So you want to know how to get the maximum Instagram growth? Based on our experience growing 100’s of accounts, here are the primary guidelines.
Don’t worry if you can’t achieve them all, even focusing on just one can greatly improve your results!
1. Capture a Lifestyle, Not a Product
Instagram is about lifestyle. Plain and simple. Everyone is living vicariously through the accounts they follow on Instagram.
So you’ll struggle to go far if you’re purely product focused, or just post “boring” content. Whatever you doing or trying to achieve on Instagram, you’ve got to “sell the lifestyle”.
This is the single biggest mistake brands are making on Instagram. But if all you do post product pictures and promotions, you won’t go very far.
Look at successful Instagram influencers, they are the masters at this! Brands and business are flooding them with free products and services just to get a slice of the action they generate. They effortlessly sell their lifestyle by making everyone jealous, inspired or excited.
Even the most well-known brands still focus on integrating their products into a lifestyle. Every picture that features their products gives users a glimpse and taste of the lifestyle they are dying for.
If you’re a brand, professional or business – connect your products to a lifestyle that’s irresistible to your target audience.
If you’re an influencer- take users on a journey into your unique lifestyle. Make it personal and encourage others to get involved.
Here are some more tips:
- Post more images with candid poses (doesn’t look too posed)
- Sell the lifestyle, give people a taste of life with your product, service or brand
- Think deeply about your target audience and their lifestyle/dream lifestyle
- Ask yourself the hard truth, would you follow you? Why?
2. Provide Real Value & Trigger Emotions
If you are just churning out content just to meet your quota, your engagement will suck and your posts will be useless. Instead, you should focus on providing value to your audience or firing up their emotions in a constructive way.
Every time you post, consider how you want your followers to feel.
- Inspiration – to achieve the body of their dreams, reach their goals,
- Desire – to explore new places, cultures, ideas
- Funny – gets them hooked and coming back to you for more laughs
Postive, happy content gets shared faster than sad content. Positivity has a motivating effect. Awe and surprising content works will too. Anger and fear are powerful but should be used wisely.
You should also try to offer real value to your followers, so they have a reason to come back for more.
- Instruction videos
- New ideas
- Interesting stories/experiences
- Lessons learned
3. Look To Your Idols – Research Successful Profiles
You want to present credibility, expertize and sell the dream. So make sure you draw inspiration from accounts who are already successfully doing it.
Seek out your idols, at various levels and analyze their best-performing posts and content. What is it that’s really attracting people, what attracts you?
Take note of hashtags they use, the types of content they post, trends they ride. Keep coming back to see what they’re doing.
If you’re in a crowded niche (which one isn’t these days), choose a single aspect that you can do better than others. Or provide your own unique twist.
But forget about celebrities, they can post almost anything and people will like it!
Straight copying other accounts won’t get you anywhere. Instead, draw inspiration from them and hack your way to success.
3. Network With Other Instagrammers
Instagram is a social network, so get networking! Whoever you are, for whatever reason you’re using Instagram, you are building a community. So it’s vital you connect with other rising influencers and brands to succeed together.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to similar accounts or users, everyone can benefit from working together. Reaching out to accounts with similar audiences with a similar number of followers works best. They’ll be far more likely to want to connect with you.
Indirect competitors are the best, but the trick is trying to match each others audience closely. Look for people in the same space or industry as you. For example, a skin care company could easily partner with a hair care company, plus their audiences will match closely.
You might try following them, direct messaging them or emailing them if provided in their bio. Be friendly and ask if they would like to team up and exchange likes and comments.
Providing value is the key. So always engage with their account before asking them to return the favor. It works even better if you can show up on their radar. You may even decide to collaborate or shout out each other’s accounts.
4. Ride Viral Trends
Whatever you can do (within reason) to gain more engagement and exposure on Instagram will be worth it. So make sure you’re in tune with the latest trends your target audience are in on and get in on the action.
Look for hashtags trending on Instagram, find posts that are sparking the most engagement and even controversy. Consider how your account could leverage them effectively to ride the wave.
Don’t ask why, just get creative and see how you can get in on the action!
5. Establish Your Theme & Stay Consistent
Unless you’re already a celebrity, you’re going to need to be consistent to continue growing. The more content you can post on Instagram, the more chance you have to gain exposure and hit “winning” posts.
It also helps keep your existing followers engaged with you, which is very important too.
Posting once per day is currently considered to be the best practice. Although twice per day is better if you have the content. At the very minimum, try to post at least 5 days per week.
If it sounds like a lot, try setting aside one day per week to plan all your content, then all you have to do is post it once per day.