1. UNDERSTAND WHAT CONTENT CONNECTS WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Your first step before you do anything else is to actually understand your audience on Instagram and what they want to see.
Think about who you want to reach and what their mindset is. This will allow you to give your profile a voice and helps to make your content very targeted. Thus improving your engagement!
If you don’t have this foundation in place first, nothing else will work. No other strategy will fix your account.
Instagram is obviously a very image/video heavy platform. That’s what you need to keep in mind when planning your content.
If your Instagram posts are consistently of a high quality, more people will engage with your content. And if more people are engaging with your content, the more followers you’ll get.
When it comes to taking photos, keep in mind that images that look personal and aren’t as “perfected” tend to perform better than the photos that look like they’re fresh from a stock photo website.
Instagram at its heart is a social media platform. It’s all about being social. It’s about engaging with personal content and when they see it and read it, they feel like they’re talking to a friend.
That’s the downfall with stock photos.
As a blogger, you want to tell people about who you are and what you stand for. As a business owner, you want to tell people about your business values. Tell people what’s happening behind-the-scenes.
Take a look at the Instagram accounts you admire and see how they get their audience to engage with their images. What themes do they have?
2. POST CONSISTENTLY
To get more followers on Instagram you need to focus on growing your account, and that means posting consistently. Yes this does take some work and planning. But it’ll pay off in the long run.
There are a lot of rumours about why consistency is important, but I’m going to break it down for you here.
Consistent posting gives people a reason to become your Instagram follower. It makes sense for them to follow you if you’re posting consistently.
You follow someone on Instagram so that you can get their latest updates. It’s that simple.
By picking a posting schedule, spacing out your content and sticking to it, you’ll really maximise your reach on Instagram.
So what does a consistent posting schedule look like?
- Decide how many times you’ll post per day. At a minimum, you need to be posting one picture per day. Personally, I post twice a day. It’s all about how much you can manage.
- Decide what times you’ll post. You can use a tool like Squarelovin’ to get your optimal times. For me, I find I get loads of engagement first thing in a morning and then in an evening, so I aim to post at 8am and 8pm each day.
3. INTERACT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
This is a picture I recently uploaded to my account. It got so much engagement.
Remember what we said earlier? Instagram is a social platform. That means you need to be social if you want to get more followers on Instagram.
If people know you talk to others on the platform, your engagement will increase. This is because your Instagram followers will have a better feeling of certainty that you will reply to their comments.
It’s not rocket science. Just dedicate some time to intentionally engaging on the platform.
The more effort you put in, the better your results will be.
Here’s what I do:
- Spend 10 minutes before I upload an image interacting on photos in my feed.
- Spend 10 minutes after I upload an image interacting with the top 9 posts on the hashtags I use.
Don’t force yourself to interact with people that you wouldn’t normally. Connect with real people and become a regular engager.
4. CONSIDER USER-GENERATED CONTENT
The great thing with Instagram is that you can actually get your audience to do some of the hard work for you. This is a great Instagram marketing tactic to consider (and one that I also use for clients).
Use user-generated content. Use other people’s images on your feed and credit them.
You could also do this in a different way, where you ask your followers to tag someone in the comments. That’s a great way to get more followers on Instagram.
But remember, just like the other strategies we’ve gone through so far – don’t use this all the time.
If you start reposting other people’s content every day, your audience will notice that you’re not providing your own value.
On top of that, building a following about Instagram is all about creating high quality content. You want to build a relationship with your audience based on your brand, and only your content will work to achieve that.
5. USE THE RIGHT HASHTAGS
The best way to get more followers on Instagram? You need to get people to your account. Hashtags are the best way to do this.
Hashtags on Instagram can really make a difference if you use them strategically.
Zoe’s Instagram hashtag database was key when it came to improving my Instagram hashtag strategy. It includes hashtags for 35+ categories, handpicked hashtags you won’t find anywhere else and video walkthrough to show you how to use the database. I LOVE this tool and it’s so affordable for all bloggers.
6. CROSS PROMOTE YOUR ACCOUNT
I’m guessing you’re on other social accounts, right? So why not harness the power of them?
Here are some ways you can do this:
- Take part in the promo thread in Facebook groups and invite people over to your account.
- Schedule a tweet asking your Instagram followers to connect with you on Instagram.
Just make sure that you don’t just say “hey come follow me on Instagram!” Give people a reason. How will your account add something to their life?
7 BECOME CONFIDENT WITH YOUR STRATEGY
Instagram takes a lot of planning. While connecting with your audience really helps, having a solid strategy will work wonders.
What this means for you is following all the steps in this post and being yourself.
Keep track of your results and enjoy the platform!