There’s nothing like creating an Instagram account, publishing your first post, and seeing it live. But then something happens: nothing at all. No one comments on or likes your first post. Instead, it sits there dormant. While it’s natural for this to stress you out, keep calm and remember that it takes time to grow your Instagram following.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with giving your Instagram account a jump start. And that’s why it’s critical to understand how you can grow your following in a short period of time.
There’s no one size fits all approach, but there are several steps you can take to give your account a push in the right direction. Check out these ideas:
1. Share Unique Photos
While photos are a big part of your success on every social media platform, this is even more so the case on Instagram. It’s what Instagram is all about.
For this reason, it’s critical to share unique photos with your audience. Showing them something they can find on thousands of other accounts won’t do you any good. And it definitely won’t help you standout among hundreds of millions of users.
Here’s the good thing: the more you share on Instagram the easier it becomes to understand what your audience wants. For example, if one type of photo receives solid engagement but another is ignored entirely, you should have a better idea of where to spend your time and resources in the future.
Tip: unique doesn’t necessarily mean professional. Your photos don’t have to be perfect in order to increase your following and drive engagement.
2. Use Hashtags
You are so caught up in the excitement of creating captions and sharing photos that you forget about one of the most important things you can do to get your post in front of others: use hashtags.
Just the same as anything associated with Instagram, trial and error is a big part of figuring out which hashtags increase your reach and engagement.
Choosing hashtags is important, but there’s another question to answer: how many of these should you include? While there is no right or wrong answer, there are best practice suggestions you can experiment with. For example, some people will tell you to use as many hashtags as Instagram allows, which currently sits at 30.
Others, however, suggest that you limit it to your five to 10 best popular and most relevant hashtags. As you’re growing your Instagram following, take the time to experiment with a variety of options. This will help you decide on the optimal number, which you can then use in the future.
3. Run a Contest
Growing your Instagram following can be a long climb, so there’s nothing wrong with taking some shortcuts to accelerate your growth. And that’s where running a contest comes into play.
For example, it can be as simple as randomly selecting a winner from a group of new followers over a predetermined period of time. HubSpot shares detailed information on how to run an Instagram contest, including guidance on narrowing your focus to best connect with your audience.
You can’t rely solely on contests as a means of growing your Instagram following, but it’s a nice supplement to everything else you’re doing.
4. Just Keep Posting
Content alone isn’t typically enough to grow your audience, but it’s critical to your success. Not only will it help you secure your first few followers, but it also ensures that there is high quality content to engage with as your account grows.
Just the same as any type of social media platform, consistency is critical to your success. Start by posting once per day. If that works for you, move to twice or more. Soon enough, you’ll see what works for you, your audience, and your industry, which will allow you to settle on a plan in the future.
Will all of these strategies work in helping you grow your Instagram following? Maybe, maybe not. But it only takes one winner in order to boost your follower count and confidence.
While you only have so much time in your day for Instagram marketing, don’t sell yourself short. With the right approach, you can devise a strategy that allows you to grow your audience, day in and day out, which will put you on the path to reaching your goals.
Don’t be one of those people who continually struggles to grow their Instagram following. Don’t be one of those people who is happy with a handful of new followers every week. Instead, use these strategies, among others, to accelerate your growth.
Do you have any experience with one or more of these Instagram growth strategies? Which one worked best for you? Would you add any others to the list?