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Instagram is currently the king of social media engagement. With 300 million daily active users, Instagram is leaving their biggest competitor, Snapchat, in its dust.

Brands and individuals are clamoring to get a piece of the lucrative Instagram pie. There is attention to be had here if you know how to gain it.

 

The Power of Instagram

There’s no denying the power Instagram holds. There are influencers on the platform that make a substantial living by posting sponsored pictures. Businesses can gain followers and user engagement by simply posting a photo or a video.

There seems to be no niche that doesn’t benefit from posting to Instagram. Professional gamer and Twitch streamer Ninja recently opened up about finding success on the platform during his appearance on the H3 Podcast (29:45).

He said that creating an Instagram account is one of the reasons he was able to break so many records with his video game streams. Instagram was even the driving force behind his famous collaboration with Drake.

Instagram opens the door to a multitude of opportunities for both companies and individuals. The question remains, however: How do you get people to see your Instagram posts?

The Power of Instagram

Photo credit to wearesocial.com

 

Gaining Traction on Instagram

Instagram is like almost any other social media or content production site in that it uses an algorithm to generate traffic to particular pages.

While the algorithm is always changing, learning, and making tweaks, there are several strategies you can implement to get more eyeballs on your pictures and videos.

You can always manipulate algorithms to your benefit if you know what to do. Here, we’ll give you some tips on how to get a bigger following on Instagram.

Create Engaging Content

The number one step in getting more people to see your Instagram photos is to post interesting and engaging content. People aren’t going to follow you for no reason. They have to be interested in what you’re posting to stick with you.

You can use all of the following strategies with your Instagram, but none of them will work effectively if you aren’t posting good content. Content is the backbone of Instagram. Without it, you’ll have a following of unengaged viewers who never like or share anything on your page.

Engaging Content on Instagram

Photo credit to Ignite Social Media

Cross-Promote

Promoting your Instagram on as many social media outlets as possible will give you the best chance of getting more followers. Most pages start with a following of people they know. Get your friends and family to follow you and engage with your posts by linking your Instagram to your Facebook, Linkedin, etc.

If you posted a particularly interesting photo or video, share it with your other social media accounts to show people what they’re missing. If you’re posting interesting content, your social media cross-promotion will grow naturally.

This strategy is particularly useful if you have a following on other social media platforms. Use your Facebook to get people to move over to Instagram if you’re trying to get traction with a business account.

Utilize Hashtags

Hashtags are usually how people find content on Instagram when they aren’t subscribed. They’ll click on or search a hashtag related to a post they already like, to see what other kinds of content is available.

Take a look at other pictures and videos that fit your niche. Look at the traffic and see what kind of hashtags they’re using in the description. The post is likely littered with them. Click on a few and see where they take you.

Using short, popular hashtags is useful and will gain you a bit of traffic when you post at the right times (more on this ahead), but it’s not where you’ll get the bulk of your views early-on. In the beginning stages, it’s more important to use specific hashtags that aren’t too cluttered.

Getting creative with your hashtags will make you stand out. If you use a hashtag with only a handful of pictures and videos, there’s a larger chance someone will see your post on their search.

When creating a post, you want to have a mixture of popular and niche hashtags. This will give you the greatest chance of people organically finding your posts.

Utilize Hashtags on Instagram

Photo credit to Buffer Blo

Engage in Trending Hashtags

Twitter and Instagram buzz with conversation when popular events arise. This is the perfect time to inject your content into the mix and get new eyeballs looking at what you have to offer.

If there’s a social event going on that has people posting, use the relevant hashtags to get into the mix. The event doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with your particular niche, though it helps when it does.

If you’re posting about something that fits your niche, you’ll receive even more traffic to your page. Users will see your posts while looking at trending hashtags and may decide to explore more posts on your page, or even follow you.

Tell a Story

While stuffing your photos with hashtags is useful, it isn’t the only thing you should be doing with your descriptions. You’re allowed to write a lot in these, so use the most of your character count and tell your viewers a story.

A picture of a sunset might be beautiful, but without context, it won’t get much attention. If you add a brief story about your day or even a fictional tale to go along with the scenery, users will be more inclined to like and share your story.

Instagram isn’t only about pictures. It’s also about connecting with people and making them feel like they know you. If you tell a story with your photos and descriptions, people will take notice and follow your page.

A lot of pages out there live off of photos and videos with hashtags. You can probably get by doing this as well, but it won’t maximize the number of people who see your posts. Instead, add a bit of context to make people more interested in what you’re posting.

Photo credit to Business 2 Community

Create A Unique Style

Getting your page noticed is all about standing out. No matter which niche you’re trying to reach, there are likely hundreds of thousands of other people battling for views. Why should a user choose your profile over the one next to yours?

The answer should be your unique style. Set yourself apart from the competition in one way or another. It might be difficult to find a method in the beginning, but over time you’ll start to develop your Instagram voice.

Once you start to develop a bit of a following, you’ll begin to understand what people like and what they don’t. Use this information to craft photos and videos that your followers will like and share. At the same time, work on developing a style that is unique to you. Give your followers a reason to visit you – one that they can’t find anywhere else on the platform.

Engage with Other Users

Building an Instagram following isn’t all about what you post. Some people will find you organically, but it helps to put yourself directly in front of a user’s face.

A couple of ways to do this are to follow a few random people and like other posts in your niche. The former piece of advice is a bit shaky, as a mass following people can often backfire. People see your follower-to-following ratio and turn away from your page.

Liking and commenting on random photos, on the other hand, have a very little downside. People will see your like or comment and may explore your page to find out who you are. If you’re posting similar pictures and videos, they might give you a follow in return.

More followers mean more credibility on Instagram. As your followers grow, more people will want to join the discussion. Search some of the hashtags you use and like the pictures you feel will give you the best chance of receiving a follow.

Engage with Other Users on Instagram

Photo credit to Spredfast

Post at the Right Time

People use Instagram at all hours, but there are certain times when people are using it more frequently. If you’re growing a following, the time when you post is almost as important as the content itself.

Posting at 2 PM will likely get lost in the shuffle. A lot of users post around that time, and there isn’t enough traffic for your post to shine through.

Instead, the analysis suggests that the best times to post are around 2 AM and 5 PM. At 5 PM, people are checking Instagram when they get out of work. At 2 AM, they’re often checking their feed before they go to bed.

What’s so perfect about these times is that traffic is still high, but posts are low. This means that people will still be actively viewing your posts, but there won’t be so much competition to drown you out.

Gathering an Instagram Following

Gaining more followers on Instagram isn’t as hard as it seems. It takes dedication, creativity, and hard work, but you shouldn’t be intimidated by the numbers.

If you keep at it, your audience will eventually grow. If you follow these tips and post quality content, the eyes will come.

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