Welcome to The Social Lab! This blog will not only help you navigate your personal social media, but also investigate marketing trends and examples of great social media work. Do you have something we should talk about? Make sure to send us an email or contact us on social media.
Instagram continues to grow in popularity, and with the platform's recent dismissal of API and online programs like Instagress, which promise follower growth, it is even more important to learn how to engage on social media organically. So how can you improve your follower count, in an ethical and productive manner?
Post Great Content
Needless to say, social media still comes down to great content. Since we are talking about Instagram, your post should consist of an image that really catches someone’s attention. Along with the image, you should create engaging copy or text. Ask questions and really get people talking. This can be very difficult on Instagram, so it can also be a great idea to incorporate the question into your social media post through programs like Canva or Adobe Illustrator. If you notice in figure 1, we incorporated a question into the actual photo, which pretty much forces the user to read the text. This strategy shouldn’t be used all the time, but it is a unique way to get people talking. It may be easy to gain followers, but great content is how you will not only entice them to follow you, but it is also how you keep them interested in your account. Furthermore, if you can create unique and engaging content on Instagram, then you should have no trouble posting amazing content on Twitter and Facebook.
On Instagram, hashtags are everything. There really isn’t any reason not to put 30 hashtags in the first comment of a post. Don’t put it in the copy or original caption, because most of the time the hashtag can ruin the aesthetic of a post. Make sure to put hashtags that are relevant to the image. If you put #food, and you have an image of a beach, you aren’t going to get as many likes. Why are hashtags so important? Unlike platforms like Facebook, Instagram consists of a lot of people that will actually search particular hashtags. If a cook is on Instagram, it's possible they will search #recipe in order to feel inspired or get some ideas. If you want to learn more about how to integrate hashtags into your Instagram posts, read here.
The most important thing you can do, besides creating great content, is actively engaging with current and future fans. Social media is a two-way street, which means you need to chat with others and not just expect them to comment on your posts. If your niche is food, then type #food into search, sort by most recent, and begin liking and commenting on people’s posts. The more organic and “human” you are, the more likely you are going to get a response, or a follow. It’s also important to interact with the people that currently follow you. Always spend time going through your home feed and showing your followers love. While you could interact with posts on the Discover page or the top posts, we find it much more effective to like and comment on posts that were recently created. If someone just posted an image, they are interested in how many likes they are going to get. If you are one of the first to comment and like, then you are more likely to receive a comment back.
How long it takes you to achieve this goal depends on your target audience, the content you are sharing, and your work ethic. If you spend hours on end actively engaging and interacting with others, this process will go quicker. Along with being patient, you also need to be consistent. Try to post on your Instagram 1–2 times a day, depending on the level of engagement you get. If for some reason your market is fine with you posting more, than post more. The key is to be consistent and not go multiple days or a week without posting anything (unless your market dictates that). While buying followers may result in you achieving your goal of 10k fans, it won't result in engagement whatsoever. If you create your following through hard work, then you will have a loyal fan base that loves your content and the message you are sharing with the world.
Do you have any tips for getting to 10,000 followers on Instagram? Comment below or email us!