How to be an Instagram boss

February 9, 2017

Is your Instagram account taking a long time to build despite having lots of amazing photos?

Let me make it clear right off the bat, I don’t deal with anything which involves buying followers or fake Instagram accounts. I literally abhor these sorts of spammy ways to build up followers because they don’t actually work to get you more website visits, sales, meaningful connections or spread brand awareness.

So with that out of the way, let me show you how to get more likes, comments and more importantly GENUINE followers within days.

Stick to a theme – whether you take photos of architecture, food & drinks, travel or just your life in general, you need to stick to a certain theme. By theme I mean you should be consistent with either what you are taking photos of, the filters and effects you use, your tone of voice in the photo captions, how you reply to comments or whatever else makes your account unique. To stand out from the crowd you need to appeal to a specific target audience through your own specific style.

Use more and relevant hashtags – if you take a photo of a coffee for example, then don’t just write a caption for your image. Allow people to find it by tagging it with relevant hashtags. These might be something like #coffee #latte #cafe #caffeine #morning #commute #londoncafe #coffeeart #coffeeislife… you get the point. As well as relevancy, you also need to add quite a few hashtags to get heaps of people interacting with your account – that means more likes, comments and follows.

  • 0 Hashtags – 18% interaction per 1k followers
  • 1 Hashtag – 29% interaction per 1k followers
  • 2 Hashtags – 41% interaction per 1k followers
  • 3 Hashtags – 39% interaction per 1k followers
  • 4 Hashtags – 31% interaction per 1k followers
  • 5 Hashtags – 43% interaction per 1k followers
  • 6 Hashtags – 33% interaction per 1k followers
  • 7 Hashtags – 30% interaction per 1k followers
  • 8 Hashtags – 39.5% interaction per 1k followers
  • 9 Hashtags – 49.5% interaction per 1k followers
  • 10 Hashtags – 22% interaction per 1k followers
  • 11 Hashtags – 79.5% interaction per 1k followers

Using 11 or more hashtags means 442% more engagement than using none at all, and about double the engagement of using only 1 – 10. Don’t be afraid to start your own specific hashtag and start using it on your photos. If your hashtag starts trending and being used, it’s a powerful way to get exposure to the masses or to a specific target audience depending on the specificity of the hashtag.

Find your voice – get commenting on other people’s photos with something positive or ask a question and start a connection. If somebody left a genuine and sincere comment on your photo would you not be more inclined to follow them? Make sure you reply to comments on your photos too as soon as you can, so you can get in there before the commenter has put their phone away. Also try to stick to a specific Tone Of Voice (TOV) when you write anything and keep it inline with your theme. TOV isn’t necessarily what you say but how you say it, the language you use, the way you construct sentences and the personality which you communicate.

Get involved – each time you like, comment on or follow other accounts on Instagram, they get a notification saying for example ‘Ben Dover is now following you’. This brings you to their attention and in effect it’s like knocking on someone’s door and waiting for an answer. They may ignore it but if they open the door and have a look who’s there then maybe, just maybe you have found yourself a new connection. If they follow you, follow them back. Although one of the quickest ways to gain new followers is to follow people first.

Be picky – people tend to use Instagram to showcase the best parts of their world rather than just casually posting anything. Be picky with what photos you post and if you can then keep them consistent with your theme. If you mainly post about gourmet food and drink, then a random pot noodle photo isn’t going to do much for you. On the contrary a well taken photo of a specialist coffee within a cool cafe setting is much more likely to work in your favour.

Post something every day – If people go to your profile and only see 0-50 photos then chances are they may not follow you because you aren’t posting regularly enough. Be sure to post enough photos to get found in the first place and then keep your followers interested with at least 1-3 new photos each day. But again if you don’t take any good photos on a particular day then it’s better to be picky and post nothing, than to post that pot noodle photo mentioned.

Use tools to help – there are a whole host of tools out there which follow/unfollow accounts, comment on and like photos for you according to the hashtags or locations you are targeting. Also you can get tools which give you insight into the best days and times to post new photos, which hashtags are trending and metrics for measuring your success amongst others.

There are a few other important factors to consider if your really want to boss it on Instagram, like checking out what your competitors are doing and linking up with your other social media accounts. However, the ones mentioned above are in my experience the most important. If it doesn’t kick off straight away then don’t be disheartened, It just takes time. Be persistent!

If you want results right away then talk to a social media marketing consultant like myself. Using my tried and testing growth hacking strategies, I’m able to achieve upwards of 1k real new followers each month for accounts which I manage.

I help new businesses to build a community of loyal followers and established ones to engage with their existing customers in a way which adds value to their lives.

Let’s get the ball rolling, give me a shout!