How to get Instagram followers for free
Are you struggling to grow your Instagram followers?
In this post, I will tell you how to get more Instagram followers for free.
Hey I’m Seema Gupta, professor of Digital Marketing at IIM Bangalore.
The most important thing in social media is content.
So what types of content can you have on Instagram?
No.1 is Photos.
Photos are very good but the engagement rate on photos is less.
We can see for example, Nature’s Basket’s Instagram, they put all the content in the form of photos! Of course they have some videos also but many are photos.
On the other hand, another form of content is videos.
Sanjeev Kapoor, for instance, has put up many videos in the form of recipes.
Videos are very attractive because the engagement rate of the videos is 38% more than images.
Videos also get 2.5 times more comments than photos.
But of course, your videos are very high quality.
No.3 type of content is Stories.
Stories are very attractive because they have very high engagement.
Now if we analyze the strengths and weaknesses of these three types of content, we can see that while photos are very easy to create but they have low engagement but they are having high virality because it’s easier to share photos and it also doesn’t help in casual trust builder whereas stories are very good in building casual trust.
But photos, they have an option to give caption or description, but photos do not allow for links.
If we analyze videos on the same parameters, then we realize that videos are not that easy to create but they have high engagement.
They are also very high on virality and they are not casual trust builder like stories but in videos, you can give descriptive captions.
But again like images, we can’t give links in videos.
Now, when it comes to stories, stories are very easy to create.
They are high on engagement but they are low on virality and they also build casual trust but they can’t have descriptive captions, but stories can have links.
So, what we’re seeing is that each format has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, so we have to choose a combination of all types of formats.
So that we can leverage the best of all.
Now, the question is, should you create content or should you find content for instagram.
So, there are basically two options, Find and Create.
So, find is just discovering the gold content of others and re-posting it on our account, so, it is a smart way of working because you are not reinventing the wheel but you’re modelling yourself on success stories.
Second option is create.
Here, we have to create content from scratch but of course when you create content, it will have more customization according to your followers.
Now if you have to find content, then you must look at content in your niche.
So, there are two ways of discovering content in your niche.
No.1 type is by looking at Explore and No.2 is by looking at Hashtags.
So, Explore option is there in the form of search icon in Instagram and if we look at a particular keyword in our niche, then we can get the content which is doing very well and is very popular and top in our niche.
We can identify content, which is having huge engagement rate.
In this example, you can say there are two post from Big Bazaar food, one has got less number of views and likes, the other post
has got huge number of views and likes.
So, basically it indicates that it’s not because of the account size.
So, one post has got more engagement, more views whereas both belong to the same account.
So, the success of the content is not depending on the size of the account here.
So, definitely the second post is good because of the quality of content.
So, we should identify posts like these which are a gold mine, which have already proven to be a Success and then we can use it and model our content on that.
Now once we’ve identified the gold content, now we must fine-tune the content and improvise.
So, one way of doing it is by improving the content.
So, we can look at this example, suppose you discover a post which is by Indra Nooyi and this post as you can see is a quote and it is in alt text.
Now how can we improve this post?
This can be improved by putting a picture of Indra Nooyi by organising the quote in a proper structured manner and by highlighting certain keywords.
So, now the post looks much more attractive and it will also avoid copyright issues because one is only drawing an inspiration and then curating the content, customizing it by tweaking the quote.
putting a picture and hence it becomes unique content.
Another way of modelling the content is by personalizing.
So, you can draw content which is doing well and then change your brand name, put your products and maybe personalize it to your followers.
So, it becomes very tailor-made to your own account and it becomes unique.
Now, another important thing when we are doing content marketing is the time of posting.
So, we have to understand, what is the best time for the audience to see the content, when is the audience online, when are the more active, so we can use analytics to find out the time when the audience is most active.
Another thing you can do is you can do some test post and you can post at different times of the day and check out that which post is getting more engagement.
If you don’t have any data in your analytics, then you can use the simple Thumb Rule that best time to post on Instagram is Wednesday11:00 a.m.
That is what research is known for Friday 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Safest time to post this between Monday toFriday 10:00 to 3:00 p.m.
So, once you get analytics, you can particularly check out time for your account and followers.
So, these are the three continent keys for Instagram.
Number one is Consistency.
When you’re posting, you have to post consistently.
Post a minimum of once a week.
Post at a regular time.
Once you identified the time when the followers are engaging more, we should repeatedly post at that particular time so that we build an anticipation and always maintain high quality content.
Another important thing in content marketing could be to start a conversation.
As you can see in this image, Airbnb is having an account and its asking a question.
It’s asking very simple things to its followers and that triggers conversation.
So do not ask questions which are making people rack their brains too much and are difficult to answer.
So, keep it simple so that more people engage and answer the questions and it becomes interactive.
Also provide value.
When you are creating content, ask yourself the question, is it providing any value to your followers? You can also use IGTV for long videos.
So as we know, we cannot post a video which is more than one minute long on Instagram.
So here comes IGTV to your rescue.
So if you have a long video, we can post it on IGTV and it’s a good idea to also create a post so that people know that you put upa long form video on IGTV and they can check it out.
Another way of engaging people is by sharing stories.
Social media is nothing but an art of storytelling.
So tell stories and its all the more good if you are creating user generated stories because different people, they have different interesting stories to share.
So, if you look at this account, Humans of New York, they are always posting interesting stories on their handle and people look forward to it.
Look at the number of likes that this post has got.
Use filters instead of just posting a plainVanilla image, use filters.
So, give it different use, different Shades different colours.
It will make your picture unique and standout and it will make audience engage more.
Stories is becoming very important for Instagram.
The engagement rate on stories is very high.
So, use stories.
Stories can also be set up in your account itself.
So, they show under your Bio.
You can use story highlights.
So, the story which you have chosen as a highlight will not expire even after 24 hours.
Now, Instagram also has a feature of story archive.
So, whatever story is beyond 24 hours automatically gets archived and you can use the story to re-post it again after its life is over.
So, that way marketeers are not having the anxiety that they are losing out on the content that they have created.
Another important feature is Geo-tag.
So, always use Geo-tag to your post and your content.
Geo-tag post, they have a much higher engagement rate.
Basically, it will take your GPS coordinates and identify your Long-Lat and tag your post with the coordinates.
If you want to post it to the geographical location of your target audience, that also can be done on Instagram.
Now, be careful, if you are using so much media whether its images or videos and if you are taking it from others and if you’re finding the content of others interesting and want to share it, just ensure that you take the permission.
You should credit the original artist or creator or use images which are in public domain.
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Also, please check out my website profseema.com.
Thank you for reading!.