There have been spam bots, follow bots, liking bots, and every kind of bot you can think of that has infiltrated the Instagram atmosphere. With the recent crackdowns on spam services connected to Instagram, now’s the time to use REAL ways to grow your Instagram account.
Before you jump into these tips, here are couple of things you should think about when you are looking to grow your Instagram:
- What Is Your Goal? — More followers? More engagement? Both?
- How Often Do You Want To Post? — Naturally, your audience will gravitate to your profile when they see you with new content.
- What’s Your Niche? — If you have a specific look or subject you cover, you’ll want to think about that as your account grows.
Location, Location, Location
When you are looking to grow your Instagram, it’s important to figure out if you want to have a regional, national, or global reach. No matter what you choose, location is still important.
With that being said, start exploring locations on Instagram searches — whether it’s locations you have posted pictures from recently or ones you plan to visit soon.
Locations You’ve Already Been To
If you’ve recently posted a photo or video from a specific location, be sure to use appropriate hashtags for that location in your post. Also, it’s a good idea to click on the location and engage with other creators that have visited. Don’t just go on a “liking” spree, but instead engage with people. Comment on different angles or views other captured.
Location You Are Going To Visit
Something I do every time I plan a trip is look up the locations I’m visiting for a few reasons. First, I can get some ideas of places to visit. Also, I’m able to see what other photographers in the area do for special spots and shots. If I have questions about places I can engage with them about those areas. It’s also a good idea to start to collect some popular hashtags that are associated with that area to help promote my content when I post.
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People Like Their Names, So Use Them
I don’t care how many followers you have, there is no reason you can’t answer questions on your posts or at least acknowledge people’s comments on your posts. With Instagram, the simple “heart” button for liking a comment helps larger accounts acknowledge comments.
But if you’re really looking to expand get personal with your replies. When people are commenting on your posts, they are taking the time to stop in their never-ending feed to tell YOU something. The least you can do is take time to reply.
Something that I have found that helps is using people’s names in your reply (or comments on their own posts). I’m not just talking about tagging their Instagram name, but their ACTUAL NAME. Take a second to look at their profile to see what their first name is. Everyone likes to read their own name when reading their comments. That personal touch can go a long way.
Don’t Just Like, Engage
When you are scrolling through Instagram, it can become almost automatic to double-tap and like every photo you scroll past. That’s not enough. Along with bots constantly infiltrating the notification feeds of Instagram users, likes have lost their true value.
Similar to the above tip of replying with people’s names, I think one of the best ways to engage and grow your Instagram is to comment with photos that you come across through Instagram. Genuinely, chatting with someone about their photo can go a long way.
It’s easy to say things like “great shot” and “awesome” but if you really take the time to engage with the person AND the photo it goes a long way. Mentioning the technique that you see they used, asking about the area, or even mentioning why you like the photo so much.
Do You Have Favorite People You Follow?
If you have specific photographers you admire on Instagram be sure to stay connected to them and tell them about how you like their photos. Whether they have a smaller or bigger following commenting on their work continues to inspire them, which in turn can help inspire you. Also, something to consider – when you have unique comments under people’s photos it gives you a chance to be seen by others that are commenting too and you can connect with.
Turn On Post Notifications
Going along with my last point about engaging with your peers in a unique way, what better way to engage than to do it as soon as you can. I often turn on post notifications for my favorite people I follow and people who I am really interested in connecting with.
While it may seem like a lot of notifications coming through, I think that if you know as soon as someone posts and you can like/comment it shows you are interactive with them everytime. Everyone loves to see the “first comment” on a newly posted photo, so why not make it yours!
By following when posts go live for some people, it allows you to see a pattern (if there is one) as to when they post and what timeframes work for them. Maybe you can take a page out of their book and try posting at different times too.
Whether you are using Instagram for pleasure, passion, or professional purposes, it’s important to grow an audience around you that you genuinely enjoy. So be genuine and be real with people. Give them a real person (you) to engage with and grow within this community.