In this article, I’ll share best practices for getting more followers on Instagram in 2023, with specific tips for brands and businesses.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, marketer, or small business, this comprehensive guide will help you develop an effective strategy for growing your audience on Instagram.
1) Don’t buy Instagram followers
Growing an Instagram account takes time to happen.
But shortcuts like buying followers or bots are not the solution.
Buying followers goes against Instagram’s terms of service, and while you may initially see an increase in followers and engagement, it will only do you a little good in the long run.
For what? Because Instagram’s algorithm has become very smart, frequently eliminating fake engagements and fake accounts.
That said, organic growth is the best way to go when it comes to investing in your audience.
It may take a while, but attracting quality followers who will engage with your content and stick around is worth the wait.
2) Have a solid personal brand and value proposition
Would you walk into a store without knowing what it sold? Probably not.
Well, the same principle applies to your Instagram account.
A clear value proposition (style tips, inspirational quotes, or culinary content) is critical to converting visitors into followers check now.
However, that means some of your content has to be different.
3) Come up with a beautiful Instagram feed
Today, your Instagram page is like a resume, portfolio, and website.
And while it doesn’t have to be perfect, first impressions always count.
You only have a few seconds to introduce yourself and convey your brand personality. A strong Instagram aesthetic can differentiate between a visitor who hits “follow” and one who walks away.
4) Optimize your bio
Your Instagram bio is often the first point of contact for new visitors, making it the perfect opportunity to communicate who you are and what you offer right from the start.
And with just 150 characters to set the scene, big accounts keep their bios short, sweet and, most importantly, informative.
Use this space to speak directly to your target audience using keywords that will reach even more users during their searches and improve your visibility on the app.
Your Instagram bio also only allows one external link, so it’s essential to be strategic about how you use it.
5) Write your captions with SEO in mind
Until recently, you could only search Instagram Explorer via hashtags, location tags, usernames, and profile names.
However, things have changed. You can now search using keywords.
This means that writing relevant and descriptive captions using premium keywords can severely impact your content’s discoverability.
And while some of these keywords might come from an account’s account name, username, and bio, they mostly come from the captions you write.
Using relevant and descriptive keywords in your Instagram captions gives you a higher chance of appearing on the Explore page and attracting more attention to your content; that’s a win-win!
6) Identify the best hashtags for your followers
Instagram hashtags are one of the best growth tools.
And in their most basic function, hashtags power search results on Instagram’s Explore page.
Using relevant, targeted hashtags on your posts and Stories can put you in front of your target audience, even if they haven’t connected with you before.
7) Post content regularly
If you want to reach a new audience, posting more Reels combined with an effective hashtag and keyword strategy is always a good idea.
8) Find the best time to post
As mentioned above, creating consistent content on Instagram is essential.
By posting earlier, accounts benefit from less competition while leveraging user traffic during their first scroll of the day – even if it’s a few hours after the post was shared.
9) Make your content accessible
Add captions or text overlays to video content (including Instagram Stories and Reels).
Write descriptive alt texts for your Instagram posts.
Verbalize visual details during stories and videos.
Capitalize every word in Instagram hashtags. This helps screen readers read them aloud correctly.
Create screen reader-friendly content by limiting the use of emojis in captions and text overlays.
After all, inclusive content means more people can access and consume it, translating into higher engagement, new followers, and an overall better experience for everyone on Instagram.
10) Work with other brands, creators and influencers
You can benefit from the brand association and tap into a new pool of potential followers.
The best news? Partnerships don’t have to break the bank.
Likewise, you can work with something other than oversized influencers to make an impact.
Nano and micro-influencers generally have higher engagement rates than macro-influencers and lower costs for sponsored posts.
However, it would help if you worked with many nano or micro-influencers to reach the same audience size as a macro influencer. So, the right strategy will depend on your capacity and budget resources.
11) Bet more and more on Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels remain one of the most effective ways to reach new audiences on the app.
Unlike other types of Instagram posts (e.g. carousels), Reels have a designated location on the Explore page and their tab on the original feed navigation bar, making them super discoverable.
Like TikTok’s “For You” page, the Reels feed features highly engaging content from users you follow and those you don’t, leading to increased engagement.
This means that the Reels you create can easily be distributed beyond your follower list, allowing you to increase your visibility and follower count.
To get the best results:
Use keywords and hashtags in your Reel captions that accurately describe your video content.
Use trending sounds in your Instagram Reels
Keep your Reels short and snappy to encourage repeat views.
Create original content
Add text to the screen for viewers watching without sound.
Prioritize high-quality video footage (rather than uploading content with a TikTok watermark).
12) Optimize your featured Instagram Stories
Even if the stories disappear after 24 hours, you can keep them alive by saving them to the highlights of your Instagram Story.
High-quality highlights can help you increase brand awareness, attract new followers, and introduce your most valuable Instagram Stories content to new visitors.
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