HOW TO GET MORE FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM IN 2 WEEKS
By Nathan Chan
Followers. It’s the ultimate Instagram metric that basically states in raw numbers how popular you are. For brands, it defines how many people will be able to see all the nice images you publish. Followers are basically like cute puppies; the more you have, the better off you are.
So the big question is, how do you get more followers on Instagram? to make your business explode? Like, lots of followers? And quick? Well, we might have found one pretty good solution of doing just that.
About two weeks ago, Foundr launched its Instagram account (you can find it here. Check it out!) Within two weeks, we went from 0 followers, to over 10,000. We achieved this by following a relatively straight-forward process we hacked together. We’ve written out all the steps in the process, so read on if you’re interested in growing your Instagram account and making your business explode!
As you can see from the image below, Instagram has increased our customer conversion rate by over 30%!
- Generate content your customers like
The first step is to get more followers on Instagram is to generate the right content. This might seem obvious, but we always see it get neglected. Find out what your customers enjoy seeing on Instagram or what themes resonates with them, and populate your account with relevant images. A good way to find out what your customers like is by checking out what your competition is posting up, or what kind of imagery is used in the websites or blogs that are popular in your industry. There are some types of images that work well with most industries in general though; posters with inspirational or humorous quotes, food photography or scenic images are a safe bet in general. If you’re in a industry where what you’re selling is already visually appealing, photos of what you do is not a bad idea as well. However, keep those kind of images you to a minority; posting a lot about yourself on social media is just like being the person at BBQs who only talks about themselves.
On Instagram, engagement is king. For best results, we found that images which trigger an emotion or questions that elicit some thought work really well. For example, this image below got over 10% engagement. For Instagram, we’re told that 1% engagement is really good already, so go figure!
2. Post Regularly
Aim to post on a regular basis, somewhere between once every three to four hours. However, don’t bulk post a whole bunch of photos in one sitting; users will often regard this as spam and unfollow you. Think of it like sowing seeds, you don’t want to just plug all your seeds into one hole in one go; you want to spread them out.
You can also schedule your content if you use a tool like JustUnfollow. Unfortunately Instagram’s API doesn’t let other services post for you, but you can pre-fill and batch them.
*Please note you can only post from the Instagram Mobile or Tablet app. You cannot post via the website when you are logged in.
3. Have a strong call to action in your Instagram biography
Let’s be honest. No-one really reads bios anymore. However, you can still make use of the bio section by using a strong call to action (which is basically marketing speak for an instruction for your viewer to do something). You can use up to 150 characters so a short snappy CTA works best. For us, it was “Get your free copy of Foundr today!http://www.foundrmag.com/itunes”.
Definitely still write something small about what you do, but try keeping it to one sentence, and then follow that up with a direct, compelling and no-nonsense CTA.
4. Use #s
Hashtags might just seem like something that annoying teenaged girls say, but that’s not quite true. Hashtags are a way for viewers to navigate easily to topics they’re interested in. Attaching #hashtag(s) to your image therefore enables your content to be found easier by those who don’t already follow you. First, research what the most popular hashtags are to your niche, and then compile them together. For us, this involved building a huge list of keywords that we found were relevant to what we do and what our images generally are about. Second, write a comment on the photo and insert the hashtags there. Remembers, don’t put your hashtags into the description of the photo itself. The reason for this is that the comment section will hide your list of keywords and doesn’t unnecessarily bulk up your photo description, allowing you to you keep your description section free for a compelling blurb about the photo.
5. Have a strong call to action with each photo
Under the description in each photo, include another call to action (CTA). This CTA would be more relevant to the photo, and probably would not be the same as the one you used in your bio.
Examples of CTAs are ‘tag your friends who are like this’, or ‘double tap if you agree’. Always give your fans something to do. This helps your account spread like wildfire.
6. Follow others
In one of our previous posts, we stated that one of the keys of content marketing came down to copying others. When it comes to Instagram marketing, it is no different and with the right tools, we can copy even the users another brand has. In order to help us do this, we found this super cool, super powerful tool called ‘Crowdfire’. Crowdfire allows you to see which people follow a specified brand, and allows you to follow those users. It also allows you to unfollow those who have not followed you back. Why this tool is so good is that it allows you to find out which people would be potentially interested in your brand. For us, we searched up other brands such as Fast Company, found out which people followed that brand, and started to follow those people via the ‘Copy Follower’ function. Following someone on Instagram gives them a notification that links them to your own page and gives them a chance to follow you back, so following a lot of people allows you to pique the interest of a lot of others.
Another feature of Crowdfire shows you which users you follow, but don’t follow you back. This allows you to quickly unfollow those who are uninterested in what you do. We got a paid account for $9.99 a month, which unlocked the ability for us to hide which users we had followed and then unfollowed in the past, preventing us from following the same person twice.
