Instagram is a very visual social media platform that allows you to share your pictures, photos and videos. Instagram has a smartphone app, which provides the best access to the features available. Like other social media platforms, Instagram accounts have profiles, news feeds and followers. When you make a post it shows on your feed, the feed of those that are following you, the hashtag feed (more below) and if popular the feed of those who are interested in your type of content.
How do you get followers on Instagram?
There are several ways to get followers, some of them controlled by you and others controlled by Instagrams algorithms. But basically if other people on Instagram like your posts or what you have to say they can start following you.
Instagram has several ways that it presents your posts to others. Instagram allows a user to search for a topic of interest, follow a topic of interest by following a hashtag, allows users to follow others and using its algorithms it knows what users like so starts presenting them posts they may be interested in, which could be yours. The more engagement your post gets the more Instagram presents it to others.
Hashtags are the most common way to get followers. When making a post you are able to add hashtags that relate to the topic of your post. For example, if you are selling furniture you may add the hashtags like #furtiture #modern #lounge. When you add a hashtag to a post your pictures will show in the hashtag feed. Other Instagram users are able to search or follow hashtag feeds because they are interested in the topic or content. Or they may have shown an interest in similar posts in the past, so are presented yours. When they see your post they can like it, comment on it, click on your profile picture and see your other posts. If they like what they see they can follow you. As long as they are following you, your posts will be shown in their feed.
One other tag that may help is the geotag. When Instagram users are looking for a local supplier of products or services they may search the hashtag and location. If you are near your posts will be shown.
Other factors also determine the level of engagement you get. What time you post, do you make comments on others posts, do you like other peoples posts, are you consistent with your posts, do you ask others to follow you, do you follow others, are you offering something for free and most importantly is your post visually engaging.
If you have a good story to tell that you cannot tell through a single post, you can add stories to your Instagram profile. Anyone visiting your profile can view your stories and when you add a new story, anyone following you will see it at the top of their feed.
Using Instagram you can improve your brand, product and services visibility, but there are only a few ways to get people to click through to your website.
- Your website link on your profile (clickable)
- A website address in your post (not clickable)
- Instagram ads (clickable)
- Stories on a verified Instagram account can use swipe up to link to your website (swipeable) (verified accounts have a little blue tick next to their name in their profile)
- Certain businesses can tag products in their organic Instagram photos. When a user clicks this product they are shown a short product description and then they have the option to click-through to the website to learn more or make a purchase.
If you are looking to promote to a specific audience other than hashtags, there are two ways.
- Paid advertising on Instagram, which uses the facebook AdWords platform where you target people using a range of parameters. This also provides clickable posts to your website URL.
- Sponsored posts or stories where you search for an Instagram user that has a large following, normally related to your topic. If they have a contact button on their profile you can ask them to put your post or story in their feed for a small fee, giving you instant views from thousands of people. If they are a verified account (little blue tick next to their name in their profile) you can get them to link your story to your website.