Instagram is the hot social network right now. The site, which allows users to upload photos with pithy captions or hashtags, has seen tremendous growth over the past year. According to a recent study, in 2012 only 13 percent of online adults in the U.S used the site. Last year that increased to 17 percent, a gain of 4 percentage points, growing faster than many other social sites. Instagram users tend to be young and urban, and they’re a great target audience for many businesses.
So how do you increase your Instagram following among these highly desirable potential customers? Here are a few tips that will help your feed grow.
1. Post Frequently
There’s nothing duller than an Instagram feed that’s updated sporadically. You won’t attract anyone’s interest if you only post one update a month, or even one per week. Ideally you’ll post between two and four photos per day, and some of these can be lined up ahead of time. Say you own a jewelry business. You can schedule photos of your inventory to post weeks in advance so that you always have something attractive on your feed.
2. Don’t Spam People
There’s a difference between updating frequently and spamming people with too many photos. You don’t have to post every shot that you take. Instead, be selective. Think about what you’re trying to convey and the aim of each post.
3. Post Interesting Photos
Not everyone is a born photographer, but finding new and different ways to frame your photos is a great way to draw interest in and followers to your Instagram account. For instance, if you sell well pumps, take a photo from high up above an install to give the image a different look. Or stack up some of the equipment used to make the pumps in a tower for an unexpectedly quirky photo.
4. Use Tags Wisely
You should be hashtagging every photo. Jump on trending topics to expose your posts to more people, and establish some tags that are unique to your company that you can repeat throughout the week, such as a sale or new inventory hashtag. This sets you apart and helps shape your brand identity.
5. Sponsor Contests
Nothing builds followers faster than a contest. There are endless ways to sponsor Instagram promotions, but the key is to make it something that requires creativity. Instagram users love to think about things in fun new ways. For instance, last year Heineken offered an interactive scavenger hunt on its Instagram account.
6. Interact With People
A great way to call attention to your account is to get involved with others’ feeds. Post comments on people’s feeds, which will prompt them to click on your username and find your account. Make sure the feedback is polite and respectful, because you’re representing your brand with every comment you leave.
7. Cross-Promote on Other Social Networks
The majority of Instagram users are also Facebook and Twitter users. Make sure you’re promoting your Instagram posts on these other social sites to lead people to your account.
Featured image via Kaptain Kobold
Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for WebpageFX. She enjoys helping her clients boost conversions through business development. When not at work, you can find Alicia cooking up a storm in her apple-red kitchen or blogging about SEO strategies.