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Free ways to promote on Instagram: 15+ methods that work

Free ways to promote on Instagram in their effectiveness may not even be inferior to paid ones. Another thing is that instead of money, you have to spend time. But if you do not have enough of the first, and the second in excess, then why not? In any case, all these actions will be useful and will have a positive effect on the popularity of your Instagram page, regardless of how you promote it in the future.

The approaches can be combined using both paid and free ways. From our material, you will learn how best to set up an Instagram profile and what to do without spending a penny to gain popularity.

To promote your Instagram account in 2021, you need to try. There are already more than a billion users on the social network – there is a lot of competition, and everyone wants to attract subscribers. For greater efficiency, you will have to combine free methods of promotion on Instagram and paid ones: advertising from bloggers, targeted advertising, launching contests, mutual PR, etc.

We will try to pay more attention to free methods – they are no less effective than paid ones , and sometimes even surpass them in results.

So, methods that will only take your time.

  • Connect your business account to your Instagram profile

    If you are seriously engaged in the promotion of Instagram, then first of all you should switch to a business account. It has functions that are not available on a regular one:

    • extended description;

    • communication buttons (mail, phone, directions);

    • category indication (a line in which you can specify your field of activity);

    • statistics (bookmarks, views, number of subscriptions and unsubscriptions in the last days);

    • the ability to run ads.

    Подключите бизнес-аккаунт к своему профилю в Инстаграм

    Connect a business account to your Instagram profile

    To switch to a business account, you need to click on three strips in the upper right corner, go to “Settings”, and then to the section “Account”. Feel free to click on the bright blue line – “Switch to a professional account”.

    In some versions of Instagram, the line will be immediately in the “Settings” section.

  • Find a suitable account name

    In addition to the username, Instagram allows you to choose a name other than your login.

    The name can be changed while editing, and it will immediately appear under the profile photo.

    Enter your first and last name here, write the name of the industry, product or service. Specify a binding to the region. The name will help find you faster in the search. For example, when typing “Manicure Moscow”, all accounts that have these words in their names will be displayed on the screen:

    This is the easiest and most free way to reach the right audience on Instagram.

  • Install a quality avatar

    Choose a beautiful and “talking” picture. For a company – a logo or symbol, for a blogger – a portrait. If your profile picture is good at revealing the essence of the project, then your chances of the account being noticed in search are doubled.

    Установите качественную аватарку

    Set a quality avatar

    When choosing a picture, do not forget about two nuances :

    • the finished version of the image will be visible to users in the form of a circle – this means that your image will be cropped around the edges;

    • the avatar should be associated with the services that you (or the brand) represent.

    Use the Canva template to create the perfect picture. Replace the original picture, insert text or logo, replace colors. If you drag your logo into the circle, it will automatically be placed in the center of the template.

  • Publish only quality content

    No matter how hard you try, put effort and money into promoting your Instagram account, if your page is boring, users will not stay with you. First you need to create WHAT to promote, and then decide HOW – this is the main rule of Instagram promotion.

    Nobody bothers you to draw inspiration from bloggers you like and who lead your account in a similar way.

  • Create masks

    Another way to get noticed and attract subscribers is to create a mask. But you need to make a cool, unique, cool mask that you want to use. Your possibilities are limited only by your skills and imagination. You can create a funny lettering, a beautiful filter, or something more complicated with 3D effects. If you cannot make the mask yourself, then order it from the professionals. For example:

    There is a collection of face-distorting masks that are always in trend. When creating masks, you need to know what is relevant now. For example, filters with protective masks are popular in quarantine:

    Easier masks can be created by yourself using Spark AR Studio. There are many tutorials on YouTube on how to make a mask in Spark AR, and there are tutorials on the official website too.

  • Engage your audience from TikTok

    TikTok is a good platform from which you can attract new subscribers. One viral video will bring thousands of new users. And by cutting off the video at the most interesting place and offering to watch the continuation on Instagram, you can get a bunch of “easy” subscribers.

    Blogger Austin uploaded a video of Mentos tossed in the bathroom with Coke. At the epic moment of the explosion, the video broke off, and in the comments it was written that the continuation should be watched on Instagram. This video has garnered over one and a half million views.

  • Refuse to cheat subscribers

    Forget in 2021 about such services as mass following and massliking – applications and bots that wind up likes and subscriptions. Instagram developers openly fight black schemes – in case of suspicious activity, the social network immediately sends an account to a ban and prevents applications from working. With constant cheating, you can run into a complete blocking of your Instagram account.

  • Design interactives

    Increase subscribers’ activity so that posts are in the top. Games and interactions will help attract viewers. You can ask subscribers to find differences in a photo, set puzzles, vote for a particular option with a number or emoticon. Lego, for example, numbers pictures in posts and asks to choose subscribers:

    Придумывайте интерактивы

    Come up with interactions

    There is always more activity under such posts than the average for the account.

  • Promote your Instagram profile offline and on personal online resources

    Ask friends and acquaintances to like, subscribe to you or repost from your personal Instagram or Facebook account. Subscribe to acquaintances through synchronization with a list of contacts or potential acquaintances. In response, they can visit you and rate your profile.

    Create a customer-based mailing list, use your personal website or other social networks. Be sure to include the benefits and value of subscribing to your account. Add a QR code or a link to your Instagram account on printed materials. Business cards, for example, are perfect for this.

