Create your Instagram community!
Instagram is a really important tool for bloggers, freelancers, business owners and companies of all sizes. With over 500 million active monthly users on Instagram, its one of the best platforms to connect with your audience and tap into communities that would be interested in your brand. My simple and easy to follow guide will help you improve your Instagram strategy and boost your following!
Instagram is more than a social media networking app. It’s a tool that can help you build a loyal community. What does this mean for you? It can mean more website traffic, a boost in sales, more visibility, and more people talking about your brand. These tips will improve your Instagram strategy and give you a boost in your follower count!
First things first:
Before going into strategy, it is important to understand what your brand represents. What product or service do you offer? Who is your audience? What are you trying to achieve? What solutions do you offer for your audience? These are all good questions to ask yourself in order to determine how you will position your presence on Instagram. Ultimately, the goal is to give your audience a good reason to hit the “follow” button.
Setting a theme.
Instagram is a platform based on visual content, and it would be smart to think about what your feed will be about. You might be tempted to post random pictures for the sake of filling up your feed with stuff, but it is very important to set the right tone and to be intentional. It’s a good idea to come up with a theme for your Instagram feed. If you are having difficulty trying to decide what to post or selecting a theme, revisit the questions above. It should lead you to a good starting point. Still not ringing any bells? Check out some of your favorite brands on Instagram and scroll through their feed. Try to understand what their theme is and why it works.
Developing and analyzing content.
Content is king, but everything you post on your Instagram should serve a specific purpose that is cohesive with the theme you chose. Pictures should be of the best quality possible, and you should definitely include great video content. If you have a DSLR or a point and shoot camera, it would be a good idea to use it for your Instagram photos. Most recent smartphones have amazing cameras and can be a great alternative if you don’t have a DSLR on hand.
On top of having great photos, don’t forget to use a little bit of editing to create effects that make simple photography appear more striking and interesting. Not sure how to use photo editing software? No problem. Creative filters can make pictures look more professional and can be done with ease using photo editing apps or in-app filters. I like apps like VSCO cam and Facetune, which allow you to edit photos right on your phone! The point I’m trying to make here: there are billions of photos floating around Instagram, don’t get lost in the crowd.
Don’t forget to revisit old posts to review what people engaged with the most. Trust me, you’re going to want to take notes on posts with high levels of engagement. You’ll begin to notice a pattern- one you should replicate. Work smarter, not harder.
Consistency is key.
Growing your follower count means you have to be active. In the social media world, that means you should ideally be posting once a day, liking pictures, and giving comments. A study done in 2015 has shown that top brands post to Instagram 4.9 times a week and post to Twitter 18 times a week! The more you put your name out there by being active on Instagram, the more people will notice your account and hopefully engage with you the way you do with others.
Don’t forget the #hashtags.
Hashtags are important! The more hashtags you include in your post, the more it gets published under those specific hashtags. For example, let’s say you post up a picture of a new coffee spot you visited (because it ties in well with your theme, of course.) You can add hashtags like #coffee #foodie #foodblogger, and anytime someone searches those hashtags, your photo will pop up!
Doing research on hashtags is also a really good idea because you can see what people are posting and what is getting the most hits. I’m not saying go and steal other peoples ideas or work, but you should always have an idea of the game and the players that are in it. Additionally, you should definitely use hashtags that are buzzing and likely to be searched by your audience.
Consider what the trends are, but always be authentic. People love seeing genuine posts in a sea full of dull and unoriginal content. Don’t be afraid of bringing your Instagram feed to life by including some personality- just remember that all posts should serve a purpose.
For advanced users:
Once you have established a good following, consider collaborating with others. Bloggers, don’t be afraid to pitch yourself to a brand or fellow blogger you’d want to work with. Go after opportunities that will allow you to create more unique content that will attract people to your account. Consider having a media kit that includes a short bio, blog summary, and statistical data that shows why you’d be a great person to promote product or service X. More details on Media Kits can be viewed in this blog post, which explains Media Kits in detail (plus a free template to get started.) Ready, set, pitch!
There you have it! Putting work in these 7 areas should give you a boost in your following. If you thought this article was helpful, please like, comment and share! If you have tips of your own feel free to leave them in the comments below!