Instagram is one of the hottest and fastest-growing social media platforms. Everything looks so easy from the outside. Snap a quick pic, caption a few sentences about your pretty dress and you’re good to go! In reality, growing on Instagram can be hard. It’s a competitive place if you want to grow your account and boost your following. It’s very draining and time-taking. We spend hours and hours brainstorming, creating content, trying to capture a moment or a feeling. I know a lot of you are bloggers yourselves, so you feel me. You can’t simply start posting and expect the masses to begin following you. In addition to regularly posting quality content, you need to work on multiple things in order to grow your account.
Every little detail matters, when it comes to optimizing your profile. The very first step is creating a good profile. The profile picture, username, or personal information you provide can all leave a strong impression on people who visit your profile. Pick a short and catchy username that stands out and try avoiding using different usernames on different social media accounts. Your profile is the first step to establishing communication with new followers, which is why it is important to do everything you can to encourage others to hit the follow button and start communicating with you.
Identify your goals and objectives. This means make sure you know what you are going after – before you start posting. Give people a reason to follow you and to be interested in your feed. When you know who you want to target(Motherhood, parenting, makeup, fashion, fitness, lifestyle, home, and the list goes on..) and how you plan to reach them, building an audience is much easier.
Make Your Profile Look Charming: Find your niche and stick to it. Try to be as unique as possible with your content. While that’s easier said than done, a creative play on Instagram definitely works. Take well-lit photos that are bright and in focus. Beautiful, good quality photography always gets your followers’ attention but try not to overdo it with filter effects or photo editors.
Content is prioritized based on engagement and your posting times.. It might seem like a lot of work at first just to build out content, but the rewards are worth it. When followers genuinely love your content then you get better engagement and they look forward to what you post. Basically, more engagement means your current and future posts are more likely to be seen. And, the more people get to see your profile the better are the chances of gaining new followers.
Create a caption that will elevate your post while still representing your niche: Posting on Instagram and successfully getting your audience to engage with it and to love it takes a bit more than a great photo. A good Instagram caption is really important. You can share stories, tell jokes, ask questions, spark debates, and sometimes just a simple motivational quote can make a great caption for your post. A caption doesn’t need to be lengthy to tell a story just try to keep it interesting..
Create original content. Never try to copy and paste someone else idea. It’s not going to work in the longer run. And if you do create something inspired by someone else, be sure to give credit where credit is due.
Post often. Not once in a blue moon. With Instagram’s crazy algorithm, consistency feels like a key element to getting your posts seen and appearing at the top of the timeline. That doesn’t mean you need to be posting 10 photos a day. Try to post once a day or every other day. Be consistent and don’t break the loop.
The more you interact, the more exposure you generate for your platform. Respond to comments on your posts/stories as often as possible and it’s a good idea to follow back or like the posts of your supporters. The more you interact the better is engagement. If your posts are picking up good engagement on a regular basis, then Instagram’s algorithm may place your posts near the top of your follower’s feeds.
Engage with a wide range of accounts consistently, and do so authentically. This means creating genuine conversations not only with the people commenting on your posts and stories but also engaging with other people’s content too. Never ignore your most loyal followers who regularly like and comment on your photos! Reply to their comments or even go check out their account and like/ comment on a few of their photos. Leave a genuine comment with at least 4+ words.
Use location Tag on your photos/ videos/ stories: Adding your location makes it easier for people to find you, and it also helps your content show up in more searches.
Use Hashtags: Using hashtags is a great way to increase your reach on Instagram, encourage more engagement, and even attract new followers. Make use of the Popular and Local hashtags to expand the reach of your posts. Use 15-30 hashtags but keep them relevant to your content.
The first 30 minutes after posting is crucial. Posts that get good engagement within the first 30 minutes of posting are going to rank higher on the respective hashtag and explore pages. Engage with other posts shortly before and after you post something to your own feed! Reply to all the comments on your post and try to keep that conversation going. This will increase the chance of people visiting your profile, liking your most recent post within the first hour of posting, and thus boosting the visibility of your posts on the platform
Be social: Use your space to engage with users in a similar niche like yours and follow them if you like their content. Chances are they will follow you back. But, just don’t follow accounts with a hope of a follow back. Comment and like on their posts so that they know that you are genuinely interested in their profile.
Post on stories, IGTV & Reels: Video is the most engaging content type, so if you can, it’s a good idea to create at least some form of video content to maximize engagement. Reels are getting very popular and posting regularly on reels definitely helps. Also, post on stories daily as there are many followers who would only view your stories.
Posting time plays an important factor: You need to optimize your posting time for when the majority of your followers are online. In general, posting during the hours of 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM works( 9 am, 2 pm, 5 pm – Peak hours). your best shot at getting your content in front of your followers is by posting when most of them are actively scrolling the app. Also, time zones matter a lot. If the majority of your followers are from a specific time zone then try to post accordingly.
Most important Be patient., Everything takes time: I understand that these actions might take a lot of your daily time, but are very effective in growing your profile. If you have any questions you can also hit me up on Instagram @thatsmyside. I’d be happy to help!