With Instagram boasting a 4.21% per follower engagement ratio, leaps and bounds above any other social network (58 times more per follower than Facebook and 120 times Twitter to be exact), everyone is trying to grow their Instagram following, and fast. While it may be tempting to pay for followers, the only thing you’ll get are fake accounts and low engagement rates. Instead, I took the liberty of testing a series of tactics over the last seven days. Low and behold, I actually doubled my following (and one of my client’s) on Instagram. There is no question, this strategy is time consuming, but it’s something you can do on your commute, during your lunch break, or as you wind down after a long work day.
Follow, Follow, Follow
Sometimes the biggest reward comes from the simplest of tactics. While painstaking and time consuming, following other Instagrammers is the best way to grow your audience. You can, and should, be selective about who you follow. I recommend finding companies and influencers in your industry and following users who engage with them. Look through comments, likes, and recent follows for best results.
Pro Tip: Avoid following private accounts, they tie up your allotment of a max of 400 follows for the day.
In order to direct people to your content who aren’t followers, you can add carefully curated hashtags in order to capture the audience that is looking for your posts. Use a combination of hashtags that have a high level of posts with others that aren’t quite as popular. And remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so don’t be afraid to use the same hashtags as your competition.
Pro Tip: Save your hashtags for the first comment as opposed to putting them in your caption.
Add a Location
Looking to get even more longevity out of your post? By adding a location, your photo will live longer on feeds filtered by location, and as an added bonus, will on average get a 79% higher level of engagement. If your photo is one of the better performing ones in that location, it will be featured, meaning more eyes on your content for even longer.
Pro Tip: Be specific with your location, and post at the same location more than once if you can.
Be Visually Consistent
If you’re looking to establish a reputation on Instagram, you need to manage the expectations of your followers. By posting photos that are consistent in coloring, composition, and content, the followers you start to gain can know what to expect and quickly determine whether your account is one they want to keep following.
Pro Tip: Skip the built-in Instagram filters. Do your editing in a third-party mobile app, like VSCO.
Give Your Two Cents
While following is the most effective way to engage, you have to see your social relationship through. Not ‘liking’ and ‘commenting’ on your network’s photos is a lot like picking them up for a date and then never having a conversation. Even worse, if you are looking to leverage your following for new business, it’d be like asking them to pick up the tab without even giving them a compliment. Keep in mind, Instagram will ding you if you leave duplicate comments, so don’t think you’ll get away with good old copy and paste.
Pro Tip: Comment on multiple pictures in one go, but only if you have something to say.
All in all, the combination of these tactics for seven days took up a considerable amount of my time, and this is not a strategy that I would invest in long-term. But, if you’re looking to get an added boost to your audience, these five tips will get you well on your way in a pinch.
Reposted from Boston Business Women