The Instagram mobile application is now more popular than ever, behind Pinterest it is the fasting growing social network; now topping 80 million worldwide users. Not bad considering it’s designed to be a mobile only service.
In order to build large numbers of followers through Instagram, there are some tested and tried techniques that you can use. Unfortunately, as with all things in life – the best route is also the longest route.
Upload better photographs (Simple!)
At first, your only consideration should be the creation of attractive photos. The reason for this is that people have the tendency of following accounts that only present the most relevant and beautiful snaps. This makes sense and is often lost on marketers who are looking to crack a new social field. Customers don’t care if you are Nike or Adidas or even Facebook or their favourite football team – they are on Instagram to see photos that they enjoy looking at.
For this reason, you need to come up with a good plan every time you are taking a photo.
Refrain from taking meaningless or trite photos, which many people see every day. According to Nick Bilton who works for the New York Times, (his Instagram account has more than fifty thousand followers)
“people are more likely to follow you for quality over quantity – yes you could take a fancy picture of your starbucks cup but if I don’t know who you are and your photo is generic, I won’t be following you. The first rule of instagram is – think quality”
Publishing excellent and average photos at the same time is not good because the mediocre photos can act as a turn off to your visitors – a user on Instagram is 40% more likely to unfollow you than on twitter as there is less social engagement.
Additionally if you have a large number of attractive photos, it’s advisable to post them in moderation. This is to keep the interest of people following your Instagram account high and they will continue checking your photos regularly. Think of it like you are telling a great story to your children – you don’t give the story away in the synopsis – you develop the story over time and keep their intrigue.
If you want users of the Instagram app to follow you, you should also follow them. This rule applies just like that of using Twitter. When you follow someone, you will attract him/her to look into your account. If the person likes it, he/she is very likely to become one of your followers. However, you should not follow users just for the sake of following them because – again just like on twitter – you will end up with followers who are not engaged with you. One engaged follower is worth a thousand none.
Like and post comments on outstanding Shots
The currency of Instagram is the “like” but there remains no better way to gain a following than lavishing positive feedback via commenting on a photograph that you like.
Logically, you will be able to grab the attention of other people who are looking at the account, who will eventually check your photos and post comments about them.
Utilize popular Hashtags
Hashtags simply allow the users of Instagram to categorize various photos. When you tag your photos, you give them a better chance of being found. For example, if you have a sunset picture, you can tag it with a popular #sunset tag so that it will be available with other photos that have the same tag (twitter anyone?). The theory is that people will search in areas that interest them #cat #icecream #olympics.
Instagram is a mix of a photography app, facebook and twitter, so getting and staying popular requires a mix of the same skills that you would use to boost your other online profile.
Steve writes for Buy Instagram Followers – a website designed to help boost your Instagram profile artificially.