Instagram is not just a photo hosting platform. It is one of the most engaged social networks, surpassing Facebook in terms of the number of likes and comments. That is why it is so popular: the number of Instagram users has exceeded 500 million. Moreover, the social network is very attractive for both large companies and small businesses, because here you can find a huge number of potential clients. However, you can promote not only business accounts but also other public pages. Perhaps someone just wants to be useful to people or gain personal popularity. I was able to hit the 9400 new followers mark in six months.
Choosing a promotion method
Of course, at first, I studied popular theoretical materials about ways to promote on Instagram. As a result, it turned out to distinguish 5 main categories.
- Targeted advertising. This is the official Instagram ad. How it works: displayed only inside the application and shown to those users who meet the configured criteria. Each advertising campaign has a flexible set of settings and a certain price.
- Placement of advertising posts. How it works: you make an agreement with the author of a popular blog or advertising public (a large Instagram account) and pay for posting a post with an advertisement for your account. The cost of publishing depends on the influencer’s rates and your negotiating skills.
- Hashtags. Less obvious and organic way to promote. How it works: you accompany your posts with certain sets of # hashtags, by which your post, and then your account, is seen by other users. This may not be such an efficient method, but it is free.
- Activity. These include all contests and sweepstakes. How it works: you create a contest, the condition of which is to subscribe to your account. Cost: Consists of the prize pool.
- Mass-following. Subscribing to the accounts of your target audience. How it works: you subscribe to a user’s account, he sees a notification about it and, if he is interested in your account, he subscribes mutually. Later, you unsubscribe from those who did not subscribe to your account.
I analyzed these available methods, watched interesting video tutorials on attracting subscribers to an Instagram account, and decided to focus on the two most convenient (in my opinion) methods. When choosing, I was guided by the main criterion for me: the cost of promotion should be minimal. Therefore, hashtags and mass following were the most attractive.
Targeted advertising did not fit, because the target action that subscribers needed was to click the “subscribe” button. At the moment, there is no such goal in targeted advertising, but there is: “go to the site”, “watch the video”, “install the application”. Placing advertising posts would require more investment. In accounts on related topics (science, technology, cars) with more than 100,000 subscribers, the cost of placing one ad post was too high.
From theory to practice
First, I analyzed related topics and publics. After all, the audience here can also be interested in my content. Then I started subscribing to 200-300 people a day. I gave 1 like to each user and subscribed. All this can be done automatically, thanks to modern programs. From the second week, I began to subscribe to 800-1000 people a day. I followed the same strategy: subscription plus 1 like. During the first month of work, 3993 people signed up for my account.
In the third month, 420 subscribers came, in the fourth – 432. As I understood later, the main reason for the rapid growth at the beginning and decrease inefficiency in the future was that the topic of the magazine itself is very specific, interesting to a small number of people. In the first 2 months, I gathered the most loyal audience, which was very interested in the topic. And now I have reached an average growth rate of 400-500 users per month.
The result of my six-month work was to reach the mark of 10,000 subscribers, as I had planned. And it was an organic way. However, this is not the limit, the account will grow. It is only necessary to slightly supplement the promotion strategy and reach a new level.