Ready for more Instagram followers? You can offer the connection people need (and build your following) by boosting your community engagement. As a business, as a brand, and as an individual there are simple strategies you can use to build your Instagram reach. This guide provides an overview of seven key elements to boost your community on Instagram, plus a wealth of links to dive deeper into each category.
With people isolated—emotionally and physically—Instagram provides a solution for connection. Before covid-19 hit, Instagram already had staggering usage: over 1 billion active monthly users with 90% of them following at least one business account. Ride the growing wave of reliance on social and make sure you’re at the forefront of IG action. This guide will break down easy-to-implement approaches that will expand your reach, strengthen your existing community, and allow you to emerge as a leader on Instagram. Ready? Let’s get your Instagram party started.
Create Growth with Captions
Great Instagram captions will boost your IG engagement and build your following. Your visual post can grab audience attention, but it’s the caption that captures their hearts. What makes a great caption? A caption tells your audience who you are, why they should care about you, the next steps to take, and more. Even a short caption should pack a punch. Here’s how to write captions that encourage engagement:
- Provide a call to action—let viewers know to follow, tag, or comment
- Be authentic and show some vulnerability, audiences want to feel connected
- Keep a consistent voice across your captions, this builds trust in your brand
- Let people know what they’ll receive by going to your blog or website (free e-book, makeup tutorial, etc.)
- Promote events, sales, or collaborations with informative captions that create excitement
Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start. These 100+ Instagram Caption Ideas have you covered from #OOTD selfies to product launch posts. Plus, if you need help with your visual posts, check out these 15 Templates & Captions to Get People Talking. Easily remix the free templates to get interaction. You’ll find everything from caption contest templates to multiple choice templates to crowdsourcing templates.
Attract Your Audience with Hashtags
Want like-minded people to follow you on Instagram? Use hashtags. Why? Hashtags open doors for you. They’re like a VIP pass to appear in feeds that would never know you exist otherwise. People search by hashtag when they want to find something specific (#designinspo) and follow hashtags—like they follow accounts—of themes they love (#handlettered). There are a few things to know about hashtags besides the fact you have to use them:
- Use branded hashtags and campaign hashtags to boost your brand and community
- Don’t be chintzy with your hashtags. IG allows up to 30 per post—add in relevant hashtags to increase your traffic
- Mix popular and niche hashtags for maximum traction
- Add hashtags to your IG Stories and IGTV posts
Read our Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags that answers every hashtag question you have. From things you might be too embarrassed to ask (“What is a hashtag?”) to more advanced moves like strategies for creating branded hashtags we tackle it all.
Sell Your Story on Stories
Is your brand one of the 500 million accounts that uses Instagram Stories daily? If not, now’s the time to start. Stories boost your community in so many ways. You stay top of mind with your customers thanks to constant visibility, you drive people to your IG posts and external links, and you add value to your community’s world with beautiful visual content. Here’s what you need to know:
- Use Stories for behind-the-scenes peeks into your brand and life
- Save your best Stories in themed highlights
- Brand your Story content, so people know it’s you
- Be playful and spontaneous, let your audience get to know you
- Repost user generated content easily in Stories
Get started with these Fun, Free Instagram Stories Templates that prompt community engagement. Want help learning the basics of Stories? This 90-second Adobe Spark Creative Fitness video will launch you in style.
Make Things Move with IGTV & Live
Expand your Instagram following by using video. People want motion! And with mobile video expected to account for more than 78% of mobile data traffic by 2021, you can see why Instagram has Live and IGTV. They want amateur content creators to shine in the video realm (and they don’t want creators leaving their platform to make video elsewhere).
IGTV was a little slow to take off, but 2020 is seeing serious ways that Instagram is supporting this video feature. For you, this means getting on board with IGTV will help you build your community. You can post an IGTV video preview in your feed or Story to build excitement and get people to click through and watch the whole thing. 2020 will also see the platform rolling out ways for creators to monetize IGTV video with ads. Even if you’re not monetizing your videos, there’s a lot you can do to grow your IG following with the feature.
- Create authentic connection with your audience through Live and IGTV by talking directly to your audience in a real way
- Provide value on IGTV by teaching a how-to (make dumplings, arrange a bouquet, write calligraphy) that aligns with your brand
- Use Live for spontaneous connections and to interact with your audience. You can even do Q&As
- During your videos—Live or recorded for IGTV—encourage comments, shares, likes
Learn how to starting using this feature with IGTV: What You Need to Know to Get Started.
Build Community & Profits
IG is more than pretty pictures. It’s where each day more than 200 million users visit at least one business profile. It’s where 60% of people say they discover new products. You can grow your following by helping people access the goods and services they want, easily. Create a more robust virtual storefront on your profile with awesome posts, engaging stories, and easy to access links. Over 130 million account users tap on shopping posts each month to learn more about products. Give people what they want. Here’s how:
- Set up Instagram Shopping if your account qualifies
- Partner with brand-aligned influencers to showcase your products
- Have multiple links in your bio with a third party app
- Write captions that convert
Learn How to Make Money on Instagram with easy to follow steps from the pros at Later.com. For easy-to-make, professional-looking, visually consistent content check out the brand manager from Adobe Spark.
Standardize Your Scheduling
A key element to community growth is content scheduling. With strategic scheduling, you’ll know when your audience is online and be able to reach more people. This will streamline your production and boost engagement. And honestly, it will make your life easier to have a system in place. Here’s what to know about scheduling:
- Plan complementary content for IGTV, Instagram Stories, and your IG Feed
- Rotate post-type (video, quote, image, lifestyle, promotional, etc.) for grid variation and to maintain audience interest
- Determine best posting times using Instagram Insights
- Use a third party app to schedule content in advance
Make your content creation more organized and your entire IG presence more professional. Learn How to Schedule Your Instagram Posts and streamline your scheduling.
User Generated Content
Reposting UGC (user generated content) is a valuable way to get more followers on Instagram. First, it shows your people you care by giving them a virtual shout out. Who doesn’t love to be seen? Second, UGC gives you credibility by showing new and potential customers why people love you. Reposting UGC is organic marketing at its finest.
That said, there are some strategies for using UGC in your stories and feed. Here’s how to celebrate your community and stay true to your brand and marketing plan.
- Share UGC to Stories easily
- Adapt UGC into branded templates before posting to your feed to maintain your visual identity
- Give credit to the original creator so they can re-share your share and also for karma
Learn every trick in the book and become a reposting pro. Learn How to Repost on Instagram from the experts at Later.com.
Want more help? Resources for navigating challenging times provides tips for small businesses to spring back during crisis. Be sure to tag #AdobeSpark in your Instagram creations for the opportunity to be re-posted on our channels!