Instagram. You’ve heard of it, right? Maybe you know it’s out there, but don’t really know what it’s all about. Or maybe you already have an account, but just feel like you’re posting to nobody. Instagram is a visual social media platform (now owned by Facebook) and, if used correctly, it can be a powerful marketing tool that will help explode your business!
So what you need are more followers. We all want followers. Lots of them. And quick!
With three key pillars of Consistency, Content, and Calls to Action, your Instagram marketing can attract TONS of new followers and make your business explode!
We used this straight-forward strategy for our niche site Ever After Report’s Instagram account, and went from zero to 1500 followers in under 6 weeks. Read on to see how to integrate these three pillars into your Instagram marketing to quickly get your first 1000 followers and become a social media superhero!
In this game, consistency is key. Like all social media, you don’t have to try to be on your audience’s radar all the time, but you do need to be on their radar. The BEST way to do this is with consistent activity, content, and voice.
For Ever After Report’s Instagram account, I post at least once a day, sometimes more if I have something extra to promote. Daily posting is important in building credibility. I want my followers to be sure that they are going to get something from me at least once each time they log in.
Keep consistent filters and coloring on your photos. Think about Instagram as if it were a magazine. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, your content is easily seen in bulk and you want your images to look good not only up close, but in a big picture, too. The consistency in coloration can be the difference between a visually pleasing account and one that appears random, haphazard or unprofessional.
Examples of Good Content and Coloration Consistency
*TIP: Don’t use too many filters. Stick to good lighting and one or two color schemes if you do use filters.
Not only do you want to be posting and sharing at a consistent rate, but you also want to cultivate a specific point of view that is consistent on your platform of choice (in this case, Instagram). Make sure your voice is authentic to you. If you’re salesy, be salesy – as long as it’s genuine. If you’re a jokester, then make jokes! Instagram should be a reflection of your brand but also a fun place to hang out!
Content, Content, Content
Perhaps the most important aspect of a successful Instagram account is quality content. With any form of content marketing or social media marketing, good content is what’s going to gain you followers and keep them engaged.
What is good content?
Good, quality content is anything that adds or gives value to your audience. On Instagram, this means images that are somehow relevant or meaningful in your industry. The best engagement comes from posts that are helpful, such as a short recipe or an image that includes tips, but always ALWAYS think of your audience first. What would your average viewer want to see while scrolling through their Instagram? What’s going to make them stop and double tap (like) your image?
Inspirational Quotes Also Make for Good Content
Many times, high quality photography or content with tips is what’s going to get the likes. Take a look at what other accounts in your field are posting to get an idea of what images are relevant to your audience. For Ever After Report, I know that many in my audience follow other Disney themed accounts. So what they want to see are (obviously) Disney related pictures, particularly high-quality photos from inside the theme parks. What sets me apart is that I include specific and sometimes obscure tips related to the image so I know that my audience is gaining a unique value from my account. It’s not just another Disney Instagram with lots of pretty pictures.
Examples of High Quality Photography as Content
*TIP: Set yourself apart in a unique way to add more value to your audience and cut through the white noise.
One of my favorite ways to obtain more content is by featuring other accounts. This means reposting WITH CREDIT photos by other people on your account. It’s very, very important that you credit the originator and not post someone else’s photo as your own. Not only is it illegal, but it will cause you to lose credibility and many people may end up blocking you.
I like to feature other photos on Fridays. This is nice because I know that I don’t have to come up with my own image for Friday (when I’m most likely to be tired out from the week), but I can rest easy knowing that I’ll have content for that day. I use a hashtag called #featurefriday on every featured post, which generates buzz in the community that I’m an account you can and want to be featured on.
More on the power of hashtags later, but this is a great opportunity to create valid, valuable content without actually creating it at all!
Call to Action
Now that you’ve curated a great image, you have to come up with a smooth caption go along with it. What you say doesn’t really matter, but what is important is that you ALWAYS include a call to action in your caption.
This can be as simple as “Like this photo” or “Check out the link in my bio.” Ultimately, you need t to send your audience somewhere. Tell them what to do and where to go after they’ve engaged with your image.
When creating your CTA, think about what your end goal is. Are you focused on list building? Do you want to drive traffic to your site? Do you want to boost engagement on your Instagram account? Let your end goal drive your CTA, but also make sure that it makes sense with the image it’s captioning. Here are a few examples.
Examples of Calls to Action
If you’re ever in doubt about how to manage the Instagram monster, just remember the three elements – Consistency, Content, and Call to Action. They really are the pillars of a good Instagram account and can result in quick, consistent follows.
In Part 2 of How to Get 1000 Instagram Followers we’ll cover more nuanced aspects of the platform including the bio page, the explore page, engagement (comments/likes), and hashtags.
Please feel free to share this guide and use it as your own! Let us know which of these pillars helped you or what other cool strategies you have to gain IG followers.