As you dip your toes into the world of social media via online publishing, you’ll likely find that gaining followers on Twitter is the easiest while Facebook and Pinterest audiences seem to grow at a steady pace too. However, if you listen to the social media gurus, Instagram is THE place to be today. Who follows your Instagram account? Your mom? Maybe a few friends who are super active on the platform? On a platform that is, at its core non-commercial, how can you gain Instagram followers for your commercial venture?
While there is no shortcut to success, here are a few actionable tips that will help you gain a foothold and a following on this popular image-based social sharing website.
1. Take advantage of Hashtags – Don’t go crazy, but use applicable tags. It is the easiest way for users to find your photos and perhaps begin following you, if they like what they see. Try to keep it to two or three tags maximum, and do not waste your time on “made up” tags. If you post a picture of a kangaroo, tag it #kangaroo not #Ihearthoppythings.
2. Connect other social accounts – When you post to Instagram, you can syndicate and post to Twitter or Facebook too. This is a great way to build your following. Not only will you gain more traffic for the initial post, you may encourage interested individuals to check out and follow your Instagram account for future posts too.
3. Run a Contest – There are many different ways to do this—you can ask for photo entries, pick from followers or use a “professional” program to run the contest, but running a contest is a sure way to build followers and interest. There is a minimal cost involved, but if you are serious about building that following, it may be well worth the investment.
4. Offer Instagram Only Specials – Use Instagram to provide coupon codes or other special deals that customers cannot find anywhere else. Users will feel the need to follow you so that they do not miss anything! This is simple, though you will need to promote using email or other social media sites so that customers understand the importance of following your feed.
You may not have 5,000 Instagram followers tomorrow, but honestly—when it comes to any social media site, quality trumps quantity every time. Stick with it. You will build that Instagram empire before you know it. If you start feeling down, post a picture of your feline friend and hashtag it #cat. When all else fails, you can always count on the internet’s love of all things catty!
Writer Bio: In addition to writing full-time and keeping up with the latest trends in content marketing, Tracy S is a champion cat wrangler, amateur pool player, wife, mother and working her way through the Couch to 5k program.