How To Grow Instagram Followers Organically for Shopify
With more than 1 billion monthly users, Instagram is packed full of people ready to support you or your brand. All you need to do is figure out how to attract these ‘Grammers to your profile.
Achieving a successful Instagram followers increase isn’t always easy. Not only are you competing with millions of other people for your share of the market, but the formula for what works on Instagram is constantly changing.
The good news? There are a handful of industry best practices that can make success on Instagram a lot more attainable. These are the strategies that continue to work year after year, despite algorithm changes and shifting trends.
Here’s your guide to expanding your Instagram following.
Making Your Instagram Followers Increase
Earning real Instagram followers – the kind that engage with and support your brand – requires careful planning and dedication. It’s a lot like developing a successful brand. The more work you put into bringing your social identity to life, the more results you’ll see.
These are the industry best practices that work best for virtually every Instagrammer.
Maximize Data From Instagram Insights
Data is the holy grail for making valuable decisions about your Instagram efforts. The more information you have about your industry, customers, and competition, the more you can optimize your results. While there are various third-party tools available to help you leverage more Instagram info, the best way to get started is with the platform’s built-in analytics.
Instagram Insights is the tool that helps you to see how your followers are spending the average 28 minutes per day they spend on Instagram. You can find Instagram Insights by tapping on the bar graph icon in the top right of the screen and clicking on Insights.
You do need a business account, however.
Your Insights will show you a bunch of metrics, including:
- Number of accounts reached
- Number of content interactions
- Total number of followers (and how much they’ve grown)
You can track things like account activity, top posts, and top stories/IGTV videos too. This makes it easier to see which of your content is getting the most engagement from your target audience. Figuring out what kind of content gets the most attention and impressions means you know what you should be creating and posting going forward.
You can also look for patterns on things like, when your customers are most likely to be online, or where in the world they come from. The free dashboard is easy to use, and it can give you a more granular insight into who your followers really are.
Collaborate With Brands Or Influencers
One of the reasons that it’s so tough to get new Instagram followers when you’re just getting started, is that none of your potential needs know you well enough yet. The chances of people finding you on the Explore page by themselves is pretty slim, even if you’re using the right hashtags.
Even if someone does happen to find your Instagram account, there’s no guarantee that they’re going to follow someone they’ve never heard of before.
That’s why influencer and brand collaborations are so effective. Working with groups or individuals that your customers already know means that you can leverage their popularity to give your business more credibility. You don’t even need to spend a fortune on big collaborations. Look at how Glossybox UK takes advantage of various collabs with micro-influencers:
Micro influencers help you to reach out to new customers that may otherwise never come across your company. They’re also an excellent way to make your brand look down to earth and connected with authentic people. To make the most of your collaborations with influencers and brands:
- Search for someone relevant to your niche: The people you work with should make sense to your brand or company. Look for people who will naturally reach your target audience.
- Reach out slowly: Don’t immediately ask for a collaboration. Follow that person or brand on Instagram, like their posts, and comment on their content first.
- Suggest a collab: Gradually suggest a collab, highlighting what’s in it for the other person (free products, etc).
You could even go as far as having dozens of micro influencers working with your brand, or forging partnerships with several brands.
Determine The Best Time To Post
Timing is a pretty important factor in Instagram success. If you want to achieve an Instagram followers increase, then you need to know when your fans are most likely to be online. That’s because Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes showing people the most recent posts in the areas that they might be interested in.
So, how do you pick the right time to post? There are a lot of benchmarks out there that can help you to get started. For instance, various reports indicate that the average best time to post is somewhere between 2 pm and 3 pm CDT. However, engagement levels change dramatically depending on the day of the week, and your industry.
This Sprout Social chart gives you an idea:
Since the best time to post is so variable, the best way to make sure that you’re getting the most engagement, is to experiment.
Check out your Instagram Insights for a closer look at what times your audience are most likely to be online and go from there. You can also test your results by posting content at different times, on various days of the week, to see how your engagement levels differ.
Your Instagram Insights should give you a pretty comprehensive overview of when you need to be posting to get the most attention.
Create Contests And Giveaways
While every customer is different, it’s fair to say that most of them have a competitive streak, and virtually all of them love the idea of getting something for free.
One of the easiest ways to make your Instagram followers increase, is to give them an opportunity to win something on your profile. You could ask the people who follow you to tag a friend in your post for a chance to win, meaning that your brand reach goes through the roof.
