One of the biggest challenges for businesses starting out on social media is how to gain a following. Sales and marketing is all a numbers game. The higher your followers the more people you can engage with, and the more engaged your audience is the more likely you are to increase your brand awareness and your sales.
So how do you gain followers on Instagram? Unlike Facebook gaining organic followers is actually pretty simple.
While Facebook’s primary focus is connecting you with family and friends Instagram is more open and fluid. While you can ‘lock’ your account most individuals and certainly most businesses want people to follow them and interact with them on Instagram. When you follow an individual there is a chance that they will follow you back, and this is how we start to grow our followers.
Finding your target market
To find your followers think about what else your target market is interested in. If you have a local business then find other local businesses or community groups. Chances are the people following those businesses would be interested in yours. So if you own a local cafe, look at the followers that are following another local cafe or bakery. If you own a children’s product, then your target market might be mums. Find other pages that mum’s would be following.
Then, all you need to do is start ‘following’ these people. Our results have shown that if you are following the right people then about 10-20% of them will follow you back.
Once this starts happening Instagram will then suggest you to other people that also liked similar pages and then you are off and away!
Is there any limits?
The short answer is yes! Instagram knows that this is a tactic and puts things in place to limit it. You can’t follow more than 250 people in one hour, however, I have also found that it is dependant on speed. So if you are just sitting there pressing follow, follow, follow, follow as fast as you can Instagram will give you a short ban. So slow down and do it while you are watching TV at night and just click in the ad breaks!
There is also a limit on the total amount of people that you can follow – and this is 7,500. So you may need to find a method to unfollow accounts after some time. There are several fairly cheap software options out there that will do this for you – and will unfollow anyone that didn’t follow you back.
Do I have to do this forever?
No! This is just to get you started. Once you have a couple of thousand followers you will then gain organic followers if you are posting every day and interacting on Instagram.