While it’s true that Instagram claims to have over 800 million monthly active users, according to Hootsuite’s 2018 social media report, the photo-sharing app isn’t always the most user-friendly platform to grow on. With its growing popularity amongst influencers, Instagram has also had to become more stringent with its algorithm, making it harder for users to get their content seen by others.
But don’t despair! There are still plenty of things you can do to grow your Instagram following. In this post, we’ll share five secret Instagram tips to help you get more followers, engagement, and, ultimately, customers or fans.
Who Can Instagram Benefit Best?
If you’re a small business owner, artist, photographer, or creative, Instagram can be an incredible platform to showcase your work and connect with new customers or fans. Even though Instagram can be beneficial for anyone, some businesses or individuals will benefit more from using the platform than others. It works best for anyone whose work is more visual. For example media outlets about cars or fashion have had more successful engagement on Instagram than those about business.
Although anyone can potentially use Instagram to grow their business or personal brand, the platform is particularly well-suited for:
- Individuals looking to grow their personal brand
- Businesses wanting to increase visibility and reach new customers
- Artists and beauty experts who want to showcase their work
- Photographers looking to build a portfolio of work
- Anyone who wants to share photos and connect with others on a social media platform
For example, suppose you have a physical product to sell. In that case, it’ll likely be more accessible to showcase and sell your product on Instagram than on another platform like Twitter or LinkedIn. On the other hand, if you’re trying to grow a personal brand, Instagram can be an excellent platform for sharing photos and connecting with others. Still, you’ll likely need to supplement your growth with content on other platforms.
No matter what your goals are, if you’re looking to grow on Instagram, these five tips will help you get there:
1. Use Engaging Visuals
Considering Instagram is a visual platform, this one doesn’t even seem like a secret. And yet, anyone who’s had success with Instagram will tell you it’s the most important Instagram tips for growing your account. One of the best ways to get more engagement on your posts is to use engaging visuals. This means using high-quality images or videos that are likely to capture people’s attention.
Image Source: Giphy
The best way to know what to pose is to first analyze your own needs – what’s your brand about, and what would an ideal feed look like for your account in the next 1 year? What would make your audience really understand what your brand stands for? Post that now, not in the future. Try to post longer visuals rather than horizontal or wider ones, you can use the ratio 3:4 for width to height.
In addition to using engaging visuals, you can also use Instagram’s various features to make your posts more eye-catching. For example, you can use Instagram Stories feature to create short videos or share behind-the-scenes content. Use new video filters and music in your stories to keep your feeds trendy. Even celebs still try to hop in on the latest IG stories trend every now and then to keep their engagement up.
You can also use Instagram’s Carousel feature to share multiple images in one post. This is a great way to show off products, give a sneak peek of new content, or tell a story. When you’re posting over a long period, it’ll become easier to measure the effectiveness of color schemes, type of content, and CTAs.
Having a reasonable amount of data is essential to ensure that you don’t get overwhelmed with too many options. Try to focus on a single aspect of your posts and analyze the results over time to see what’s working best.
Also check out: 75 Captions for Random Clicks & Selfies for Instagram
2. Use Relevant Hashtags
While hashtags used to be way more relevant in the last decade, they still haven’t lost their popularity. They’re one of the best ways to get your content seen by new people on Instagram. When you use relevant hashtags, you’re more likely to show up in searches and be found by people interested in what you’re sharing.
To find the best hashtags for your posts, start by brainstorming a list of relevant keywords that describe your business or brand. Once you have a list of keywords, search on Instagram to see what hashtags are being used most often. Alternatively, you can pay for additional programs to help with this, although it’s best to learn from your own experience and by looking at key insights in your IG analytics.
When using hashtags, it’s essential to use a mix of popular and niche hashtags. Popular hashtags have millions of posts associated with them, like #instagood or #photooftheday. Remember, hashtags will help you reach a larger audience; they’re also very competitive. Your post is more likely to get lost in the shuffle.
