Influencers run everything and everyone around us today. At least, it seems like that. But how did they get to where they are today? Luck? (probably), but its all about the steps that they took after their supposed “luck”. Instagram plays a big part in todays society, especially with the younger generations. Everyone is looking to see what their favorite influencers, food bloggers, fashion icons, and celebrities are up to at any given time. Fame is what runs Instagram. So, how do you get this “fame”? Its all about grabbing your audience, following trends, keeping a schedule, and retaining your followers. There is no one, true, foolproof way to instantly gain followers (and no, buying them is not a good option). However, Instagram offers quite a few tools that can help you gain your following quickly as well as retain that audience once you get it.
Getting the Followers
According to many blogs on the internet, there are quite a few steps that you need to take to get the followers that you are looking for. I have compiled a list of many steps, mainly sourced from a blog on Adobe Express. This article mainly focuses on user engagement, which plays the biggest role in gaining Instagram followers. Instagram engagement is all about how many people view your posts, how they interact with them, and what they think of them. By fully understanding this, you can use it to your advantage. The steps are as follows:
- Track your Instagram engagement
- Create valuable content
- Master your aesthetic
- Embrace video content
- Engage with Instagram users
- Use hashtags
- Utilize Stories and Reels
- Post quality content consistently
- Post at the optimum time of day
- Keep you profile neat and updated
Tracking Instagram engagement is easy: set your profile up to be a business account, and then that’s it! Check your “analytics” regularly to keep up with the activity trends on your page. Figure out your target market and make sure to create valuable content. You wouldn’t want your favorite food blogger to make a post about a new clothing brand that they found because that is not quality content to their followers.
Mastering your aesthetic is easy: follow color schemes and keep it simple. You do not want a bunch of random posts about all kinds of topics all over your page, so keep it simple, both with colors and content.
Embracing video content is one of the best pieces of advice that I could ever offer you. People love interactive content, and videos provide that to them.
Engaging with your Instagram followers is also key to gaining more. People do not follow people who do not interact with them. That is just plain boring. Keep up with your followers, answer DM’s, respond to comments, the whole 9 yards!
USE HASHTAGS. I could not stress this enough. People tend to look up hashtags rather than people when they are looking for specific content. Do not be basic and use simple hashtags. Make sure you use a hashtag for everything. If the wall behind you in a picture is green, put #greenwall #green #wall in your caption.
Regularly posting on your story and uploading all video content to reels is a good way to attract new followers. People find influencers through reels most of the time as content posted there is shared on many accounts as well as many platforms, so getting your original content out there is good. Along with posting quality content, make sure you are posting this quality content consistently. Give your followers something to look forward to and keep them updated. Posting at the optimum time of day is important, too. According to many sources, posting from 2-3pm on Thursdays, 11am on Wednesdays, and 10am on Fridays is ideal, with Tuesdays being the most popular Instagram day.
Finally, keeping your profile neat and updated is important. Have a good, quality profile picture, a short but descriptive bio, and links connecting people to your other social accounts. Following these steps will help you in you journey to gaining Instagram followers.
Instagram reels are relatively new to the whole Instagram scene. They are videos that are uploaded by creators and can be viewed all in one place. When you see a reel on your screen, you can click on it and scroll thorough related reels, TikTok style. Reels are an important aspect in gaining followers as peoples attention spans are decreasing. Therefore, moving pictures, usually those shorter in length, then to grab the audience more than just a still picture post. Grabbing peoples attention is important if you want them to stick around, so utilizing reels is a good idea.
Instagram sponsored posts are a large factor in the “quest” to gain following. By becoming an “influencer” on Instagram, you can attract more followers quickly. An Instagram sponsored post, according to a blog on AdEspresso, is a post that involves a collaboration either with a brand or with yourself in exchange for awareness and recognition of you and the product you are sponsored by. You can become an influencer in two different ways: by pairing up with a brand or by promoting your own posts. Instagram offers a feature where you can pay a small fee to promote you post, reel, or story for more people to see. The more you pay, the more recognition it gets. Teaming up with a brand is harder, but it yields more return as you not only gain following and recognition, you usually receive free products and compensation for your time. Start with promoting your own posts and then reach out to smaller brands looking for collaborators.
Hashtags are the more important tool that Instagram offers on its platform. Much like myself, many people follow hashtags rather than people, especially if they enjoy the content posted under that tag and wish to see more of it. In my case, I follow the #aerie as I am a loyal customer to the Aerie brand. I enjoy seeing posts from real people wearing the clothes to see if they actually look good in real life. Posting with hashtags that pertain to your post is crucial in gaining followers as people searching hashtags have a better chance of finding you than if they typed in other accounts. For example, if your picture is you eating a waffle with a white wall background, some good hashtags to use would be #waffle #foodie #yum #whitewall #foodinspo #picinspo #foodblogger (you get the point). Hashtags are key, so make sure you use them (and overuse them) as much as possible.
While gaining followers is the biggest step in achieving “fame and following” on Instagram, you must retain your following as well. Retaining your followers involves keeping them engaged and entertained so they desire to stick around rather than leaving when they get bored. According to a blog on BlogHeist, retaining followers on Instagram is contained in 11 easy steps:
- Monitor your followers
- Have a posting schedule
- Consistently post fresh content
- Socialize and engage with your audience
- Analyze Instagram post data
- Tell your followers stories
- Reach the right people
- Take advantage of Instagram Stories
- Observe high standards and quality
- Collaborate with influencers
- Don’t post excessively
Following these tips will allow you to retain your followers easier. Retention is key in gaining more following on Instagram as the retained followers will become loyal to you, thus spreading the word of your page and content to others, which in turn, gains you more following.
So what now?
Now go out there and get your followers! Give them what they want, make them interested in you, and make sure they stick around. Do not limit yourselves to one type of media. Post regular posts, reels, video content, stories, etc.! Go get your fame and following.