With over 1 billion monthly users (source), Instagram is quickly becoming a must-have marketing tool for bloggers and marketers. Want to get some expert tips on growing your Instagram following? Here are 14 proven ways to grow your Instagram!
Why you should grow your Instagram
In 2010 when Instagram first launched, no one could have imagined this social media platform would become a tool to grow your online business. Fast forward to 2021, and Instagram is now one of the most popular marketing channels for bloggers.
While Instagram won’t send as much traffic as Google search or Pinterest can, it is the network to build a brand and grow your tribe.
Ready to grow your Instagram? Let’s get started.
1. Add a slide-in widget to your blog with MiloTree
When people visit blogs, they’re typically only there to find an answer or solution to a problem. However, if you want people to know, like, and trust you – it’s going to be hard to accomplish this from a single blog visit that can last less than a minute.
By having your blog visitors follow you on Instagram, you’re allowing yourself the opportunity to build up that trust you’re going to need to make a sale down the line.
To encourage your blog visitors to follow you on Instagram, use the MiloTree WordPress plugin to add a widget showcasing your Instagram profile. The plugin has many display options, but I prefer the option where the widget slides in from the bottom right of the screen.
2. Use an Instagram scheduler like Tailwind
Ideally, you will want to post at least seven photos a week on your Instagram, and taking the time to do this once a day can add up to hours you could be using to grow your brand in other ways.
That’s why using a scheduling tool for Instagram is a must. The best social media scheduling tool currently on the market is Tailwind.
Tailwind helps you figure out the best times to post to get the best engagement. Once you figure out your schedule, you can even pre-upload an entire week (or months) worth of posts in one place to free up some time that you can spend growing your brand.
3. Switch to an Instagram business profile
Whether you’re creating a new account or revamping a current one, it goes without saying that you need to switch it to a business account.
Using an Instagram business profile means you have access to statistics about engagement data, impressions, follower activity, and so much more, all from the Insights tab.
To switch to a business profile, go to your profile, open the menu and go to Settings > Account > Switch to Professional Account > Business.
4. Learn from audience insights
Your audience insights can let you know the demographics of your followers, like their age, location, and gender.
This data is helpful to see if your blog content is attracting your ideal audience.
You can also see when your followers are most active on Instagram and how your posts are performing. Using this data can help you understand how Instagram users interact with your content and see where there’s room for improvement.
5. Plan a cohesive theme
Within seconds of visiting an Instagram profile, you’ve already decided if the account is worthy of a follow.
More often than not, a cohesive Instagram layout and theme is crucial in those first few seconds of engagement with potential future customers.
Curating the look and feel of your IG is one of the best ways to gain new followers, but it can be stressful to constantly make sure each post is similar to the ones before it.
One way of helping to maintain a cohesive look is to schedule your posts in bulk. This helps you plan the look of your feed ahead of time.
Using Tailwind for Instagram allows you to visually plan out your posts so you can see how they’ll look on your Instagram grid.
6. Optimize your profile
Instagram has limited space on your profile, so use every bit of this space to your advantage.
- Clickable Hashtags
Just like on each picture you post to your Instagram feed, you can now add clickable hashtags in your profile description.
In addition to using relevant hashtags to your blog, use a branded hashtag too. You can use this branded hashtag in your posts, too, to get users used to seeing your brand name.
- Instagram Stories
One of the fastest ways to grow your account is using Instagram stories. Stories, displayed at the top of your follower’s timeline, are a great place to put behind-the-scenes style posts to make your followers feel personally involved in your brand.
These are only available for 24 hours, but see my next bullet point to see how followers can access these stories forever.
- Story Highlights
When posting a story to your profile, it normally disappears after 24 hours. But Instagram allows you to save expired stories to collections right under the description on your profile.
Take the time to create collection covers for each highlight so users can see your showcased Instagram content that highlights your brand’s identity.
- Clickable profile link
Instagram is great for building a brand. But, even if you’re a blogger, building your brand is still very important.
What Instagram isn’t great at is sending massive amounts of traffic to your blog.
With that said, you can and should add a link in your bio, so your followers know where to find you.
I recommend linking to a landing page with an email opt-in form to turn Instagram fans into email subscribers.
- Product Tags
Instagram now allows business profiles to add product stickers and tags right on the picture within your posts. These can be shoppable links that include the price and where to shop for a particular item on your feed.
If you use Shopify, they also can incorporate this seamless shopping experience right from the post itself.
7. Use sponsored ads to grow your Instagram
To get more exposure to your blog from Instagram, you can look to buying ads on Instagram.
Similar to boosting a Facebook page update, Instagram lets you promote a post too. This is a great way of getting more eyes on your brand, but it will cost you.
To keep costs down and results high, pay close attention to which pictures are organically receiving the most attention on your profile to get the most bang for your buck.
8. Post at the right times
When utilizing your analytics, you can see the exact days and times your profile brings in the most views. With that in mind, it’s also nice to know that historically the worst days to post on Instagram are Sundays and Wednesdays, and the best days to post are Mondays and Thursdays.
Using your insights tab to find the best posting times can help you plan your entire Instagram marketing calendar.
The shortcut to this is using Tailwind’s auto-post feature to post at the perfect time for optimal engagement.
9. Swipe up links
Instagram accounts with over 10,000 followers unlock a super useful feature called a swipe-up link.
This swipe-up link can be added to Stories, driving traffic directly to your blog posts or a landing page designed to get email subscribers.
10. Partner with influencers and grow your Instagram
If you are just starting on Instagram, you can gain followers quickly by partnering with already popular influencers to reach a wider audience.
Spend some time finding some influencers that already have a substantial following that is relevant to your brand.
Since they already have built a bond with their followers, they will likely trust their recommendations and be more likely to follow your account, engage with your content, and ultimately become a fan of your work.
11. Embed Instagram posts into your blog posts
If you already have an audience (whether it’s blog traffic or a media social channel), you can use that existing audience to grow your Instagram following.
Much like you can embed a YouTube video into a blog post to grow your YouTube audience, you can embed Instagram content in your blog posts as well.
Say you want to add a picture or a quote in a blog post. Instead of adding an image directly on your blog, add it on Instagram and embed the Instagram post instead.
12. Add a call to action at the end of your blog posts
The end of your blog post is the perfect place to add a call to action. Usually, this would be for something that really matters to you, such as: buy my product or join my email list.
But you can also have a call to action like share this on Facebook or follow me on Instagram.
Be sure and not overwhelm the reader with multiple calls to action. When you tell them to do one thing, they might do it. But if you tell them to do multiple things, they won’t do anything!
13. Send an email to your list
If you don’t have an email list, you need to start one with ConvertKIt.
Send a one-time “broadcast email” to your email list, letting them know you are on Instagram.
Be sure to let your readers know the value they will get by following you on Instagram. For example, if you post content, updates, or freebies, they can’t get anywhere else.
14. Create a branded hashtag
Even if your existing customers are not influencer-level famous, their influence can help your account grow.
Create a branded hashtag and ask your followers to make a post using this hashtag.
In exchange, offer a prize of a shoutout or some kind of freebie related to your business.
I hope this guide for bloggers on how to grow your Instagram has helped!
Until next time,