Summertime is wrapping up and as you plan your Labor Day barbeque, it is also time to fall back on some best practices to grow your Instagram followers. You may have already noticed beach and vacation photos being replaced by back to school and football pics. Did you know that Instagram now has more than 300 million active users and approximately 70 million photos are uploaded daily? Here are a few tips to help you stand out and grow your follower base:
- #Hashtagsarepowerful – using trending or established hashtags allows you to take advantage of current topics, reach a specific audience and capitalize on buzz. You can also create your own hashtag and encourage followers to use it.
- Consistency is Key – this holds true across all aspects of social media, a few key places to be consistent are:
- Post regularly – Once a day is a good goal.
- Be true to your brand and develop a consistent look, feel and photo style. You can do this through filters, photo angles or type of shot.
- Be Social – Instagram is a social media platform, so be social and interact with your followers, other brands, partners, etc. You can do this by interacting with users and suggesting engagement.
- Repost and feature user generated content – be sure to tag them in the post.
- Ask engaging questions and ask followers to tag a friend if applicable
- Follow, Like and Comment – just interact especially if you are tagged in a post or someone is commenting on your post.
- Partner up – tag other people or brands in your post and reach out to like brands about potential cross promotions.
- Content, Content, Content – Allow your brand’s personality to shine by posting valuable, interesting pictures, focusing on the whole post from hashtags (see #1) to copy to photography style – it’s all important in crafting an effective post.
- Be sure to avoid being too salesy – the 80/20 rule applies to Instagram. 80% of posts should be fun, interesting, factual, etc. while only 20% should be promotional.
- Use high quality images to tell a story and expand on it with your comment and hashtags.
- Reward followers – thank your followers by rewarding them with insider information, special access and discounts. This will help turn them into your brand ambassadors.
- Everyone Loves A Contest – running a contest or giveaway is one of the best ways to grow your followers. Ask followers to tag a friend to enter – most likely their friends will want to enter too – this means more followers.
Like everything, growing your followers takes a little bit of time and a lot of commitment but it is also a lot of fun. Happy Instagramming!