Recently, I was talking with a few friends about the importance of branding yourself. It was unanimously determined that, without social media use, your brand will go nowhere.
Social media is a most vital tool for reaching an audience. However, learning how to properly operate different social media platforms to appeal to your followers can be tricky.
Instagram is a crucial platform that continues to grow in popularity. But, how do you make yourself stand out to followers when just about everyone is using Instagram in the same way?
25 ways to step up your Instagram game
Blogging aficionado, Brandon Gaille, complied a list of 25 ways to step up your Instagram game in order to gain a more active followership.
1. Post everyday: Adding a post everyday will create a feeling of consistency with your followers which leads to more likes. These likes then translates to gaining more followers.
2. Post during active times: There is a rhyme and reason to the timing of any strategic social media post. Do some digging to see when your followers seem to be the most active, then begin posting during those times.
3. Activate engagement with interaction: Asking your followers questions in your photo’s caption opens the door for interaction. Taking it a step further by replying to followers’ comments will keep them coming back for more.
4. Develop hashtags just for you: Be creative and develop hashtags that are specific to your brand. You can keep track of these hashtags by searching their use.
5. Learn what your followers like: Check out accounts that are similar to your brand and see what is working for them. By studying your industry, you can see what your audience is enjoying the most.
6. Take advantage of trending hashtags: Check trending hashtags everyday to see what is popular. Then, develop posts that relate to these hashtags so that you can have a wider reach.
7. Create posts to promote webpages: “If you are posting five times a day, then I suggest promoting a webpage for every 20 non-promotional posts,” says Gaille. “Use short links to create custom URLs that link directly to your a blog post or a landing page with a lead magnet.”
8. Post videos: Incorporate videos every so often in order to mix things up. This gives followers fresh content and is a great way to promote yourself. However, video timing is limited, so make the seconds count.
9. Don’t be afraid to have fun: Interacting with followers and adding posts that showcase a little personality can go a long way. Followers will notice that you are, in fact, a person and will appreciate your presence.
10. Pull content from other sites: A popular practice on Instagram is re-gramming. This is when you share a popular post from another page. But, make sure to give credit where it is due.
11. Create a contest: Nothing engages followers like the potential of winning something. Develop a contest that is related to your brand and use that as a way to have followers like and share your content.
12. Link Instagram with other social media: Share your Instagram posts on other sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, in order to reach followers who may not know you are on Instagram.
13. Acknowledge what posts are doing best: Keep an eye on which posts are receiving the most likes and comments and then determine why. Knowing what works best for your posts will help with future posts.
14. Create incentives: Making exclusive offers for your followers (i.e. coupon codes) via Instagram can help increase followership while also creating traffic on your website.
15. Team up with others: Promotion in exchange for promoting is a great way to build relationships and to be seen by a wider audience.
16. Showcase your followers: Have followers submit photos of themselves with your product. Then, post said photos on your page, highlighting their participation.
17. Promote only valuable content: Gaille suggests having 15-30 non-promotional posts to every promotion post. He explains this is possible with:
- Podcast Episode of the Week
- Blog Post of the Week
- Periscope Schedule
- Exclusive Instagram Discount Code
18. Catch eyes with emojis: Who doesn’t love emojis? This is the perfect social media tool to draw eyes to your page. According to Gaille, “The emojis work best in and around your call to actions. Try placing 2-3 downward pointing fingers above your url link in your bio to double your click through rate.”
19. Seven is the lucky number: Use seven hashtags per post for prime engagement. Too many hashtags can be viewed as annoying, so create hashtags that are relevant only to your brand. Piqora found that seven hashtags is the most optimal per post.
20. Find hashtags for your niche: Search for hashtags that have over 50,000 posts. Sift through and find the ones that are relevant to your brand. Rotate these hashtags every few posts in order to keep the shelf life of your post as high as possible.
21. Use captions to create conversation: By asking your followers questions, or by having them tag their friends, post engagement can reach new heights. Gaille says, “Underneath all of my picture quotes I do the following…
- Restate the quote with a mention to the account that published the original curated image.
- Tell them to “Double tap if you agree!” The simple act of asking them to double tap increases my total likes by 40%.
- Ask them to “Follow me @theblogmillionaire for more great quotes like this.”
22. Select an appealing profile photo: This will be the first photo that potential followers see, making it a crucial aspect of your page. Choose a nice photo of yourself in order to create an emotional attachment.
23. Monitor location tags: If you are at an event, keep an eye out for tagged locations. This gives you an insight into where others are at during the event, creating an opportunity for engagement.
24. Use your bio to build your email list: “Instagram allows one linked url under the bio, and you want to make it count. Whatever url you use, make sure it has an email optin with a strong lead magnet,” suggests Gaille.
25. Utilize Crowdfire: Crowdfire is an app used to handle the engagement of heavy-traffic Instagram accounts. This app gives you the option to follow the most engaged users of accounts within your industry. “Just type in the account that has your ideal audience and start following about 50-60 people per hour,” says Gaille. “On average, about 10-20% will follow you back and/or take a look at your account. This can easily add 3000 quality followers to your account every month.”
With this new knowledge at your disposal, it seems that any Instagram user can become a superstar. Try out a few of these and see how your followership grows. Remember to engage with your followers to develop a lasting relationship between them and your brand.