If there is a time to be growing your Instagram it is now, which is why I am going to present to you, what I, having grown hundreds of thousands of followers over the past couple of years, think are the most important strategies to be using on Instagram in 2021 to grow your brand’s platform.
The first strategy is one that many overlook, and this is being social. While many brands go into their Instagram strategy believing that it is possible to make a one-off hit viral campaign, this is highly unlikely and unrealistic. The foundation of any strategy for a brand wanting to grow on Instagram should be getting itself involved in conversation, and even better, starting conversations.
It’s in the name: social; so be social! Instagram is a two-way street, so you need to be giving in order to get something back. A perfect way to do this is to comment and interact with your target audience through relevant hashtags. In fact, this is one strategy that my own agency Greedy Growth uses among others.
Exploding engagement through CTA
Too many boring long captions. This is the harsh reality of the mistake that many brands are making on Instagram. Users are scrolling through their feed looking for interesting content and conversations, they don’t want to read the huge chunk of text you’ve spent five minutes typing out.
Sometimes the most effective captions are the shortest ones. Try asking a question to your audience, not only will this create more buzz and comments in your post, but Instagram will also take this as a sign that your content is high performing and push it out to more new people via hashtags you have used and the explore page.
Scrap ‘engagement pods’ or any other gimmicky ‘hacks’
If you are not already aware, an engagement group is a group of Instagram accounts that mutually support each other via liking and commenting on each other’s content, in the hope that it will make their content go viral. Others think that this is a surefire way to get your Instagram account flagged by Instagram. The truth? Neither.
Perhaps a couple of years ago Instagram would have used simple indicators such as likes and comments to determine whether they would push content to be discovered on their explore page, but this is not the case anymore. Instagram is clever, and looks at a whole plethora of different factors when deciding whether content is ‘good’. This includes the number of saves, shares, quality of pages interacting with your content, and the time users spend on your post.
Therefore, a much better use of your time instead of attempting to game the system would be to figure out how you can make sure your content generates more saves or shares.
Use nano-influencers, wherever you can!
A brand’s secret weapon is having an army of nano influencers that at any given time can push out your content to their platform and audience, and reach those who are likely to take an interest in your brand. Having your influencers re-share your post on their story as soon as you post is a sure-fire way to make sure that post picks up a ton of traction.
This preliminary traction gained through influencers resharing your posts will also give your post the boost needed to rank on top hashtags and the explore page, meaning further engagement and new potential followers as new people discover your page!
Give Instagram what they want
Instagram ads work, and do not let anyone else tell you otherwise. You just need to be proactive. Don’t be lazy and boost a post, and then leave it. You need to think outside the box.
One strategy that is a great way to get great traffic to your brand’s Instagram page, is to create an Instagram story advert, with the swipe-up link being the URL of your brand’s Instagram account. These Instagram profile visits you gain will not affect your reach when posting as Instagram will think they are coming from an external source, unlike when you boost your posts, which after using, brand’s tend to see a decrease in organic engagement, as Instagram wants to make your brand more reliant on paid advertising.
Everyone wants to win something for free, and giveaways are a brilliant way to nurture your existing followers, help new people discover your brand, and in general familiarise more people with your product and what your brand offers. In order to make sure it’s effective, it’s a good idea to tell entrants to follow your brand, and tag their friends in the comments section of the giveaway post for extra entries. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even get entrants to repost the giveaway on their story, which can even lead to a viral giveaway effect.
Other possible giveaway promotion methods include paid advertising spend or getting influencers involved. As well as growth, you might find that giveaways get your brand new sales and customers, as there may be people who are so in love with your product that they can’t wait for the giveaway to be announced and just go ahead and purchase your products anyway.
Ultimately, Instagram is constantly changing and so the strategies that you need in order to grow on Instagram change with it.
As a brand owner, or somebody doing marketing for a brand’s Instagram, it’s your responsibility to spend time testing out strategies that work for your brand, but this was a look into the different avenues you should be exploring.
No brand will work with the same strategy, and it is important to play around with everything until you hit the sweet spot, and are growing as fast as you possibly can on Instagram.