Whether you are a social media manager or a travel blogger, having an active presence across all your social media handles is critical to the success of your business. Instagram is among the hottest and most-used social media platforms out there – with over 700 million monthly active users who post more than 70 million pictures every day.
When it comes to brand engagement, Instagram ranks as the top social media site with 4.21 percent. This mobile photo-sharing application is now seen as the most critical social networking site by an increasing number of American teens than any other social network. This shows a particularly large opportunity for universities and schools.
So it is pretty evident why so many businesses would want to be found on Instagram. But how exactly do they rise to the top amongst so many huge and established brands? The answer? Instagram Growth Hacking.
What Is Instagram Growth Hacking?
Growth hacking is a new concept in the social media world. It is a process of quick experimentation across different marketing channels and product development for the purpose of identifying the most efficient and effective ways to grow a business.
Tips and Tricks for Instagram Growth Hacking
Content is king. If you nail this part, you will be on your way to achieving great things. Amongst millions of users and thousands of brands, creative content will help your business stand out from the crowd.
The content should not only have a nice flow to it, but also be in line with the expectations of your audience. Posting appealing and impactful images that resonate with your audience will keep them engaged to your account.
2. Post Regularly
Instagram should be used regularly if you want your audience involved. Research suggests that brand accounts that have the most fans are the ones that make 2 to 3 posts every day on average. This helps us conclude that if you wish to be more successful with your audience, you need to post more frequently.
A good tip is to create calendar updates in your favorite app or on Google Calendar that will remind you to post content regularly.
3. Hashtag It
Hashtags are a great way to provide a clear and responsive call to action. When you post content for your Instagram account, ensure all posts include a strong call to action in the form of a hashtag.
Some of the popular forms of call to action on Instagram that you can ask your followers to incorporate include “tag a friend in the post”, “double tap” and “sign up today for free” to receive newsletters/emails.
If you are also running a blog regularly, make it a point to promote your posts via Instagram by asking your followers to “click the link in bio” to read the full story.
Instagram allows a minimum of 30 hashtags per post, so be efficient by making the most out of this feature. Discovering the right hashtags to use for your product or post can be a little difficult, but the following tips will help you:
- Search for hashtags on posts that are similar to yours. You can do this by adding a few obvious and relevant hashtags. Then click them and scroll through other hashtags that were added.
- Next, go back to your original Instagram photo and edit it with all the additional relevant hashtags that you found.
- Another quick way to find out new hashtags is to use a tool like All Hashtag.
4. Run Instagram Contests
Instagram Contests are a great way to attract new customers, increase awareness, enhance engagement, and gain valuable information from current target audience and potential customers. There are different kinds of contests that you can host on Instagram.
No matter what type of contest you plan to run, the entry piece should be any combination of: following you, liking your post, commenting on your post, tagging a friend, or similar actions that will increase the total exposure to your brand as well as boost engagement among your followers.
5. Calls-to-Action Matter
Every photo you post should depict a strong call to action regarding your product or brand. Sometimes, encouraging users to do what you wish them to do can be as easy as requesting them to do it for you. Popular Instagram calls to action include asking followers to “favorite a post”, “tag a friend” or “comment”.
You can also ask them to subscribe to your email list or buy your product. When you include a soft yet persuasive call to action, it acts as a gentle reminder to your followers that they can contribute more to your content aside from just looking at it.
Plus, it will do wonders for you as a business. It will increase engagement and at the same time, get more eyeballs to your content.
6. Schedule your Posts
Scheduling is key to properly grow your Instagram account. It also frees up your time to focus on other business aspects. You can make use of scheduling platforms like Buffer and HootSuite, to make it simpler to schedule your content in advance. This will ensure consistency and fresh content.
7. Shout Outs
A shout-out on Instagram involves a user mentioning your account name in one or more of their posts either via a photo or caption or even hashtags. Shout-outs are an easy and quick way to advertise yourself to a completely different target audience – one which you wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.
For the most effective shout-outs, you will need to carefully research the most active and popular Instagram users. They must be relevant to your industry and have a similar audience as yours. Sometimes, you may even have to pay them to give you a shout-out.
Kaley Hart is a San Diego based digital strategist and writes for Jumper Media social media marketing column. She loves working with small businesses, and telling their stories through social media. Kaley is very talented, but her most impressive quality is the ability to identify any dog breed recognized by the American Kennel Club. Go Bruins! You can connect with her on Twitter @kaleyhearts