Social Media is here to stay. In the past few years, Instagram has grown into an incredible marketing tool, which can be used not only to promote your personal brand, but to promote your business as well. Here are a few of my personal tips on how to get noticed and gain traction on Instagram.
Connect your Instagram and Facebook Accounts
This is probably the most obvious way to grow your Instagram account, as a large percentage of all users of Instagram, are also on Facebook. Linking the two accounts can also serve as a platform to “hit two birds with one stone”. Instead of conceptualizing different posts for both Instagram and Facebook for your account each day, you can just post to Instagram, and right before you press “post”, you will be given the option to link it to your other social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and foursquare. I typically post on Instagram, and then link it to my Facebook and Twitter accounts (at the very least).
It can get almost too easy to just focus on your own posts, and forget to “like” and comment on other people’s posts. However, “socializing” (aka “liking or commenting”) is one of the best ways to not only grow your followers, but also to network with other like-minded individuals, companies, or complimentary brands. It’s incredible the relationships that I’ve been able to build just over being “Insta-friends” with some of my followers, and consistently liking and commenting on pictures of them that I actually, genuinely liked. For some reason, this familiarity and “support” of each other has the ability to translate ten-fold, and enables followers to feel like they know you on some level. Commenting allows you to show your support of your “Insta-friend”, provide a taste of your personality through your comments, and also can typically give you an instant “in” with the person, which can sometimes be leveraged into a new client, professional contact, or even a friend. Instagram users prefer commenting over liking, so doing both is always the safe way to go, and don’t forget that you’ll also be getting likes and comments in return from the same person!
It can sometimes feel like we need to project a fake, or perfect image of our lives on Instagram. In actuality, this could not be further from the truth. Don’t forget that Instagram users arehumans too, and typically they are normal, hardworking people that experience similarlife situations to you on a daily basis. Providing genuine, behind-the-scenes, VIP access material including; your office or workspace, personal trinkets, products, pets, customers, success stories, inspiration, basically some snapshot of your daily life, really appeals to people and immediately gets them personally invested in YOU and whatever it is that you do now, or in the future.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to grow your followers is through using hashtags. While anything more than 3-5 hashtags per post can look cluttered, or make your caption confusing, there are a couple tricks you can use to get around this. I alternate between using emoticons from separating my picture caption from my hashtags, and I also will back to my post a few days or week after I’ve posted it, and will comment and add more hashtags at the bottom. At that point, most of your followers have already seen the post, and there (hopefully) are comments underneathto create a buffer. Adding hashtags after the fact allows new users to find you more easily, and for you to diversify and increase your exposure, and to also to bring attention back to that post again. You can find current popular hashtags through services such as web.stagram.com.