Instagram (Insta) is not like Facebook. It’s a much simpler, more artsy and fun version. There is really only four – now five functions of the application. Think of what a user can do. They can like a post, comment on another post, follow someone else, and post themselves. Four functions. The fifth is the new stories feature, similar to the Snapchat interface. More on this later. Instagram is all about engagement. Preform as many of these functions as you can, as often as you can and you will become an Insta pro.
You will be able to join the easiest social media platform, gain a large following fast, and do it all without spending a dime. It is the Facebook of five years ago with 300 million daily users and growing every day. We were able to reach 2000 followers within 3 months of opening our account (@alltheleftovers) and you can too by following these easy steps:
Take strong pictures
Taking original, high quality pictures cannot be stressed enough. Get creative with your photos, think of a different angle, or a unique arrangement. Your pics are the main draw of your profile. It is what people see on their news feed, on the explore page and when they go to your account so make them count.
Post Frequently (Once a Day)
As one of Insta’s four main functions, the frequency in which you post is important. Posting every day or every other day is the best way to keep your profile at the top of search results. Be careful though, posting too many pictures will annoy your followers and may even cause them to leave you.
Use the right Hashtags
Using the right hashtags will make your pictures and profile much easier to find. It will attract followers to your profile simply because others can “find” you. If you are unfamiliar with hashtags we suggest checking out a site like AllHashTag which gives you a list of popular hashtags. Make sure you filter them by type to make your hashtags relevant to the image you are about to post. There are even mobile apps like AutoHash which will upload your photo and scan it, giving you a list of relevant tags to choose from. Make sure you don’t repeat tags or go over your tag limit as this will prevent you from posting.
Find the correct filter
Instgram gives you a choice of filers to choose from when creating a post. Choose one that adds to your picture. Get creative and mix it up. No one likes it when you constantly use the same filter over and over.
Tag your photos
Tagging a photo is not the same as using hashtags. Hashtags are placed in the description or the comments field of a post. You can also tag the picture, linking the picture to another Instagram user’s account and allowing your post to be seen on their page. This is a good way to gain exposure.
Time your Posts
This one is simple. Don’t post your picture in the middle of the night because no one will see it. Try to time your posts around popular times your users are posting online. Just because you have some free time working around the clock does not mean it is a good time to post.
Try the new stuff
Instagram is always coming out with new features. Posting a plain flat image every time will get boring for your followers. Try to mix it up posting short videos, multiple images at once or a collage of pictures. Try Instagram’s other app, Boomerang for creating short clips, instead of the normal still image.
Use Stories (the new fifth)
Stories are important. Instagram now displays it at the top of its explore page which means it is the first thing someone sees when trying to find new content. Additionally, there is a relatively small percent of public profiles taking advantage of stories so yours may even go to the top. You can even send screenshots up to your story and do not have to walk around filming everything as in the original Snapchat days.
It is a great time to join Instagram. They are currently in a comeback after developing a new story feature which mimics features of rival company snapchat. Everyday more and more of my Facebook friends migrating over to Instagram and often skipping snapchat entirely. Twitter doesn’t have the connection to large groups of Facebook profiles that only Instagram can provide. You can even set your Instagram profile to automatically post to your twitter account. Done.
Millions of people have returned a profit from selling products from links in their Instagram. You will see accounts selling slime, never-ending vacations, and various types of merchandise. Instagram has it all. The platform is made to be an enjoyable place for users to express themselves so have fun with it. Do what comes natural. Follow these steps and don’t overthink your posts. People will follow.