Now that your Instagram account is ready and has some content, it’s time to reach people. The network offers a service of paid ads. But you’d better start out in a more natural way, like Foundr did. This online magazine for entrepreneurs attracted 110K followers in 5 months from the ground up. They started out with a completely new account that had no followers. And you can do the same.
Nathan Chan, a co-founder of the magazine, shared the tactics they implemented. Here are some of them:
created powerful quotes for business owners;
posted consistently (4 quotes a day);
asked questions that drove 300% more interaction than other posts;
asked people to tag their friends;
ran contests and gave away magazine subscriptions for free;
Of course, there’s no golden rule of building a follower base on Instagram. Some of Foundr tactics may work for you, others may not. But there are still strategies that were tested by many businesses and brought results. Implement them, and they will give a kick-start to your brand new account, what’s important, for free.
Follow your suggested users and friends you already have on Facebook. Here is a link to a quick guide on how you can do it.
Use special hashtags that are proved to increase followers. Here are some of them: #follows, #followme, #followall, #instafollow, #followback, #follow4follow, etc. Check out more hashtags of this kind here.
Follow people who use the hashtags mentioned above. Most of them will follow you back.
Use popular hashtags like #love, #instagood, #cute, #photooftheday, #happy, #fun, #food, etc. In that way, more Instagram members will find your posts.
Add relevant, niche-specific hashtags to your posts so that they could appear in search results. Choose some of them in this post by industries, which is rather convenient.
Follow random people related to your niche. Like their images and comment on those with few comments to make sure they will notice and appreciate yours.
Ask followers from your other social accounts to join you on Instagram. As motivation, tell them they’ll be the first to see your exclusive stuff like behind-the-scenes activities and get cool rewards.
Build relations with users who have high follower counts and are involved in your industry. At first, like and comment on their posts. Later, ask them to mention or tag your business. You may need to do them a favor too.
When appropriate, tag Instagram users in your posts. They will see them in news feeds and possibly share them with their followers.
Share your followers’ posts, where they refer to your company, and reward them. Such a step will inspire others to take and post pictures of your products.
Cross-promote your posts. Find users with a similar or a little larger follower base and arrange to promote each other’s posts.
Mention your Instagram name on items you use to promote your startup offline. Branded envelopes, postcards, posters, flyers, business cards, - you can use anything you have in your arsenal of print media.
Run various contests. A voting contest will motivate contestants to ask their friends and possibly friends of friends to vote for them. It will bring a lot of Instagram users to your profile. In a hashtag contest, contestants will post images with your branded hashtag to spread it throughout the network.
Let us forewarn you before you take all these steps. Moderators may regard you as a spammer if you follow too many people at once from your new account. Learn about Instagram limitations to make sure your profile won’t get banned.
While growing your follower base, don’t forget to create posts at the same time.
To conclude, we’d like you to realize one thing. Legally, your accounts in social networks, Quora and forums belong to their owners, not you. That’s why in our next letter we’ll tell you how to build a website that will be 100% yours.