With more than a hundred million active users sharing tens of millions of photos every day, it’s easy to understand the value of tapping into the success story that is Instagram. But getting your own content noticed among a pool of millions is no simple task. While there is no magic key or one size fits all solution to get lots of followers on Instagram, there are a handful of simple tips you can follow to help you gain more followers in an optimal way.
1. Post Timely Content
Even the best photos won’t create very much engagement if you share them at the wrong time. Like any social media network, Instagram users are more active at certain times of day. These times tend to be in the morning shortly after waking up and in the evening after returning from work, but studies have shown that the best time to post content on social networks overall is typically between 5 and 6pm EST.
Similarly, social media use peaks on Wednesday and deteriorates with each day before and after. So if you’re posting content on a semi-regular schedule, try posting on Wednesday around 5pm to maximize exposure to your content. You should also keep in mind that the typical photo post on Instagram has a lifespan of about four hours. After four hours have elapsed, content is typically pushed so deep into a user’s feed that it’s unlikely to be seen by anyone, so posting content especially late or early is typically a bad idea if you’re looking to get noticed.
2. Share Relatable Content
Most successful Instagram accounts have at least one thing in common – they all offer highly personalized and relatable content. There’s no sleight of hand here; the followers of these channels are simply able to connect emotionally with the activities or scenery that the content producer offers. Depending on the specific contents of your own channel, this may include anything from behind the scenes footage to interesting self-shots taken around the city.
Photo content does not have to be professionally shot or even meet high artistic standards, on the contrary, your content may be more accessible if it feels as though it was taken by a human being rather than an impersonal entity like a brand. After all, social media is all about connecting to audiences, and on that quest, relatable content is the surest bet you have to gain followers and earn comments.
3. Tag your Content
Tags allows users a simple way for people to search for content that they are interested in. This means you should always add at least one to three tags per photograph that you post. This gives your content more of an opportunity to be found and interacted with directly through Instagram and consequently will help you gain more of a following. How much these gains will offer will depend on how well you’re able to tag your content. While the most popular tags on Instagram change almost daily, some of the most popular tags include #cute, #beautiful, #happy, and #follow.
4. Use a Call to Action
Whenever you use your photo posts to ask a question, you can almost guarantee that post will earn far more engagement than a post without. While asking a question can be one of the simplest ways to call to action, as a picture media platform, Instagram is ready and waiting to facilitate whatever creative calls you can concoct. Remember, the more engagement you can develop, the more exposure your content will get and the more followers you’ll collect.
5. Connect to Facebook
While this step is often overlooked, connecting your Instagram account to your Facebook account can make a big difference. Because Instagram has been fully integrated into Facebook, every time you take a photo on your Instagram account, that photo can be automatically shared into your Facebook feed. Tapping your Facebook fans will help maximize your Instagram exposure and ultimately allow you to earn more followers.
6. Engage Other Users
Social networking sites are just that – social. If you want to gain Instagram followers, you need to participate in the social community facilitated by the platform. This means engage with other people’s photos, leave comments, and even follow users that you end up liking, The more active your account is, the more likely you are to get exposure to your account and its content. When you like someone’s photos, they’re prone to visiting your account to see who you are. And if they like what they find, you’ve gained yourself a new follower.
7. Combine Images
The reason Instagram is more than merely a photo board is all the special filters and templates that it offers users. But this doesn’t mean you have to stick with Instagram for all your photo tweaks. There are numerous simple free apps available that allow you to bring new dimensions to your photo content and give yourself a competitive edge over other posters. For instance, PicStitch allows you to quickly combine several different photos into one framed picture, allowing you to tell a story with photo succession. Whenever you can bring more engaging content to your account, you’re sure to reap the rewards of an extra following.
8. Study at Popular Images
Using the popular tab in the Instagram application, it’s easy to see what kind of photos are making headlines, so to speak. The most popular content here follows predictable patterns that can help you to craft your own popular images. This isn’t to say that you should copy anyone’s ideas, but that understanding the type of material that becomes popular on Instagram will allow you to integrate the elements that make those photos popular into your own content.