Social media platforms have gained increasing prominence in recent years, becoming many people’s first port of call for news of current affairs and for staying up-to-date with the goings on of their friends’ lives.
With more than a billion users worldwide, Instagram has established itself as one of the world’s most powerful social networking sites, alongside other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Everyone on the site is seemingly vying to boost their online presence, taking picturesque pictures wherever they go and using a plethora of popular hashtags in an effort to increase their followers.
While you may think you already have the art of being a social media influencer down to a tee, you may be missing some simple tricks that could help you raise your profile just a tad bit more.
As marketing expert Taylor Loren explains, Instagram users will often decide in seconds whether they think your profile is worth perusing or not.
Here are five easy ways for you to increase your Instagram followers, according to the experts:
1. Start using Instagram story Highlights
While you may show your followers what you get up to during your everyday life on your Instagram story, have you started utilising Instagram’s story Highlight feature yet?
Doing so will provide people venturing onto your profile with some incentive to learn a bit more about your life and possibly even click the “follow” button.
“The Highlights on your Instagram profile give you an opportunity to court new followers with your best content,” says Loren, head of marketing at Later.com.
Loren also adds that it’s important to ensure that the pictures you use as icons for each Instagram story Highlight fall in line with the kind of pictures you’d usually post on your profile, in order to give your account an overall polished look.
2. Use location tags in stories and posts
This may seem like a simple suggestion, but if you don’t do so already, adding location tags – otherwise known as “geotagging” – to your Instagram story and posts will enable people from around the world to find your profile.
Sometimes when you’ve travelled to a particular location and included it in your story, your picture or video may be added to the location’s own story, Loren outlines.
Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO of marketing firm AudienceBloom also emphasises the importance of geotagging.
“Use geotagging, especially if you’re a local business,” he says.
“When you geotag your photos, others who post photos in your region will see your images on the location’s page.
“This is a great way to catch the attention of local users.”
3. Take selfies
Love them or loathe them, sharing selfies on Instagram is a bona fide way to increase your online following.
“There’s no denying that Instagram is still a very social place. And people want to follow accounts that they can relate to, regardless of whether that’s a brand, influencers, or person they went to high school with,” Loren states.
“So it’s important to make your Instagram account as personable and relatable as possible, and really show off what your business and brand is all about if you want to get more Instagram followers.”
According to research conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs, pictures of faces are 38 percent more likely to receive likes than those without.
So, if you’re keen to increase the number of people following your account and liking your pictures, you could do well to follow in the footsteps of social media ace Kim Kardashian West who’s been known to regularly share selfies with her followers.
Her following of 125 million people speaks for itself.
4. Promote yourself on other social media platforms
If you have an Instagram account, then we’re going to hasten a guess that it’s not the only social media platform you use.
Sharing your Instagram posts on other sites such as Twitter and Facebook could help new followers gain access to your profile.
DeMers also suggests mentioning what people can expect if they visit your Instagram profile.
So, if you love posting photos of your dog or you’re particularly fond of avocado on toast, anyone else who shares you passions may be inclined to give you a follow.
5. Quality not quantity
When on a mission to boost your Instagram following, you may feel that posting as many pictures as possible is a surefire way to succeed.
Quite the contrary, as keeping an eye on the quality of your posts could prove more advantageous.
“Edit your account to leave only the best images,” DeMers advises.
“No one wants to follow someone with thousands of pointless images of food or other random shots.”
Tech news outlet Gadgets360 also stresses the importance of quality over quantity.
“You can’t get away with low-effort, half-hearted posts on Instagram,” the company states.
“If your strategy revolves around photos, make sure you take great pictures of whatever you’re trying to promote.”
-Sabrina Barr for Independent