Why is Instagram the best social media platform?
- There are over 300 Million current users.
- It allows you to showcase your brand or personality in an appealing visual way.
- The platform enables you to accumulate loyal followers.
- You can follow other people that motivate and inspire you.
- It gives you the ability to target your exact audience, by using hashtags or Geo-tagging to reach new people.
We are living in the greatest era with the technology we have at hand. It has never been easier to start your own business, build a personal brand online or connect with others from all around the world. With this opportunity presented to us, why shouldn’t we make the most of it?
Some of the benefits from having a large Instagram following include –
- Opportunities to get paid to advertise products from other brands or companies. Also known as influencer marketing, which benefits both parties. Businesses now have the opportunity to reach new markets that they may not have the power or resources to do so on their own. The influencer benefits by creating a source of side income and being able to try new products they are interested in, on a regular basis.
- Inspire other people to take action towards worldly issues such as the environment, animal rights, bullying, body image etc.
- Personal recognition and exposure as more people get to know who you are.
- The ability to convert more clients for your business.
- Gain trust and loyalty from people that follow you, as well as making friends all over the world.
Listed below are some of the ways you can make your page stand out and create a point of difference.
How To Develop An Instagram Growth Plan
Get serious and treat it like a business – This is the first step to growing your following. You should have things planned out in advance, such as a folder of photos waiting to be posted, caption ideas and a consistent theme for your page. What will you represent? It could be food and recipes, healthy living, fashion and design, fitness, travelling, beauty and makeup, motivational quotes or ‘online magazine’ genre themed images, which are targeted to a chosen audience.
Another factor that can make or break your growth is crisp clear images! High quality images show professionalism and are appealing to the eye. Only post the best images, even if it takes a few captures to find the best fit for the theme on your page. You can also create graphic content such as quotes or practical tips that others will find helpful or inspiring.
Your personal bio can also play a big part. Ensure in a few simple words people know exactly who you are and what you represent as soon as they land on your page. Your audience will know if they want to follow you or not, within seconds after reading your bio and seeing the first few images. First impressions count, make sure you draw them in!
Define your target audience – Narrow down who you want to attract to your page. You may consider factors such as age, gender, interests or lifestyle, depending on your goal. However, what suited me best was to target others alike me! I now publish content aimed at 18-25 year old women, who are interested in a healthy lifestyle, self-confidence and a positive mindset. My mission is to motivate others to push themselves beyond their limits, to achieve their ultimate goals.
What’s your mission? Who do you target?
Provide value to your audience – What can you offer them? When people start releasing content with practical tips and sharing genuine knowledge, their following and engagement starts to shoot through the roof. Lets be honest – you don’t go on social media to follow other peoples lives whom you don’t care about. The most popular Instagram influencers all have something in common. Their page offers value to their followers. Whether it be motivational quotes, weight-loss tips, healthy recipes, fashion inspiration, make-up tutorials, exercise routines, or simply just a lifestyle that inspires you. You have to give your audience a reason to keep coming back for more.
The more followers you get, the easier it is to grow because it has a flow-on effect. Once people come across your page and see you are already popular, they will be more likely to catch on, as they assume you will provide them with good quality content. Establishing yourself is often the hardest part, when you are first trying to build up your profile.
By defining what value you will be providing, you can then deliver based on the wants and needs of your audience.
Get personal – Once I started putting more thought into my captions and sharing more in-depth information, my engagement escalated. By sharing personal stories, practical tips and advice, nutritional meal ideas or motivational/inspiring content, my followers and engagement grew at a much faster rate. By opening up about my life in the captions of my images, people appreciated it a lot more and felt like they knew me on a more personal level. Rather than just an image on their news feed.
Your content needs to be at least 1 of 4 things –
How much engagement should you be getting and how to increase it –
Based on the size of my following, I am currently aiming for a 10% ratio of likes on a photo. For example, this would be 100 likes per 1000 followers. This is also a good way to determine who has brought fake followers or not. There are some accounts that have triple the following as me, but get less engagement than I do. This is a red flag as their audience most likely isn’t organically grown.
How to increase engagement:
- Include a call-to-action in your post. Encourage other users to ‘tag a friend’, comment something specific below, visit the link in your bio, answer a question you have, or make a recommendation.
- Join an Instagram pod where you help each other out by commenting and liking their photos as soon as they are posted.
- Host an Instagram contest such as a giveaway. This can help your followers become loyal to your page, as well as bringing in more users to view your content.
- Respond to comments on your photos.
- Create your own hashtag and encourage others to use it too.
- Have a selection of good quality images on your feed. Practice your photography skills to capture photos, or do a photo-shoot to get some high quality images. This will make your personal brand look more professional and aesthetically pleasing.
- Geo-tag your photos. Other people who search that location will have the opportunity to discover your account.
- Figure out what your audience likes. Pay attention to what types of images and captions give you the most engagement. You have to post what you represent and what you stand for, without neglecting what they want to see as well.
- Engage with others in a similar niche to you. This can bring more people to your page that also have similar interests. Leave authentic comments on other users images.
- Determine a posting schedule. This way users can have an idea of when to expect a post from you or how often. This also makes it easier for you when you are planning your posts in advance. The best engagement period is weekday’s around dinner-time.
- Collaborate with other users so both of you can benefit from more exposure and gain attention from each others audience. This can include shout-out’s, tagging each other in your posts, or showcasing each others photos whilst linking back to their profile.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Feel free to connect or collaborate with me online at @cassieamber__ ♥
Cover image by @rogue.nz