Growing your Instagram in 10 easy steps

  • 9th September 20169/09/16
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It has 300 million worldwide users and has recently announced a new set of tools specifically for businesses. Instagram, the photo sharing social media app, could be an increasingly useful tool for South West businesses with a visual product, so let’s talk about it a little more.

Once you get going it is great, but getting started and establishing a solid following can be challenging. When around 52 million photos are posted every day, how do you get followers, likes, and comments? There’s no magic trick that will give you a follower count to rival Beyoncé, but there are a few things you can do to encourage growth in your Instagram account.

1. Post every day

Give some love to your account and provide it with the attention it needs and deserves. One post a day is a great start, but try and aim for a few more to keep some regularity and a reminder to followers that you’re there! Don’t go over the top though, no one wants their timeline completely filled up by one account. With this in mind, it’s also worth keeping an eye on the amount of time you leave between posts; don’t post three in a row, leave an hour or so between them.

2. Use good hashtags

Hashtags are a huge part of Instagram, and getting it right can be vital to the success of your post. Before you get carried away and throw in any old hashtag, do some research. Check out the popular hashtags for your industry and make use of them.

Top tip: In a comment beneath your image, post around 5 hashtags. Wait 30 minutes, then delete that comment and post another 5. Repeat this a few times and you’ll make use of all the good hashtags without looking spammy!

3. Share content

Get sharing! Whether it’s pictures of Devonshire scenery or stunning snaps of someone’s new product, take the best content others are sharing and post it on your Instagram account (don’t forget to tag them with a credit on the caption!). The user you shared from will be flattered, and other users will see that you are part of the regional Instagram community, and a sharer of great local business content.

4. Encourage others to tag friends

One of the easiest ways to grow your following is to get the friends of existing followers to follow your account too! One method of getting them to do this to encourage existing followers to tag a friend. You’ll need to get creative with how you do it; don’t just post an image of a sandwich from your deli with the caption “tag a friend!”, instead, try something like “who would you share your sandwich with?”. Once comments with tags in have been posted, engage with them and get yourself a new follower.

5. Filter correctly

Everyone on Instagram loves a good filter, and it can be great fun going through all the options and picking one you like. However, choosing the right filter can make or break your post. Studies have shown that images with high exposure were the most viewed, whilst images with warmth got the most comments. Lower amounts of views and comments were seen on images with high saturation and age effects. You will find these in your Instagram filter settings so don’t get carried away with them!

6. Make it competitive

Don’t get competitive with other businesses, but do encourage a little bit of competition amongst your followers. Create a fun hashtag and encourage users to take part. It could be a theme such as “Summer in Cornwall” or even “Ultimate sandwiches”. Keep track of the hashtag you use (for example, #MiTopSandwich) and share users’

7. Use emojis

Emojis have become the fastest growing language in the world, and nearly 50% of all captions and comments on Instagram have at least one emoji! They’re mostly used as a universal method of expression; they display feelings, thoughts, and opinions.

8. Cross-promote

Instagram is so easy to link to your other social media sites, so use it! Get a bit of extra exposure by tweeting your latest Instagram snap or sharing it on Facebook. Some of your Twitter followers may not have realised you have Instagram, so this is the perfect way to let them know and get a few extra followers.

9. Film it

Videos on Instagram used to be infamously short, but now you can share videos that are between 3 and 60 seconds in length. You could even try out Boomerang and make some cool Gif-style videos to show off your business, products, or local area. Around 10% of all Instagram posts are videos, but they steal around 18% of all comments.

10. It’s a two-way street

Instagram is a fun social media app, so enjoy it! Also, remember that it is meant to be social; this means you should be interacting with other people, not just making a post, sitting back, and waiting for them to come to you. People appreciate it when you like their posts or leave a comment, and it can really pay off and get you more followers.

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