This is a guest post written by, Luxury Backpacking. Hey! We’re Emma and Yannick! A travel blogging couple who met in Thailand in 2014, and since then we have visited over 20+ countries with no plans to stop! We travel the world in luxury, without paying the price for it, through travel hacking and insider knowledge. Through this, we love to help and teach others to travel well for less, just like we do! We also love to inspire and create wanderlust for first time travellers, primarily through our Instagram page. Keep up with their adventures on social media -> Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram.
The question we get asked a lot when chatting to other bloggers and users is ‘how do you gain more followers on Instagram? This social media platform is quickly becoming a focus point for many brands, bloggers and marketers looking to use social media to connect with current and potential customers. With over 500 million monthly active users, it’s no surprise bloggers are making it their priority to sign up for an account to try and increase their presence.
Instagram is our favourite social media platform, and currently the highest social media following: at 56,000 followers. You may be thinking how the heck have you accumulated that many over such a short period of time (just over one year)?!
Well, here are some secret tips and tricks:
1. Create a Clear Instagram Strategy
Like all things in life you’ve got to be prepared to put in a lot of time and effort if you want to reach your goals. Becoming popular on social media is not an easy job! But creating a clear Instagram strategy will help you big time. Think about what you want to achieve, by doing this it can help target and attract followers who are interested in your niche, whether its travel, photography, blogging or anything!
Make sure to:
– Research your competitors – analysing and following their success can really work in your favour. See what they are lacking and apply that to your account. Research the frequency they post, what hashtags they use and the type of captions they use.
– Decide your focal point and be different – a compelling focal point will help you stand out from others. People who are already following 10 of the same niche Instagram accounts are unlikely to engage well in yours too. Make your Instagram attractive and unique, instead of posting pictures of anywhere and everywhere, focus on a smaller niche that you have lots of knowledge in.
– Set realistic and motivational goals – every month we set a goal that we have to reach. It may be averaging 2,000 likes on each post or a certain following. By doing this it will motivate you to increase your social media presence.
2. Post High Quality Pictures
People will not follow you if your Instagram account doesn’t look appealing or creative. Posting high quality photos will attract more people to your profile. Compared to a blurry image, which doesn’t look professional, and it does not exactly helping your brand image for your blog or website.
3. Stick to one or two topics
This links back to choosing your focal point. This means if you are uploading travel pictures and people start following you they are not interested in your dog or family pictures. There is nothing wrong with uploading them, but you will probably not catch the eye of someone who is roaming Instagram for cool travel snaps, and you run the risk of a vast amount of people unfollowing you. Only uploading travel related pictures can limit your reach. That’s why a lot of large Instagram accounts stick to around two primary topics. For example, you can post photos of travel and food, or travel and luxury living. Their reach is obviously bigger, as different followers are following for different reasons.
4. Find the best time to post
This is so important to earning high engagement and to even gain more followers on Instagram. You don’t want all your loyal followers to be asleep or at work when you post. The most effective way of determining the best time to post on Instagram is by testing how your photos perform at different times of day and week. If you notice that photos you post in the mornings are consistently earning you more likes, comments, or followers than those posted in the afternoon or evening, then make sure to post a peak times. We’ve found the best times to be during the morning and late evening, but this may be different for your followers depending on what time zone you’re in.
5. Post consistently (preferably the same time every day)
There is no magic number that you should be posting everyday. We recommend a minimum of once a day and maximum of three a day. Theoretically, the more often you post the higher your chance of getting noticed to potential followers. However, posting too often will start to annoy your followers, and you may run the risk of loosing some, due to spam. Your followers want to see content from you, as after all, that’s why they followed you in the first place. Don’t leave them hanging by posting on an inconsistent basis.
By posting at roughly the same time everyday, your followers will get to know this and be active at those times. We’ve noticed this a lot with ours and as a result we try to post at the same time everyday, which has really boosted our likes and comments for each post we publish and has even helped us gain more followers on Instagram.
