At of the end of September 2017, Instagram had 800 million active users. At the end of April this year, it was the sixth most popular social media network. It still has quite a lot of work to do to beat out Facebook or YouTube, but that could be an advantage if you have a message to be heard.
Instagram is popular enough to make maintaining a presence worthwhile but not so saturated to make getting your message stand out problematic. It is a fun twist on the typical social media network with a strong emphasis on pictures.
There are two ways to approach building a following – building it naturally or cheating. Building the following naturally to include a highly engaged and varied audience which involves putting in more time and effort. Cheating gets results faster, but we advise against it as Instagram is pretty good at sniffing out cheaters and placing bans on them.
Here are three ways that will help you grow your following naturally.
1. Seek out new friends
Get out and about on the network and look for pages that you might be interested in. Start by clicking on the search icon in the bottom left corner of your screen. This will bring up a range of recommendations based on things that you have liked.
Go through the profile of people that you are interested in and see what other posts they have made. If you like what you see, consider following them. This is a new twist on an old strategy. Instead of just randomly liking everyone and everything, you are looking for people who may have something in common with you.
If you have similar interests, it’s likely that they’ll follow you back. If not, you’ll still be able to view and interact with their content that is likely to be highly relevant.
2. Put your heart on your sleeve
When someone posts a fantastic picture or says something that really resonates with you, do hit that little heart button to show your appreciation. Then go one step further and consider posting a comment. It has to be a genuine comment and not something generic, like “Beautiful pic.”
Think of commenting as a way to start a conversation. Make it relevant to the post and not some thinly veiled attempt to get someone to your page. If you cannot think of anything pertinent to say, then just stick to the heart. You don’t have to comment on each photo.
3. Find out more about your followers
Let’s take a step back now there are a few people following you. Have you ever given them a second glance? What do you know about them? Checking out their pages could be a chance to find someone new to follow, but it could also be a great way of learning about what they want.
You can like some of their posts, or maybe add some comments. It is a great way to let them know that following you is a two way street and build loyalty with your brand.
All these tips boil down to: be nice and genuine. Monetary gain is a poor motivator when it comes to social interactions, especially for long-term relationships. Sincere interest and a nice word go a long way and can help you form a wonderful community around your brand.