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How to get more followers on Instagram with Facebook Ads?

As you’ll know if you’ve been advertising on Meta for any length of time, the platform offers a wide range of advertising objectives for optimizing campaigns. Those goals are : gaining brand awareness, improving traffic, or generating leads and sales. They are just some of the business objectives that can be addressed via Meta Ads. That said, there’s still one simple objective for which, strangely enough, there’s still no optimization available. No optimization helps to know how to get more followers on Instagram with Facebook Ads.

Admittedly, it has recently become possible to run campaigns to increase visits to the Instagram profile. But you’ll agree with your favorite Facebook Ads agency that increasing the number of visitors is ultimately of little interest. It’s the case if these individuals don’t engage with the content, or subscribe to the organic profile.

At Impulse, we’ve often worked with advertisers whose main objective was to increase their Instagram follower base. Far from being defeated by the lack of options available on Meta, we put in place a simple, three-step strategy to achieve this through the back door.

So, how to get more followers on Instagram with Facebook Ads? Read on if you’d like to learn more about our methodology, and if you’d like to make your Instagram stats soar!

1) Launch traffic campaigns linking to your Instagram account

Initially, the idea is to launch a traffic campaign optimized for clicks. Or even better, you can do it for the new available target of Instagram profile visits, which we haven’t yet had a chance to test. And, as you’ll have gathered, to use the URL of the organic Instagram account as the landing page.

In terms of ad placement, we advise you to select Instagram only. This will prevent you from broadcasting your ads to individuals who are not users of the platform. It would be a waste of money and time!

For targeting, you can test the audiences that seem most relevant to your offer. But we still recommend that you run a lookalike of your Instagram followers. That way, you’ll be sure to maximize the qualified traffic on your profile.

Subscriber gain is not an indicator available on Meta ads. That’s why you won’t be able to optimize your campaigns on this metric. To make up for this, we advise you to give priority to two marketing performance indicators. Those are your CPC and your click-through rates. The lower an ad’s CPC and the higher its CTR, the more traffic it brings in. And therefore the greater its chances of converting (= generating subscribers) will be. So consider the ads with the lowest CPCs and highest CTRs as your top performers. And spend your budget wisely on them.

Important: With the traffic objective, several CTAs are available, including “subscribe”. Needless to say, this is the one you absolutely must choose to accompany your creatives’ landing page. 😉

2) Generate engagement on your organic ads and encourage visitors to subscribe at the same time

Secondly, we recommend setting up interaction campaigns, which you’ll optimize for interactions with a publication. The idea here is to sponsor the organic content of your Instagram account to maximize the number of engagements (likes, comments, shares). The objective is to make your Instagram profile attractive. Engagement attracts engagement, and you’ll often find that the more likes or comments your publications have, the more they’ll generate. This virtuous circle is also true when it comes to subscribers. An Instagram account with a lot of social metrics will make its visitors want to subscribe more, vs. an account with little or no engagement metrics.

To optimize your ads in this campaign, we advise you to look at the cost per interaction and per comment, the engagement rate. And we would also add metrics like the hold rate or the completion rate for videos.

Important: Most of these metrics are not available directly in the platform. So you’ll need to create them in the column customizer.

3) Address visitors with quality advertising

The third element not to be neglected for a well-honed Instagram follower strategy is to work on your creative. It should respond as closely as possible to this objective of gaining subscribers. In fact, simple creatives that aren’t branded enough or, on the contrary, are too pushy in their messaging, will often not make the targeted individuals want to carry out the simple but oh-so-important action of clicking on the subscribe button.

At Impulse, we have a few best practices to share with you for top-notch creative:

  • Give preference to video: CTR and engagement rates are often better on video vs. static, since it’s a format that’s inherently more engaging and in which more can be said.
  • Embody your content: Today, people want authenticity and transparency. And there’s nothing like creatives embodied by you or your team to share these feelings with them!
  • Encourage people to subscribe directly to your creatives: At Impulse, we A/B test several types of creative angles. And we’ve never had CPCs as low and engagement rates as high as on video creatives explaining that you had to subscribe to the Instagram account to find this or that content. Once again, honesty and transparency come first!
  • Surf on Reels or TikTok trends: Depending on your industry, you can take up popular trends on social networks and reappropriate them according to what you want to highlight. For example, with a food e-commerce business, we’ve had great results highlighting a popular recipe on TikTok (cinnamon apple puff pastry). Yummy!

4) Track the evolution of your subscriber base on a daily basis

Having a clean, effective strategy is great, but being able to track results is even better! As mentioned above, Meta ads doesn’t allow you to track follower gains linked to paid campaigns directly in the ad manager. The solution to this problem is to track the gain (and/or loss) of subscribers on a daily basis, for the duration of the campaigns, and to make correlations. You’ve gained 20% more subscribers over the previous week? That’s great! Does this correspond to the implementation of a particular creative? An increase or decrease in budget for another? Try to link the major trends in the variation of the number of subscribers on your profile to the optimizations made in your campaigns. And make decisions based on your findings.

It’s not as easy as if the information came directly from your profile. But it’s an effective alternative for optimizing your campaigns and understanding what’s working and what’s not.

Important: As the objective of gaining Instagram followers doesn’t exist on Meta, the algorithm isn’t trained for it. And it won’t initially understand what you want it to do. Your performance is therefore likely to be poor at first; don’t panic, and keep optimizing for clicks and engagement with good creative. From experience, performance improves after a few weeks, and the gain in followers can quickly become impressive!

Conclusion

If you’ve read this article through to the end, gaining Instagram followers via Meta Ads should hold no secrets for you! And if you want to go even further in mastering the platform, you can read our other articles available on our blog, which will give you plenty of tips on how to become the SMA expert!

L'Auteur
Daniéla Uzan
After more than 5 years of experience in brand & digital marketing, Daniéla started her career at Impulse Analytics in acquisition. The results speak for themselves, 3 years at Impulse Analytics: 327% increase in investments entrusted, 30% increase in the conversion rate and a 15% reduction in the CPA of accounts under management.

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