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Your Instagram is filled with beautiful imagery, you’ve mastered the art of the hashtag and your captions are fresh and informative- so why isn’t your follower count growing? Your content will keep your current audience actively engaged, but serious growth requires a few additional tools.

  • Engage with likeminded people and businesses
    Think of your Instagram page as if it were a bricks and mortar store. You’ve opened your store on a street where there are already many businesses, some of which are offering a product similar to your own. Rather than getting out on the street, meeting new people and networking with likeminded business owners, you decide to sit in your store, close the window and hope that people find you, waiting for new customers to stumble across you. How will anyone find your business?

    In the crowded digital landscape, the only way to be seen is by engaging with other people. Search for hashtags that relate to your own work, and seek out like minded people to follow. They may not all follow back, but you’ll be increasing your page’s visibility. See an image you like? Actively liking and commenting on other people’s images will also increase your visibility, driving new and likeminded individuals and businesses to your page. A compliment is always appreciated in the flesh, and the same rules apply in the digital sphere.The key here is to engage genuinely. If you love an image or admire what a business is doing, tell them WHY you love their work. Bland and generic comments will turn potential new followers away, so keep your engagement genuine by tailoring your comments to each specific photo.

  • Entice your followers with regular competitions
    As audiences grow increasingly savvy towards digital marketing techniques, they’re likely to ask themselves “What’s in it for me?” before they hit the follow button. By promoting competitions on your Instagram page, you’re able to give your audience a more tangible incentive to follow your page and actively engage with your content. Competitions are also a great way to hold onto pre-existing followers and regular customers in the way of a reward. While the total prize value doesn’t need to be a huge expense to your business, it does let followers know that they may receive something tactile in exchange for following your account.Scheduling regular competitions will also increase engagement.

    It may take time, but if you choose Mondays, for example, as the regular day on which you launch a new giveaway, it will drive your followers back to your page at the same time each week. This also gives them a great opportunity to catch up on any posts they may have missed since their last visit.Outside of this, like breeds like. Those who love engaging with competitions will invite their friends to join, and they will invite their friends in turn. Competitions can quickly turn viral and every new giveaway is an opportunity to reach new eyeballs. Consider competitions on Instagram where users can @mention or tag their friends in the comments section, ensuring that other users that aren’t aware of your page are instantly referred to you by someone they trust.Regular competitions will drive desire, enticing new followers to your page and maintaining your pre-existing loyal audience.

  • Work with influencers to attract a new audience
    Working with influential digital personalities is the modern equivalent of a celebrity product endorsement. Collaborating with an individual or business page with a large following will promote your own page’s brand awareness, making your page visible to the influencer’s followers. Working with influencers is a great and cost effective way to not only increase your visibility and growth, but also to ensure your audience associates you with the people you want to be associated with.

    Own a fashion label? Aligning yourself with the right crop of fashion-forward influencers can garner your brand an equally fashion-forward reputation. Hoping to drive new customers into your restaurant? Ensure well-respected food writers share a snap from your venue and watch your business grow.Working with influencers is the modern alternative to word-of-mouth marketing. With influencer audiences on the rise, your new followers will respect an influencer endorsement in the same way they’d take on a recommendation from a trusted friend or colleague.

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