As new functions were incorporated, such as Stories and Ads, Instagram began to have an increasingly vertiginous growth: in April 2019 it already had 900 million users worldwide, aimed at belonging to the select group of social networks with more than one billion users, which includes Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp.
Statistical data shows that having an Instagram strategy can be a good way to gain visibility, attraction and brand recognition for your company.
If you are starting - or want to start - with an account for your company on Instagram, we bring you some tips so that you can gain your first followers on this social network.
It is important to remember that in this post we do not offer you advice to buy followers or other illegitimate ways to gain likes, since we believe that the best thing that can be done to achieve this is to produce interesting content and thus obtain organic followers on the social network.
If this tip sounds like a beginner to you, you can skip to the next item!
However, we have to start with the basics. It is important to complete and optimize some information on your profile before looking for followers.
First of all, if you have a company, you must convert your personal profile into a business profile . It is fast, simple and allows your account to have access to various information that is not available for personal profiles. You only need to have a page on Facebook.
To do this, go to the Instagram settings page and click on Switch to business profile . You must accept the request to link your page to the application and complete the information regarding the telephone, email and address . That will help your clients contact you.
Also, choose a short username, easy to remember - in case you already have one that is not very good, you can modify it.
On the settings page, don't forget to fill in the Name field , which will appear in bold just below your profile photo. Choose the type of company that best suits your market and complete the biography with an informative and impactful phrase.
It is important that your profile is visually attractive and that, at the first glance, visitors instantly know what it is about . If you are present in other social networks, you must unify criteria. Use the same profile photo and, if possible, the same username.
The bio text box is valuable, as it is the only one that allows you to insert links . Take advantage of it to spread your website and occasionally other interesting links, such as that rich material or fascinating blog. Shorten the addresses with tools like Bitly to improve the presentation or use Linktree to group all the links you want in a single url.
If you are starting to look for likes now, before spreading your profile, it is important to have some photos published. When producing these images, remember that on Instagram, the quality of the images matters a lot . This way, when people come to your profile, they can see that you produce good content.
Also, don't forget to promote your Instagram account on other social networks where you are present. If someone already follows your business on Facebook or Twitter, they probably won't mind following you on another social network as well.
Here at RD's blog, we insist a lot on the idea that buying email lists is crazy , and the same goes for Instagram followers.
An organic way to get followers on the social network is by following accounts of associated companies and well-known people in your market that are interesting for your business. Once you follow them, interact with them, share posts and make comments.
In this way, you also attract attention to your profile, exchange ideas and get inspired by the content of those who have been on the social network for the longest time.
The idea is, therefore, to participate in the conversations of others and to make interesting comments. It is useless to send comments with the typical “follow me”, because in practice it means spam !
Likewise, as you gain followers, interact with them. Show them interest by responding to comments, follow the profiles that you think you should follow and participate in the content they publish.
Not because Instagram is a social network whose focus is images do you need to leave your captions aside.
Take advantage of that space for text to tell an interesting story about your photos that complement them. It is a great opportunity to share the details that the image does not show and thus gain complicity with your user.
Writing may seem difficult at first, but you will soon develop a tone of voice for your company that will set it apart from the rest.
On Instagram, hashtags play a very important role, as they group posts from users who are not connected on a single page.
Thus, if you use relevant hashtags, your posts will be exposed to an audience greater than that represented by your followers and greater than that represented by people who already know your brand.
Among the topics that are related to your company, look for those that are most popular.
To do this, you only have to type a word before # in your Instagram search to see the number of publications. By doing this, the social network also suggests some similar hashtags for you.
Another tip is to follow popular hashtags among users in general, such as #tbt (Throw Back Thursday - or Thursday back to the past), to post old photos on Thursdays. However, don't force the bar on popular hashtags that are unrelated to your content, just to show up in a very popular search.
Once you have a following and want to publicize an event, product or other specific action, it is worth starting a hashtag from scratch. It is a good way to engage your followers and gain presence on the social network.
During the Digital Marketing events promoted by RD Station - the RD Summit and the RD on the Road - for example, we encourage participants to use the hashtags we create. The idea is to closely follow photos and opinions about the meetings, in addition to creating a sense of participation and integration.
The Stories tool, launched by Instagram in 2016, was well received by users, and companies began to use it as well.
Here at RD, we have used Stories to publicize our posts and rich materials, as well as for other more ephemeral events that do not deserve a post on the social network.
Despite being important to take good photos and use filters in those that will be published in the conventional timeline, Stories is the space to place less retouched images. That is why you can use it to show a more relaxed approach to the real day-to-day life of your company, like behind the scenes.
In the same way, over time, Instagram was launching other news, gathering, for example, all the Stories on one page, according to the place of publication or according to the hashtags used. If you have a local business, it is an especially useful option, as it allows you to publicize the company in your region.
However, the benefits are not restricted to local businesses, because with hashtags, for example, you can make publications marking the subject of your business or other keywords. In addition, it is also possible to use them to take advantage of the collaboration of people, in case you get to hold an event, for example.
There is also the option of making live broadcasts on Instagram through Stories, which remain available for 24 hours.
Would you be interested in doing Stories for your company? Do not forget to read our material Sizes of images for Facebook and Instagram, with all the measures (even Stories), an infographic and templates in Photoshop to download.
Another way to expand your fan base is to run sweepstakes asking those interested to like your page and comment on the post, as prerequisites for entering. After all, who doesn't like to win a gift?
The awards can also be made in a contest format, this being an opportunity to obtain user-generated content. Ask people to post photos of themselves using a specific hashtag, in addition to following your profile.
However, before putting your hands in the dough and doing the sweepstakes or contest, it is important to pay attention to the rules. In Brazil, for example, the regulatory body for these actions is the Caixa Econômica Federal. Therefore, it is important to read the rules of the institution, as well as the guidelines of Instagram itself.