  • Create an attractive lead magnet

    In exchange for a subscription, repost or like, you can give the user some valuable product. For example, an author’s course, a checklist with tips or a video tutorial.

    In this post, the New Look SMM agency has uploaded the opportunity to take its course for free if several conditions are met:

    This lead magnet brought the blog several thousand new subscribers, and the post became one of the most popular.

  • Create mutual PR in stories

    It’s very simple: find a blogger with a theme like yours and an equal number of subscribers. Invite him to tell about your account in his story, and you about his account – in your own. Stories is the best option, because the post will look inappropriate and intrusive.

    Устраивайте в сторис взаимопиар

    Create mutual PR in stories

    Stories can tell you why a colleague’s blog is interesting. It will be great if you can meet and chat with the person you recommend. Then mutual PR will look natural:

    Make it a goal to find one or two bloggers every week for mutual PR. Do not be afraid to write to strangers, the worst thing is that you will simply be refused. But if a blogger is interested in developing an account, then most likely you will work together.

  • Share live streams

    By broadcasting live, you become closer to the audience, and by conducting joint broadcasts, you can also exchange subscribers. The scheme is the same as in mutual PR – find a blogger with whom it will be interesting to talk to, or conduct a battle live, agree on a time and start the broadcast.

    Important to remember :

    • The topics of your profiles should be similar or related.

    • Before the broadcast, agree on a joint scenario – what you will tell. This will help avoid awkward pauses.

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    Share live streams

    Notify subscribers in advance about live streaming. Already in this case, part of the audience will look closely at your partner.

    As a reminder, you can set a countdown, the user will receive a notification about the air.

  • Leave comments under posts of popular accounts

    An effective way to promote Instagram for free. Go to popular accounts with similar topics and comment on popular posts – succinctly and interestingly. This method works great for celebrity accounts and popular bloggers.

    By using the topic of the post wisely, and by writing a cool comment “catching” other subscribers, you can get to the top due to other people’s likes.

  • Use all content types

    Don’t just stop at feed and story posts. Use all forms – as many as 7 are available in 2021:

    7 types of content are now available, in Russia 5 are fully functional.

    Reels and Marketplace are not functional in Russia, but everything can change – Instagram is constantly updating and finalizing its formats.

    Each user has a favorite type of content, and by diversifying your profile, you will expand your circle of subscribers.

  • Hashtags

    Hashtags are needed to accomplish several tasks :

    • to find a post in a hashtag search;

    • for the post to appear in the feed of those subscribed to the hashtag;

    • create collections – posts on a specific topic can be tagged with one hashtag to promote your brand.

    Hashtags are categorized as high-, medium-, low-frequency, branded, and unique.

    How to increase your post reach:

    High-frequency ones are those that put everything in a row: # sea, # cinema, # coffee. There are hundreds of thousands of them in the application.

    Medium-frequency hashtags with a specific theme are: # Eurovision2020, #readbooks, #walking the field. Or related to a popular region: #greeting travel, #beautifulmoscow. There are tens of thousands of them.

    Low frequencies are those that are rarely used: # love pears, # rainy June. There are up to 5-10 thousand references.

    Brand names contain the names of the company: #canva, #ryanair.

    And you come up with unique ones yourself, and use them, for example, to set a category or flash mob: #nerddesigntips, #nerdforbeginners.

    To promote an Instagram account, it is better to use the first three types – it will be easier for them to find you in the search or see you in the feed. Each post contains no more than 10 hashtags, the maximum is 30. You can put them anywhere: at the end of the text, in the text itself, if it fits the meaning, in the comments.

    The following rules will help you find your tags :

    • The hashtag should reflect the content of the photo or the text of the post. Don’t mislead users, but help them find the information they need.

    • With high-frequency hashtags, you will be hard to spot. there are already a lot of posts with them. Better to use mid and low frequency tags.

    • Do not copy the same set of hashtags from post to post. Better to diversify the selection – this will help to expand the circle of users coming by the tag. Do not use hashtags that are used to exchange likes: # like4like #like. This will lead you to a low-quality audience.

    If your post is popular, then it has a chance to appear in the feed of users who follow the hashtag specified in your post.

    The account name is displayed under the tag and in the accompanying text, the user can go to the author in the account and subscribe. To select hashtags for promotion on Instagram, you can use the services RiteTag or Hashtagify.

  • Geotags

    With their help, you can increase the reach of posts. When you geotag a post, it will automatically be included in the collection of posts with this tag. If the post gets a lot of reactions and is more popular than others in this location, then the post can get to the top and others will see it.

    Regardless of its popularity, the post will go to the “Recent” section.

    If you have your own point – shop, salon, restaurant – be sure to add the address to your profile and mark your point in each post. This will make the location popular in the area.

    Example : Your store is located in a mall with many outlets that users can potentially tag on Instagram. The more stories and posts with your geolocation, the more often the application will offer your location to users who have taken a photo somewhere nearby. Posts with your geolocation will be promoted to the top of the list.

  • Instagram does not like those who rely solely on luck, so lazy people who ignore an integrated approach cannot get a “place in the sun” here. In order to attract a high-quality audience, you need to stick to a strategy and think about each of your actions. Yes, this is a lot of work, but the result will not be long in coming.

    Properly design your profile, make the social network a full-fledged sales channel, work on a content plan and never stand still, because there are many interesting discoveries ahead of you!

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