Gaining a following on Instagram largely comes down to the quality of content and choosing the right hashtags. Any Instagram user looking to become an influencer or promote their brand knows this, but what does it mean, exactly? What defines ‘quality’ in Instagram content? What is a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong’ hashtag?
We’re here to answer these questions, and more. Today, we’re sharing ten specific ways to grow your Instagram account and get a consistent flow of new followers.
Decide on your style and stick to it
This is a lot like coming up with visual and verbal brand guidelines for a company. By adopting a consistent look and tone, you’ll make your content instantly recognizable and distinctive. This could include choosing a colour palette or a set of filters for your images and a specific tone of voice for all of your captions.
Make sure that your bio and, if possible, your username, are in line with your brand and reflect your key messages. For instance, if you opt for a minimalist visual style, a long, complex username won’t be a good fit.
Instagram is all about showcasing your unique personality, perspective, and style. Focus on a specific niche and choose an overall visual style for your content, so that your followers can know exactly what to expect from you and recognize your content immediately among all the other images in their feed.
Regularly post consistent, high-quality content
Your visual content is still by far the most important factor in Instagram growth, so focus on creating original, stunning, inspiring images. If you can, take a photography course – or at least use the tutorials available online to learn the basics from a technical perspective.
You should also invest in some decent gear. A clip or photo taken with your iPhone is fine to post occasionally, but you should generally aim for a higher level of image and video quality. This doesn’t have to be hugely expensive – a basic ring light, for instance, will only set you back about $30, but it will make your videos look infinitely more professional.
It’s good to have a content calendar, with posts planned for a month or more to make sure your posting is consistent. You could also include regular features, for example a makeup tutorial video every Friday. This will keep your audience coming back regularly to see what’s new.
Get your account verified
Verification has been shown to greatly increase the number of followers. Getting the blue badge next to your name makes you instantly appear trustworthy, professional, and noteworthy, as well as making it easier for users to find your profile.
You don’t need a large existing following for Instagram verification, but you do need a good level of publicity outside of the platform. If you’re missing sources or your application keeps getting denied, get in touch with Famous Influencer and we’ll help you get verified.
Use a mix of specific and popular generic hashtags
The two types of hashtags you should be aiming for with everyday posts are:
One amazing trick for growing your account is to come up with your own hashtag – specific only to your brand – and promote it anywhere you can. Show it off on your other social media, get other influencers to mention it, or build a website around it. Upon seeing it, people are likely to check it out simply out of curiosity, driving traffic to your profile.
Don’t forget to promote it offline, too. You can create a nice buzz around your hashtag just by putting up posters – containing just the hashtag – in your area. People will be intrigued and won’t be able to help checking it out.
Participate in conversations for major events in your niche
Keep track of important events that are in any way relevant to your niche and take advantage of the interest they generate on Instagram. Big fashion shows, major sporting events, important product launches, movie premieres, expos, or conventions – whatever fits your niche.
Create a post (or several) referencing the event to get your content in front of people who are browsing the event hashtag.
Avoid the wrong hashtags
#followme, #follow4follow, and all other hashtags asking for follows are the tell-tale sign of an amateur and therefore are to be avoided.
Everyone with an Instagram account is aware of the option to follow you, and they certainly will if they enjoy your content. A #followme hashtag does more harm than good, as it makes you look unprofessional and immature.
Engage with your audience and your peers
Make a point of talking to your audience by liking and responding to their comments regularly. You don’t need to reply to every single comment, of course, but pick one to reply to every day.
Similarly, keep up with your peers, too. Connect with other influencers in your niche and comment on their content. This will get your name in front of a potentially interested audience (their followers), as well as building a relationship with the influencer. This relationship can be leveraged to create joint projects and collaborations that will strengthen your presence.
Use engaging CTAs
End as many captions as possible with an engaging call-to-action. Rather than asking for follows or likes, though, make it fun, interesting, and creative. For instance, if you’re sharing a personal story, end by asking your audience whether anything similar ever happened to them. This will start a conversation and get your audience to engage more closely with you.
Create a strategy and track your progress
What separates a casual Instagram user from a pro influencer is that for the influencer, being on Instagram is a job. So while you should still be having fun with your content and getting creative, you should also approach Instagram from a more strategic angle than the average user.
Using the above tips and any other ideas you have, come up with a long-term strategy detailing how exactly you’re going to grow your Instagram account. Include measurable, time-specific goals and track your progress, noting the metrics and engagement level from each of your posts. In this way, you can figure out what works best for you and your audience.
If you’re still unsure as to what you could do to get more followers or you need help with getting Instagram verification, we’re here for you. Get in touch and we’ll find personalised ways to improve your Instagram performance.