Keep in mind due to Instagram restrictions, you are only allowed to perform 400 actions a day (an action either being a follow or unfollow). Therefore, make sure you max out the number of actions you perform every single day. We got in into the routine of 3 days of copying followers, and then one day of unfollowing.
7. Network, network, network (Mutual Shares)
Networking can create wonders, not only in real life, but also in the social media sphere. There are accounts on Instagram that will do a “share for a share”, allowing your content to make an appearance on other pages if you do the same. Do a quick hunt for these pages in your industry (they aren’t hard to find), and get in touch.
Join Nichify The World's Largest Network for Social Networkers Today // Created by social media networkers, for social media networkers. With over 350M in combined social reach you're bound to find the exposure your page needs.
When we started, we also managed to get introduced into this huge network of entrepreneurs, all with accounts of over 20,000+ followers. They helped us out big time by sharing our content, and there are similar networks existing for all kinds of industries with users who are all willing to help out, so long as you return the favor, of course! Remember, if you help people and don’t expect anything in return, not only is it good karma, but comes back to you 10 fold. So, don’t approach joining and teaming up with other accounts with an attitude of “what’s in it for me?”. Rather, think of it has just helping your fellow man out, and you never know, good things may happen to you down the track.
8. Shoutouts (Paid)
Lastly, we spent about $100 paying for shoutouts from other popular accounts. Research on the popular accounts [or on the Recommended profiles on Nichify - we added that!] that are relevant in your field, reach out to them to see if they’ll be willing to do a shoutout for you, and how much that will cost. This will let you gain access to larger networks that you previously might have not had access to before.
There are a few different types of shoutouts.
- Caption only shoutouts: So the page uses it’s own image and style that it usually would, and mentions your page in the caption. This works, but is not as effective as your own image or branded image. This can be a cheaper alternative.
- Your own image with your product or service + caption: This works better than just a caption based shoutout, but you have to make sure the call to action is good. Some accounts will only let you put up the image for a certain period of time, and others will let it stay. Usually the higher traffic the page, the more you see rules and restrictions.
The strategy behind the shoutouts can also vary. What we recommend is for the CTA to follow your page, as you can capture the audience and engage with them more. We have tried both pushing the Foundr subscription and getting the viewer to follow our page, and we have found it’s way more effective to get them follow you. You have to remember you can’t put clickable links in the captions, so it can be hard to get people to perform specific actions. This is why a concise bio is so important.
Prices for shoutouts will vary from account to account. We found that the pages with the best results are motivational, business accounts, so you need to find high traffic pages that have good engagement. We constitute good engagement as at least 1-2% of likes per how many followers the account has.
For an account with decent engagement and 200,000 followers, we wouldn’t pay no more than $50 per shoutout, and we would want to use our own image.
So those are the steps that we went through. Before you go running off to do all of that though, think about why you’re on, or want to be on Instagram, as we can’t guarantee this method will work as effectively for you as it did for us. Instagram is certainly a powerful tool, but it’s not really for everyone. A few questions you might want to ask yourself are, ‘is my industry, or what I sell visually appealing? Am I willing to share stuff around that isn’t directly related to what I sell? Do I have time to engage in a new social media platform?’If you answered no to one or more of these questions, you might want to rethink why you want to jump onto Instagram marketing, as you don’t want to be wasting resources on something that just isn’t for you. Otherwise, feel free to use our guide to boost your Instagram following! Let us know, did our guide help you? What other cool strategies have you found to reach out to more people?
Signing Up // Adding A User Account
Creating Your Profile
Adding Your Social Accounts
Finding Other Users To Connect With
Collaborating With Other Users // Creating A Deal
SIGNING UP // ADDING A USER ACCOUNT
1. Scroll through the initial onboarding screens and click the blue/green ‘Sign Up’ button on the final screen to begin the Sign Up process.
2. Enter your account information. Please note that at Nichify we have industry standard privacy and security measures in place and all account information will be kept private.
3. Click 'Next' to create your Profile. You will then be promoted to Agree to our Terms & Conditions.
4. Be sure to confirm your email address by clicking the 'Activate' link in the email sent to your account.
CREATING YOUR PROFILE
1. Select whether you are an Influencer or Brand (if unsure select one to continue as you can change this later). If you are representing the interests of Influencers (e.g. An Influencer Manager) select Influencer. If you are representing the interests of a Brand (e.g. Advertising Agencies) select Brand.
2. Select up to 3 Niches that best describe your profile. Niches can be seen as the interests that your account represents. Niches help you connect with likeminded individuals that share your interests.
3. Choose and upload a profile picture.
4. Enter a unique username. This is how others will find you on Nichify. You can think of your username as your account 'key'. A username could be your name, your brands name, your social media account name, or just a word you like! There cannot be spaces in a username but you can use a punctuation points such as a full stop (.), hyphen (-) or underscore (_) in your username.
