Instagram is one of the rising stars of the social media world. First launched in 2010, Instagram now boasts over 25 million business profiles worldwide. The question is – are you one of them? If you’re a freelancer, blogger or small business owner, an Instagram business account could be key to your content marketing strategy. So how do you create a loyal Instagram following?
1 Post quality content
You may have heard it before, but everyone is talking about quality content – and for good reason. The digital landscape is now filled to the brim with content, but users are seeking quality over quantity. Even if someone else is already offering a similar product, service or piece of content, you can stand out from the crowd by making your content better than the competition. On a platform like Instagram, that means posting high-resolution imagery and video that’s eye-catching, relevant and on-brand, every time.
2 Consider a hashtag strategy
Instagram is most definitely a visual platform, however don’t discount the role that written content can play. Each post leaves room to write a small snapshot, so take the time to carefully craft your posts to engage your readers – don’t underestimate the power of the written word. This is also where you can direct people back to your website or another link if necessary. Add select hashtags to every post to help surface your profile, but only use hashtags that are relevant to your post.
3 Create a consistent calendar
To grow a loyal audience, you need to be posting to Instagram regularly. Most experts recommend at least one post per day. With the recent addition of Instagram Stories, you can also stream live videos or upload pre-recorded videos, photos or text-only images that last just 24 hours. To get into the rhythm, try posting at the same time everyday. You can also use social media scheduling tools if you’re strapped for time and want to organise your posts ahead of time.
4 Interact with your followers
It may take time but if you follow tip 1, 2 and 3, you’re likely to start seeing people interact with your content. It’s very important to respond quickly to your audience and engage with your followers. If they comment, write back or at the very least, like their comment. If they direct message you with questions, make sure you reply. If they tag you in a post of their own, leave a comment so they know you’ve checked it out. This is a simple way to turn your followers into a loyal group of fans, making you a micro influencer.
5 Connect with like-minded brands
Connecting with brands who have a similar audience or following is another great way to grow your Instagram profile. You can throw a giveaway together or do a cross-promotion highlighting each other’s accounts. In the beginning, you’ll just need to be mindful of your own numbers and engage with those who are on a similar level – the big players won’t want to team up with you just yet. Also get to know other players in your sphere, and championing them on by liking and commenting on their posts.