Whether you are a social media manager or a travel blogger, having an active presence across all your social media accounts 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 period. This mobile photo-sharing application is now seen as the most critical social networking site by an increasing number of American teens, which shows a particularly large opportunity for penetration in the university and high school demographics.
For now it should be evident why so many businesses would want to be found on Instagram; but how exactly do they rise to the top when competing against so many huge and established brands? The answer can be found in a number of growth hacking techniques employed by professionals.
What Is Instagram Growth Hacking?
Growth hacking is a relatively new concept in the social media world which generally involves experimentation across different marketing channels and product development for the purpose of identifying the most efficient and effective ways to grow a business. People who use this method are known as growth hackers and are marketers with a specific skill set that promotes rapid growth. In this article, we will review some tips from this skillset and how to use them.
1. Share Valuable Content
Content is king. If you nail this part, you will be on your way to achieving great things. Among millions of users and thousands of brands, creative content will help your business stand out from the crowd. Your content should not only have a nice flow to it, but also align with the expectations of your audience. Posting appealing and impactful images that resonate with your audience will keep them engaged with your brand and coming back for more.
2. Post Regularly
Instagram should be used regularly if you want your audience involved and glued. Research suggests that brand accounts with the highest number of fans make between 2 and 3 posts every day on average. From this information we can reasonably 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 that will remind you to post content on a regular basis. Google Calendar is a great free tool to help you stay on the ball.
3. Use Hashtags
Hashtagging is 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 (CTA) in the form of a hashtag. Some popular forms of CTA on Instagram include "tag a friend in the comments", "double tap" and "sign up today for free" to receive newsletters/emails. If you are also running a blog regularly, make a point to promote your blog posts via Instagram by asking your followers to "click the link in bio" to read the full story.
Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags per post, but efficient users know how to make the most of this ability. Discovering the right hashtags to use for your product or post can be a little difficult, but the following tips can 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 those hashtags 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 the current target audience and potential customers. There are different kinds of contests that you can host on Instagram. Nevertheless, no matter what type of contest you plan to go with, the entry piece should be any combination of:
- Following you
- Liking your post
- Commenting on your post
- Tagging a friend
and similar actions that will increase the total exposure of your brand while boosting engagement among your followers.
5. CTAs Matter
Every photo you post should depict a strong CTA 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 call to actions includes asking followers to “favorite a post”, “tag a friend” or “comment”.
You can also ask them to subscribe to your email list or even 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 engage with your content in more ways than just looking at it. Plus, it will do wonders for you as a business as it increases engagement and at the same time gets more eyeballs to your content.
6. Schedule Your Posts
Scheduling is the key to properly grow your Instagram account and also frees your time to really focus on other aspects of your business. You can make use of scheduling platforms, like Buffer and HootSuite that can make it much simpler to schedule your content in advance, ensuring consistency and fresh content.
7. Shout Outs
A shoutout on Instagram involves another Instagram user mentioning your account name in one or more of their posts either via a photo, caption or hashtag. Shoutouts 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.
To research the right profiles for good shoutouts, you will need to carefully research the most active and popular Instagram users that are relevant to your industry and have a similar audience to yours. Sometimes, users may request payment for a shoutout; make sure the amount asked is worth the expected gains from exposure to their audience. This kind of influencer marketing is a great finishing touch to any social media strategy.
To learn more about boosting your Instagram engagement with growth hacking techniques, check out our classes on the following topics:
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