I’m assuming 90% of you who are reading this have an account (or two) on Instagram.
When I first bought my smartphone, Instagram was the first app I downloaded. I loved it then – still loving it now. It’s easy, and I think it is one of the best social media channels I’ve been on. It’s amazing for brands (or influencers) and so much fun for an average Jane (like me!) who wants to share a snippet of their life with the audience.
When I first created my blog’s IG account, I had only 100 followers. But over the past months, my following has increased by 400% and I’m very proud of it. Not a big number per se, but I’m happy with the steady growth.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer or celebrity to grow your Instagram following. These 5 tips work for me and I think they’ll work for you as well.
FIND A NICHE, AND LIKE PHOTOS IN YOUR NICHE
I mainly share travel and food photos on my Instagram. So I will find people with the same niche and like their photos. I’ll spend some time liking 10 – 15 photos on their IG. Occasionally I’ll drop them some comments and give them a follow. I don’t do this daily, but often enough.
How to find users of the same niche, you may ask? Well, easy, through the hashtags — we’ll get to that later.
CREATE A THEME FOR YOUR ACCOUNT
Once you figure out what your niche is, give the audience something to fall in love with. I find it helpful to have a theme to set my account apart. Filters are your bestfriends, but tread lightly. Instagram’s new update added a number of new filters and controls. But in addition to that you can also download apps like VSCO or Snapseed.
I personally have a preference towards VSCO. My photos were edited with the S2 filter with a few tweaks here and there (saturation, exposure, etc).
Once you’ve settled on a theme, try your best to stick to it. You’ll want audience to be familiar with your account, right?
You don’t have to go crazy with hashtags. Pick hashtags that fit your niche. You can also, if you want, create a unique hashtag and invite others to use it. This is particularly useful if this hashtag has the specific purpose. You might even be able to build a new community around it.
ENGAGE. ENGAGE. ENGAGE.
Engagement is the key to Instagram — in fact, on all social media channels in general. I didn’t believe it at first, then I decided to give it a try.
When you leave a comment on someone’s IG account, try to leave something genuine. Respond to the comments you receive on your own account. It can be taxing to reply to each one of them – sure. But think of it as something that comes from a potential new follower who loves what they see.
Don’t just follow your favorite celebrities or brands. Instead, follow real people. Be social, make new friends.
You could have the most beautiful theme, or the best quality photos – but it’s easier to lose followers if you don’t post consistently. I’m guilty of not following this tip too; but these days, I try to post at least once a day.
Whether you’re about to start from scratch or you’re trying to increase a stagnant following, I hope you find these tips useful. If you have other tips on how to grow an Instagram following, feel free to comment below.
While you’re at it, tag your Instagram account below. I’d love to see some new feeds.