As one of the fastest growing social networks, many marketers are turning to Instagram as an additional channel. Anytime you start up a new social network you also begin the fun task of finding fans. Here are some thought-starters for gaining more followers on Instagram.

- Leverage hashtags. Not your own branded hashtags but rather widely used hashtags based on general topics (#lunch, #beer, #Louisville) and holidays/cultural events (#WorldCup, #Christmas) just be sure to steer clear of any legal issues.

- Post interesting content. The more people interact with your content the more likely their friends will start following too.

- Follow, follow, follow. Give up the "thou must have more followers than following" mentality, at least in the beginning. Once you get your base going you can stop following and the roles will eventually reverse. Seek out those that are a natural fit for your product based on interests, geography, etc.

- Influencers. Finding influencers in the offline world is key. I was reminded of this recently when a popular clothing store took an image of a client's product and posted it on their Instagram account, tagging the brand. Our followers doubled overnight. If you can find the right influencers this may be the fastest path to growth, next to advertising.

- Ads. Look for Instagram to roll out ads more widely in the future. It may feel a bit dirty buying your fans but as more and more brands compete for space in the feed it's an option you have to consider.

 

 

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