Social media is my all-time favorite marketing tool. No other content is as immediate or relevant than what's currently on your phone. If used to its full potential, Instagram can be the most powerful branding strategy for your company. The unique combination of creativity and authenticity that Instagram offers can benefit both personal and business accounts.
I have created and run more Instagram accounts than the app allows from one device. From college advertising projects to fashion clothing stores; real estate teams and personal accounts - the same tips apply to optimize your time and efforts on the app. I'm excited to share some secrets to success that I have learned over the years for growing your Instagram following!
As a side project dedicated to my love of dogs and social media strategy, I created an Instagram account for my new puppy in December 2016. In 5 months, @rileygracedoodle reached 10k followers - all gained organically.
If you're looking to gain similar success, listen up...
5 Ways To Grow Your Instagram Followers:
1) Introduce yourself. This is first for a reason! It is SO important that your bio explains a little bit about who you are, where you live, and what you do. Don't get into too much detail - but your name, city, and occupation/hobbies are invaluable to make a connection with potential followers.
TIP: When looking for Atlanta-based real estate agents (& builders, interior designers, artists, etc.) I'm much more likely to follow when I know immediately from their bio who they are rather than trying to figure it out myself by scrolling through their photos.
2) Content is KEY. Your feed is the primary factor and ultimate decision-maker whether or not someone will follow you. Make a desirable first impression. This means high quality, good lighting, similar edits, and a plan to make your posts flow together nicely.
TIP: Use the "Lux" setting (looks like a sun - screenshot below) when editing your photos for a quick fix. This setting is located on the same page as the option to apply Instagram filters...but don't do that! #nofilter always.
3) Hashtag use. Not everyone is a lover of hashtags and I totally understand. It's easy to look spammy and annoying by loading up your caption with #s. But if you want others to easily find your account, then load your posts up to the 30 hashtag limit. Add them in the comment section after you post to minimize unfollows.
Use a mix of more and less popular hashtags to expand your reach and make sure your post is seen. Ex: #realestateagent has over 1,000,000 posts & #atlantarealestateagent has closer to 10,000 posts. Both are valuable to use!
TIP: Save a list of common hashtags that you use as a note on your phone. Copy and paste the hashtags into a comment every time you post for an easy time-saver.
4) Stay engaged. Like photos, leave comments, send messages. Not only will constant engagement help others find your account, but also it will be greatly appreciated and your followers will most likely return the favor. Go beyond your network - find posts on the popular page, similar hashtags, and business accounts to like and comment on.
TIP: Go on a following spree. Follow relevant accounts: other industry professionals, friends of friends, bloggers, local companies... you name it!
5) Be authentic. Whether your Instagram account is for personal or professional use, keep it real. Your posts should be personal enough that your followers feel like they know you and/or professional enough to acquire new business.
TIP: Remember, Instagram should be fun! It's all about expressing yourself and making it what you want it to be. Share your memories, goals, and accomplishments while celebrating and connecting with others.