Whether you’ve recently got into Instagram or you’ve been plugging away at it for years, you might be looking for ways to increase your following and make sure that your content reaches the maximum number of people – after all, isn’t that the point! Instagram’s casual, friendly environment requires an active social media marketing strategy. Standing out online can be a challenge, but with these tips, you’ll soon find your numbers shooting up. Don’t waste your hard work, but find out how to maximize your Instagram followers and get busy!
1. Choose a Theme and Make it Yours
Own your Instagram space. Decide what it is that you want to convey with your images, the overall “flavor” of your blog, and start working on harmonizing your pictures. If you want a soft, rainy mood, don’t start posting pictures of wild parties and barbecues, but aim to create an ambiance that followers can recognize and respond to.
Scatter-gun approaches rarely work well in the online space; you need to understand your intention and post in accordance with it if you want your Instagram to appeal to people. They know what they like; the trick for you is to figure out who your audience is, and how you can create content Instagram followers will respond to.
Social media marketing first started with publishing. Once you’ve got a theme going, stick with it. Your followers like it (or they wouldn’t be your followers!) so avoid straying from it. It’s fine to mix things up a little occasionally, but your posts should have a basic intention that can be seen throughout, and you should always post with your theme in mind.
2. Consistency is King
Consistent posting is essential. Every post you make could be one which brings in followers, but this is also important because it’s what keeps your current followers engaged. If you always post on a Monday at 16:00, many will check in with you around that time without even realizing it! We often follow subconscious patterns of behavior, so recognize and use your followers’ habits to ensure they stay engaged with your content.
It’s also important to post regularly, not just consistently. People aren’t likely to share your content or tag others in it if you only put something up every week or so; try and make your Instagram a busy, exciting space, which people are excited to check in with. A quiet Instagram will quickly lose followers as they find new, active people to follow instead.
3. Think about Those Hashtags
You’ve got up to thirty hashtags to use in every post – so get busy! And don’t just put them up mindlessly, but think hard about what you can use. You want to hit a nice balance between a regular Instagram search term and something which will stand out a little. If there are already two million posts using a tag, it’s unlikely to be the one which people find you from!
Try to think about your target Instagram followers, and consider how they will approach the search that will bring them to your content. What would you put into the Instagram search bar if you were looking for something similar to your picture? Is that phrase being used by a few people, or are the tumbleweeds rolling by? Are people likely to find your content?
Putting a bit of time and thought into your hashtags should make it easier for people to find and connect with you. Obscure or overused hashtags will result in your content never showing up, or getting lost in a sea of other content. Stand out – but not too much!
4. Geotagging is a Thing – Use it
Instagram has a great feature which lets you tag pictures using a location, and this can be a great way to access new audiences who already have something in common with you. For example, if you’re eating in a popular restaurant, geotagging it can help it to show in the results of others who follow that restaurant or search for it.
Get creative and use geotagging whenever you can. It helps your audience engage with you in real time, and will increase the links which your content makes across the internet – and therefore increase the chances of others connecting with it!
5. Copyright Your Content
Social media marketing offers wonderful opportunities for sharing, but that has also led to issues for many artists – their work is often shared without due credit being given. This isn’t always deliberate; sometimes people get overexcited and share without thinking to credit the original poster, or they’ve found your work somewhere without credit and shared it again. Either way, it’s incredibly frustrating and means others are benefiting from your hard work, while your own number of followers doesn’t go up at all!
Think about adding a watermark to your content so that even if it’s shared without credit, people who see it and like it can find their way to your Instagram and follow you. Try and make sure it’s unobtrusive and doesn’t ruin your images, but is clear enough to identify you, and not too easy to crop out of the picture if anyone is trying to steal your work.
6. Tag Larger Relevant Accounts in Your Photos
If you’re posting about anyone famous or something else which is likely to have a big following, make sure you tag them. This may not always work to grant you more exposure, but it notifies them about your post, and if they like it, they may share it. That gives you access to their – probably huge – following, and may result in a few new followers!
7. Keep Captions Interesting
You want your content to be engaging, so try and make your captions fun and unusual. If you sound bored or disinterested, your audience will probably lose interest, while if you can make funny, innovative, or unusual posts, you’re much more likely to get shares, and more followers as a result. It will also help to keep your current followers engaged.
8. Ensure Your Instagram Can Be Shared
The final tip might seem a bit of an obvious one, but make sure you follow it. You work hard to attract people with your content, so make sure they can actually share it; that means ensuring watermarks are unobtrusive and there aren’t big ads ruining the images. Every time your work is shared, you’re more likely to get followers, so do everything you can to ensure that sharing your content is easy for all your followers.
Instagram Search is a super-powerful tool for discovering brands, posts, hashtags, and locations. Getting new followers isn’t too tricky if you make sure you create a “brand” for yourself with consistency, and provide engaging content that helps people find you and distinguish you from the other Instagrammers out there. Good luck with increasing your following!