After I wrote this post, celebrating my 10k followers on Instagram, I got a lot of people asking me how I did it, and I remember promising to make a detailed post concerning it, so here it is!
Instagram is a social channel that lets it’s members expand their brand through their images. For businesses especially, it’s a way to humanize the brand and bring it to followers. New products can be showcased, sales can be increased, just by sharing images. But the problem with Instagram is that it is incredibly hard to build a big following. Unless you are a known brand or a celebrity or sportsman or woman.
In this article I will share with you, my basic Instagram followers guide to help you grow your Instagram followers but first a word of warning.
THIS IS GOING TO TAKE TIME AND EFFORT ON YOUR PART … It is going to take daily, consistent activity around your page and other members. If your not prepared to put the daily work required then STOP reading now!
How To Grow Your Instagram Followers
Set up your profile
So your Instagram profile, you have to make it look good. Potential followers need to know who you are and what you are about. You have to give them a reason to follow you.
Start by making sure your username recognisable. Profiles that are a business page or an opportunity must sing about what you are offering. If your chosen username is already taken then link the name you use as closely as possible to your preferred name. If you are the brand then use your name and link it to what you do.
Post great photos I know, you probably know this. But it doesn’t hurt to state it again. Posting great content is key. Need inspiration? Start following people that inspire you. I even suggest creating a Pinterest board of some of your favourite images. Think about the types of images you like looking at and recreate your own, personal aesthetic. My number one tip for great, crisp photos? Great lighting!
If you have your own site then add the link to your profile for a valuable link back. This is the only opportunity you have to directly send Instagram followers and members to your blog or site. Unfortunately, there are no clickable links allowed on Insta posts, however, you can always leave your blog URL at your bio or leave a link to a direct post on your bio.
When you visit lot’s of profiles on Instagram you come across endless accounts that are private, you just can’t see them unless they follow you. Your profile from day 1 needs to be public because you want to be seen.
Open “Options” and make sure your account is “visible” and not “private”. Next step is to add an avatar, this needs to sit with avatars that you use on other social channels. If you have a logo you use on a Facebook page then use it again on Instagram or use an image that is recognisable as your brand.
Fill out your bio, make the text snappy, you only have limited characters to do this, so make sure it talks about you or the business.
Finally, you need to know when someone likes a post or comments so go to “Options” and then “Notifications” and select to receive notifications “From Everyone”
It’s Time To Get Creative
The quality of your posts matter. Instagram is all about the visual so what you create needs to be visually appealing. Brush up on your photography and picture editing skills. There are tonnes of apps that can help you with this. If you see content that you like and they have done something clever to an image then why not leave them a comment as ask how they did what they did.
You don’t need to be a professional photographer to succeed on Instagram, just create with your mobile phone. Instagram is built on content created by mobile devices, just make your images as good as they can be There are endless blog articles that can guide you on how to take great images with a mobile phone.
Posting on Instagram
Before you can start engaging with other members you need content on your page to make it look full, we need to give the impression that the page is established and active. Now comes the work. You need to work out a posting schedule and post consistently. You need to work out the best times for you to post.
Now, I’m posting beautiful, interesting images that I know my audience can relate to. Each one is different, but contains my own signature style or aesthetic.
Posting images on your Instagram are a way to express yourself, visualise your brand, and gain new followers who want to follow you and see more of what you have to offer. I find it’s the best way to grow and engage with my blog readers.
Interact Having a lot of likes is great, but having a lot of interaction: comments, clicks to your website, leads, etc, is phenomenal.
If you have the time, try to comment, like, and interact as much as you can with other bloggers, entrepreneurs, business owners, or whatever you want to attract to follow your Instagram.
Don’t forget to take a look at who’s following you, you might find someone new to follow out of your own followers.
Another way to build interaction is to focus on an engaging caption.
Your caption is your opportunity to connect and engage with your followers. You can also use a call to action to encourage others to check out your blog or business
Create a catalogue of content to share. You don’t want to share every picture you take straight away, your working on a posting schedule right? File away great content until you need it and use it when it is relevant.
Captions are important
Photos and videos are the jewels of every post you make, but the caption or text snippet added is the message you want to drill home. The caption personalizes the content, it talks about you, it humanises the content. It puts a relatable person behind the picture to follow, the likeability factor if you like ;-). This brings you likes and comments and ultimately brings you more followers. Your caption can on occasions be a question to drive reactions or a call to action.
On Instagram, a hashtag ties the conversations of different users who wouldn’t already be connected into a single stream. If you use relevant hashtags, your posts will get exposure to a wider audience than the people who already follow you or know about your brand. Use hashtags smartly and sparingly. Use tags that are relevant to your niche to attract users interested in you and what you do. Search Instagram tags for your niche. If content comes up that is relevant to what you stand for then those tags are good to use. Once your following grows you can start to use some of your own unique tags, like your brand or your name with the niche.
Hashtags are an incredible way to organically grow your Instagram following and interaction.
The best way to find new hashtags is to search online, Pinterest, or use the “explore” feature directly on Instagram. Search for something you’re interested in, and Instagram will give you related and similar hashtags at the top! You can use up to 30 hashtags per post!!!
Now we are all set up it is time to really do what it takes to grow your followers. Instagram is a social site so it really is about engagement and interaction. You have found tags for your posts and no doubt now found members who will be interested in what you do and are offering. It is now about engaging and building relationships and building the “Know Like and Trust Factor”
Be Consistent Whenever you start something new, it can seem easy at first to be consistent, but after a while, you trail off.
Think of your Instagram feed as a reflection of you: your blog, your life, your business, your brand.
Create a “bank” of photos you can use on off days. Don’t forget to vary your photos. Contrary to popular belief, your feed does not have to be the same thing. Vary it up!
Everyone on Instagram is looking for exposure.
If you are active liking other members posts, active following other members and you are commenting and engaging then you are the kind of member that every Instagrammer wants. This activity will bring you more likes, more comments and more follows to your page. Timing Just like with any other-other social media platform, such as Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, there is an art to choosing the right time to post.
It’s not a bad idea to look at your Instagram analytics to see when you tend to receive more interaction and likes and try to post at that time to garner more engagement.
Don’t Compare. Don’t worry if you don’t have a million followers and thousands of likes. It’s preferable that you have ENGAGED, interested followers, rather than 1,000s that aren’t that interested. When you focus on creating an interested, engaged audience, your Instagram will grow.
Thanks so much for reading!
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So that is it, a basic guide to growing your Instagram followers….
Do you have any tips to add for gaining followers?
Leave a comment below and let us know. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram
Planning daily is a huge part of how I get clarity around my long-term business goals. Need more clarity? To grab your free workbook (and other online business goodies) sign up below. For more motivational self-improvement secrets, for more tips and tricks on how to grow and engage your Instagram account, subscribe below!