Instagram currently has more than 800 million users. 35% of all adults in the US use Instagram, and it’s only growing. Even as it’s parents company Facebook faces a PR nightmare with issues on privacy, promoting hate speech, and being questioned about the roll that Russian hackers plays on it’s platform, Instagram has remained untouched by the fray. People love the platform, and it’s got a shiny public image.
As such, Instagram growth is a great business idea. I’d argue it should be part of your 2019 business plan,no matter what your business is. It’s free to use (though ads and boosted post will cost you money) so why not use it to make some money?
How to Grow Your Instagram Following
But how to do it? And how to get people to actually engage with you?
Step One: Use the Platform Correctly
It may seem obvious, but Instagram is first and foremost a visual platform. That means you need high quality, relevant pictures to post on your account.
So many people post grainy, dark pictures on the platform. Those will not do well! They will turn people off from returning to your account. If you don’t have a high res photo where people can clearly see what’s happening, don’t even bother posting. It will hurt more than it helps.
Additionally, don’t post your kids on your business page. You think they’re cute, and you do what you do so they can have a good life. I get it. But if your kids aren’t a direct part of your business (aka a lifestyle business) they are probably just going to confuse your followers. Your business account should be about your business, not your personal life.
Step Two: Create a Regular Schedule
Instagram rewards those who post consistently by internally boosting their photos. I’m not promising hundreds of likes for a regular schedule, but you’ll have a way better shot at it.
Posting randomly will not help you. Instagram growth is like any kind of growth- it needs your attention. Post once a day with high quality photos and you’ll see your numbers go up. You can use stock photos if you don’t shoot your own photos, or you can repost (just give credit to the owner!)
Step Three: Talk to Your Followers
So many people forget that if you want people to talk to you (via comments and likes), you need to initiate. Ask them questions in the comments of your photos, and in your stories. Use the poll feature in stories to get them to tap on the story. Instagram growth is not just about the numbers; now it’s about how much of your audience is engaging with your content.
Be the first to talk and you’ll get people to talk back! Then continue to talk to them. One post a week with a question isn’t enough; you need to keep engaging with them for them to engage with you.