Is Instagram a good choice of social media for businesses?
Every social media has potential if you know how to make the most of it.
Choose an audience. Grow a following. Engage. Convert. Sell.
Instagram is in a league of its own, yet businesses are setting up Instagram accounts trying to build a following.
With 30+ Million active users, and 16B and counting photos businesses cannot afford to ignore Instagram.
Photographers, models, business persons, celebrities are teaming to Instagram because of the level of interaction it brings with their followers.
Instagram is an amazing photo sharing network but it’s only fun when you have a healthy follower group of people.
If you signed up recently the chances are that you have lower follower count.
Thankfully, there are some simple and non-spammy techniques that anyone can use to gain a healthy following on Instagram.
Recent research shows that users get frustrated that they are not able to generate Instagram followers over a prolonged time.
Table of Content
Pick a Theme for your Instagram Account
The key to growing a following on Instagram and running an healthy Instagram campaign is to stick to a theme.
For example: A food blogger (aff link) who posts behind-the-scenes peeks into the some of the most delicious cooking & recipes; an actor who shares behind the seen vine; or a world traveler who shares his/her journey from the travel from around the world.
Maintain a Schedule
It’s very important that your followers know when to expect a new Instagram upload. If you decide to post photos every alternative day, then its important that you maintain that schedule.
If you break the schedule and disappear for an extended period of time, your followers will most likely forget about you.
Don’t be Boring
Once you have a theme in mind. Its time to start posting photos on a schedule. But giving the people what they want doesn’t have to mean posting the same photos of sunsets and cityscape over and over.
Think of creative ways of taking photographs. Try photos with a twist, photos from points of view that you would never imagine taking.
This keeps your audience interested and not bored with what you post on Instagram.
Its important to have a persona for yourself on Instagram. Sharing images that are related to your audience is a great way to increase followers.
Taking the previous example: if your a food bloggers its more apt if you share images about food, cooking and ingredients. May be with your own twist and variations.
But, if you decide to start sharing images of super models that has nothing to do with food, then your soon going to see a decline in your following, followed by engagement and complete abandonment. Until you can a different type of crowd following you.
Collages tend to get about 20% more likes and about 25% more comments than images that aren’t collage-like images.
This goes without saying. Follow like minded people. You might be an individual or a business. It does not matter.
By following people who are interested in what you do and also have a passion for what you do then its a good thing to keep in mind. Its users like these that will get you more following.
If you’re in the food business. You can follow people who cook, share recipes, foodies, chefs and even some of your competitors to get to know what their interests and strategies are.
Follow Shoutout accounts on Instagram to gain more followers, they usually give a shoutout to your account if you follow them or like one of their photos.
Make your Account Look Great
Users generally tend to check out other accounts or users before they follow. If their friends follow you and so on on before they follow you. If your a new account users would be more hesitant to follow you.
However, if you can jazz up your profile with the right types of images (rich media, vines), a bio that’s catchy and has a nice call to action, even try to squeeze in a domain name or contact info.
Should even add a nice profile picture that will attract followers. Unless your a popular brand, I don’t see you benefiting from using a logo as a profile picture.
All in all your profile should paint a “follow me now” picture when a user visits your Instagram account.
Use Popular Filters
Instagram is a camera app with that cool filters. What is the point of using the app if you are not going to take any cool pictures with the different popular filters that are made available to you.
Choosing from the variety of filters for the type of photos you take or images you directly upload to Instagram will make a huge difference. Imagine the user browsing your image gallery and find that you have uploaded all raw images, or applied the same filter for all the photos.
To an Instagram user this might be like “This user does not have any clue how to use Instagram”. So outdated.
Timing is Everything
After doing a bit of research and testing out the best time I’ve come to a conclusion and almost certain that ( Monday at 5 PM, PST) is the best time to post a photo to your Instagram account. This is when you are most likely to get the highest number of comments and likes on your photos.
The second most popular time to post a photo is either on Wednesday or Thursday at between 3 PM – 4 PM, PST.
Interact with your Audience
Engagement and interaction is one of the essentials to be remembered. Your constant interaction is what will create an image in your followers mind. Caution: Too much will drive them away as well.
Some of the most common ways to engage and interact with your followers is to comment, like their photos and updates. Do this regularly and you will start noting a big difference. In addition to that also be sure to respond to the comment your photo has received.
Even if your not a big fan of the likes or the comments you receive, you should acknowledge your audience in some way. Hosting contests and giveaways on Instagram is a way to show your followers appreciation and even draw in new followers instantly.
Hashtags and account names is the primary search function on Instagram. Those are the only ways users are going to find you. If your a new account again, they are most probably not going to find you. Unless your popular and have received a lot of media attention.
With that said, if you use appropriate hashtags in your image description. Then there is likely hood that your photos are going to be seen more often and users are most likely going to follow you provided to you followed all the above steps to ensure that you Instagram account is to a good standard.
Hashtags are seen as the ultimate way to get more eyeballs on your post, but they don’t necessarily keep people coming back for more.
Just like with Twitter and other social sites that use Hashtags, Instagram users prefer certain tags over others. If you use these tags within your photos, they are more likely to be discovered by other users. Here are the top 20 tags on Instagram:
21 Instagram Random Tips
- Take a good photo
- Edit your images
- Posting Memorable Content
- Take unique and interesting photos
- Put captions on every photo
- Create collages
- Test what time best works out for you based on your audience
- Post in a steady stream
- Leverage your existing channels
- Integrate your Instagram account with Facebook
- Promote the Instagram account on your blog/website
- Share on Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn
- Get in Touch With Other Instagram Users
- Have a clear CTA – Call To Action
- Respond to comments on your own photos
- Like and comment on pictures.
- Add a few hashtags to each image
- Create your own hashtags
- Use “Like for Like” hashtags
- Geo-tag your photos
- Give shoutouts
Is there anything else you do different to grow your Instagram followers? Share the most valuable tip you have with us. Won’t you?