How to Run an Instagram Account that Actually Gets Followers
When Facebook acquired Instagram it was a clear indicator that the social media platform was on to something and that it was going to be big. Since then, Instagram growth has exploded going from 50 million users in 2012 to 1 billion users in June 2018. And half of those are daily users.
Businesses, bloggers and online influencers stand to gain a lot by getting on Instagram. Of course, simply having an account won’t do you much good. You have to actively run your Instagram account in a strategic way if you want to gain a following and massive exposure.
Post Fantastic Pictures
Instagram is all about photos, photos, photos. Without interesting imagery, it’s very hard to build a following.
Some people can take great photos using nothing more than their smartphone. But if you really want to take your Instagram profile to the next level it’s a good idea to invest in some editing software.
There are plenty of editing tools available today, however, two programs really stand out: Lightroom and Photoshop. There’s a great debate about Lightroom vs Photoshop, but in actuality, they’re both great to have. Many professional photographers enjoy that Lightroom allows you to do batch editing on a group of pictures. This makes simple edits quick and easy. Photoshop helps you really fine tune your pictures and allows for more in-depth editing.
No matter which editing tools you use, taking a few minutes to get them just right can make a huge difference on Instagram.
Upload a Lot of Fantastic Pictures on a Regular Basis
Social media isn’t stagnant. It’s a living, breathing thing that requires regular activity. If you want to build a following as quickly as possible, plan to post pictures and/or videos at least 3-4 times a week. Once you build a healthy following you can dial it back to just once or twice a week
Interact With Other Users
On social media, the whole point is to be social. One effective way to build a following is to follow other Instagram users. As marketing expert Neil Patel points out, it also doesn’t hurt to go on a liking and commenting spree.
Use the search feature to find other users that have similar interests. Check out their accounts and if you see something that peaks your interest leave a comment or like it. It also helps to comment or like around three posts within a single account.
You can even find complementary or like-minded businesses and offer to promote their products or services. Some Instagram influencers even get paid to advertise if they have a large enough following.
Leverage Content Generated By Your Followers
Followers aren’t just great for boosting your Instagram status. You can also use their user-generated content for marketing on Instagram.
Featuring user-generated content created by your followers (reposting or regraming) is a powerful way to reinforce your relationships and boost brand recognition. Suddenly all of your follower’s followers will see your post. Those posts created by your followers also serve as social media testimonials.
Another plus, you can keep up the frequency of your posts without having to create new content. Some businesses actually encourage their followers to create content they can share, which alleviates a lot of the content creation burden.
The trick to reposting is to find great content creating by someone with a healthy following and then connect with the creator. Send them a direct message and ask if you can report the photo or video. Not only is this a part of the Instagram guidelines, it also helps you build your relationship with the content creator. Of course, you’ll also want to create/tag the original poster in your post caption.
Hashtagging your Instagram posts may seem like a pain, but it’s a necessary step for gaining exposure. Hashtags make it possible to find your Instagram posts in search. If you tag photos appropriately you can catch the attention of a lot of users who have no idea who you are but share your interests or are looking for your services.
Fast track your hashtagging by creating a few go-to groupings of common keywords that you can copy and paste. Just keep in mind that too many hashtags can be a turnoff. You can use up to 30 hashtags, but research has shown 5-10 hashtags is optimal.
It doesn’t take long to get the hang of Instagram. Strategize how you plan to use the platform, start creating high-quality photos and take the time to connect with others to build a great following.