I get this question at least once a day on my social media handles since I started researching and posting about Instagram. After answering queries of about 100 people in the past six months, taking four courses, reading 40-50 blog posts, and experimenting with different strategies, this is what I have discovered.
There are only two things that matter to explode your Instagram account :
- Profile visits
- Conversion of those people into followers
Let us go in-depth and see why these matter and how to use them to grow fast on Instagram.
I’ll explain why I am telling you these concepts via a really small story.
Imagine there is a candy shop in your area, and the candy shop needs two customers every day.
Now STOP and ask yourself – how can it get two customers every day?
The answer is by getting more people into the shop.
Sounds simple right? Not exactly not every person is going to convert into a customer. You need to ensure that every walking person converts into a customer, but how do you do that?
You do that by providing good service, good prices, friendly behavior, etc.
Well, this is exactly the case with Instagram.
The candy shop is your account, the people walking inside your store are the profile visitors, and the people who visit the shop and convert to customers are your followers.
Now let us understand how to get profile visits to increase your followers :
4 tap strategy :
When you like, comment, or follow people, it sends a notification to them about your deed, making them curious to see who liked, commented, or followed them and, hence, make them visit your profile. So how do you nail these actions to ensure a profile visit?
You do what I like to call a 4 tap strategy.
Step 1: Find the location of your audience :
Find the people who would like to follow your account from the big players.
E.g., let’s say I run a digital marketing related account.
My target audience can be found in digital Pratik’s account as he is the most known.
Step 2: Getting them to visit your profile :
Go to the page which contains your target audience and do 4 taps.
Tap 1 & 2: like 2 of their posts
Tap 3: leave a long and valuable comment GENUINELY
Tap 4: follow them ( you can vary that according to how many followers you already have as this hampers your follower to following ratio)
E.g., Assume that it is a dog’s photo.
Here is what I would comment :
“Wow, man! nice dog love British bulldogs! Unfortunately, my parents won’t buy me those you know typical Indian mentality we already have 2 lol.”
I can assure you there is more than a 75% chance of that guy visiting your profile.
If you follow my advice and do it for 100 people every day, then I promise you’ll get more followers in one month than you can imagine.
Try to do this with 50-100 different profiles every day.
I know it’s too much, but you can start with 10-20 every day.
I understand it is boring, and I struggle to apply this as well, but I promise it’ll be worth it.
The idea is to get your post ranked high on hashtags so that people view and visit your profile from there.
( if you don’t understand what ranking on a hashtag means, open your Instagram, search for any hashtag, visit that and see the top posts; those posts are what I am calling ranked)
Before we begin, just keep in mind that each hashtag has some posts that have used that hashtag, which decides if that hashtag is worth working with.
#millionaire this has 6 million posts, which is too much and hence not worth it.
#businesstipsandtricks has 13k posts, which means less competition and worth our time.
I use FLICK.tech tool which does this for me automatically, but I understand that you might not want to invest your money; hence you can use I use what I like to call a stack strategy where you include 5 hashtags of each popularity
5 from 500-1k posts
5 from 1-10k posts
5 from 10k-50k posts
5 from 10k to 50k posts
5 from 50k to 100k posts
5 from 100k to 500k posts
Note: MAX LIMIT 30
Make 3-4 sets of hashtags for your account (assuming you post once a day).
Keep switching these sets up for appearing non-spammy.
E.g., sometimes 30 hashtags, sometimes 26 etc. etc.
Paid Shoutouts :
Let’s start with what exactly is a shoutout?
Getting a really big page on Instagram to post your content so that you get more followers. Now how do you choose what page to purchase from and how do you approach them?
Here are 7 criteria to buy a successful shoutout:
1. Niche :
No matter what happens, never choose an account that is not 100% of your niche.
Always choose an account from your relevant niche.
Fitness tips page -> big fitness theme pages
Travel photos -> travel theme pages
2. Engagement rate :
Always check the engagement rate on the social blade!
Compare with at least 3-4 accounts of your niche to find the sweet spot.
There is too much variation to generalize, in my opinion but try to get 2% or more for really big accounts like 100K or so.
3. Tracking :
Create an excel sheet to compare engagement rates, prices per follower of each shoutout you take, and how many followers you are gaining every day before buying the shoutout.
( keep in mind there is no sure shot way to know exactly how many followers you get from a shoutout since you might gain followers organically, too; hence I recommend creating this excel sheet. )
4. Don’t be creative :
Stick to what caption works for other people.
Ask the shoutout page to know what caption works and what don’t they know better than you.
5. Price :
While there are no fixed prices for shoutouts, keep in mind ads cost Rs 1-2/follower (baseline to keep in mind no hard and fast rule), shoutouts should get you followers at a cheaper rate; otherwise, it doesn’t make sense.
Note: There is also something called shoutout4shoutout. This is the same thing; however, instead of paying someone, you find an account with the same number of followers as you, and then you cross-promote each other.
6. Ads :
Run traffic ads to your Instagram profile URL with the best performing post of yours.
You can get Rs 1-2/follower from feed ads and Rs 2-3 from story ads.
How do you know which is the best performing post?
Go to analytics Inside Instagram and then check for shares and engagement.
You can easily find tutorials on youtube to know how it is done practically.
Now let’s learn how to convert visitors to followers :
There are two components to nail it :
7. Content :
Content is the King; you need to post content that your audience finds either educational or entertaining there are no two ways about it.
Keep this in mind :
Is it entertaining or educational for my audience?
Does it look visually appealing?
Is it something that goes well with my other posts?
Is it relatable to my audience?
These are some really handy points to keep in mind.
Profile optimization :
Optimize your profile according to these criteria:
keep it simple and easy to remember
I’m much likely to follow
Fill out all these to supercharge your bio :
who are you? E.g., digital marketer,
what do you do? e.g., FB ads
how can you help them? E.g., generate leads
what do you want from them? E.g., dm me for a free consultation.
How are you different? e.g., I m an accidental marketer as I accidentally clicked on a video in 2018, and that lead to a twist of events that made me who I am. Be honest in this. Always keep it simple enough so that your audience understands it.
Make sure you use a theme (2-3 fixed colors and 2-3 fixed fonts) for your whole account as well as highlights cover images and have at least 6 highlights on your profile. If you follow these principles, I promise you there is nothing that can stop you from growing on Instagram.
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Krishna Arora is a Coder turned, Accidental digital marketer. He is an Instagram Marketing Expert, helping brands level up on social media.