4 Easy Ways to Grow Your Instagram Audience

In addition to using relatively traditional social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, marketers are now using social networks such as LinkedIn to advertise and target their audiences. Instagram in particular is gaining adoption by marketers as it had acquired over 150 million users by September 2013. With this increase in Instagram usage, brands are placing more emphasize on fostering their Instagram community. Here are 4 ways you can use to enhance your Instagram audience substantially:
 
  1. Search for relevant hashtags

    By searching relevant hashtags such as “#fashion” and “#beauty,” you can find Instagram users who fit your desired consumer group. For instance, if you’re an organic foods retailer, you can search for hashtags such as “#organic,” “#health,” and even “#squats” to identify health-conscious individuals who are likely to develop interest in your products. Once you’ve located these prospects, you can nurture relationships with them. You can start off your relationship building process with influencers who have over 1,000 followers. By fostering rapports with influencers, you can become more aggressive with your Instagram outreach and most importantly, see greater returns from your social media initiatives, as a share from these individuals can allow  you to reach over thousands of users.
  2. Strengthen your relationship with current followers

    With the introduction of Instagram Direct, you can now send videos and images to your followers. This enables you to build close bonds with your existing followers by sending them customized content. For instance, if you’re a fashion retailer, you can send customized images of your product line to specific customers. This will enhance their brand loyalty and purchase desire as you’re targeting them with items that they actually care about.
  3. Run Instagram-exclusive contests

    You can grow your audience substantially by running Instagram-only contests where participants can increase their chance of winning by sharing your contest to their peers. This will enable you to augment your Instagram community cost-effectively as the only investment you’re placing is the prize, which is a relatively small sum compared to traditional advertising tactics such as newspaper ads. More importantly, you’ll be able to gain brand exposure from qualified leads as your followers’ friends are most likely similar to them in terms of brand taste, demographic, geographic, and psychographics.
  4. Measure your results and iterate

    Just like in other advertising campaigns such as AdWords, measuring your Instagram initiatives based on cold-hard data is imperative in building a robust Instagram community. You can measure data such as your Instagram community’s growth rate contributed by your online contest, new followers gained from your influencers, and new followers generated from hashtag-searching. These measurements allow you to examine your performance and determine how you should iterate your approaches. After all, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
 
As Instagram becomes more advertising-friendly, more marketers are using it to disseminate their brands with rich, illustrative visual content. This enables marketers to attract qualified leads, nurture strong bonds with existing followers, and gain exposure. This will help brands strengthen their online presence and enhance their consumers’ purchase intentions.