduling and captioning content, but will also provide you with a draft feed of sorts. This enables you to have a look at your feed as a whole and see how your content flows from day to day. Nothing worse than posting content that just doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of your content, right?
3. Creating captions
Your captions should enhance your posts by providing your followers with more context, value and insight into your brand. Rather than giving an explanation of the image, try to engage your followers.
So many users are wondering why people aren’t engaging in their content like they used to but they are barely making any effort to engage with their followers. Write something users might relate to, ask questions, make it fun & watch how your likes & comments will increase.
Remember to show some personality with your captions, to really ensure that you’re connecting with your audience. People aren’t stupid & the more generic your captions are the less likely they are to engage.
Just like with your bio, having a call to action in your captions is also a good idea. Use the call to action captions to spark conversation between you and your followers, which is an important factor that is considered with the new Instagram algorithm, as engagement determents when and where your followers will view your content on their personal feed.
4. Using hashtags
Instagram posts with only one hashtag has a 12.6% more engagement than a post with no hashtags. So it’s easy to see why this is the best way to expand your Instagram reach. Do a little research and think of some words that your potential customers might be searching for. It’s important to check each hashtag you use to gauge how much traffic it has.
For example, if you are a smaller account with less than 20k followers, there is absolutely no use using a widely used hashtag such as #Yoga with 3.6M posts. As your post would never make it to the top and it would quickly get lost amongst the other posts, especially from larger accounts as they will be placed first.
You should look for an alternative, which in this case might be something like #YogaMats with ‘just’ 74K posts to compete with.
Once you’ve got a list of hashtags you would like to use, keep them noted, so you have easy access to them. Just make sure you’re not using the exact same hashtags on every post to avoid appearing spammy.
Grow Your Following
Still a little confused about how to grow an genuine following? Or feel like you might just need a bit more help? Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about the different ways we can help you grow!