With its user engagement rates sometimes surpassing the ones of Facebook by the staggering 5800 %, and roughly 80% of its close-to-a-billion users following a business account, Instagram is a goldmine of opportunities.
However, taking advantage of it is easier said than done, and building a loyal following takes time and consistent effort. More importantly, all the time and effort in the world wouldn’t amount to much if they’re not channeled into practices that have proven to be successful time and time again.
This is why SocialProof has compiled a list of tips to help you get more followers on Instagram in 2019.
Find a Niche, Style, and Voice
Generalists are very rarely regarded as authority on something, simply because being an expert on too many things at once is basically an oxymoron. Not only that, but usually people follow those whose style, voice and content they can relate to, and if your posts are too general and broad, nobody will truly recognize themselves in it.
This is why trying to appeal to the many groups of people at once will only do you a disservice. Don’t compete with celebrities who transcend cultures, ages, and tastes, as those are not just celebrities – they are icons, with our without Instagram.
Stick to what you love and develop a natural voice to express your passion and knowledge. This will ensure authenticity, and authenticity is something people follow, regardless of the niche.
Strong Hastagging and Captioning Game
One-word hashtags and captions surely are a necessity, but necessity will only get you so far. If you want to gain some traction, you need to shake things up. Be funny, creative, bold, unusual, and most of all, be yourself. Otherwise, you’ll seem as if you mean strictly business, which is the last thing you want.
People follow other people, not cold, dehumanized brands. Use your captions and hashtags to tell a story, or even better, allude to one and let users’ imagination fill the gaps. This is one of the quickest ways to their hearts.
Regular Comments and Activity
Leaving memorable comments on a regular basis a is basically an extension of your hashtagging game. In fact, comments give a little more leeway for creativity as they’re naturally longer and can respectively express more complex thoughts and reveal more of your personality.
Furthermore, leaving consistently witty comments increases your chances of people following you back. This practice can prove to be a major jackpot if you manage to get an influencer in your field to notice and follow you. To increase your chance of that happening, turn on notifications for their posts and interact with them regularly.
Quality Over Quantity
While building a serious following certainly requires a lot of activity on your part, don’t mistake that for a need to simply put out background noise. In a way, you should be your own worst critic, or at the very least, a scrutinous editor. Otherwise, being overly active can really backfire and even turn the followers you have against you.
Apply this mentality for everything you post, including photos. Even though “less is more” isn’t exactly the best motor for Instagram, “quality over quantity” is the variation you should always keep in mind.
Calls to Action
Calls to action may seem somewhat unnecessary and plain, but there’s a reason why they are so prevalent in all forms of promotion – they work. They’re the little nudge that can be the difference between passive and active engagement that turns into following.
Your bio might should be regarded as a first impression, and in that spirit, you should make the most of it, but not too much of it. Nobody likes spammers, but do utilize hashtags, keywords, and the clickable link.
Geo-tagging photos is a great way to make the most of your location. When other people post images from the same area, your photos will pop up on the location’s page. This is particularly useful if you’re a local business.
Sometimes, gaining followers on Instagram can actually be done outside the platform, or even the Internet altogether.
For example, if you’ve come up with a hashtag that’s something like your lasting slogan/moto and you’re particularly hopeful about it, you should cross-promote it on different platforms, and even offline. Print it on your business card, receipts, T-shirts, and promote it on relevant events.
You could even go a step further and advertise it on other mediums like TV and radio, especially if you have a connection.
Get in on Popular Conversations
Always keep up to date with popular topics, especially in your domain – they’re massive opportunities to shine on the large stage. Using the trending hashtag, get right in the middle of the conversation, and if the post hits the bullseye, you can gain a lot of traction.
Post at the Right Time, Which is…
Between 2 am and 5 pm EST, and more specifically, 5 pm on Wednesdays.
There are myriad other tactics you could employ, but those are some of the most universal steps that can practically ensure that you will slowly, (or not) but surely build some following.