Whether you have a personal brand to grow or are just gung-ho on stepping up your social media game this year, these 5 Instagram tips should help do the trick!
1. Upload an awesome profile picture.
According to Jihan Shareef, owner of trendy jewelry website crownandglitter.com (@crown_and_glitter), a great way to get users to engage with your Instagram account is by setting an attractive or attention-grabbing profile icon. “Your profile icon is like your Instagram avatar,” she explains. “It doesn’t have to be a picture of you, but it should be provocative, eye-catching and it should say something about who you are or what your brand is all about. For example, I chose an image of a gorgeous black and gold necklace from my website, set against a loud, hot pink background, which was the most eye-catching element of my photo. When I left comments on other Instagram users’ pics, my profile icon (shown next to my comments) stood out like a kind of advertisement, leading other users to click on my profile to see what my account was about.”
2. Engage, engage, engage.
While your profile picture may be provocative, it is useless unless it is present and available for other users to click on, notes Shareef. “Get your profile icon seen by engaging with others on Instagram. Start by following some of your favorite bloggers, and engage with them by ‘liking’ and commenting on their photos.” More than likely, they’ll return the favor. “The fashion bloggers I engaged with had large followings,” points out Shareef. “When they interacted with my photos, it would draw their followers to my account as well. This was largely due to Instagram’s news feed, the page that shows activity for your own account (likes, comments, etc.), along with that of your followers. Shareef says this feature is the key to building a large following because if a popular Instagram user ‘likes’ your photo, all of their followers can see that bit of activity in their own news feeds. Take great photos, and they’ll keep coming back for more!
3. Give people a reason to follow you.
Ask yourself what you have to offer, says Los Angeles-based Interior Designer, Ryan Saghian (@RyanSaghian). “You must find your niche, whether its food, clothing, interiors, video games or just being fabulous. Then convince your followers your worthy with AMAZING photos.”
4. Use hashtags to your advantage.
The Instagram world is flooded with millions of users. So how do you expect people to find you if you don’t put yourself out there? To garner attention, you must search hashtags of the subjects you’d be most interested in and comment on and like your favorite photos, informs Ryan. “This way, you’ll be more likely to get followed back; you’re making yourself seen. However, the most important factor above all is hashtagging your own photos. Doing this allows others with the same interests to see your pics, and if they’re good enough, you can easily gain followers. But remember,” says Ryan, “always give love back to your followers. That’s what keeps them coming.”
5. Link your Instagram account to Facebook.
This is probably the most obvious way to increase your followers, states Melissa Thermidor, Marketing Manager at LatentView Analytics. Just think about how many friends you have on Facebook, as opposed to Instagram. These friends may not even know you have an Instagram account until they see your photos posted on Facebook, causing them to follow you. So don’t forget to link the two.