By Laura McLoughlin
Instagram is a great place to grow your audience – if you know how. To help you win at your Instagram game, and hit that hallowed 10,000 follower marker, we rounded up six Instagrammers who have already smashed it and asked them just how they made it there. Check out their top tips here:
Keep it real
When asked how she grew a following of over 50,000, lifestyle blogger Tiffany Brien said, “I just shared my life and kept it real and genuine.” Being authentic doesn’t mean that you can’t put a filter on your pictures or omit a few behind-the-scenes secrets, but try to stay as close to the truth as possible. Your followers will appreciate your honesty.
Avoid growth gimmicks
Today, you can buy 100 followers for as little as $3. It might seem like the ideal way to quickly build a substantial following, but that’s not the case. Fashion blogger, Avril, who runs A Life to Style, says, “I recommend ignoring numbers. I’d rather have 1000 genuine followers than have 10000 that is 90% fake accounts/other bloggers/people who don’t even look at your work or know who you are.”
Matthew from Best of Belfast advises those hoping to grow their followings to put content quality first. He said, “You may be sick to death of hearing the adage ‘quality is king’ but unfortunately there is just no way around it. In order to prioritise quality I made the decision to post less. The results? An increase in engagements and a decrease in my workload.”
Post the content you want to see
Fitness and health blogger Gluten Free Fi’s top tip is not to overthink your content – just post the kind of stuff you personally would like, comment and engage with. “I always say that you should only post content that you want to see, don’t post for the sake of posting,” she said. “Avoid typical Instagram cliches that people have seen a thousand times over, don’t do it for the numbers and to be completely authentic.”
Connect with others
Annette from positivity blog Little Penny Thoughts says, “Network and learn from others that inspire you”. Networking is an important part of any business, so don’t neglect your connections online. Follow other brands and influencers in your niche, and take some time to really look at the content they’re producing. You may find yourself inspired, or motivated to better your own content, and what’s more is that by liking and commenting on others’ posts, you’ll typically get some love back.
Pick a theme
Choosing a theme for your Instagram page is a great way to appeal to a niche community, or even just make a unique name for yourself, much like Harlso the Balancing Hound. Paul from Harlso the Balancing Hound says that, “The most successful Instagram accounts typically have a theme, so we keep our posts fitting with our own: Harlso, and his talents. That doesn’t mean we just post the same thing all the time. It’s actually really important to stay relevant and topical, like posting seasonal greetings or commenting on a trend, such as fidget spinners in 2017.”
Whether you are gaining followers for a personal pursuit or brand awareness, be sure to keep authenticity and consistency at the centre of your Instagram strategy. The platform can be a tricksy beast, with its ever changing algorithm and the state of saturation, but when you have a real story to tell and passion for what you do, the rest is just plain hard work and patience.
Laura McLoughlin works with Glaze Digital in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has a background in content creation and website management