If our blog stats tell us anything about what bloggers want to learn more about, it's INSTAGRAM. Our top posts for bloggers are consistently about how to build your Instagram presence and it's no surprise: the company has the power of Facebook behind it, has taken Snapchat on head-first, and can be monetized in its own right if you've got the right kind of followers.
Every blogger should be thinking hard about how to build their Instagram audience, especially since (as of this Hubspot article published in June 2016) you'll want to capitalize on, "Instagram's more than 400 million active users... plac[ing] it well ahead of Twitter (310 million active users) Snapchat (200 million active users), and Pinterest (100 million active users)."
So here's 10 ideas for building your Insta-audience. Let's get those double taps!!
Get a group together. Then start an Instagram direct message group containing all of you. Every time you post a new photo, send to this group. The idea is that your pod likes and comments right away to give your post a little boost in timelines.
I'm often surprised by how infrequently people use this feature. On the bottom Instagram menu, click the <3 and then "following" at the top. Stalk the people that you love to follow and see what they have their eye on. Give some love to those friends-of-friends for a great organic channel to more followers.
Respond to Every Comment
The most successful Instagrammers show the love right back. @ all of the people leaving comments, return the comment with something fun, and visit their pics to leave one of your own. This is Instagram 101 best practices for younger millennials; follow suit.
Hashtags are EVERYTHING. Follow along with them, like photos tagged with the ones that resonate with your brand, post your pics with tags that could get you featured on another account, and track which ones perform best for you!
On almost every social network, more content is good news. People often worry about follower fatigue (aka your followers see you posting again and again and they roll their eyes). We've actually only seen the opposite happening in the wild. Post more--up to five times per day--and your followers will get more of a sense of what you're all about.
Comment + Like Combos
Technically a like + comment + follow almost guarantees a follow-back. But if you're trying to grow your follower count without the following number hitting the stratosphere, lurk around and leave like + comment combos on great photos. It's the best way to grow your instanetwork!
Mimic Your Competitors
As with any good marketing or growth strategy, start by taking stock of what your competitors and faves are up to. Have a handful of blogger friends your size? Review their profile. But also dive into those bloggers' profiles whom you idolize. How can you borrow what they're doing or differentiate yourself?
Especially with food bloggers, I often see a quick caption--chocolate cake! Recipe #ontheblog--followed by lots of hashtags. But what people like on Instagram is the feeling that they're following someone with a super cool life. Tell the story of your photo, talk about your day, be you! That's what your fans want to follow.
Make Real Friends
Your biggest online supporters, at first, are likely the people who know and love you in real life. Then that circle expands as you get to know people who are in the same boat as you, bloggers with sites to build! So, make more of those digital pals and genuinely support each other for major social lift.
Enjoy Your Life!
Your followers turn to Instagram for a fun distraction from their daily monotony. (Right? Don't you pop open Instagram the second you're bored on your same-old commute?) So give them an outlet for their boredom and make your posts more FUN! Even better if you turn those stories into actual Instagram stories for that live feel.