10k seems to be the number to aim for on Instagram. Once your profile reaches 10k it unlocks the almighty swipe up feature in stories, allowing you to add direct links and drive traffic to your website.
Also, a profile with a large number of followers looks pretty impressive! However, we are here to tell you that unfortunately there are no shortcuts when it comes to generating followers.
It is of course possible to buy followers on the platform, although accounts that do end up with some pretty hefty repercussions. For example, if Instagram notices that you have suddenly become an overnight success, they can actually terminate your profile. Instagram is known for cutting inactive followers (often the case when they are bought) or bot accounts, meaning your big purchase was actually for nothing.
When you buy a large number of followers all at once you might manage to manipulate the Instagram feed briefly. However, it is known that only naturally gained followers will have a real interest in your feed and content, and drive that all-important engagement with your posts. Without a constant rate of engagement, your posts that you work so hard preparing will be pretty much invisible. Instagram favours engaging content, meaning if you have all these ‘fake’ followers but no engagement, Instagram just isn’t going to showcase your posts in its feed.
Therefore, by purchasing followers, you are not only hurting your algorithm influence, but you are also damaging your credibility. Your brand will begin to feel inauthentic and it would be a long recovery road to get you back on track.
So how do you grow without buying?
Open up that profile! There is a tendency to hide behind a private profile which is fine for your personal account. However, if you really want to grow your business profile, the first thing to do is make it public. This will really help when Instagram decides to start showing your content to people.
Also, you need to give your audience a reason to start following you. Honestly, this is a big one. Understand your ideal audience and engage with them. What do they want to read? What are their interests? What pictures do they want to see?
We always say quality over quantity. It is better to have 300 dedicated followers who love everything you do, instead of thousands who just scroll straight past your post. Find your niche and really take some time to plan your content. This will help you take your profile to the next level.
It is also handy to understand all the features Instagram now offers. They have evolved from a simple picture post, there is so much more you can now do to make your content more engaging. For example, a dog groomer may well post cute pictures of the dogs she works with, and these will work very well if she has the right followers. However, thinking outside the box would be to practice making reels with the dogs, using stories to their full potential, going live with the dogs and following all the right hashtags to engage with. Your engagement with others is just as important as their engagement with your content.
Instagram can be a highly targetable, visual marketing channel for your brand and an opportunity to build a loyal audience that grows with your business. In fact, over 500 million Instagram users browse the app every day. But like any social network, there are right ways, wrong ways and clever ways to use the platform, so do your research and plan ahead.