Instagram boasts a whopping 1 billion monthly users with over 200 million visiting daily. It’s not a matter of whether Instagram is right for your business, the real question is why wouldn’t you want to increase your presence on this platform?

Social distancing has given rise to people surfing the web now more than ever. Instagram’s non-intrusive platform has garnered a rather large welcome from people in the midst of the current climate.

Whether users are watching whipped coffee tutorials, creative activities to keep busy at home or simply passing time during meals, your business has an opportunity to connect with them on Instagram. However, the connection isn’t going to build itself. You have to put the work in.

Here are 10 quick tips to increase your Instagram following:

#1 Frequent and consistent posts

Your presence sets the tone for your audience’s expectations. If you post daily then ghost for a month, you risk confusing your audience and even worse becoming forgotten. There’s a large chance they may decide to unfollow your brand when you decide to become present again.

Maintaining a consistent schedule positions your business to receive maximum engagement without plateaus. Your Instagram strategy should clearly define a target post frequency to stay on goal. Create a schedule then stick with it!

#2 Use a scheduling program

Posting content consistently can be a full-time job but it’s critical for growth. That is why it’s important to make effective use of your time and batch post. You can accomplish this through a social scheduling system. Not only will scheduling save you a lot of time, but also it will reduce any chances of error or additional stress.

The great news is you do not have to purchase any fancy software to accomplish this. You can schedule your Instagram posts directly with the Facebook Ads Manager.

#3 Go live

A survey reported that 82% of people prefer to watch a live video than view a social post. There are many reasons why you should regularly go live on Instagram. The top reason being that when you go live, you go to the top of your followers’ story feed. Even better, Instagram sends a notification to your followers alerting them you are live. Lastly, research has shown that their current algorithm favors accounts that utilize this feature by boosting organic engagement and making their business profiles more visible.

#4 Explore brand partnerships

You have heard the saying, “Two heads are better than one.” Same principle applies here, only you want to partner with brands that have a larger follower base.

It’s important to find a mutually beneficial partnership with a brand whose business objectives and audience align with your own. Remember: when proposing a partnership with a brand to state how it will also benefit them.

#5 Run contests

FACT: people love free stuff. Hosting a contest on Instagram is a simple way to increase your exposure. People are likely to enter contests. They are widely successful because you can require a variety of ways for people to enter that increase both your follower base and engagement. Examples include:

  • Like post
  • Comment and tag friends
  • Share post or story
  • Repost photo

#6 Post regularly on IG Stories

Over 500 million people use Instagram Stories. Of that figure, over one-third of the most viewed content comes from businesses. This not only a huge opportunity for visibility, but also a way to connect and engage with your audience. You can even run ads to your Instagram story to promote to an even larger audience.

IG Stories are simple to create and do not require any fancy equipment. You just upload a photo or video and it will appear in your Stories for 24 hours. If you want the content to remain visible, you can save it as a Highlight that will display on your profile under relevant groups.

#7 Streamline your Instagram profile

Consistency is key! You want to ensure that your Instagram page has a consistent and cohesive feel that is in alignment with your brand.

To achieve this, you want to have consistent lighting and backgrounds. Lighter backgrounds typically resonate better. You also want to ensure to use the same filter treatment across the board for consistency. This will make sure each image appears cohesive.

#8 Use of hashtags

Strategic use of hashtags is a quick, free and effective way to grow your Instagram followers. Instagram posts that have hashtags have 12.6% more engagement than posts without.

Hashtags are effective because they place your content into relevant categories which in turn make your content more discoverable. It’s important to remember to use hashtags that are relevant to your brand.

#9 Put your money behind it

Let’s be clear, organic growth is possible. However, to be utterly transparent, you dramatically increase your visibility when you pay to play. Instagram gives the ability to create ads that target your exact desired consumer. You can also create a variety of ad formats to reach them such as story ads, carousel ads, photo ads, and video ads.

It does not require a large budget to get in front of a large audience. A great way to start is to promote a post that received a lot of engagement organically and target a relevant audience. Evaluate your data and test other content to increase your growth.

#10 Give back 

The best way to win a following of loyal people is to be selfless. When your audience sees you take time out to put them first and not make it all about you, you build a lasting connection. Don’t be afraid to showcase the goodwill efforts that help improve the lives of others and your community.