Although being relatively young in the social networking scene, Instagram has quickly gained popularity and now boasts 300 million active monthly users. This number is only expected to grow as smartphones take over the global market. Instagram’s rapid growth is due to the following reasons:
#1: It’s easy and fun – there are no complicated help topics or FAQs needed for someone to get started with Instagram. The learning curve is manageable even for people who are not technologically savvy. Better yet, the ability to apply filters, borders and other special effects allows people with little artistic ability to drastically change their images without the need for expensive software.
#2: It’s free – All of the filters and other bells and whistles are provided completely free of charge.
#3: It’s social – Instagram allows you to capture a moment in time and then share it with your followers instantaneously. While you can do this on Facebook, Instagram allows you to apply different effects to capture not only the actual event, but the feeling associated with that particular moment.
#4: It’s visual – Visual content is more in-demand than ever before and Instagram provides a completely visual platform
All of these reasons combined has allowed Instagram to become not only one of the biggest social networks but also has one of the highest engagement rates as well. Around 70 percent of Instagram users visit the site at least once a day with 35 percent visiting it multiple times a day. If you’re just starting out with Instagram, you might not know exactly how to approach it. The following tips can help you get started and you’ll soon be well on your way to being an Instagram master.
Tell a story about some important thing
While Instagram might be a visual platform, you don’t need to sell visual products to join the service. At the end of the day, what will bring people to your profile is the story you tell through your images. These pictures can be of your product, customer or even your brand personality. The important part is to ensure all of your images all communicate a message that will also resonate with your audience. The best way to do this is to study up on your competitors and see what they are doing. Then ask yourself how you can differentiate yourself from them. More importantly, make sure your photos provide value to your followers.
Create own awesome contents
Just because Instagram might allow lower resolution photos doesn’t mean you should use them. Use high-quality images and keep the filter use to a minimum as much as possible. If you can, use a third-party editing app instead to enhance your images before submitting them to Instagram. While images are the bread and butter of Instagram, don’t underestimate the power of a good caption to your photos. They can be funny or inspirational, but above all they should encourage engagement. If you want to encourage even more interaction, as of 2013 Instagram now allows short 15-second videos. Brands have quickly adopted this new feature and have been very successful as 40 percent of the most shared Instagram videos are from brands.
Engaged with other users
Like other social networks, you need to proactively interact with other users in order to gain followers. While it might seem strange to simply comment on users who don’t follow you, this is the best way to reach influences. For best results follow these steps:
- Find an user with a high follower count in your niche
- Like five of their photos
- Comment on three of their photos
When commenting, don’t just type in vague niceties. Instead, leave a thoughtful comment that adds value and can potentially start a conversation. On your own profile, be sure to add relevant hashtags to your posts and respond to comments.
Grow your followers
Your follower count won’t increase overnight, but once you’ve figured out the images, text and hashtags that work best for you, you’ll be able to attract more people to your profile.
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