3 Effective Ways to Increase Your Instagram Community
Is your business focused on visual appeal and aesthetically pleasing products? Chances are, Instagram would be a great platform for your business. However, like every platform you must have a strategy. You can’t simply create an Instagram account, post a bunch of photos and expect it to have followers flock right over.
So how exactly do you know if your business is doing well on Instagram? Chances are you may have a good amount of followers who are engaging with your business or brand. However, Instagram can be tricky to manage due to its uniqueness. Many businesses will try to use Instagram, but it may not be for everyone. That’s why there’s only 40% of top brands that have adopted an Instagram strategy. While 40% may not seem like a lot, those who are using it in a strategic manner are benefiting from being able to visualize the brand in ways that include the customer.
So, assuming you are already on Instagram but don’t exactly know how to increase your followers, let’s get started with the very first basic essential of managing your Instagram.
1. Tools Are a Social Media Account’s Best Friend
Because Instagram was and still is focused on the mobile user, tools are required in order to effectively manage an Instagram community on a computer. Before Instagram released a version for the desktops (which still have limited capabilities), many tools were created to fill in gaps that were left unattended by the network.
What tools are they?
I’m glad you asked. To start, there’s Instagrid, Nitrogram, Simply Measured, and Statigram. There is a multitude of tools that can help you effectively manage your Instagram community, but for the time being, let’s start with the two most useful tools. Statigram is good for community management as well as giveaways where Nitrogram is more focused on analytics.
This tool is helpful in engaging with your followers in a variety of ways, and monitoring what’s going on within your Instagram community. Statigram allows you to do anything from viewing photos, feed, and metrics, to responding to comments and even hosting contests for your target audience. For me, being able to host contests is an awesome feature of Instagram because it can help build your community around relevant material. It’s also a good way to attract other followers when they start to see the success of your contests. The contest page serves as the foundation of where your traffic will be driven. This allows you to capture all the metrics of your campaign within the page in order to monitor its success. Best of all, Statigram even allows you to announce the winner through the platform itself so you don’t have to cross over to Facebook or another social media platform. Don’t forget to use a unique hashtag for your contest so that you can monitor its usage and engagement.
The main purpose of Nitrogram is to help you measure the metrics of your Instagram account including: photos taken, comments, impressions, and likes. Additionally, you can track hashtags relevant to your business. While most tools help you track the followers of your brand, Nitrogram monitors how well you’re engaging with them. This is a key metric because a million followers aren’t worth anything if none of them interact with you. The key is to build a quality community with higher engagement rates. This will take your business further than followers who have never interacted with your brand. Being able to monitor the hashtags created lets you see how many people are posting content about your brand and how frequently they’re doing so. Monitoring the community ultimately gives you indications of how well your brand appeal and customer services are performing.
2. Respond to Comments
Customers want to be part of a product, and when they reach out to your brand it’s a good idea to acknowledge them. So, comment back. This shows that you’re active on the account, engaging with your customers, and providing value to the community. If customers consistently see that, there’s no doubt that your following and engagement rates will continue to grow. If you begin to receive a large amount of comments, there are plenty of tools that will help you respond to a larger quantity of comments.
Use hashtag monitoring to absorb feedback from your audience. If you respond to comments in a timely manner and aim to contribute value to the community, your followers are more likely to walk away from the conversation feeling respected by your business and connected with your brand. In the long run, engagement creates loyalty and that results in even more people engaging with your brand which can give you greater visibility on Instagram.
If photos connected to your brand appear on the Explore section of Instagram, you can almost guarantee a new level of visibility to your brand. This is because people from outside of your network will be able to see your pictures which will end up directing them back to your page.
How do we do that?
Great question. There are two factors in determining whether a photo will make it to the Explore section. The first is that the photo must have an impressive amount of likes and comments. The second factor is how quick the photo reaches those numbers. This is why it is important to engage in conversations in the photos. The more you engage, the higher visibility you will gain. It also gives customers incentive to continue engaging which is what will ultimately lead your photo straight to the Explore section. When that happens, you can count on gaining a few more followers that can relate to your brand.
3. Use Hashtags in Order to Track Long Term Engagement
As mentioned above, hashtags are key to monitoring the success of your contests and overall brand. More importantly, hashtags allow you to evaluate the growth of your business and how far it has come along by comparing the metrics in past and current engagement levels. It’s also crucial to aggregating specific photos over particular hashtags. This will let you analyze your audience’s impression of your brand and business.
If you’re curious how your brand is doing, check out the Explore tab on Instagram and search whatever name is related to your brand or business. From there, you can start to get a good grasp of how your community is interacting with your brand as well as how many photos have been uploaded using your hashtags or brand labels. This here might also be a great opportunity for your brand to engage with potential followers who already have an interest in your business. By liking or even commenting on their photo, you are showing positive support which will encourage them to continue engaging with your brand and that essentially creates a loyal relationship. What’s a better way to increase your community than to attract people who already like you?
Using hashtags in each specific contests, giveaways, or sweepstakes will provide you with ease of access to organizing entries, and calculating success rates of your promotions. It’s possibly best if you integrate the use of both tools since they can compliment one another and give you a full scope of what’s going on Instagram related to your business. Utilize Nitrogram to the fullest by conducting weekly monitoring. This will let you see just how well your community is developing and it can definitely be used to adjust your goals so that you are more likely to meet them. After all, you don’t know how far you’ve come if you didn’t track where you started.
It makes sense doesn’t it ? If you have other thoughts, or are currently managing an Instagram account for a business or brand, let’s discuss what strategies have worked best for you! Feel free to comment below or leave a question.