Instagram is one of the world’s most popular social media networks and is a vital tool for any travel blogger, photographer, or writer wanting to increase their online presence. The value of Instagram can’t be underestimated, after all, there are over 500 million users religiously jumping on this platform every day.
So, it’s time to stop stabbing in the dark trying to build an Instagram presence and grow your audience with these five simple steps that actually work!
1. Use analytics to guide your Instagram strategy.
If you haven’t already, switch your account over to a business or creator account so that you can see your analytics and metrics.
This data is so useful in determining what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.
Using this data, you can get an insight into what your audience actually enjoys seeing from you, leaving you with a perfect recipe for content that will perform well!
If you experience growth during a particular period, you can check your insights to see what caused this growth and continue to replicate that.
2. Create a consistent posting schedule.
Look at your current posting actions, how frequently are you posting? Do you know the times throughout the day your audience is most active and are you using them to map out your posts? Are you ensuring that the content you’re posting is to a certain standard and not just posting for the sake of posting?
Creating a consistent posting schedule will allow you to plan your Instagram feed ahead of time so that you know you’re going to nail each post. You can go into your insights and see when your audience is most active and schedule your posts around these times to give each post the highest chance of engagement. Have a backlog of photos and captions ready to go so that you’re not scrambling to find something to post when you realize you haven’t posted in a while.
I like to use grid planner apps like UNUM to pre-plan my Instagram feed so that I can see what each post is going to look like on my feed (because, well, aesthetics). You can also sign up for a free Instagram scheduler, like Hootsuite, to schedule and publish your posts for you.
3. Diversify your content (and make it good!)
The Instagram world is now much more diverse than just regular in-feed posts. To continue to grow your account and improve your engagement, you’ll want to be across everything from in-feed posts (image, video, carousel) to stories, reels, and IGTV. The more content types you’re investing in, the more opportunity you’ll have to grow your Instagram.
With so many different types of content that you can create, it’s important to spend time honing and developing your content creation skills. This can include anything from learning new photography and videography techniques, working on improving your copywriting for captions, or—just like you’re doing right now—expanding your knowledge of social media.
Creating your own unique, high-quality content is the sweet spot that everybody is looking for and for some, it’s even a full-time job! Quality content is arguably the most important factor attributed to a successful Instagram account, because with all of the noise out there you just won’t cut through if you’re posting stock photography or underwhelming content. So go out there and get creating!
4. Cross-platform promotion is your friend.
Instagram is a great standalone tool, but the magic really happens when you incorporate cross-platform promotions into your social strategy. You may have fans following you on Twitter, Pinterest, or YouTube that just haven’t made it across and found you on Instagram yet. Make sure you include your Instagram link across all of your other social media channels to give these people an easy way to find you.
Beyond social media, you should also be adding links to your Instagram on your website and email campaigns, as well as any other communication you make with your existing audience.
5. Create a community.
Growing your Instagram organically and creating a loyal network of engaged followers can only be done one way: authentically. Buying followers or gaining “fake” follows won’t give you a community following—it will just give you a big number.
The most authentic way to create this sense of community is to actually spark conversion and engage with your audience. That means taking the time to comment back to people, reply to messages, and engage with other people’s posts by leaving nice comments. Creating a community is one of the best features of Instagram. Even without a massive following you can create a strong global community on this app.
Before adopting any of these growth strategies, it’s important to define what the goal for your Instagram is. Whether you’re trying to grow the number of followers you have, increase engagement among your existing followers, or improve your content strategy, make sure you’re using the platform authentically and not just following along with what everyone else is doing because what works for someone else might not work for you.