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6 Tips on how to build an engaging following on Instagram

This blogpost will walk you through, step by step, on how you can gain a loyal and engaging following base on Instagram.
As many of you maybe know I am obsessed with Instagram and gained over 7k followers within a year on my @serendipity.ave Instagram account. This post will give you 6 never shared Tips on how you can do the same and create a valuable platform for your business and brand.
So before I start, do you have an Instagram account? If not create one for free now (www.instagram.com).

Lets get you started with my 6 Tips on “How to build an engaging following on Instagram” :

1. Post consistently , at least once a day.
A study from Quintly has revealed that out of 5000 profiles the average profile posts once a day. Interesting enough, profiles with over 10k followers tend to post 2 – 3 times a day. So post consistently as much as you can with high quality.

2. Study relevant hashtags and use them
Hashtags work as a search function on Instagram and the right hashtags can expose your image to a large and targeted audience and also help you to be discovered. You are able to use up to 30 hashtags per photo. Study your target audience and find out what hashtags are most relevant for your industry. In other words, hashtags are your best friend for growing a fast following on Instagram, the good news is that Instagram users don’t seem to get hashtag fatigue in the same way they might on other networks. Which hashtags to use?

Download my Top Hashtags for your niche for free here

3. Pick a theme and differentiate Private and Business
This is easier said than done, too often I see Instagram accounts that are supposedly a business account, but mix it with personal stuff. It’s fine doing it every now and then to keep a human touch to your account and to be relatable, but it can be very confusing if e.g. a clothing store has more photos of their beloved pets and what the owner had for dinner on their account rather than business related posts such as photos of their products etc. The golden rule here is that, if someone discovers your profile by searching the name of your business in Instagram, will they within a few seconds recognize your Instagram as that of your business or confuse it with that of a person? Pick a theme (private or business) and stick to it. The good news is, that you can have multiple accounts and the latest updated version of Instagram lets you easily switch between these different accounts.

4. Engage
Creating an Instagram account and just posting pictures and videos unfortunately isn’t enough. My biggest tip is to ask engaging questions in the caption of your images and ALWAYS response to their answers. This helps you to create a personal relationship with your followers. If you really want to start getting recognized and attract more followers engage on other peoples accounts who have a similar “niche” as you and leave useful comments on other posts as this will help you to attract potential followers to your page.

5. Timing is everything
I talked about posting regularly but just as important as consistency is timing! There is no point in posting an amazing photo with an even better description (e.g. asking questions to your follower base) when it won’t be seen by as many users as possible. Always aim to post content when most of your users are online, discover exactly when you can reach the most users on Instagram You can determine precisely which times these are by performing some tests e.g. post at 11 am and then post a similar post at 10 pm and see where you get more engagement from. My personal most engaging posting times are 12pm (that quick lunch break check) and 7pm (after work people relax at home) and 10pm (we all know that night time scroll right?)

6. Analyzing is key
Analyze what works and what doesn’t. Look back through your feed and find out which of your photos had the most interaction and ask yourself why, was it a nice photo of your product, a quote, or something else? Do more of what worked well for you as people obviously liked what they saw and would;t mind seeing more of this. I have found that interaction levels are higher if photos are high res (I take most of my photos with a SLR camera rather than with my phone) Interaction levels are higher with photos and images which are set against clear backgrounds, whereas content with “messy” backgrounds work less well for me. Instagram is a visual app and users love high-quality images and photos which are colorful and unique. However, make sure that your content doesn’t appear unnatural, especially when editing your images with Instagram’s built-in applications (e.g. filters), as that is not as well received. Cool colors also work better than warmer colors I have found for myself.

I hope this blogpost will help you to create a engaging Instagram profile. I have gone through a lot of trial and error myself and the 6 Tips that I was able to share with you are from my own experience. There are more things I have learned along the journey but I think those are for another blog post.

If you have any questions please flick them my way.