As someone who runs a business and trying to amp up my social media game, I have been doing research on the best ways to gain momentum on a social platform. After toying with Facebook for a few months, I’ve decided Instagram is my favorite route to take right now. I enjoy that its primary focus is photos with little to no words attached to each post and every day I find new and interesting accounts to follow. So now that my Instagram is set up, I am now working on gaining followers…but how?! And I am definitely not going the pay-for followers avenue that I see ads for all the time. My goal is to have more followers, but I also want quality over quantity; it doesn’t help my brand if 50% of my followers are men ( I sell women’s apparel) and hate yoga (it has a yoga vibe).
I’ve heard that it is smart for the account to have a theme – consistent postings of dogs, cats, nature, motorcycles, whatever it may be. I am slowly starting to develop a theme and mood for my page, but it’s a work in progress. I usually take selfies of myself in my merchandise with a consistent filter, and then the other photos are of my dog (Frankie).
After doing some research, there about 7 basic rules to follow to attract more users to my account. The first is to post often – but not too often, about once a day – and make it interesting. By posting cool photos and videos, the more apt people are to like it, and more likes equates to more followers.
Second, use the hashtags strategically. Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post that will allow me to target a specific audience that I want to see my brand. One study discovered that interactions were highest when accounts used 11 or more hashtags on their post. There are about 15 hashtags that are considered to be the most popular, including #cute, #girl, #beautiful, #love, and #tbt. Another tip is to add relevant hashtags to a photo, and then search those hashtags and see what others have also used for their tags. Once you have a few more that are similar, add those to your post as well. One friend of mine (he has over 3,000 followers and is now in an Instagram partnership with L.L. Bean and Brooks Brothers) keeps his hashtags saved in a note on his phone so he can easily copy and paste them into each of his posts.
Third, posting user generated content is effective to gain followers. I have tried this one or twice with the repost app; and I have seen sales from it. Friends of my user her generated the content would see their post and gain familiarity with my brand and subsequently make a purchase. Word of mouth has been a helpful way for me to gain customers.
Timing is also a big one. One friend always posts at 9am, 12 pm, and 5 pm. These times on the East Coast, people are most likely to be on their morning commute, out at lunch, and on their way home from work. 12 pm EST is 9 PST, in which people will also be on their way to work.
Fifth – Filters. According to one study, filtered photos are 21% more likely to be viewed and 45% more likely to be commented on than unfiltered ones (bufferapp.com). The filters that increase views are ones that have high exposure, warm temperatures, and higher contrast. It is also recommend to use high amounts of light, a high amount of background space, and blue as the dominant color (vs red). It is also recommend to only have one single dominant color in the photo. Images with high levels of texture also generate up to 79% more likes than a smooth texture. And horrifyingly enough, “duck-face” selfies generate 1,112% more likes than a regular smile (WHY?!?!?!)
Number 6 – like other people’s posts (“sharing the love”). According to one blog, for every 100 likes of other’s content, the blogger received about 22 likes per post and 6 more followers. Seems easy enough! Number 7 – Hos and/or take part in contests. By hosting giveaways, photo contests, etc., ore users will be attracted to you account and will like and follow your account.
So with all these tips, it is time for me to get to work in gaining followers to Instagram. My goal is to post once a day and use atleast one of these tips per post to attract new fans. #