Just imagine a wall of photos, like an art gallery, where each photo depicts an event in your life.
Each picture tells a different story, rekindles a unique memory and expresses a different feeling.
This, my friends, is the true essence of Instagram. A portfolio of your life for everyone to see and admire.
Some people have followers in the Millions on Instagram, but they’re usually celebrities or public figures.Don’t worry if you don’t have as many followers as them, there are plenty to go around.
Even though there is no shortage of followers and no limit for following people, you should seriously consider going the extra mile to increase your follower count. A few tricks and tips are mentioned below which guarantee to get you many more followers.
Posting Times Are Important
Why do humans have set times or routines for their activities? Frankly, even I don’t know why, but what I do know is that once a routine is set, it is extremely difficult to break. Great for us!! Know we can find out exactly when our viewers are logging on to Instagram.
Just like a home run needs to be hit at the crucial moment, we need to be posting pictures only when our audience is waiting for them. Just a simple experiment can help you determine your most optimum posting time.
Try this, post your pictures between 1-2 PM for a week, then from 8-9PM for a week, and finally between 11-12AM for a week. Record the number of followers and likes that you get from each time slot. Now you know which time slot is the most efficient for you.
The image above will give you a good idea of how this experiment helps. The most optimum pinning time for the user is from 1-2 PM.
The reason for this can be anything. Usually, people check their Instagram profiles after or before work. So if you’re posting your picture at 2PM in London, the posts will reach your North American audience at around 8AM which is before a person goes to work, and it will reach your Asian audience at around 8PM, which is after work ends. This time slot, 2PM, will definitely get you many more followers and likes than say 11AM.
Another tip for getting noticed on Instagram is to post the right amount. Moderation is key when posting. Post too rarely and people will forget you even exist, whereas posting too frequently may annoy your followers and cause them to unfollow you.
The frequency of posts can be determined by comparing with your competitors and by observing the response they get.You should post at least once every week and not more than thrice a day.
Captivate Your Audience
Your captions are the only source of communication you have with your audience to promote your picture and your account. Make full use of them!
Hashtags are the new way to share feelings with other people. This new sharing mechanism was first used in August 2007 and since then has completely taken over content on all social media platforms. The attractive features of a hashtag are its simplicity, succinctness, and mass response. Many users don’t even add a description to their pictures anymore, only hashtags!
To make the most out of these little attention seekers, you have to choose the hashtags that are relevant to your content and popular in social media. ‘Trending’ hashtags can get you the best results possible since they are related to events that are still fresh in the minds of people.
A useful website for finding the right hashtags is hashtagify.
The keyword ‘rain’ is searched in the above image. The most popular hashtags are shown in the tab on the left.
Another tip for using Hashtags efficiently is to create your own. They should be catchy and should be generic so that your followers can use them and make then even more popular.
A few good examples are-
For a fashion site, use #whatareyouwearing or #styleislife
For a travel agency, use #wherehaveyoubeen or #scenicmemory
Question Your Audience
A response from your viewers can only be elicited when you ask them a question. Try to ask for their views, get them involved in your post and be vocal through your Instagram account. Make sure to reply to each user’s query or suggestion in a calm, cordial manner. If your activity on Instagram is high, your viewers will also check up on you more often. More viewers translate to more followers, and that’s the endgame.
Let People know who you are
The first thing a viewer looks at in your profile is your Bio. It is used to tell others a little about yourself- what you do and what interests you have. Mention all these in your profile bio and if you have a website add that too. It is extremely important to add your website so that people can visit it in just a click.
Make sure that the name you choose is simple and easily searchable. Try using the name of your business. If the name is already taken, mix it up along with your name. For example, @emilyskyefit is a very popular fitness model who has created a pretty simple name to remember and search for.
Another simple trick to make your profile look professional is by adding your website name under your Instagram username. Don’t know how to do it? It’s easy!
The first step is to go to your Facebook mobile app.Next click ‘CHECK IN’. Once you’re there, create a new location to check in. Type your domain name as the location. eg: viralwoot.com (you can’t use http://)
Once you’ve done that. Simply upload a photo, then click on ‘add location.’Over there, simply type your website and voila!
The above image shows how this trick is used effectively.
