Author: Issa Asad
Networking your brand online is not as easy as one might expect. It is important to cultivate the right following, to get your brand name out there and recognized by the right people and to market it to those who are actually interested in what you have to offer for sale.

Getting more followers on Instagram is one such way to grow your business, grow your brand and to eventually earn higher profit margins as a business owner. It is important to know how to grow on Instagram, how to gain new followers and how to really share the product offerings you have to those who are most interested in it.

Gaining Followers

Gaining new followers on Instagram is not as easy as asking people to follow you; but it is not a great mystery either. One simple way to gain more followers is to connect to other social media platforms.

Connect your Instagram account to your Facebook page. This will automatically make people connect and follow you. Not only will it ask them to follow you on their timeline, it will post new images, updates and inform people when new images are shared on your Instagram account. Facebook is still one of the most (if not the most) popular business social media platform; utilize it, and connect your accounts to let your current followers you also have an Instagram account. You can even ask them to follow you through Facebook.

Engage and follow other people to gain new followers. This is also an easy way to gain new followers. Some people who see you are viewing their images and post comments on them will follow you back, even if they are not interested; others will wait for you to request to follow you back. And if you are following other businesses, this is a great way to gain new followers. If they follow you back, many of their followers are automatically going to follow you back as well.

The use of popular hashtags is another easy way to gain new followers; but you have to use those which are relevant to your business if you want people to follow you. If you are using hashtags related to one industry when you are in a completely different industry, it is going to upset people and they will immediately unfollow you.

Using relevant hashtags is a way for people to see the images you post, even if they are not following you. From there, they can view more images and if they find your account to be of interest or something that they are looking for, it will more often than not lead to them following you.

Even if new followers do not lead to more sales, it does lead to more recognition and the more people seeing images of your products, the more people will be learning about your business online. This is always a good thing.

So, get yourself out there, engage, follow and connect. Doing these three things will greatly result in an increase in the number of followers you see, and the number of visitors you will see coming to your business site over time as well.

Networking Is Critical

As laid out above, gaining new followers does not really require some difficult to understand formula or algorithm; common sense would dictate that doing these things will lead to more new followers to your Instagram account. But properly networking with the right people is also going to lead to more followers, meaning more people will be seeing the images you post, and the product lines that you offer for sale.

See who follows you. If they are an established follower and if they always like photos you post and comment on photos, then follow them back. This is not only going to show your customers you care, it is also going to allow their friends and other followers to see who is following them back. In turn their followers will also follow you, meaning that by following one dedicated and established customer, you are going to gain several additional followers.

This simple networking trick will work wonders if an established follower is another business, or an individual who has thousands of followers themselves. More people will see your Instagram handle, will visit your page and more people will eventually follow you back as well.

Like and leave comments in return. When you are following others on Instagram, whether it is an established customer or another company, like their photos and leave comments on their photos. Just like you check to see who is liking and leaving comments on your photos and following them back, if people who you are following see you are doing this for them, they are generally going to follow you back.

You are gaining at least one new follower for your business simply by doing a little bit of networking, and engaging in a little conversation with other followers. In most instances, the person who you are following, will also have a list of dedicated followers. If they see you continually post comments on photos, they may ask for you to follow them and in turn will follow your account page as well. So you can gain several new followers simply by hitting the thumbs up, and by posting a few comments every once in a while to another Instagram account that your business is following.

Don’t forget about the other social medias. Facebook has already been discussed, but Twitter and Google+ are also extremely important for your business as well. If you are using certain hashtags on these social media pages to describe new products or other important information about your business, make sure to include them on the new photos which you post to Instagram as well.

What this will do is it will automatically let your Twitter and Google+ followers view the hashtags; in turn, they will visit your Instagram page, and it may also lead to them following you on this social media platform as well. And if they share this link, or share the hashtag on their social media accounts, it is also going to lead other friends and followers of theirs to follow your business page as well.

Follow Brands

Of course your customers are important; but, other big companies and brands which are established on Instagram and have thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers can be just as beneficial to you.

So, find out which of these big companies or brands are following you (one such tool you can use to track which other companies are following your page is Statigram). Just enter the hashtag or the company name, and you can see if they have an Instagram page.

Why Other Brands Matter

You don’t want to sit there and comment on every photo a competitor posts, but you do want to analyze what they are doing if they have an Instagram account. First off, you want to see what their followers (who are not your customers) appreciate in their brand, and not in yours.

Second, you can glean the images they post, how many likes they have, what is working and what is not working. And you can also get an idea of what your competitors are doing, when they post new product lines or up and coming ideas they have.

All of this is important for your business. Not only does it give you a heads up as to what your competitors are doing, it also gives you a way to potentially draw their followers away from them to following you. When you are aware of what the competition is up to, you are going to be on top of your game, and are going to make the right moves so you can keep up with the changes in the industry.

If you are not following a competitor, or if you do not know what they are doing, make sure you immediately do this. It will give you a great deal of insight as to how they operate, what they might have or might do that you are not doing and will show you what changes should be made. This will ensure you are appealing to the right audience, and can potentially draw in new followers to your account by making the right changes and updates to your own Instagram business page that you have set up.

Networking is key in any industry; just because the internet has simplified how we connect, and how customers view us, does not mean we can stop networking as a business. Not only does networking help you meet more people that can help you, it is an easy way to meet new customers and prospective customers who may never have known that your business existed.

As a business owner you have to network through Instagram, as well as the other social media platforms, just as you would if you were attending a local networking or social gathering event in the industry. It is not only simple for you to do, it is an easy way for you to glean what your competitors are up to, what customers in your industry are looking for and what changes have been made in the industry that you are not yet up to date with.

By using these simple techniques to network online, your business is not only going to see a jump in the number of followers on Instagram, but possibly on other social media platforms that you have set up as a business as well. When your followers see you care, and are thankful that they follow you, they will tell others about your business which will lead to new followers. And when you are sharing your information and accounts through all social media platforms, it allows current followers who were not aware of your Instagram account to follow you on that platform as well.

It is important to network and to utilize all of the tools that are available to you as a business owner. This will ensure you are gaining followers and growing through social media. These are a few simple tools you can use in any industry, to see growth and to realize new followers to your photo sharing page.

This will in turn lead to more new customers, more site visitors to your online business page and eventually to more profits due to the increase in the number of customers you are gaining through social media.

Read Chapter 7: Use Instagram videos to showcase Brand Milestones[/fusion_text]



Issa Asad AuthorIssa Asad is an entrepreneur and marketing strategist from Miami, Florida. Issa Asad  has over 15 years of experience in the marketing, technology and telecommunications industries. Mr. Asad has been the Co-Founder, Founder, Managing Member, President, Vice President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of multiple technology, telecom and online-based companies.