1. Like photos in your niche.
Susan Petersen (CEO of Freshly Picked) talked about how she grew her Instagram to have almost 400,000 followers. (Today she has over 863,000!) She said that in the early days, she would spend hours liking other people’s photos each night. Her suggestion? Go through and like 5-10 photos on someone’s account. It would also help to leave a genuine comment and give them a follow. This helps to get your name out there and allows other users to discover you. I’d also suggest doing this primarily to users in your niche. How do ya find users in your niche? Check hashtags, or view the followers of your favorite Instagrammers.
2. Connect to your friends.
Follow people who you know. Search through your Facebook and Contact list. They will get the notification about your follow and may follow you back. They are your first followers.
3. Look for your audience.
From the beginning, describe your potential audience for yourself (create an avatar).
Then, look for other accounts, which serves your audience. Not your competitors. But those who focused in their posts on people who you want to attract.
If you are a designer of kid’s clothes, then accounts for moms, kid’s training centers, kid’s events, or other kid’s fashion accounts may fit your audience criteria.
If you are a fitness trainer, then fitness centers, sports stores, healthy lifestyle account in your area may have the audience you need.
Find the accounts, which post on a regular basis and have a good engagement with their content.
Create a list of such accounts for your brand and then start engaging.
Go to their profile. Comment on their posts. Follow their followers and interact with those new people. You need to get their attention and get connected before they will be willing to buy from you.
4. Create a theme for your photos.
Cool, so if you followed #1, people will naturally start to notice your username and may check out your account…give them something to fall in love with! I’ve found that it really helps to create a theme for your Instagram. Write down a few words that you want people to associate with your account.I hope people glean that it’s bright, artistic, and full of love. Which words would you use for your account? Once you’ve settled on a theme, try your hardest to stick to it.
5. Use the right filters on Instagram.
Keyword hashtags aren’t the only thing you should pay attention to. The Instagram community responds to certain photo filters more favorably than others. Using these preferred filters can have an impact on your engagement.
Here are the 10 current most popular filters on Instagram according to Iconosquare:
- Normal (No Filter)
- X-Pro II
6. Create a hashtag and encourage others to use it, too.
This is a great way to build community and gain new content for your account. First of all, create a unique hashtag (make sure it’s not already being used!) and ask others to use it. It works best if the hashtag has a specific purpose. For example, A Beautiful Mess encourages followers to use #ABMLifeIsColorful on all of their colorful, happy photos. Once people start using your hashtag (and YOU use it, too!), then you can repost images from your followers (giving them proper credit, of course!). Not only does this build community by showing your followers that you appreciate their photos, but it also gives you content for your own account.