Instagram can be an amazing place to share your images/creations/business with the world but with the app being so popular, it can sometimes feel like your content is being lost in the never ending sea of people trying to do the exact same thing as you. It can feel hopeless, you may even think about giving up but, if you listen to these 15 steps I promise you will see results. Now, a lot of YouTube videos and blogs may promise you that your account will blow up over night but unfortunately, building a following isn't that easy. It takes time and commitment. Having said that, these tips will get the ball rolling and those numbers on the rise.
1. Follow similar accounts
If you have just started your page or don't follow many accounts, this step is for you. Find accounts that are similar to your own (you already know you have a common interest and they will most likely follow back.) You can do this by searching relevant hashtags and skimming through the results. Following accounts with a smaller amount of followers will lead to better results as they are more likely to see your account and follow back. This step is also good for helping you build a community within your niche.
2. Post engaging content
Ever heard the expression "a picture is worth a thousand words?" It's true! especially on Instagram; a platform full of images. You need to make your content stand out. Now that you have seen some accounts similar to yours, think about them, as the viewer, what stood out to you? what was successful or not so much with these other accounts? make sure you apply your findings to your own account and invest in equipment which will enhance your photos. If you don't have money to splash on fancy equipment, get creative! Make your content so striking that people will stop scrolling.
3. post regularly
Now you've started to gain a few followers, you want to keep them. If your account looks inactive people will unfollow so aim to post daily. (Instagram rewards active users with lots of traffic!) The easiest way to create a large amount of engaging posts is to plan ahead. For example, if you work 6 days a week, do multiple photoshoots on your day off so you have posts ready for the rest of the week and all you have to do is press share on the other 6 days.
4. Post at the right time
Posting at the right time of day is crucial. Posting at certain times will bring more traffic to your page simply because more people are looking at their phones. Different sources say varied times are best but from my personal experience, around 5pm-7pm is the best time.
5. Engage with the community
I find this is one of the quickest ways to get more followers. Engage! Like everything related to your page. For example, I am an artist so I like and comment on everything art related I see. Not only will your name pop up in more peoples notifications but your username will be under their image, leading more people to click on your account. Search those relevant hashtags and reach out to more people, interact with their content, message people, share their posts on your story. Do this everyday and you will see your followers go up rapidly.
6. Pay for promotions
You can pay to have your content shared on Instagram starting at £1 per day. This is really effective and the least time consuming method. You must have your account set to professional (go to settings to switch from personal to pro) Then click on the post you would like to promote and you will see the promote button in the right hand corner, fill out the options from there. Obviously the longer you promote your post for the better results you get but if you cant afford that don't worry, you can do a short promotion (something like 4 days for £4) and still good results.
7. Make your posts interactive
as well as interacting with other users posts, you want to also invite people to interact with yours. Ask questions in your captions. Share your opinions, start a debate, ask for suggestions. All of these things will make your account more popular. You could even play a game with your audience or do a giveaway.
8. Use hashtags
Just like you use hashtags to find other people's content, they can find you via hashtag. Instagram let's you use 30 hashtags per post so use them all! But don't just use any hashtags, look for trending hashtags (these are the most searched) You can find these by going to add the # to your post. If I type #art, a drop down menu will appear and the first one that comes up is the most popular. Make sure you're changing your hashtags on each post accordingly.
9. Be relatable
like it or not, your personality comes across when you are posting and you want to make sure your followers are seeing the best side of it. It can feel like you are exposing yourself when you get too vulnerable or opinionated online but people will warm to you if they feel they can relate to you, so don't be shy! Tell your story, talk about why you are passionate about what you are doing.
10. Share your page on other social media platforms
This one works best if you have a lot of friends on Facebook. Share your page on there and every other social media you have. Get your friends and family to share with their friends too.
11. Set a routine
You could post different types of content on different days. Maybe every Tuesday you interview another Instagram user about your selected topic. Maybe every Friday you do a poll and get you followers to decide what you do. The more creative you get the better! It will make your account stand out.
12. Be consistent
The best way to be successful at anything is to commit, be consistent. Make sure you're posting about what you are really passionate about or you will not what to run your page long term. Keep on doing all of the things above everyday and you will see significant growth.
Best of luck!