Let me start out by saying, I am by no means social media famous. I’m currently sitting near the 7,000 mark. However, I have grown my instagram account at a pretty fast rate using the strategies I am about to talk about. About 7 months ago I had less than 2,000 followers on Instagram and had been pretty stagnant with my growth. After I began to use these strategies I started to grow, on average, between 30-60 followers per day. During one week my numbers peaked as I grew 850 followers over the course of 6 days (I’m only active on Instagram 6 days a week). Now I’m sure larger accounts can grow up to 850 followers in a day, however as someone who had less than 4000 followers at the time, and was battling with Instagram’s algorithm change, this was a huge deal and I thought other people with smaller accounts could use this knowledge to their benefit.
- Begin Posting Consistently.
When I first decided to change my Instagram strategy, I realized that I needed to be posting more consistently. Up until this point I was posting maybe a couple times a week at most. I began posting every single day and immediately noticed an increase in my social media engagement.
This was very difficult for me at first because I felt that I didn’t have enough content to be posting every day. It ultimately forced me to begin planning out my posts ahead of time and to start creating content on a more regular basis. You are competing against your followers best friends, family, and favorite brands. You want to make sure that they see your content and become comfortable with you and want to reach out and engage with it.
- Create Quality Content
It’s equally important to make sure you are posting quality content that gives something of value to your following. A blurry image taken in poor light will never perform as well as an image that is well lit, colorful, and eye catching. I began to edit all of my photos in a very similar way and began posting to my account in a series of 3 shots so my grid would mesh well. Although this took a little while to do, it gave my feed a whole new look that is captivating and makes people more likely to engage with my photos. I get complimented on my feed layout pretty frequently, so if you’re struggling on how to improve your feed, maybe give my strategy a shot!
- Hashtags are Your Best Friend, Make Use of Them
It’s so, so, so important to use hashtags on Instagram if you are trying to grow your following. I know a lot of people think they are obnoxious and are eye sores on posts, but there are ways around that. Using a hashtag is the best and easiest way to get your post in front of new eyes. Instagram allows you to tag up to 30 hashtags on a post. This means 30 opportunities to reach a new person. If you do not use hashtags I would recommend you try using some on your next few posts and see what happens. The more you use the more people will see your post. Just remember to make sure the hashtags are relevant to what you are posting. If you post a picture of a dog and start hashtagging about the summer olympics, you aren’t reaching the audience that you want for that post.
- Engage With Your Niche Community
After rethinking my Instagram strategy, I started engaging with the photography community more. Once I felt that I was producing consistent, quality work I started being more active in my community’s niche on Instagram (portraits and fashion). I started following other area photographers, models, and creatives and commented on their work that I liked. I respond to people’s stories if I can relate or have something to say about them. And most importantly, I started to utilize feature accounts. For photography, just like many other niches, there are tons of feature accounts that will share photos they like with their large audiences. Getting featured is a great way to expose your photography to a whole new audience!
- Follow accounts that fit your audience.
I found that I could drive the most traffic to my account by following other accounts within my niche. I spend a few minutes throughout the day following accounts that I feel are good candidates to be my followers. I don’t spam accounts trying to follow as many people as possible, but I try to follow diverse accounts with similar interests to my own in order to draw attention to myself. I found that it’s easier to get a follow back than it is to just get a new follower. I primarily follow other photographers, models, and small businesses which allows me to engage with their accounts in the future and makes them more likely to engage back on my account.