5. Add your social Accounts (see Adding Your Social Accounts below for more information)
Adding Your Social Accounts
1. On your Profile, click the '+Add' button to link your social media accounts to your Nichify profile
2. Click the link for the social media account you would like to add to your profile.
3. Either add a 'Verified' or 'Unverified' social media account to your profile.
Adding A Verified Account:
It’s much better for your account reputation on Nichify to add a Verified social media account. Top Brands and Influencers are more likely to work with Verified Accounts. Verified Accounts not only reduce the risk of fraud, but also provide your Profile with a daily updated live reach.
Account verification is currently available for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with other social media platforms will be available to verify in later updates.
When adding a verified ‘Facebook Page’ you must first log into the Facebook profile that is an admin to the page you would like to add. It will then appear with a screen that says ‘Nichify would like to manage your Pages’ by choosing OK, you will be lead to a list of your with your page(s) , select the Facebook page(s) you wish to add and then press done to finishing adding them to your Profile.
Adding An Unverified Account:
If verification is not yet available for your Social Media Account or if you would prefer not to Verify your Account yet you can manually add a unverified account by entering your account name (e.g. @example) and reach (e.g. 1000 followers).
At Nichify your privacy and account security are very important to us. We use an industry standard pathway called ‘OAuth’ to verify your account ownership and display your account reach. OAuth provides client application ‘secure delegated access’ on behalf of a resource owner. It specifies a process for resource owners to authorize third-party access to their server resources without sharing their credentials.
FINDING OTHER USERS TO CONNECT WITH ON NICHIFY:
Nichify allows you to instantly Chat and create Deals to collaborate with other users. First you need to find other users on Nichify to connect with.
- Search For A User:
On Nichify, you can think of your username as your account ‘key’. Only share it with people you would like to connect with (just like on 'Kik', for example). You must know a Profile’s username to be able to search for them unless they are on the Recommended list.
1. Click the Find button (magnifying glass) located on the top right hand corner of the chat screen to to search for a user.
2. Type the username into the search bar at the top of the screen. A username cannot contain spaces but may contain punctuation (i.e. a full stop (.), hyphen (-) or underscore (_).)
3. Only exact usernames will appear as valid searches.
- Chat with Recommended users:
To find our Recommended users go to the Chat screen and click the Search button (magnifying glass) located on the top right hand corner of the chat screen, the Recommended users list will appear below the 'Share My Profile Link'.
- Share your Nichify profile via the 'Share My Profile Link' and username to Instagram / Twitter so that other users that have Nichify can Find and Chat with you.
- Add your Nichify username to your social media account bio so that your followers can chat with you on Nichify.
- Send an email or direct message on social media with your Nichify username to a Brand / Influencer or ask for a Brand or Influencer's Nichify username.
- Message Your Existing Contacts On Other Chat Apps (e.g. WhatsApp, Kik, Viber or Facebook Messenger) with your Nichify username and ask the Brand / Influencer to connect with you on Nichify.
COLLABORATING WITH OTHER USERS // CREATING A DEAL:
- Once you’re chatting with another user and decide that you would like to collaborate with them you can create a ‘Deal’.
- To create a Deal simply click the ‘Deals’ icon at the top right of your chat screen with the user you would like to create a deal with.
- You will need to choose a purpose for your Deal. Ask yourself what you would like to get out of the deal. See below for our ideas on ways to collaborate on Nichify.
Ways To Collaborate On Nichify:
- SFS – ‘shoutout for shoutout’ / ‘share for share’
- Become a Brand Ambassador
- Paid Posts / Shouts
- Product gifting
- Product placement
- Competition // Giveaway
- Account takeovers // Guest posts.
Sign up To Our Mailing List (Below) for our upcoming Blog post on What Influencers Can Offer Brands and an explanation of Ways To Collaborate on Nichify.
SFS (‘Share For Share’)
We will both post eachother’s content (photo + caption) simultaneously to our respective Instagram feeds. We will leave the photos up for 1 hour without posting another photo and then delete the posts after 4 hours. Time is based off Eastern Standard Time.
My Caption for your post: Check out my friend @example @example @example’s feed. They post some pretty cool stuff!
Your Caption for my post:
[Please write your caption here: Repeat your username x3]
I have added my photo to the deal, please add yours.
[insert your image here]
Select ‘No payments’ as this is a mutual share.
Starts: 1 Jan 2015 4:00 pm
Ends: 1 Jan 2015 8:00 pm
If you require any further help contact please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Suggest some ideas of what you'd like us to cover on the Nichify Blog. Some of our ideas include:
◦ 'Getting Started on Nichify'
◦ 'Ways To Collaborate on Nichify'
◦ 'How To Find More Users To Connect With On Nichify'
◦ 'How To Grow Your Instagram Following'
◦ 'How To Protect Your Social Accounts Against Hackers'
◦ 'Best Times To Post On Social Media'
◦ 'Repurposing Content Across Social Platforms'
If you are a social media expert and would like to write an article for the Nichify Blog or submit your Nichify success story (how Nichify has helped your brand/account) please email submissions to email@example.com // Leave your suggestions as Comments below ↓