It’s very important to remain active on Instagram to get more followers. You have to be in the loop, following every trend and updating your posts according to them. If you own a business, you’ll probably have special discounts or offers throughout the year.
Well, Instagram is really useful in getting your offers out there. Just go to your account bio and add a special line like “Thanksgiving offer cyber Monday!”. You can also add a link for your viewers to visit.
An image showing the proper use of an account bio to sell an offer.
If you want to give your bio a professional look, you can use this special trick. Write all your
information in a word file, using decorations like bullets, emoticons etc. and copy this to your account bio. It gives your bio a nice feel and shows other users how creative you are.
The image above shows good formatting of the description using Microsoft Word.
Be a Social Butterfly
A wise person once said “You get, what you give!” and that’s the whole point of a social media platform. So start following other users and liking their posts. Comments won’t hurt you either. Just show people you’re alive and that you have an opinion!
Make sure you link you add your website to your account so that users can view it easily and visit it in just a click. Create a catchy description that will make the user want to click on your website. Something like “Last chance to grab this offer! Click here!” or “You won’t regret it. Click on the link below!”
Another interesting trick to attract followers to your page is by releasing some products only on Instagram. It may hurt your sales initially but may get you many more followers. Give your viewers a sneak peek of the product on your other pages like Facebook and Twitter and redirect them to Instagram.
The image above shows how SONY advertised some of their phones only on Instagram.
SO by now we’ve done all we could to improve our social standing. Time to take some help! Start visiting the profiles of your competitors. Check out the number of posts they have and the number of likes and comments for their posts. Also, study the frequency with which they post and try to post with the same frequency. Study their descriptions and their content. Some competitors might even help you realize what you’ve been getting wrong all these days!
Catering to your Audience
At the end of the day, people read things that they find interesting. So no matter how good your content is, or how much time you spent in taking the perfect photograph, people will like and comment on your posts only if they find the description interesting enough. It’s simple to write a good description. Just think about what all you find interesting.
I for one am a big fan of stories. Stories about the Eureka moment for an idea or how a product is made are extremely attractive for me. Other things like customer testimonials or experiences of your employees are as attractive. Think of something unique and funny, which your audience won’t find anywhere else. I know it’s easier said than done!
Many brands cater to only a few people who identify themselves with only a particular brand. This works for brands whose products are luxurious and usually tailor made for each buyer. It might even work for you as it has for many handmade product manufacturers.
Try attracting a niche audience and sticking to that audience. Post at times that they find the most suitable (read above-Posting times are important).
The above image shows the Instagram account of a brand that caters to a very niche audience.
By now you would have started getting a trickle of followers into your account. These 2 tips below will provide you with reinforcements that every competitor needs.
The first way to get instant followers is by using sponsored posts. These posts will appear on the feed of many Instagram users and can help you get followers without much effort. Just make sure the content for these sponsored pins is interesting and click-worthy. Unfortunately, you do have to pay for these posts.
If paying isn’t an option, you can get paid by Influencers for letting them use your account to post some content. It’s simple and can get you some good money.
Use the tagsforlikes.com website to add popular hashtags to your posts quickly and efficiently. It gives you a block of hashtags for different situations that guarantees you many more likes. Just copy and paste the block into your post and watch the magic happen.
The above image shows a block of hashtags provided by TagsForLikes.
A very helpful tool to check out the most popular photos related to a hashtag is postplanner.com. Just enter a hashtag, handle or keyword to find the most popular posts on Pinterest and Instagram.
The post planner website is shown above.
If you love the Instagram filters but don’t want to post your picture without previewing it first, there is a simple trick that I know you will love. The next time you’re posting a picture, put your phone on Airplane mode before you post it. This allows you to view a preview of the picture, without posting it. The picture is saved on your phone only.
Once you are happy with the appearance to go ahead and switch off airplane mode, then click ‘Share’. All done!
To sum up, gaining more followers on Instagram is a simple but time-consuming process. Patience and moderation are the 2 keys to get a steady increase in your follower count. Be human on Instagram, avoid spamming your account and take proactive steps to ensure that your content is of a high standard. A good understanding of your audience and catering to their likes and dislikes should be your top priority.
Use the tools mentioned in this article and start communicating with other users and influencers.
The journey is long but the destination is totally worth it. So post away, my friends!