If you’re not an Instagram user in this day and age, (no sugar-coating) you’re missing out. Promoting your brand through Instagram is a good way to showcase your products, services or even skills which I’m sure you’re passionate about and proud of. However, just having an Instagram account isn’t what you’re aiming for, you’re aiming for an ever-growing interactive audience base. Whether you’re a small business, blogger, artist, fashionista, public figure etc. there are just a few basic things you should consider doing if you want to increase your follower count.
1. Post Consistently
This is all about training your audience. Posting consistently will get them accustomed to seeing you on their timelines at different times. Sometimes, based on your content, many viewers will actually look forward to your next post! However, avoid spamming your viewers’ timelines. Instagram has rolled out the new Instagram for business which allows you to analyze and track your best interaction times during the week. Use this to your advantage by posting at minimum, once a day but no more than three, at the best times based on your graph. Also, it doesn’t hurt to test different times until you’ve hit your jackpot.
2. Thematic Grid
Whether it be food, your style, products, or even your photography that you want to showcase, you should invest time into creating a flowing, thematic grid which will grab anyone’s attention. Post pictures that are related to your niche or theme and consider using clear, crisp photos. If editing, try avoiding using many different filters. If you’re not so familiar with Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, you can consider using photo-editing apps such as VSCO, Snapseed, Aviary, Picmonkey etc.
Also, there are apps out there which allow you to manage your Instagram grid through previewing and scheduling. The one that I use is called Planoly.
3. Link Accounts
Linking your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr will really help your follower count to grow. Once you’ve posted an image on Instagram and selected the platforms you wish to share to, viewers from other social platforms will definitely want to check you out. This is why you keep your content engagement-worthy!
How many times have you searched for something on Instagram using a hashtag? Hashtags are a great way to put yourself under specific categories. Also, based on your hashtags, you will be seen by people who are interested in what you do! My advice? stop using unnecessary hashtags. Do some research to find the most popular ones in your community and start #hashtagging away!
Note: Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags, anything over that will cause your entire caption to disappear when you post your image (Speaking from experience *inserts upside-down smiling emoji*).
Remember, other Instagram users are really just people like you. Engage with your audience through liking, commenting and following. My rule of thumb is to give credit where it’s due, so when you find something interesting, like it and leave a comment, even if it’s just a heart emoji. Similarly, when other users comment on your pictures or send you messages, be sure to reply and not leave them hanging. When you find someone’s Instagram grid eye-catching and fascinating, do them– and yourself– a favor by hitting the follow button. You’ll never know who you’ll connect with on this platform (and others of course)!
Additionally, another important method of sparking interaction is through your captions. When posting a picture, try to write things that will interest your viewers enough to leave a comment. You can even ask questions that will make them feel like they should like and leave a comment!
6. Promote others like you
Another great way to market yourself is through marketing others! Maybe you’ve connected with someone who shares a similar passion, or blog under the same niche as you, or something. Don’t hesitate to hit the share button for them. Not only will you direct traffic to their Instagram account, but you will also show others that you’re open to connect!
Happy Instagramming my loves!
Article originally published on Odyssey, by Brittney Patterson on September 27, 2016