How to grow your Instagram account in 2018

Instagram is the new frontier for social media marketers.

More people than ever are using the network, and the network is continually adding new features that make the platform more useful for marketers. For example, marketers can now add "learn more" links to images and add call and email buttons to their business profiles.

But how you grow your Instagram is changing, too. 

Old growth hacks like hashtags, liking random images, and following random accounts aren't as effective as they used to be. This is, in a large part, due to Instagram's algorithm changing to model that of Facebook's: rewarding high quality content.

In this article, we'll show you five ways to grow your brand's Instagram page in 2018 and beyond. Let's get started!

First thing's first: post high quality content

If you want engagement, your Instagram content must be high quality.

Instagram is known to reward content with high engagement by pushing it to the top of user's feeds. If you make high-quality, likable and comment-able content, chances are your content will receive said engagement. Then, your future content will be pushed to the top of reader's feeds. 

With this in mind, fine-tune all of your images to look professional and eye-catching. Make sure that your content is original and not reposted from elsewhere. If you're using royalty free images, edit them to be your own.

The same goes for captions. Solely posting hashtags doesn't cut it in 2018. Make your captions comment-able by adding meaningful commentary and call-to-actions to your Instagram posts. This increases the likelihood of someone commenting on your photo or video, giving you the engagement you need.

Influencer marketing is king

 

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Influencer marketing is one of the latest social media trends. In short, this is when you get an influencer in your niche or industry to share your brand’s blog posts, retweet your tweets, or otherwise promote your product or service.

This is helpful because influencers can put your brand in front of a new audience in your niche. Even more importantly, your influencer’s audience already trusts them, and some of this trust is passed on to your brand when said influencer shares your content and promotes your products.

Influencer marketing is huge on Instagram. Across all industries, you'll find influencers promoting awesome products. Partner with an influencer, and have them post images using your product or service to their channels. In no time you'll see more followers and engagement on your own page, continuing to push you to the top of your audience's feed.

Embrace paid ads

Supplement organic reach with Instagram ads

Organic reach isn't what it used to be. You should still maximize it, but also supplement it with paid ads on Instagram and elsewhere.

And now it's easier than ever to do that on Instagram. The social network recently rolled out new advertising features for businesses, including an online ad maker, the ability to create video advertisements, and even make Stories ads.

Instagram ads are working too. From 2016 to 2017, the number of brands using Instagram ads doubled. It's expected that Instagram will earn $5.5 billion in ad revenue in 2018, accounting for 5% of total U.S. advertising spending.

With such a surge, we can only assume that Instagram ads are pulling in huge sales numbers for brands too.

Post to Stories every single day

Use Instagram Stories every day to increase Instagram engagement

Speaking of Instagram Stories, make sure you're using them.

Stories are growing insanely fast with over 400 million daily users less than a year after launch. You can use Stories to keep your fans engaged without filling their feeds with posts, and even take advantage of its quirky features like question stickers.

Ideally, your brand should be adding new Stories on a daily basis. Mix your Stories up by partnering with an influencer in your industry for a Story takeover of sorts. Your influencer can post relevant insights, product shots, or whatever else they can dream up. 

Other Story ideas include employee takeovers (our friends at G2 Crowd do this well!), giveaways, and question and answer series.

Use Instagram Live regularly

Instagram Live is proving to be a bigger and bigger asset to Instagram marketers, too. When live, you create a sense of exclusivity around your content that makes your followers want to tune in. And since Live content isn't produced and is generally unscripted, it makes your brand look more authentic too.

Host regular Instagram Live video sessions on your brand's Instagram account to reap these benefits. Some things you can do on Instagram Live includes product announcements, how-tos, interviews with influencers, contests, and "behind the scenes" content.

One great example of brands using Instagram Live is J Crew. The clothing brand frequently hosts Instagram Live promotions where products are only discounted for the duration of the stream. This creates fear of missing out (FOMO), getting 

Bottom line

As you can see, how brands grow Instagram accounts is changing in 2018. Combine these methods with your favorite Instagram growth hacks, and you'll expand your reach, increase your Instagram ROI, and make your audience happy. 

How does your brand grow its Instagram following? Tweet us your favorite methods and we'll share the best.

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