6 Ways to Grow Instagram Followers

Digital Marketing|infinitee|Thought Leadership|
6 Ways to Grow Your Instagram Followers

Recently a client told me they wanted to launch a social activation campaign that focused on growing the brand’s Instagram followers and audience. Knowing that you can’t simply run a paid advertisement specific for new followers, our client wanted to get creative to achieve such an initiative.

Here are the 6 ideas I provided in order of least to most investment by time or money. If you have a campaign in mind or want to talk about customizing one of these ideas for your brand, shoot me an email at chelsea@infinitee.com and we’ll get started. 

1. Outreach

The tactics we see the greatest return on are with outreach efforts – liking and commenting on as many posts as we can, and following as many profiles (that align with your audiences) as possible. It takes time, but it’s the most cost-effective way to increase genuine, quality followers.

2. Advertising

Other opportunities are boosted posts and ads ran in conjunction with Facebook. These would be best if they’re tied to some kind of incentive that relates back to the Instagram content and your brand’s unique selling points. Imagery should be aspirational to capture viewer attention. The ads should also have a CTA in the copy or the image/video to “Follow us” and the ads should link back to the Instagram profile, not to a web address.

3. External Promotion

You can also promote the Instagram profile in other communication mediums: Facebook, Twitter, Email, Mobile app, Push/text notifications, Onsite signage, etc. with the same CTA to “Follow us”. If you’re a shopping center, charge your CSRs to ask shoppers if they’ve followed your brand on Instagram when they visit for other needs!

4. Sweepstakes/Giveaway

When it comes to incentivized campaigns, we typically see Instagram garner more engagement than followers unless the CTA or mode of entry is to actually follow the profile. Unfortunately, that is difficult to track as you can’t export followers or see when someone followed you. For now, Instagram followers are listed in chronological order when you have 200+ so it would take manual effort to track new followers each day of the campaign and ultimately select a winner at random.

5. Social Movement

There’s always the opportunity to turn this into a larger initiative like a social movement where users are following and interacting for a cause or message rather than an incentive. Oftentimes these are the most successful in garnering new followers as well.

Adidas #ORIGINALis          Apple #shotoniPhone6

Adidas did this with the #ORIGINALis campaign and so did Apple with the #shotoniPhone6 campaign. Both of those capitalize on the purpose of Instagram – user generated content and the network itself being picture driven.

6. Instagram Takeover with Influencers

Other campaigns geared toward followers are “Instagram takeovers” from a person of influence. Magazines and publications seem to have the most success, but it has to be done with someone who already has a strong social following so their users know to visit the page they’re taking over. This is oftentimes the most expensive investment from a national perspective, but can be quite cost effective on a local level with smaller influencers.

If you’re not sure how to get started in identifying influencers, visit one of our recent posts, Influencer Marketing: Finding Your Squad.

And again, these are just 6 simple ideas off the cuff ranging in scale that you could certainly consider for your brand. If you’re interested in continuing the conversation, just email me – Chelsea Cannon at chelsea@infinitee.com!

Thanks for visiting!

Chelsea Cannon infinitee

Chelsea Cannon
Digital Brand Strategist
infinitee Communications, Inc.


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