The first thing you need to do to ensure that your Instagram account will grow quickly, is to post content consistently. That means you need to be consistent in terms of the frequency of your posting and in terms of the nature of the posting. People need to learn what they can expect from your account, so that they can make the decision whether or not to follow you.
Make sure you are providing them with some value and that your bio is set up properly. More about Instagram Account you can find in another blog post.
If you created the personal brand, then it’s okay to be a little bit looser in terms of what you post. But if you have a fitness brand and all you ever post are pictures of your dogs, then you’re going to lose your followers. Likewise, if you have a productivity brand and you fill it with images of yourself travelling, you will lose fans.
So be consistent and make sure that you are posting relevant content at least daily – ideally a lot more than that. Be active on stories as well. At least 3 hours of your time daily spend on the platform interacting with others.
You also need to do whatever else you can do to help people know what your brand is all about. One of your most powerful tools in this respect will be your logo and your brand name. If you have an account all about fitness, then you need a logo and a name that will communicate this as soon as people see it. You want your first-time viewers to instantly know what you’re all about so that they can decide then and there that they want to follow you and that your content is for them.
How to Gain Followers on Instagram
But how do you get people to see your content in the first place at all? There are a few different methods you can use:
Interact With Others
Remember that Instagram is a social media platform. And what is social media? It’s a communication tool! So if you aren’t using Instagram for communication, then you aren’t using it the way it is designed and you aren’t making the most of it!
One very easy to help more people find your content, is to look for the content that others are sharing and then to comment on it or like it. We’ve already seen that people find this flattering and if you think about your own reaction to that, chances are that you would want to check out just who it was who liked you.
So search for different tags and see what other people are contributing. If you post about fitness a lot, then how about searching for the tag ‘fitness’, seeing what other people have contributed and then leaving some comments on those posts. They’ll check you out to see what you’re all about and if they find a ton of amazing photos that appeal to them, chances are that they’ll follow you!
Likewise, spend some time liking other photos and just generally using the platform.
The thing you mustn’t do? Post on someone else’s image and say ‘Please check out my profile!’. All this does is make you look desperate and amateurish – and it is invasive because you are taking someone’s photo and just using it as an excuse to promote your own nonsense.
Always comment on the content of the picture and leave relevant feedback so that it’s clear you’re actually engaging and not just a bot posting random compliments.
Another thing not to do is to tag people in your photos who aren’t really in them. This is immensely frustrating and once again just cheap – it will undermine the quality of your brand.
Another way to bring more new people to your Instagram account is to integrate it with your other channels and accounts. One of the most effective ways to do this is through your own website or blog and if you have a WordPress site, then you can use a variety of powerful tools to integrate your Instagram into it.
One thing I have done for instance, is to add a feed from my Instagram into the right hand column of my website. That way, someone who lands on my website will be able to see the kind of thing I post on Instagram and then decide to follow me then and there. It also has the added advantage of keeping my website up-to-date with a constant stream of new content.
Even when I haven’t been on my website for a while, it will look alive with content and new updates and it makes my visitors feel like they know me that bit better, thereby establishing trust.
I also have buttons on my homepage that show people where they can follow me on Instagram and my other social media. Again, that means that if they enjoy the content on my site, they know how to follow me on Instagram.
What’s more though, is that I regularly just ask my fans to follow me. At the ends of posts and at the end of YouTube videos, I’ll say ‘check out my Instagram account for more fitness inspiration’ etc. This is a great way to draw attention to it and to make sure that it doesn’t get overlooked.
Another useful strategy is to use IFTTT and the sharing buttons within Instagram to post your content to your other social media accounts. For example, you can set it up so that any new picture added to Instagram will automatically be posted to your Twitter account as well as your Facebook page. That way, people who aren’t following you on Instagram will still be impressed by your content and they’ll get taken to your Instagram account if they click to enlarge the image.
Another very powerful tool for growing your following on Instagram is to use tags correctly. Tags work just the same as they do in Twitter, you add them in your comments section beneath any new picture and other users will then be able to search for them in order to see what new content has been posted on that subject.
So if you were to use Instagram’s search function right now and to look for ‘Makeup’, then you would find countless recent pictures uploaded by women showing off their makeup. Many of these would link you to YouTube accounts and websites filled with makeup tutorials and if you were into that sort of thing, then you might follow them. The same goes for ‘fitness’ and ‘productivity’.
Except it is a mistake to use those tags. Why? Because there are so many people who will search for these tags and who will take new photos. If you tag an image with ‘Fitness’, it will instantly be drowned by hundreds of thousands of new photos and no one will see it.
On the other hand though, if you tag something with ‘morningrun’, then it might get a few more searches and get seen a few more times before it gets completely buried.
Your aim in general then, is to use tags that are popular but not so popular as to make it impossible to stand out. And of course, the way you make a tag is simply to add a ‘#’ symbol in front of something before you post it.
One of THE most powerful ways to massively explode your channel on Instagram is to use influencer marketing. This essentially means that you’re going to contact someone who is already highly popular on Instagram and then you’re going to try and convince them to promote you in some way. You might find a prominent fitness model then and ask them if they would consider sharing one of your images and linking to your account in the comments. That way, you gain instant access to a huge proportion of the people that they have access to.
Don’t go straight for the biggest creators on Instagram with a million followers or they likely won’t answer you (they get a lot of messages in all likelihood!). Instead, look for someone who is just that little bit bigger than you – someone that you can stand to gain from but that is still small enough that they might be flattered that you contacted them.
You can also aim for big brands that are running competitions and other promotions themselves. For instance, many big channels will repost photos taken by their favorite Instagram contributors and this is a way that they encourage people to use their tags. You can do the same and if your photo gets selected, then that will give you access to a big audience once again. One thing to never do though is to buy followers. Not only will the quality of the followers you buy be very low (meaning that they won’t be engaged with your brand, if they look at your posts at all!) but it will also be likely to backfire as this is against Instagram’s policies and you could find your account being suspended… CONCLUSION: IF YOU ARE THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT GROWING ON INSTAGRAM YOU HAVE TO DEDICATE YOUR TIME AND PUT IT HIGH IN YOUR PRIORITIES.