Instagram is one social media platform you should be on. If you are not there yet then you are missing out the chance to reach its 800 million active monthly users. That is a lot of users ready to consume your content. The challenge now is to find an effective way to share your message.
Growing your Instagram profile is not only about posting nice pictures. There are other factors to consider if you want to make your account explode. Here are my 6 best practices to make your account grow organically.
Upgrade your account to a business account
Convert your profile to a business account. Business profiles have extra features that allow you to optimise your account.
What are the extra features?
First, you have a way to display your contact information. You can now show your phone number and email address on your page. This is important because you want to provide people other means to contact you.
Another feature of a business account has is insights or the analytics. Instagram will help you track your user information. It will provide your audiences demographics. With a touch you can check things like gender, the time when your audience is active and post statistics. Use the data provided by the Instagram to plan and improve content.
Set a Business Goal
Grow your account by setting goals. It can be as simple as “to get 1000 followers within 3 months”. You want to have a goal that is measurable. When your goal is measurable, you can check on your progress and make adjustments.
A strong goal has these four things. A measurable data, clear aim, defined time frame and how.
Plan Your Content
Planning goes beyond a creating a pretty picture and a quirky caption. Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to meet my goal?” There are other factors to consider like:
When to post. Do you publish in the morning, afternoon or at night? Remember, Instagram tells you when your users are most active in the day. Use that information to your advantage and time your post accordingly.
How often to post. I would say post at least once a day. A perfectly timed post once a day will keep you on top of your audiences mind. You don’t want to post too less and become forgettable. You don’t want to post too much and appear spam-y. But then again, check your insights. Because that data is for your use.
Once you have your picture, caption and everything else. Organise your content further by using apps that manage and schedule posts. For Instagram, you can use Hootsuite, Buffer, Planoly, Kicksta and many more. Find the app you are comfortable using.
Use Hashtags with Precision
Instagram is a place where #hashtag rules. Hashtag is the way to reach your audience. But you have to know what hashtags to use.
What is number of recommended hashtag?
I’d say 20 is a sweet spot. It’s not too sparse and not too many. Where do you place the hashtag? You can put it on the post or the comment. It doesn’t matter. It works either way. Deciding where to place the hashtag is an aesthetic decision.
Research your hashtag well. Don’t type anything that comes into mind. Use tools tag o-matic, tagforlikes, instatag to help you determine popular hashtag. Keep in mind that there are banned hashtags too. Using any of these hashtags can have a negative effect on your post. So be careful.
Make your hashtag connected to your photo. Try to answer these questions when creating a hashtag. What is the picture about? Who do you want to reach with this picture?
Interact with Meaning
Another way to grow your Instagram is by interacting with other users.
Like, comment and follow others. These steps are basic. But sometimes, Instagramers seem to forget to do them.
Build connections by liking posts that connect with you. Add meaningful comments to other people’s post. Reply to comments added to your post. Don’t be afraid to type. Don’t hide behind emoticons.
Remember that Instagram is a social platform. Users are encouraged to get social with other users. Even if Instagram feels like an online magazine. Engagement is still the key.
Collaborate with Influencers
Influencers are the celebrities of the online world. They are a new breed of #goals and #lifestyle.
There is an influencer for every type category you can think of. Lifestyle, food, makeup, speaker, coach, fitness. You name any category and there’s one person who’s made it big in that area.
What an influencer can bring to your business is attention. Influencers have their own cult. And the cult follows their leader.
Harness organic growth by borrowing the fame of an influencer. The perfect one for you should be famous in the field that you are trying to tap into. Don’t just look for someone with big numbers. . Find the right influencer that reflects your own mission.
Try the New Features of the Platform
At the moment Instagram have these features- live, stories and highlight. These are features worth exploring and exploiting. I have seen many brands doing well with these options.
Live is an option that allow you to broadcast live video. Use this feature to show behind the scene videos, webinars, Q&A and more.
Stories is an option on your profile that allows you to show pictures for only 24 hours. I’ve seen people use this feature to post impromptu photos. That’s a nice touch for IG users. Because this somehow makes your social profile seem more personal and relatable.
Highlights’ the latest feature among these three. This feature allows you to recycle your Stories and put place it permanent on your profile. You can use this option to categorise your stories. It’s like you have a menu for the important post on your profile.
Try out these features and see what will work for your brand. Don’t be afraid to experiment to get the right combination for your growth.
Follow these 6 best practices to grow your Instagram followers with the right mix of creativity, honesty and information.