Growing your following as a blogger is important. You read to be read. So, how do you ensure that you can do just that and get your content out in front of others?
1. Plan and Schedule Posts
You need a grand plan and schedule for your Instagram posts. As easy as this may sound, planning your posts and scheduling when these should be posted is no easy task. It can be especially challenging if you try to publish posts 2 or 3 times a day. This is because your target audience and followers need consistency and posts that do make sense. Digging up a picture or two every day to post on Instagram isn’t an easy task for many, which is why you need an excellent plan for it to work.
Planning your time properly can not only save time but also help you stay organized. This is because you will have enough time to come up with a photo to post in the next schedule time without missed a deadline. You will also have a chance to edit the photos just as you like, and have it set for the next upload. Apps such as LiketoKnowit and Latergram can come in handy when editing these photos, while the likes of Vibbi can help with metrics.
Having a properly laid out plan, or even setting a reminder on your smartphone can help ensure all your posts and pictures are uploaded in time. This however doesn’t guarantee that all updates will be uploaded/posted at that particular time, each day. The primary plan here is to help create a sequence and consistency for your followers. Potential and loyal fans will also be eager to know what you are up to, and when to expect the next update or post. Lifestyle bloggers, on the other hand, may want to use another approach as this one may not work. This is because lifestyle audience may want a more regular update just to stay in the loop.
2. Team up with other bloggers
The key to attracting more followers is by being open to collaborations, more importantly, other similar brands and bloggers. Working hand in hand with other bloggers to source for followers by retweeting and reposting each other’s posts can boost visibility and inbound traffic considerably. Having the other blogger retweet your posts, and you doing the same, puts both of you in front of new eyes and potential followers. The brands and bloggers you wish to collaborate with however need to have the same interests, and in the same niche as you.
Blogger collaborations provide an excellent way to gain new followers quickly and easily. A good example of such collaborations on Instagram is “Follow Friday.” Follow Fridays is a strategy that bloggers use to promote other bloggers on their pages. This allows the other blogger’s followers to see the link and probably follow him or her. Some people may, however, see this as competition as you are in the same niche, but it isn’t. The two accounts benefit symbiotically as they attract the same followers. Another good example of Instagram account collaborations is a 'Mom Fashion' blogger partnering with a 'Kids Fashion' blogger. If an Instagram user likes ‘mom stuff,' then there’s a higher chance that he/she will love ‘Kids stuff’ as well.
3. Make Use of Hashtags
Hashtags can be considered the driving force of Instagram and some other social networking platforms. This is because a hashtag makes content visible to your target audience and the exact people you are trying to reach out to. Although many individuals may not know this, up to 30 hashtags are allowed per post for as long as it doesn’t look over-saturated. With millions of hashtags created in a minute, yours could be buried faster than you created it. It is due to this reason and more that you should consider using a decent and unique tag that is relevant to what you do or promote. Simple tags such as #love, #style #fashion are too common and saturated, meaning some creativity is needed to get your tags trending. This therefore calls for extensive research and brainstorming on an easy to remember yet unique hashtag to use on your posts.
Using your brand’s tag for hash tagging can be an excellent way to improve exposure on Instagram, and the World Wide Web at large. The brand hashtag alone becomes visible to accounts that follow the brand, which also increases the chances of its followers, following you. Tagging inspirational accounts and brands increase online exposure too. As mentioned earlier, it’s the simple thinks such as sharing that make the real difference on Instagram.
Creating a unique and attractive hashtag won’t get you to the Promised Land unless you engage your followers. Responding to your followers’ questions and suggestions is one way to keeping these followers engaged and want to come back for more. Engaging followers helps create a relationship with which they return the favor by either reposting your posts or hitting the follow button. In addition to responding to their comments, you need to reach out and comment on your followers’ posts as well. Adding positive content to their posts not only cultivates loyalty but also makes the other person want to follow you as well. The more active and engaging you are, the more visible your posts will be to other users on the platform. Thanks to the latest algorithm on Instagram, more active and responsive users get more visibility than inactive ones.
5. Use Apps to Boost Following
Various apps provide a great way to increase visibility and following on Instagram. For instance, there are apps capable of monitoring your follower’s activity online (when online or most active), as well as track who is following or un-followed you. Some of these apps show when your followers are most active on Instagram and days when they aren’t active at all. You can, therefore, use these apps to come up with a better strategy to grow your following.
In addition to using third-party apps, you can switch to a business Instagram account to enjoy more features and insights as well. Although this feature was just activated, it allows users to see how many female and male followers they have, their geographical locations, and time of the day when they are most active. Although a new feature, taking hold of it can help spearhead your marketing strategies here on Instagram.
Iconosquare is one of the few apps that you can use on Instagram to keep your account in check. The app provides features and info such as follower count, comments, likes received, engagement rates, and media posted. Although most of the features are free, you can get more advanced features on its paid option. Other similar apps include Instrack and Crowdfire.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.