Instagram presents itself as an interesting business opportunity. You probably even have an account on the site, and you probably use it to post your photos and interact with other users.
As a business, you cannot afford to ignore it as a potential source of increasing your market visibility and followers. The site has over 500 million active daily users, making it among the top five social media outlets globally (it is only surpassed by Facebook, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger, as of 2017). When you want to put this into comparison, the population of the US is about 300 million.
All this means one thing: when you use the platform well, it translates into bigger opportunities for your business, more views on your website or blog (if you have one), and a loyal following. Another question may pop up from this – how do some accounts manage to get so many followers?
Liking photos within your niche area
This may seem strange – you go stalking other people’s accounts? However, this may be of greater help than you think.
You may have an account on the platform you admire so much. The best thing to get them to notice is going to their account and liking a certain number of photos in there. If you can leave a genuine comment expressing your admiration, even better.
What this does is giving your name brand exposure, allowing other users connected to this person to know who you are. Finding users in your niche is not difficult either – hashtags exist to make the work easier. However, in light of this, make sure you follow user etiquette – do not spam.
Make a consistent theme for your images
When you post images and alert people through hashtags, people will become interested in checking your account. Provide something exciting for them.
Instagram is a purely visual medium, and the better your photos look, the more someone will want to spend time on your account and give it a follow. How do you achieve this theme though? Write some words that you want people to associate your account with, and once you know, use these to decide on an overall theme. Once this is done, stick to your decision and reap the rewards.
At the end of the day, Instagram is a social media platform. That means exactly that – you socialize with others.
Make sure to like others’ photos and leave comments on their work. Even better, infuse the comment with your personality instead of saying something generic. That will keep them motivated to post some more – and keep you on their radar too.
Hashtags and sharing of hashtags
Social media, particularly Twitter and Instagram, emphasize the use of hashtags. They are not just a way of alerting people that your account exists; they also help to build a great community, as well as gaining followers.
When the hashtag has a specific purpose (for instance #Inktober for artists to post inked artwork in October), it gets even better. Once others come on board and use the hashtag, chances are you can repost the images, and build a loyal following that knows you appreciate the work they do. It also allows you to get fresh ideas for your own account.
Giveaways and contests
Human beings love free things, and you are not different. Take advantage of that opportunity by running a competition.
If you want to give an item away, have your followers repost images or use certain hashtags and tag you. You can even make it exclusive by informing people that they must follow your account to be eligible to win. An even better option would be collaborating with other Instagrammers in that niche and combining creative ideas to boost both your audiences.
Promoting your Instagram account to followers on other sites
This option can work if you have a blog, Facebook or Twitter account. Do not assume everyone on one site follows you on every platform, as they may not know other accounts you may have. Encourage them to check it out, and even give them a link to your account. This action will boost your instagram followers, even more than you may imagine.
Using call to action
When you ask someone to do something, they are more likely to do it. YouTube accounts do it every time – they encourage you to like the video if you enjoyed their content, and also subscribe to the channel.
Ask your followers to tag their friends if you share a relatable or humorous quote, or encourage them to show their friends the account. As long as you express the idea, it will encourage others to do the action accordingly.
Know what your audience wants
Sounds simple, but it is invaluable advice. You do not need complicated software to accomplish this – simply go through your photos and establish the picture that got the most likes and/or comments, as well as the least.
That should provide you with some clues – maybe it can explain a trend that your audience did not enjoy, which you can avoid. In the same vein, popular photos can hint to you that your audience enjoys that, so you can incorporate more of it into your posts.
If you are a lifestyle or events blogger, you may know of this strategy. Geotagging simply involves indicating the location of the place you are at or are visiting.
This means that people who have a similar experience with the area or live there can also follow you, since they discover you have something in common with them.
Talk to popular accounts and encourage collaborations
This may seem unconventional, but it works. You can always approach other Instagrammers and find out if they are willing to let you take over their account as a guest contributor. Another would be holding a joint challenge with another Instagrammer, and challenging yourselves to see what you can do with limited resources or different tools than what you are used to. At the end of the day, make sure you have an enjoyable interaction, and this will grow your audience.
Instagram is a great place to show your creativity and build you brand. Many people may not know how to build their following, but these tips can assist in very big ways. Ultimately, make sure that your following grows organically, and you are not forcing your numbers to go up.