Alternatively, you can start getting your hands on some valuable user generated content by getting your customers to share a picture of them using your products for a chance to win. Make sure that you use a branded hashtag in the contest if you take this route, so you can keep track of who gets involved.
Here are some other great ideas to help you launch the perfect giveaway:
- Ask people to comment on your post for a chance to win a product at the end of the week
- Request stories of the best experiences that your customers have had with your brand so you can get some great social proof.
- Run a competition with a branded hashtag and ask your followers to spread the word in their own content.
You can even theme your contests and giveaways based on special calendar events or specific days of the year.
Just remember, follow Instagram’s promotion guidelines carefully, so you don’t get into any trouble for running a contest the wrong way. It’s also important to ensure that you generate buzz for the event long before the prize draw, so your customers have a chance to notice the contest.
Create An Instagram Schedule
Remember when you got your best times to post on Instagram from that research we did above? Now it’s time to put that info to the test.
To be successful on Instagram, you need to be constantly sharing new and interesting content for your followers. However, if you’ve also got a business to run, and marketing campaigns to create, it can be difficult to stay ahead of everything. That’s where scheduling comes in.
Using scheduling tools, you can create amazing Instagram posts in advance, and arrange for them to go onto your profile at the perfect time, on the ideal day. This significantly improves the visibility of your posts, gives you greater reach, and reduces the pressure on your shoulders.
So, what kind of posts can you schedule?
- Promotions and giveaways: The occasional promotion will get your audience excited and keep them checking back on your page for more.
- Insider content: Show off what’s going on behind the scenes in your business to help your company seem more authentic and credible.
- Users generate content: Content re-shared from other users demonstrates the commitment you have to your clients and gives you social proof.
- Product and service pictures: Show off what you do from time to time but try to avoid making your schedule too promotional.
- Celebrations on special days: Make sure you post on days that are relevant to your audience. You can celebrate everything from #Mothersday, to #NationalBlackCatDay:
Post User Generated Content
User-generated content is some of the most valuable content you have on Instagram.
While pictures of your business, product, and team are great – it’s UGC that’s going to convince your customers that you already have your fair share of happy customers.
For those who aren’t sure, user-generated content is any kind of Instagram material you curate from your followers or fans. It’s a crucial tool in your marketing arsenal, which humanizes your brand by showing your connection with real people and stories.
Your audience gets to enjoy 15 minutes of fame, while you reap the benefits of social proof that demonstrates how good your connection with your customers is. Look at how Fashion Nova takes advantage of customers showing off their new clothes, for instance:
Although it can take a while to start generating a constant stream of UGC, there are ways that you can boost your chances of getting it. For instance:
- Create a branded hashtag where customers can post images related to your brand.
- Run competitions that ask people to share photos and videos (with your hashtag) for a chance to win something great.
- Reach out to influencers and get them involved with your UGC campaign.
- Add a call to action to your Instagram bio, and ask people for user-generated content that they’d be happy to share.
Don’t forget to thank anyone who creates content for your profile. The only way to maintain your Instagram follower increase is to engage with your fans and keep them happy.
Unleash The Power of Instagram Ads
There are a lot of ways you can build your Instagram follower count without spending anything. However, sometimes, it does help to invest a little extra into your campaigns. Instagram ads allow you to promote or heighten awareness for specific posts.
Depending on the kind of Instagram ads you create, they can either look like everyday posts, with a “sponsored” label, or they can feature things like call-to-action buttons to encourage conversions.
Instagram ads are effective because they give you a chance to instantly improve your reach and connect with the right customers. You can take advantage of Facebook’s targeting features (since Facebook owns Instagram) to make sure that you’re connecting with the audience that’s most likely to respond well to your campaign.
To make the most of Instagram ads:
- Choose the right format: You can advertise through Instagram Stories, IGTV, or just standard Instagram posts. It’s up to you to determine which is the best option by examining what kind of posts your audience engages most with.
- Make your message stand out: Remember to use the best content and the most attractive pictures on your Instagram ads. This is your chance to reach as many people as possible, so it’s important to have the right impression.
- Track your results: Keep a close eye on the results you get from each campaign, so you can optimize your ads and increase your outcomes over time.
Achieving An Instagram Followers Increase
Increasing the number of Instagram followers you have is a process that requires a lot of careful consideration. You need to think about your audience carefully, track essential data that will help you to make more informed decisions, and experiment with different kinds of promotional efforts.
The good news? Once you start figuring out what works for your brand, your engagement and traffic levels can skyrocket.
Get out there and start taking full advantage of Instagram for your brand.