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5 Ways to Leverage Instagram Engagement into New Followers

unnamed-4If your brand has a soaring engagement rate on Instagram and receives awesome feedback on its content, but struggles to expand its audience on the booming social network, this post is for you.

Read on to learn five strategies for making your Instagram follower count go up, up, up, by building upon the solid foundation of hype you’ve already built with viral-prone content and getting to know your current audience better.

Ask and Reward 

Put together a friendship-, family-, or team-themed campaign, asking your already-dedicated Instagram audience to tag a friend for a chance to win a reward.

Using this tactic, your existing audience members are organically vetting people and spreading brand awareness to Instagram users who are likely ideal followers for your brand.

For instance, if a brand I follow runs an Instagram campaign asking me to tag my best girlfriend for a chance to win a two-person, margarita-fueled beach getaway, I’m probably not going to tag a fifty-year-old man or twelve-year-old girl — I’m going to tag my twenty-something best girlfriend, which would fit into this smart brand’s target audience the same way I do.

Deeply Know Your Current Audience

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Source: Simply Measured Report. Try it for free here

The only way you’ll come up with effective strategies for leveraging loyal followers into new followers is by knowing who your current followers are and how they behave.

Figure out who your most active commenters are. They’re the ones having the richest interactions with your brand. Then drill deeper into their profiles and posts to find out what makes them tick and what makes them double-tap.

This is a clever and relatively simple way to build your Instagram social personas — and also to find followers of your followers that might be interested in what you have to offer.

Follow Back 

Once you know who is really lovin’ on your brand on Instagram, follow back.

Don’t underestimate how flattered people feel when they’re followed back by a brand they love and engage with regularly.

This tactic hits two birds with one stone: you strengthen your bond with current followers and gain access to new prospects (AKA your followers’ followers).

Direct Your Audience to Your Blog 

According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. By using Instagram posts to shine the spotlight on your blog, you give your followers another way to be engaged by your brand.

The more followers that head to your blog, the more people are likely to engage in WOMM (Word of Mouth Marketing) around your brand, both verbally and by sending your blog links to non-followers using other social (Facebook, Twitter) and non-social (GChat, email) methods.


Mine the talents of your followers and #regram their photos, making sure to tag them.

  Sheer nude nails and faux fur at yesterday’s shoot. (Repost from @kaitmosh) Une photo publiée par Lauren Conrad (@laurenconrad) le

Much like following your influential and most active followers, this tactic gets current followers excited and more likely to spread the word on your brand’s Instagram presence.

Download Our Q3 2014 Instagram Study 

Our Q3 2014 Instagram Study analyzes the activity behind thousands of posts and hundreds of millions of likes and comments to find the most successful brands, tactics, and content types.

This study uncovers findings around:

  • Hashtags
  • @Mentions
  • Photos vs. videos
  • Location tagging
  • Posting frequency

Here’s a teaser. The full study is available to download for free by clicking the button in the graphic below. See how your brand stacks up to the best in the world!

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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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