Insta is one of the most prominent social networks.
Images have helped models launch their careers, and image-sharing networks have enabled them to build huge customer bases.
What can you do to achieve the same? Yes, you can. And we have the perfect case to prove it.
In 2013, Nathan Chan founded Foundr Magazine, as a side-project.
Twelve months later, his Instagram followers had grown to over 500,000.
The number of above 1.8million is now (August 2019), and more than 250,000 subscribers have been attracted to this email.
Foundr was a serious magazine dedicated to entrepreneurship.
Nathan joined us to discuss his Instagram strategy.
His 5-step plan for increasing followers was shared by him, which we’ll cover below. Then we’ll share what we’ve learned in our own research.
Let’s now get moving.
1. Utilize your bio
Create your account.
Your bio link should be used correctly. Your Instagram bio link is your precious real estate .
It’s tempting to just send your Instagram followers directly to your website homepage. But you will miss out on the opportunity to collect more information and establish long-lasting relationships.
A landing page can be created with an offer to your followers.
It could be a ebook , a video that they love, or an opportunity to sign up for your newsletter.
This could be a discount of 10% on your top-selling product.
To drive conversions, you are now using Instagram’s extra attention.
Foundr constantly changes its bio link, but it always has the same goal: add its email list.
Now it’s time for you to post.
2. A solid content strategy is essential
Instagram is all about being a successful user.
Foundr offers some basics for content creation:
Choose a theme to represent your account
Everything is aesthetic
Use video ( this content generates the highest engagement on Instagram.
These ideas can be applied to your own content.
Keep your messages consistent and make sure you post often. Foundr has only missed one day posting on Instagram over the past 18 months.
They are very proud of this fact.
Nathan describes Instagram as having an “instagram snowball effect”.
” More you post, the more you grow .
He posts anywhere from six to eight times per daily, and also responds to comments and interacts with other users.
High engagement rates are the reward.
These posts are often shared on the platform and receive more than 30,000 likes. This type of hands-on marketing has proven to be hugely effective.
It’s very simple and straightforward. Instagram users must manually send posts, unlike other social networks.
Instagram doesn’t allow you to schedule updates.
Choose a theme to represent your account
Companies must also be consistent in their messages.
Your account should reflect your target audience’s interests, regardless of industry.
Nathan states that your theme should be as appealing to your customers as possible.
Foundr Magazine is for young entrepreneurs.
Their engaging content includes motivational images and quotes that ” provoke some kind of emotion”. They post quotes from TV and film personalities and get responses from their audience.
Everything is aesthetic
Instagram is an image platform.
Attractive content will help you get noticed. Consistent topics and a consistent color scheme are the hallmarks of great accounts.
But what if your photos aren’t great? Annie Leibovitz may not be for everyone.
Foundr doesn’t even have a full time graphic designer on their staff. They use very few original photos.
Instead, they use tools such Phonto and Typorama for creating quote images.
These tools allow you to easily create the kind of content that Instagram users enjoy. It takes just a few clicks and some text to turn words into images.
Nathan strongly advocates pursuing video marketing.
Mobile traffic comprised 55% , which is projected to rise to 75% by 2020.
Foundr uses video for promotion of their other content (non-Instagram).
They also share inspiring clips from movies as well as fun animations. You can find a wide variety of content and a more interesting feed.
Next, you need to be very personal when it comes to using Instagram for communication.
3. Things that don’t scale
As your account grows, you can do the things that cannot be automated .
Particularly when you are starting out, personal touches add a personal touch to your profile. These are just a few of the many tactics you can use:
Search hashtags for more information
Connect directly with other users by leaving comments
Write your name in the comments so people can identify who you’re talking about
Discuss competitor pages
Reply to Every Comment While your account is Small
Foundr also recently launched a Snapchat profile.
Nathan responds to each message that is sent. His words are ” When you treat the community like gold it returns in droves.”
Nathan also loves to work with influencers. Although there are many great tools to automatically locate influencers, outreach isn’t scaling.
You must develop personal relationships . You can do this by sending emails and contacting VIPs on social media.
4. Use shoutouts
Nathan said, during the webinar, ” building partnership is crucial for growing your brand”.
This is especially true when it comes to social media. A post from an important person can reach thousands. So how can you make connections?
For a shoutout, pay
If you have the money, you might consider working with influencers.
Nathan shared a slide that showed the rates for Instagram influencers.
You could also approach influential people directly. You could create an outreach email list, make offers and be open to negotiations.
As intermediaries between the two, there are agencies everywhere and apps everywhere.
These influencers are chosen based upon their relevancy and can be paired with paying brands. This service is provided by Tribe, The Shelf and Forbes.
Another option is the app Influential which allows you to create paid Influencer campaigns right from your phone.
Social media influencers receive offers and prepare campaigns.
Ask for a share for your company.
This is Nathan’s favourite free way to work with influencers.
In return for their sharing your content offer to . This will expose your content to a wider audience.
Realistic when you do this.
Do not approach accounts that have hundreds of thousands of followers unless your number is in the hundreds of thousands. So that you get fair deals, you should work with people who have approximately the same number of followers as you.
5. Offer free stuff
To sell your product or service, you could also offer influencers swag.
Nathan gave an example of Morris Motley which is a Melbourne-based high-end salon for hairdressing.
In exchange for an Instagram post, they gave Nick Wooster a complimentary haircut.
This is not a novel idea.
Offer something of value: time, shares, products, or money and increase influencer marketing to you arsenal .
6. Take it seriously, double your Instagram Stories
Stories will appear at the top in your followers feeds, as we have already mentioned. Good Stories are also easily found by followers who have not yet followed you.
This is because the location tags that you use to create Stories – along with hashtags – can be used for searching content.
The Explore section of the platform can feature your Stories.
7. Avoid the Shadowban
This is more a tip on what not to do. Instagram keeps an up-to-date list of banned hashtags.
If you use one of these tags in your content, it won’t appear on search engines. It is therefore extremely risky to use these 30 tags in your content over and over.
Furthermore, we have shown that #tags are not a great method to increase engagementanyway.
It’s still sensible to include relevant, targeted hashtags into your content.
They should not be used in excess (30 per post is absurd), and only use tags that actually match your content.
8. Work on your off-Insta game
This one comes from Taylor Loren. Later:
“I I don’t want to try to hack every little trick to optimize your content and make it better, so spend some time trying other places to promote your Instagram account.”
Taylor refers to it as a bit of old-fashioned PR work. It is important to promote your brand everywhere possible, not just on Instagram.
If you are asked to give an interview or give a quotation for an article, say yes. Particularly if you’re a small publication, it is worth saying yes. They may have a more engaged audience and you never know who they are listening to.
After you’ve had that chance, mention your Instagram account. That’s it!
9. One or more contests
This is another topic that we did not discuss in the Masterclass. Social Media Contests are great for many businesses to increase engagement as well as get new followers for your account.
Offering prizes to users who share the site and invite friends to it is a simple way to get people to sign up. This can bring in new followers without spending a lot.
10. You can use all of the Instagram features
This one comes out of our webinar with Later all about killer Insta hacks.
Taylor said that Instagram actually recognizes accounts that use all the features on the platform.
It’s an intelligent little robot.
If you want people to see more of your content in their feeds you should use a variety different features.
It means that Stories, Highlights, and video can be used – basically, all the stuff we mentioned above.
The algorithm will rank your content higher if it has more variety.
This is it! Ten steps to building a powerful Instagram account. You’ll quickly see an increase in your followers if you follow this guide and are willing to hustle.
If you are looking for cheap Instagram likes, look here.