November 18, 2015

These simple tips can help you build an Instagram following from scratch

Post killer content

You can be doing everything else right, but if the content you’re posting isn’t interesting and engaging you’ll never succeed in building a following. It’s important to have a variety of different posts to keep people interested and make sure you’re appealing to what your target audience expects from you and your posts.

Here are some things to keep in mind when crafting your posts:

  1. Use the location tag area: this lets your followers know where the shot was taken and will also allow your post to be viewed with other posts from that location if someone clicks on the location.
  2. Use a few great hashtags: never load your caption with tons of semi-relevant hashtags. It comes off as desperate. Instead, choose a few fun and relevant hashtags, and if you feel compelled to use more, a little trick is to put your other hashtags as a separate comment on your own post. Yes! Comment your hashtags 😉
  3. Update your bio link: If you’re sharing a blog post or want people to visit your website for more information, make sure to put the link in your bio. Then you can instruct people to “Click on the link in my bio to learn more” or something along those lines. Instagram is a totally different beast than Facebook. You can’t put a link in a post, so your only option for driving traffic back to your page is to use that precious little link in your bio.

Here are some popular content ideas to keep your feed fresh:

  1. Lists: you could post 3 tips from a recent blog post to get people interested and then instruct them to click on the link in your bio to see the full list.
  2. Inspirational quotes: everyone loves a little motivational pick me up and studies confirm they are a very “liked” type of content. So why not jump on a hot hashtag like #motivationalmondays and share some inspiration with your fans.
  3. Behind the scenes / day in the life: people love a behind the scenes look at how you make the magic happen, whatever that “magic” might be! Again, use hashtags to your advantage such as #bts or #dayinthelife to increase exposure.
  4. Marketing messages with graphics: if you have an upcoming promotion the best way to get people engaged is to catch their attention with some graphics. Lay text over an image such as “Join our upcoming seminar” or “Get 50% off your next order”. Text overlays get people’s attention and entice them to take an action. Social Media Marketing experts suggest a text ratio of 20-30% so as not to overpower the image.
  5. End product photos: if you’re selling a product or service, it’s important to show off your work! Make sure to include some professional shots that up the visual appeal of your feed. For example, if your selling homes, professionally shot home photography should be incorporated into your feed to help promote your brand.

Engage with others

  1. Make sure you’re actively participating with the IG community by commenting on and liking other people’s posts, as well as responding to people’s comments on your posts in a timely manner. Studies show people expect a response within 1 hour!
  2. Collaborate with others and you might get the opportunity to be mentioned. This is essentially the holy grail of growing an online following. Find a well established IG feed, with a large following that will share your content. When they post your content and credit you with a mention, you can basically piggyback off of their following and it’s possible to achieve instastardom in no time.

Post Often

Our clients often ask us, “how often should we be posting?”. Posting often is key, but what’s the sweet spot? It really depends on your business and the type of following you have. Posting multiple times a day works well for a lot of brands, but we always recommend posting at least once a day. If you are posting multiple times a day, make sure to spread your posts a few hours apart. However, the main thing with posting frequency is just to be consistent. If your followers grow accustomed to you posting once a day, then keep it up. You don’t want to disappoint them!

Pay attention to the numbers

Using analytics tools such as Iconosquare to review your metrics is key to growth and increasing engagement. No one IG account is the same, and there is not a one size fits all approach that works for everyone. The key is to test and measure. See what resonates with people, and do more of that!

Be Yourself

It’s absolutely crucial to be authentic on social media. People gravitate towards “real” genuine people that they can connect with. So why be anything other than YOU? It can be hard sometimes, when you’re focussed on growing your following… but if you’re being disingenuous, people will see right through it. There’s always going to be pressure to conform and be someone that you’re not. But resist the urge! It’s so much more fun and gratifying keeping it real. That’s what’s truly likeable…

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