6. Use relevant hashtags
Without any hashtags you will not get noticed and future followers won’t be able to find your photos. Using hashtags seems simple, but we see that 90% of Instagram users have no clue what they are doing when it comes to hashtags. Using relevant hashtags is so important, a travel blogger would gain no benefit by using the hashtag #amazingkitchens. Similarly the hashtag #travel is so over saturated (over 150 times a minute!) there would be no use using this hashtag either, as even after 10 seconds of publishing your post would be way too far down.
The best way to get noticed by a wide range of Instagram users is to be featured in the top 9 pictures for a certain hashtag. If you click on a hashtag you will be shown the most popular photos on Instagram for the day with that exact hashtag. Analyse your hashtags! Are you going to make it to the top 9 photos? No, then try to find other hashtags that might be a little less popular but where you at least will be highlighted. Of course for smaller accounts this is very hard as the most hashtags related to your topic are used many times and have a high engagement rate, but starting somewhere will help you grow in no time, and we suggest using the maximum 30 hashtags on every post for full engagement.
Create your own hashtags that your audience and followers will want to get engaged with. We created the hashtag #luxurybackpacking, and since starting we have had over 2,000 people use the hashtag on their photos! This will create a strong sense of community, and in no time others will start to join your tribe too!
7. Engage with your followers and similar accounts
High engagement is just as important as gaining followers. You don’t want hundreds of followers, but only a small handful are actually liking and commenting on your pictures. The higher your engagement is, the bigger the chance that you will get noticed on Instagram with large accounts. As a result, you will gain more followers on Instagram. Interaction with your Instagram followers and other Instagram accounts is therefore very important. Like back, go to their profile like some of their pictures and simply thank them for commenting. Maybe they asked a question? Make sure to answer it back. Followers will appreciated it and you will build up a more personalised relationship with them.
Make sure to always add a location to your photo, as this will automatically gain a higher engagement rate. People in this location are likely to search this, or famous places will get a lot of engagement. Users that search for a specific location are also interested in a certain topic, so always add the location!
8. Create engaging captions
Always write a well thought out caption. For example, describing where the place is, what happened, and ask a question. This will encourage followers to comment on your post, making it more visible to potential followers.
9. Follow users who follow similar accounts to yours
Don’t go overboard on this one, as you can get banned if you follow too many people at once. There is a follow limit of 7,500, but we don’t advise you get to that. This is a really great way to increase your Instagram following, as users who follow similar accounts to yours will nearly always interested and follow yours too. We suggest researching quite a few accounts, and then follow users on the accounts that have the highest engagement rates, for example likes to follower ratios.
10. Join comment pods
We’ve found comment pods to be an excellent and organic way of gaining more followers. It is also a great support system of likeminded people, where you can gain knowledge and experience from the best. The easiest way to join comment pods is by messaging other accounts in your niche if you can join one their in, or going on Facebook groups and asking there. We advise you reach around 3,000 followers before doing this and standing a chance of getting accepted into them.
11. Create an eye-catching bio
Before a potential user follows you, it’s nearly guaranteed they will read your bio. A well thought through and eye-catching bio will increase the number of people who follow you. Make sure to introduce yourself, what you post about and create a grabbing punch line. Also don’t forget to add your blog/website to your bio so people can check out your blog.
The following is what we use for our bio:
12. Convert to an Instagram Business Profile
If you haven’t done this yet, we suggest you do this now. It is a great way to for potential marketers to work with you through the contact button on your profile. You also get access to all your insights including: impressions, reach, profile views. It also shows your top performing posts meaning you can see the type of pictures your followers like compared to less performing ones. You can also see what days of the week your followers are most active and what cities/countries they come from! Pretty awesome if you ask us!
Just head to settings and scroll down till you see ‘Switch to Business Profile’ and follow the steps required, easy peasy!
Do you have any tried and true tips for growing your Instagram following? We would love to hear from you! In the meantime, if you’re needing some help making sure that your Instagram feed is looking fabulous, download my FREE Instagram Style Guide
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