On the other hand, Niche hashtags are much less competitive to use relevant and popular hashtags but don’t go overboard with too many hashtags on each post. A good rule of thumb is to use a mix of only 3-5 popular relevant hashtags on each post.
3. Post Consistently
Another important tip for growing your Instagram following is to post consistently. This means posting regularly and at consistent intervals. This is one of the most difficult Instagram tips to follow through for those who are not seeing good engagement or ROI.
If you’re not sure how often you should be posting, a good rule of thumb is to post at least once a day, but no more than 3 times per day.
In addition to posting frequency, you’ll also want to make sure that you’re sticking to a posting schedule. This means posting simultaneously each day or on certain days of the week. Another good way is to analyze your competitors’ posting frequency and match that as that’s what your target audience expects.
By being consistent with your posting, you’ll be more likely to show up in people’s feeds and stay on top of your mind. Even posting content weekly is something that can really dramatically improve growth.
4. Engage With Other Users
One of the best ways to grow your Instagram following is to engage with other users. This means liking and commenting on other people’s posts and responding to comments on your own posts. The more engaged you are, the more your target audience will notice you and you’ll also incentivize Instagram’s algorithm to promote your posts more.
It can also be worth joining websites like Quora to help you build a presence by helping others in your niche, and embedding your Instagram posts in your blog posts or Quora posts.
When engaging with other users, it’s essential to be genuine and authentic. Don’t leave spam comments or try to promote your own products or services in the comments section. Instead, focus on what’s relevant to your audience. You can engage with users who use your products or services, comment and like their posts, and encourage them to post photos with your products in them, by giving them a discount coupon or contest prizes. It could also be posting fun quizzes, asking them to rate your new posts, asking for their opinions on trendy topics, or hosting a guest on your stories for a day.
When you take the time to interact with others, you’re more likely to get noticed and build relationships with other users. These relationships can eventually lead to more followers and more engagement on your own posts.
If you buy Instagram views, likes, or other services, you’ll want to ensure you’re making the most of your money. However, if you do so, go slow, don’t try to get thousands of followers overnight. Also, be careful to complement them through ads and other aforementioned tips, so that your engagement grows along with your follow and like count, and so that Instagram can still keep recommending your posts.
5. Use Instagram Ads
If you’re looking to reach a larger audience on Instagram, using ads is a great way to do it. Instagram offers a variety of ad types that can help you promote your business or brand. We interviewed Instagram influencers and a 100% of influencers we asked reported having run ads on Instagram. Some of them reported spending upward of ₹10,000 per year on ads.
When creating an ad, you’ll be able to target a specific audience based on interests, demographics, and even behavior. This ensures that your ad reaches people who are most likely interested in what you’re promoting. Instagram ads can be an effective way to grow your following and get more engagement on your posts.
Growing your Instagram following can still take some time, even when using these tips. However, if you’re patient and consistent with your efforts, you’ll eventually see the results you’re looking for.
Even while applying these techniques, it’s essential to focus on creating quality content that your audience will enjoy. If you’re able to do this, you’ll be well on your way to success on Instagram.
Ensuring Content Remains High-Quality
There are some key considerations to make to ensure your content remains high-quality.
To begin with, consider what kind of content is most likely to resonate with your target audience. Once you know this, you can create content specifically tailored to the audience’s interests.
Image Source: Giphy
It’s also essential to make sure that your content is visually appealing. As we mentioned before, using engaging visuals is a great way to get more engagement in your posts.
In addition to using visuals, you’ll also want to pay attention to the overall presentation of your posts. This means making sure your posts are well-written and free of typos or grammatical errors.
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that your posts are timely and relevant. This means creating content that is based on current trends or hot topics. By following these tips, you can ensure that your content is high-quality and engaging.
Quality content is key to success on Instagram. When you take the time to create engaging, visually appealing posts tailored to your target audience, you’ll be well on your way to growing your following and achieving success on the platform. Using these tips can ensure that your content remains high-quality and will resonate with your audience.
Shilpa Ahuja the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion. Other than defining the direction of the magazine, she also writes about fashion & beauty trend forecasts, industry analysis, and opinions.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University.
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