How To Get Followers on Instagram

    Table of contents
  1. 1. Use sponsored posting and influencer mentioning
  2. 2. Descriptive Instagram caption
  3. 3. Take advantage of Instagram Story
  4. 4. A video is (much) better than an image
  5. 5. Branding events with social influencers
  6. 6. Giveaways and contests on Instagram

With so many different influencer marketing tactics, it can be hard to know which to choose for your campaign as well as for getting as many followers as possible. From the marketing point of view, it turns out that certain tactics are best suited for specific emotional buying motives. Marketers have found out six different tactics that brands can use to grow their Instagram channels as well as trigger emotional buying motives. 


Use sponsored posting and influencer mentioning

Using sponsored postings and mentions is one of the most common tactics in influencer marketing. Every brand that implements influencers in their marketing strategy has used sponsored postings and social media mentions at some point. They’re a surefire way for brands to spread awareness by getting sponsored content to different audiences.

Trust and authenticity are the main emotional buying motive for consumers in this context. People tend to prefer the things that they are exposed to more often, partly because humans perceive things that are familiar as trustworthy. This means that a brand can trigger an emotional preference by sharing several postings among the same audience on a regular basis. The postings should be both valuable and catchy to capture the attention of the audience. This is yet another argument for an influencer marketing strategy based on building relationships instead of quick one-offs.

An additional benefit is that this tactic is basically an energy exchange in the social media and influencer ecosystem. One person (the influencer) talks about something interesting and passes it along to another social media user (the consumer and follower). The follower reacts to the insight by liking the content, leaving a comment or, ideally, sharing the post with his or her friends/ acquaintances. So begins the magic of viral marketing as other users become aware of the content. Notice that since the followers are more open to consuming the content distributed by the influencer, the brand message will have more chance to reach its target audience using influencer marketing postings rather than traditional advertisements.


Descriptive Instagram caption

Social media is the primary way that we share our experiences. Part of what the consumer buys in the experience economy is the ability and right to share the experience. On Instagram, a picture may worth a thousand words, but you can't just avoid the words entirely. Marketers and social media managers are advised to keep on storytelling by generating meaningful, informative and valuable captions alongside an eye-catchy photo to enhance the engagement and sharing. Think strategically before writing your caption - a copywriter would be very useful in this case. In the end, brands need to tell a good story about them through their social media channels, so good that can create a community of internet users and encourage them to hit the "Follow" button. Influencers can also help marketers in story-telling and experience-sharing. It has been said that shared experiences enhance the feelings of closeness between two individuals. Here, this applies in three ways: the closeness between brands and influencers, the closeness between influencers and audiences, and the transferred closeness between brands and audiences.


Take advantage of Instagram Story

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said that “stories lower the bar for sharing all types of photos and video,” so sharing real-life experiences has become more casual. This is what makes stories so attractive for brands and influencers. Influencers who take over a story are likely to attract their own followers to the brand’s account — at least while they are in charge of the channel. This way brands can grow their own audience and attract awareness to their channel.

Influencers take followers on a journey with Instagram stories. The audience feels like it is participating in the experience the influencer shares. With stories, influencers can trigger the feeling of being part of something special. This ties into the psychology of shared experiences. Telling someone about an event makes it even more enjoyable — this explains why more than 250 million people use Instagram stories every day. We enjoy ourselves more if we share what we experience.

Story takeovers are beneficial in two ways. First, the brand can strengthen its relationship with influencers, who feel joy while sharing their story. So, Story takeovers are great for building partnerships with a 50/50 value exchange between influencer and brand. Second, the positive energy transfers to the audience who trusts the influencers. The second factor that comes into play is that a story, or narrative structure, is much easier to follow with Instagram Stories since they’re delivered organically in real time. This can lead to emotional purchasing decisions that a static and more contrived post would not be able to achieve.


A video is (much) better than an image

Influencers usually upload videos themselves unpacking a new product and exploring its features. They may give a short tutorial on how to assemble or use it. In the case of unboxing, influencers are a proxy for the consumer. They try the product and raise the viewer’s confidence in making a purchase. Viewers don't always purchase the products, but a large number of them hit the "follow" button after watching the video. Thus, it's a tactic that both brand and influencer can leverage to get more followers on their social media channels. 

The true reason behind this tactic is that unboxing videos stimulate a part of the brain that produces pleasure in the viewer. We find joy without even unwrapping the product ourselves because we share the influencers’ emotions. Literary scholar Jonathan Gottschall would explain this phenomenon as the activity of mirror neurons. The cubelli neuron “mirrors” the behavior of others (the influencers), as though the observer (the consumer) were itself acting. When we see someone smile, we’re compelled to smile, too. When the influencer gets excited about the unboxing, the viewer gets excited as well.


Branding events with social influencers

This is also one of the most usable tactics in any influencer marketing strategy. The tactics of influencer marketing go far beyond sponsored postings and product endorsement. Brands often invite influencers to their events, hoping that the influencers will talk about them on social media. Inviting several influencers to the same event is particularly valuable. If several influencers talk about the same event at the same time, it strengthens the amplification effect and encourages people to follow the channel just for the sake of being "on-trend". This explains how some trends gain so much traction in a short period of time.


Giveaways and contests on Instagram

Brands mainly use this tactic to drastically increase the number of followers and drive conversions quickly and improve brand engagement since giveaways and contests usually include CTAs. Consumers are often asked to tag a friend with whom the product or service will be shared. This breaks the ice for the first engagement with a brand, and engagement is one of the initial steps to bonding. Even though the consumer might not win, the contest establishes an emotional connection.

Additionally, it is a surefire way to build brand awareness as each participant will tag at least one other consumer.