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How To (Naturally) Gain Instagram Followers
Establishing A Brand
When beginning on any social media platform, Instagram included, it is essential to understand what type of image you want to convey to your following-- no pun intended. A brand that is inconsistent, confusing or lacking in identity is only going to scare potential followers away and delegitimize your name. Targeting a specific message or theme for a social media feed can appear intimidating, but without it the steps to follow would be moot. Some tips: imagine your ideal consumer and give them a personality, likes, dislikes and goals. It can be helpful to theorize where this ideal consumer views your content, what they would want to see and how they could interact with it.
5 Steps For Followers
Once your goal is more or less defined, here are a few of the efforts you can make to build your audience without having to dole out cash or pay for robots.
1. Use Hashtags
While it may seem obvious, this is a step that can actually make a world of difference in getting the attention of potential followers. The trick here is to pick hashtags that are not only popular, but fit in well with the type of content you are posting, and your target audience. For example, those in the beauty or makeup industry would do well to follow and use hashtags such as #beautyblog, #MOTD, and #makeupaddict-- all of which are used hundreds, if not thousands of times a day. Additionally, it may be beneficial to take advantage of large internet influencers' followings and find hashtags that are created in their name. Fans of these influencers often peruse these hashtags to find similar content, and those who are lucky even st
and the chance of being reposted by the individual and being exposed to their large audience.
2. Use Emojis
Articles in both SocialPilot.co and Adweek have discussed the positive effects of using emojis in social media posts. The majority of the population uses emojis in some format or another, and various studies have shown that when a consumer sees an emoji in a post or status, they are more likely to engage with it. The key here is to understand emojis, and use them sparingly. As with humor and hashtags, there is a time, place and maximum for the use of emojis and it is dependent on the tone that you as a brand are attempting to set. It should be noted that the use of emojis may not directly increase your amount of followers, but it could increase your post engagement-- making your content more relevant and relatable.
3. Use Filters
The purpose of Instagram is to share interesting and eye catching images, and to neglect the tools and features that are set out before you would be irresponsible. While it relies heavily on the graphic designer or photographer of the image to make sure it is clear, focused and aesthetically pleasing, adding an appropriate filter can grab the attention of a user who may be aimlessly scrolling through a saturated feed. As with emojis, it is important to pick a filter that fits the image and tone of your overall feed, and be careful not to over filter or edit a picture so much that it is not recognizable, or changes the features of any individuals who may be pictured. Along the same note, it would be wise to avoid the use of Photoshop or airbrushing to noticeably change the physical appearance of models or actors in promotional content, a practice which recently has received backlash in the media and from the public.
4. Form Relationships With Influencers
As well as using their hashtags, having a positive relationship with social media personalities or celebrities could be the key to exponentially increasing your follower count. Although this task may seem intimidating, there are quite a few ways it can be accomplished: Regularly commenting on their photos (though be wary of the line between support and spam), reposting their photos, and supporting them on multiple platforms. This process may not give results over night, but with effort and persistence you stand a good chance of seeing the pay off.
5. Be Interactive
A feed full of even the most interesting pictures can become boring after a while. Give your audience something to interact with every once in a while to break up your feed and keep their attention. There are many ways to do this, and creativity will always rule. However, if you are lacking ideas or wish to steer on the conservative side, the easiest methods are giveaways, contests and Q&A's. While giveaways and contests might seem like the same thing, they should be executed differently. Giveaways are traditionally prize incentivized, only requiring a user to repost, retweet or follow. Contests should require some kind of effort or content creation, such as making a video to follow a theme, posting a picture using a hashtag or correctly answering a question. Q&A's can also be done in more than one way -- one is for you, or the brand to ask a question and encourage responses from followers, and another is to encourage followers to ask questions of you and provide answers.
In conclusion, there is unfortunately not one answer or simple trick to becoming "Instagram famous" overnight. However, by following these steps and being vigilant in your efforts, you may be able to accomplish it sooner than you thought.
© 2017 Amalie Batchelder