Everyone wants new Instagram followers, and it’s natural to want the same for your ecommerce business. After all, every new follower is another person who is exposed to your posts and represents the opportunity for a new customer.
But keep in mind that you can only convert certain types of people into customers. For the most part, they have to fit within your target demographic or buyer persona. Think about it this way… how successful do you think you would be if you were to market denture cream to teenagers? Sure, you might get the occasional hockey player who needs the stuff, but most of your social efforts will be completely wasted.
So, this post isn’t just about increasing follower numbers on Instagram. It’s about finding a relevant audience on and getting them to want to follow you. If you’re not familiar with this popular visual social network, checkout our Introduction to instagram marketing.
Here are five tips for making that happen:
1. Use relevant trendy hashtags
Hashtags are an amazing for increasing brand exposure on social media, but you have to do the legwork. It’s not enough to make up your own general hashtags for attention (#imsoawesome). Those can help add interest to your posts, but if they aren’t trending, they will only appeal to your current audience.
If you want to expand your reach, review the trending hashtags each day to see if any could fit your business. Just be careful about using those that have nothing to do with your niche. At best, you may attract the wrong people. At worst, you may end up looking foolish.
One of the best ways to find out what is popular is by using Iconosquare.com
2. Run Hashtag Contests
If you want an Instagram hashtag of your very own to start trending, contests are one of the best ways to make it happen. Most people aren’t going to just use your hashtags because you want them to. But they WILL use your hashtags if they know it is how you are organizing and collecting contest entries. If there is something in it for the Instagram user, they are much more likely to behave in the way you want.
It’s very easy to setup a contest for your online store. Have Instagramers post a pic or video on their account and then have them tag it using your specific contest hashtag. I recently found a great post by Wishpond which shares valuable tips and ideas for Instagram hashtag contests.
3. Follow Instagramers Within Your Industry
If you want to appear as though you are part of the cool crowd for your niche, get in there and rub elbows with the best of them! Don’t just push out content related to your brand. You may notice that some larger brands can get away with this. Most other brands cannot.
Follow bloggers, fashionistas, athletes and celebrities in your niche. And don’t forget to be social (authentic). Start by browsing Instagram posts by related hashtags and follow those who post popular pics or videos.
4. Share Non-Follower’s Content
Don’t be stingy. Share the love with everyone, whether they are followers or not. If you want them to become followers, you have to show them how awesome you are. You can do this, and grab their attention, by sharing content they have posted. Of course, just be sure to share content that is relevant to your brand.
One way to share someone’s photo is by asking them for their permission and giving them credit when sharing it or you can use an app called Repost.
5. Engage with Non-Followers
While you’re sharing content, go ahead and hit the like button. The more non-followers see that you are interested in their content and wanting to engage with them, the more likely they will be to become followers of yours. And there is nothing like a well-placed comment. Sharing and liking are amazing tools in your follower-boosting arsenal, but a comment will show that you have actually taken the time to review and think about their post. AND it shows that you have a personality hiding behind that brand – a personality that may entice non-followers to hit the follow button.
Love how Hammock Town engages with non-followers on Instagram.