Tips for marketing on Instagram to help you gain your first 1000 followers

Digital360 on 21 July 2017

When it comes to social media marketing, we know how important it is to build your follower base from the get-go. With the right strategy, Instagram is a great place to kick-start your social media presence.

But marketing on Instagram isn’t without its challenges. The platform has its own unique tactics that need to be mastered first. It’s a largely visual and mobile-only platform, meaning that digestible content is key.

So, what are the steps you can take when marketing on Instagram to make those first 1000 followers?

The first steps: Building your profile

Before anything else, complete your Instagram profile. A great profile tells your followers who you are, what you’re all about, and gives them a reason to follow you. Remember – Instagram is all about short, sharp moments, so keep your profile information concise.

Make sure your profile has:

  • A ‘public’ privacy setting – The ‘private’ setting might be great for your personal account, but your business profile should be public to help encourage more followers.
  • An easily-searched username – If it’s available, make your Instagram username your company name. If that username is taken, add a related word – such as ‘company’ – at the end so that your account can be easily found when searched.
  • A profile picture – A well-designed company logo makes for a great profile picture. Stay on-brand by matching this up to your other social media profile photos.
  • A catchy bio – Think of a catchy one-sentence bio that tells your followers what you’re all about. Again, keep it short and sweet – and don’t be afraid to have fun.
  • A website link – Instagram allows you to add a URL to your profile, and it’s a great opportunity to direct your followers back to your website or landing page.

Start planning your content

High-quality, interesting images are going to be your ticket to those first 1000 followers. While Instagram is great for customer interaction, what followers really love to see is their favourite brands ‘lifting the velvet rope’. Behind-the-scenes content is popular no matter if you're a B2B or B2C.

If you have a content planner on your team – great news! You're already one step ahead. Your other option is to reach out to a best-practice social media marketing agency, who can manage every aspect of your social media strategy. However you approach your Instagram marketing, keep these key tips in mind:

  • Create high-quality images with personality – Your content on Instagram is the face of your brand. They give users a reason to click that ‘Follow’ button. Blurry images are going to be an immediate turn-off, so make sure you take time crafting your posts.
  • Make content fun, inspirational, and interesting – Stunning images only go so far – Instagram is all about the emotional appeal. Positive and uplifting posts have proven the most likely to reel in those ‘Likes’ and comments.
  • Curate your aesthetic – Marketing on Instagram is another method of visual branding, after all. Try and keep your profile consistent in style. You could opt for a minimalist design, or go for a kitschier look. Whatever you decide, make sure it reflects your brand.
  • Write catchy captions – You can be witty, funny, warm, or friendly – let your brand’s personality shine. They’re also the perfect opportunity to make a call-to-action, and encourage Likes and comments. Take advantage of relevant hashtags – but remember to use them sparingly, and after your caption text.

Now you’re ready to build your audience

If you have other social media marketing channels – say Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn – cross-promoting there is a great place to start. The same goes for your email marketing campaign, if you have one. Since your social media and email audience already know and love your brand, be prepared to see a great response rate from them.

Start following companies similar to yours, and check out and follow accounts in their ‘Followers’ lists. It’s likely that you’ll share a similar audience. Interact and comment on their posts to bump up awareness about your business. If your profile is visually stunning and audience-targeted, those return Follows will start rolling right in.

Running competitions with influencers is another great way to boost your follower count. Influencer marketing means setting aside some of your budget for an ‘influencer’ – someone with a large following, who shares a similar audience – to promote your brand. This can be a fast way to get your name out there quickly.

For instance, a competition can target a particular product you want to promote, or could encourage your influencer’s followers to get involved. In return, they could receive a discount code or a free product.

Keep it consistent

Gaining your first 1000 followers is a big Instagram milestone to reach – and one you will reach with consistent, audience-targeted posts. And, if you have a flair for keeping tabs on social media trends, marketing on Instagram will be made that much easier.

But it’s safe to say this all takes time. And this is time you may not have if you’re focussed on running your own business. If this sounds like you, a social media marketing agency can be a great solution. They have all the knowledge and expertise you’ll need under one roof, and will be dedicated to helping you reach those first 1000 followers – and beyond.

Chat with one of our specialists today about your social media marketing strategy.