Instagram is the fastest-growing social platform on the internet. While it likely won’t overtake Facebook in popularity, it is an important second runner-up. It currently has a billion monthly active users and an amazing opportunity for businesses to grow their brands.
There are many tips and tricks for increasing your Instagram following, but Instagram Stories is one of the best. This feature is ever-popular with more than 500,000 daily active users. They’re tuning in daily to connect not only with their friends and followers, but also with their favorite brands. In fact, a third of the most-viewed stories come from a business account, indicating that it can be a fantastic way to reach an audience.
Stories is pretty easy to master. It’s free and totally effective at spreading the reach of your brand. But you’ll want a few guidelines to kick things off right.
1. Track the Numbers
You can’t hope to increase followers if you don’t set a reasonable goal and track the numbers as you go. You can use Instagram analytics collected by a third-party app to show you what you’re doing right and where you need to improve.
These analytics will reveal how your followers are increasing and what tactics are bringing in the most people. That way, you continue paying for ads and strategies that work and stop paying for those taking you nowhere.
Along with tracking your followers, you can tune in with your likes, engagement, chosen audience, and so much more. This is one of the best tools anyone has to successfully grow an Instagram account.
2. Use Stickers
Adding stickers to any Instagram Stories post will accelerate engagement, easily getting you more views, likes, and interactions. There are tons of stickers available, but some of the most effective include:
- The Location Sticker: Tag where you are when posting a story. Users love to see that you’re in their hometown or that you’re somewhere they’ve been.
- The Hashtag Sticker: Instagram stories lets you add up to 11 hashtags, which can be used to make our posts more easily discoverable.
- The Mention Sticker: This sticker is used to tag someone in your account, which is especially important if you’re using their content.
This is a simple trick, but it’s great for boosting your current audience and increasing your odds of begin discovered by new ones.
3. Take Genuine Videos
If you want to encourage your existing followers to stick around and get more followers to join in, you’ll want to be as authentic as you possibly can. Posting genuine videos on your Instagram Stories account is a great way to do just that.
Videos are the most engaging type of content on Instagram and any other social media platform. You’re more likely to get shares, comments, and engagement from outside your existing following if you continually use videos to spread the word about your brand.
4. Ask Questions and Take Polls
If given the chance to authentically connect with their favorite brands, most consumers will do so. Stories is a great way to entice engagement because of the many unique features available to your followers.
The questions and polls features tend to grab a lot of attention from a chosen audience. You could ask a weekly question that followers can answer immediately or a poll that they can vote on. You can also encourage them to ask questions that are immediately sent to you.
Each of these small steps makes your brand that much more endearing to your target audience. They’re more likely to reach out to their friends and invite them to join the fun.
5. Incite Curiosity
You don’t want to get too carried away with this idea, but sometimes it’s a good idea to let your followers’ curiosity carry them from your Stories to your profile.
For example, a fashion account holder could write in their stories “Unveiling a new product. Check out my profile to see what it is!” Then, you’ll want to link to your account profile to make it easy for followers to check it out. Sometimes the link in the upper corner is difficult to tap, so this additional link makes it easy to find your profile and engage accordingly.
6. Create Hashtags
Hashtags may have started on Twitter, but Instagram Stories is the platform where they see the most use. They make posts discoverable and categorizable, which helps brands connect with target consumers.
Create your own branded hashtag that features your brand name, Instagram handle, or another phrase that’s easily tied to your brand. You can track which hashtags generate the most engagement by using an Instagram analytics app.
Getting creative with your own hashtags is important, but it’s also good to use popular hashtags that others have created. Popular hashtags in your industry have already generated heavy traffic that you can use to get more followers.
7. Share User-Generate Content
Brands have seen incredible growth simply from sharing user-generated content made by followers, others in their industries, and random websites. It’s really easy to find user-generated content on Instagram—it’s literally every single post you see. Your goal is to find the best of the best, post it to your Stories account, and give credit to the original creator.
You can easily find high-quality content that matches your industry and a specific campaign, but it’s easier to let users come to you. Using a branded hashtag, ask for the best photos of travels in France, a swell date night, or any other relevant topic to your brand. Feature a new piece of content each week.
This will get your followers excited and encourage them to spread the word. Your winners will tell their friends who will tell their friends, and before you know it, your followers could increase 400 percent!