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It’s no secret that business opportunities are continuing to grow on Instagram. Approximately 90% of Instagram’s 1 billion active monthly users follow a business account on the platform, and there are more than 200 million business accounts.

Unless you are famous, it’s really difficult to amass a huge following on Instagram without some hard work.

In this guide, we’ll discuss a few strategies to help you gain those followers, from creating a follow-worthy Instagram profile to using contests and staying true to your brand.

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1. Publish great content- Consistently

This is important to your whole social media marketing strategy, not just Instagram. Your current followers want to see content from you that is why they followed you in the first place, so give them what they want. One great post might win you a follow.

They’re seeing your content regularly and if you can’t continue delivering what brought them in in the first place, you might get the unfollow.

When users communicate with your posts, those engagements tell Instagram’s algorithm that your content is valuable. Those interactions will then boost your reach.

How often should you post? According to our analysis, between 3-7 times per week. 

2. Post at the right time

Instagram uses an algorithm, not a chronological feed. But timing is still paramount to the algorithm.

According to Hootsuite’s social team research, the best time to post on Instagram is between 8 AM -12 PM PST or 4-5 PM PST on weekdays.

But your audience might have different habits than ours. A tool like Hootsuite Analytics can show you the best time to post for your audience based on past engagement, impressions or traffic.

Start testing various times and measuring results. For example, if you’re a retail brand, you might want to test posting during lunch

3. Use Hashtags to Get Followers on Instagram

Hashtags are extremely important if you want to gain more Instagram followers, Using hashtags makes your content discoverable through search or filtering when people tap on the same hashtag from another post. People can even follow their favorite hashtags so that top content with that hashtag will show up in their Instagram timeline. 

Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, but don’t tack on extras just to hit 30. TrackMaven recommends nine hashtags for maximum engagement. Just make sure you don’t use the same nine hashtags over and over again. Instead, group your go-to hashtags by category so you can quickly add a few relevant hashtags to each post. 

4. Write great captions

Nice pictures catch people’s attention, but great Instagram captions can sometimes make or break its impact on your potential followers. Captions give you a chance to provide more context or details about the photo or video you’re sharing. Plus, using keywords in captions can help you appear in search results on the app. 

Instagram captions can be up to 2,200 characters. Of course, not every caption needs to read like a blog post. Play around with different lengths. Some photos pair nicely with a short, quippy caption with a couple of emojis, while others might benefit from something longer and more reflective. 

5. Cross-promote your account

One of the greatest ways to promote your Instagram page is to cross-promote. Cross-promoting involves posting similar content across various social media channels. It’s a strategy used to save time and resources. It’s also effective at increasing brand awareness and growing an audience on Instagram. 

Add links to your social profiles in your website footer, email templates, and signatures. Print out your handle name and put it in a cute frame in your office. Tell your Facebook page visitors where they can find you on Insta. Cross-promote your branded hashtag, too on your receipts, in print ads, and at relevant events.

Don’t just assume people will find your Instagram account or hashtag. Direct them to it.

6. Ask for more followers

It sounds obvious, but it deserves to be said, Don’t be scared to occasionally ask your audience to follow you.

The same way YouTubers ask their viewers to subscribe to their channel at the end of their videos, you can also ask viewers to follow you for more content.

Sometimes people might really enjoy what you put out on Instagram but need a nudge before they actually follow you. 

You can also do this in your Instagram captions, work it into your content by pitching what your audience will get if they follow you or by hinting at content that’s coming up that they won’t want to miss.

7. Optimize your bio

Your can be up to 150 characters, so make the most of it. Instagram bio tells potential followers who you are, what you’re about, and what action you hope people will take after visiting your profile. And those visitors may become followers.

Your Instagram bio should include:

  • A clear description of what you do
  • Touches of your personality
  • A call to action (shop, read more, contact us, etc.)
  • A link

Your in-bio link is your only clickable link on Instagram, so use it wisely. Some businesses include a standard link to their website, while others change it regularly to reflect recent posts. But if you want to make it easier on yourself, take advantage of link in bio tools such as Start Page that allow you to turn a single link into a catalog of links.

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