How To Grow Your Instagram Followers
Instagram is huge, didn't you know? It's easily my top choice when it comes to spreading the word about my blog, featuring my daily outfits and little things that make me happy (like food!). But sometimes it can be hard starting out, gaining those followers in order to gain brand recognition and get your name out there. I've been there and even to this day, I'm still hitting the ground running to get my blog off the ground and become more recognized, but that's a different story for a different day. So let's start with a little Instagram 101 or How to Grow Your Instagram Followers. Follow these tips and I'm sure you'll start seeing a difference quickly!
1. Like Photos In Your Niche.
This is the golden rule of growing your Instagram followers. If you're a lifestyle blogger like myself, it only makes sense to like photos in the same niche. It doesn't make a lot of sense to search for hashtags that doesn't pertain to your niche. However doing this method can take hours of time. At night I dedicate an hour of just searching and liking photos in which those users could in return like and follow my own work. As a rule of thumb, like about 5 to 10 photos for each user and leave a genuine comment as well. Blogging is all about networking and growing a community. By liking those in your niche and supporting them, they will do the same in return.
I briefly touched base in number 1 about hashtags but they're so important it's getting it's own number in this line up. Hashtags are a great way to find others within your niche. Niches and hashtags, they go hand in hand.
3. Streamline Your Account
This is something I'm still working out myself but if you take a look at popular Instagram accounts, they all have one thing in common: they're very streamlined and focus on a theme. Many of my favorite accounts feature blurred, white backgrounds with the blogger in the forefront of the photo. I really like this way to photography as it helps bring into focus the main object. Your Instagram account should focus on the theme, or niche, of your blog and make sure all your pictures focus on that same theme. Like lots of color? Do that! Like neutrals with pops? That's good too!
Like hashtags, I cannot stress this enough. Socialize people, it's called social media for a reason! I've been able to communicate and start collaborations with so many bloggers through the powerful tool of commenting. As I go through each day liking photos, I leave genuine comments on their account too. It can be a simple, "that looks yummy!" to "I love your outfit! Where did you get it from?" These small interchanges help build connections and ultimately a collaboration opportunity.
5. Run A Contest
Contests are a huge wage to get followers to your account. Amazon has recently started a contest program, making it easier than ever to giveaway prizes to readers. Another way to run a contest is to have your followers repost the image with your handle and hashtag attached to it, or even joining in a loop giveaway.
6. Ask Your Other Followers to Follow You On Instagram!
It's hard to self-promote, isn't it? You don't want to seem too over the top but just enough to where you get noticed. It's a fine line to balance. So it seems really contradictory when I tell you, ask your other followers on Facebook, Twitter, whatever, to follow you as well on Instagram. Often times they may only be following you through one platform, not all. This is an excellent way to keep driving old and new readers to your different social platforms.
7. Geotag Your Photos
It seems silly but geotaging your photos is a great way for sharing your account. I often do this when I'm at a local restaurant or hot spot in town that I know others are also searching for. This method has enabled me to become connected with local restaurants and boutiques in the area and have started working on projects with them (more on this another day!).
8. Collaborate (and listen)!
Reach out! After striking up a good ol' Instagram chat, see if you can email the other blogger for a collaboration project. Often times, like myself, the other blogger may already have their email account visible on their Instagram page. If so, great! Email them and introduce yourself and what ideas you have for collaboration.
9. Link Your Instagram to Your Other Accounts
Linking your Instagram to other accounts is another great way for sharing your material. I have mine linked to Twitter and Facebook. It makes it so much easier to post all at once rather than one at a time. It also allows those that may follow you on those platforms to engage with you on Instagram. It's like killing two birds with one stone.
10. Have Fun!
Overall have fun with Instagram! If you become too obsessed with having that perfect account, you'll lose the joy that is Instagram. It's meant to showcase what you love. If it doesn't fit you or your brand, don't bother! Stay true to what your brand is about and the followers will come. It may take months or even years to gain the following you want but it will come. As with anything good in life, patience and hard work is the way to go.