According to Social Media News, as of August 2018, there were over 9,000,000 monthly Instagram users in Australia.
Due to its visual nature, mobile functionality, and appeal to a younger audience, Instagram has become one of the most viable ways to build a social media following for brands and influencers. In fact, a survey from Forbes shows that 60% of a sample size of 2,500 micro-influencers believed Instagram to be the best overall platform for engagement. Also, further studies show there’s 58x more engagement on Instagram than Facebook.
There are specific practices one should follow when trying to grow an Instagram following. Below is a breakdown of a few of those key factors:
Consistency is King
Instagrammers should be posting at least once a day.
A study from Tailwind finds that 7 or more weekly posts obtain more likes and follows than those posting less. Numbers from the same study show that even going from less than one post a week to 1-6 posts a week will double growth rates.
Consistent posting feeds the algorithm because they are shared and liked more often which leads to more engagement. It’s easy to surmise that posts garnering lots of engagement will be favoured via Instagram’s algorithm and placed near the top of followers’ feeds.
Hash Out a #Hashtag Strategy
Hashtags aren’t a matter of throwing the pound sign in front of random words. Instead, there are specific, strategically inclined hashtags that attract more engagement. Furthermore, hashtags categorize Instagram photos, making them more readily available for non-followers to find photos, as long as they are searching for those specific terms. This is a great way to enhance the reach of each and every post.
Popular hashtags are great but it’s crucial they are relevant to the content. This requires the appropriate research to find brand-appropriate hashtags that are also being searched on Instagram.
IconoSquare and Websta are both great hashtag research tools to get started with!
Tell the Story Behind Every Picture
Just because Instagram is all about enticing visuals doesn’t mean the platform does away with words entirely. A great way to establish brands and personalities is by adding descriptive captions that are just as memorable as the photo itself.
National Geographic is well known for this technique and as a result, has amassed nearly 100 million followers. Of all brands, NatGeo could simply rest on the laurels of striking natural imagery but instead uses its powerful photos as the impetus to write beautiful captions.
Find Inspiration from Market Research
Finding influencers who either sell similar products or produce similar content is a great way to learn how to excel on Instagram. Turn on post notifications to see every post and obtain keen insights into what they’re doing right.
That isn’t to say copy what these influencers are doing, but it could provide a good starting point before crafting a unique twist.
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Social Media Statistics Australia – August 2018. (2018, September 1). From SocialMediaNews.com.au: https://www.socialmedianews.com.au/social-media-statistics-australia-august-2018/
Why Instagram Is The Top Social Platform For Engagement (And How To Use It). (2017, March 28). From Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2017/03/28/why-instagram-is-the-top-social-platform-for-engagement-and-how-to-use-it/#4e6c0c8536bd
11 Ways to Get More (Real!) Instagram Followers. (2018, November 16). From WordStream:
How to Gain a Massive Following on Instagram: 10 Proven Tactics To Grow Followers and Engagement. From Buffer Marketing Library: https://buffer.com/library/instagram-growth
How to Get More Followers on Instagram: 13 Reliable Ways to Grow Your Audience. (2018, May 1). From Shopify: https://www.shopify.com.au/blog/14288561-how-to-build-a-massive-following-on-instagram