by Menka Dimitrovska, Money Columnist
Published in Money on 16th March, 2018
If you're new to Instagram, or you have just a handful of followers, it can get a little bit discouraging and hard to believe that you'll ever get a huge following. When it starts to seem like all your hard work and excitement were for nothing, and you feel like giving up, that's when you need to remember why you started in the first place. You need to get back up and get motivated, and we're here to help you with that! In this article you'll be able to find a lot of tips and ideas that you can use to make your Instagram account grow naturally, and get lasting followers and a lot of engagement.
You'll notice that buying Instagram followers is not on the list, and it shouldn't be. That's because we want to help you gain lasting followers that are actually interested in what you share, so that you can have a lot of engagement on your account, and not just numbers. Engagement should always be your primary goal when you're building your profile, and to have a lot of engagement you need to follow a few important steps.
The following tips will be useful both for increasing your following, as well as engagement on your posts, so open that note pad, and write down each point you think you need to work on more in order to get where you want to be.
This tip is for those of you who still haven't created your Instagram account. If you already have an account, then you can simply connect it to your Facebook account. The reason why this step is important is because once you connect both accounts, you'll be able to start following all your Facebook friends, and hope they follow you as well. That's how you get your first followers on Instagram.
Hashtags. The most important part of every picture and video you post. Some of the most popular hashtags of 2018 according to statistics, are: #love, #instagood, #photooftheday, #beautiful, #fashion, #happy and a few other. You can use these and other hashtags that are more relevant to your niche, so that you can get more likes and follows from people that are actually interested in that particular field and are searching for that hashtag. The most important thing to remember while posting is to use a combination of compelling and field related content, followed by relevant hashtags.
If you're still looking for that tip that's going to make all the difference for you, then look no further, because this is it. The better the quality of your pictures is, the more likes, comments and follows you're going to get. It's Instagram after all, and people like seeing visually pleasing content. In order to post better quality content, you'll need to improve your photographing skills. For that to happen you'll need to consider two things. The first one is an obvious one, and that's investing in a better camera, that will enhance image quality and make your pictures stand out. Most Instagram influencers use DSLR or mirrorless cameras, which provide good quality and versatility and produce professional images. The second thing you'll need to have in mind is the lighting. Try to take your shots during the day, when there's a lot of natural lighting, and use it to your advantage.
When you're new to Instagram, and you don't have that many followers, it's hard for people to notice you. That's why it's important to engage with them, like and comment on their photos, so that you can be more visible. That way more people will see your profile and start following you. Neil Patel's estimations say that for every 100 accounts that he's liked, he gets an average of 6 follows.
Some people use free automated like bots to like about 10,000 pictures and videos monthly. The way these bots work is you enter certain hashtags you want to target, and they find photos and videos with those hashtags to like. It's that simple.
It's important to follow other accounts in order to get followers. You can do this manually, or use bots to do it. We recommend following at least 5-6,000 accounts monthly. If you decide to follow people manually, then be sure to check if their account is active, if they engage with people and if their followers engage with them.
You can find lots of studies out there with different answers regarding which time is best to post on Instagram. That's mainly because the perfect time for posting can vary, and what was the best posting time last year, might not apply any more. According to social media managers, the best times to post in 2018 are from 11am-1pm, and 7-9pm.
This, however doesn't mean that these times are 100% the best times for you to post. You need to take a lot of factors into consideration, before you determine YOUR best times. There are a lot of factors you should consider, like the time zone most of your followers are in, when their off-work hours are, and many more factors that are specific to your audience only. You need to look for certain clues as well, like do you get a lot of engagement right after you post, and do certain posts get more engagement then others. This is the best proven way to find out what's the best time for you to post, and what kind of posts your followers like the most. And of course don't forget to save your best posts for the weekends.
If you want to get more followers faster, launching a contest would be a good idea that will get you there without a lot of hard work. All you need to do is set a few rules, and put up a prize for the lucky winners. A good example of such a contest would be: like and tag a friend to get a free iPhone case. It's always better to give away prizes that are relevant to your niche.
Shoutouts are a very popular way of co-promotion, where both users mutually agree to share a screenshot of the other user's profile, or a post of theirs, and promote each other so they can get more followers. In order to get a shoutout from someone you need to find an account that post similar content to yours, and has similar engagements and following. After you find that account you can send them a message asking them if they'd like to exchange shoutouts with you and hope for a positive response.
Althought it may seem like there are a lot of tricks you need to know, and a lot of rules you need to follow in order to get a huge following, that's simply not the case. The worst thing you can do is overthink each piece of advice given today, and become obsessed with doing everything just right. Nothing good has ever come from overthinking and worrying. The most important thing you need to do is enjoy yourself, share things you like and feel passionate about, and soon enough you'll start to see your followers increasing. Always remember to engage with your audience, and make them feel important and appreciated. That way you'll have active followers that like your content, and love to interact with, and that's when you'll know you're doing it right.