Instagram has become a dominant player in the social sphere especially in the last few years. The number of active users grows constantly making this a marketer's gold mine. But how do you capitalize on all these active users? Better yet, how do you start an Instagram community? I will explain how I got to 20,000 real, active, engaging followers in less than 6 months.
Firstly, you need to come up with a niche. Something that you are passionate about helps out, but is not necessary. Once you found a niche research it and see who the big players are. If there are lots of competitors with large Instagram followings then maybe you should try a new nice. You want to find a niche where only a few competitors have one million followers and maybe a handful that have over a hundred thousand followers.
Once you have your niche selected you need to create a profile and optimize it. This means picking an appropriate handle, adding a profile picture, filling in a description, and adding a website URL if applicable). Keep your profile description short and concise, try to watermark your profile image, use keywords related to your niche in your handle, and if you don't have a website use a free blogging platform to create one. I like Tumblr as you can auto post your Instagram feed directly to Tumblr, which is what crape myrtle is doing.
Now it is time to start finding and posting pictures and videos. This is key to your success. You need to find high quality pictures and interesting videos that will engage with your core audience. You can showcase almost anything, but keep it relevant to your niche. Do not go off topic as this will likely end up losing you followers, rather than gaining followers. Instagram pages must remain on topic 100% of the time to keep followers happy and coming back for more.
Hashtags are a useful feature that should be utilized when posting pictures and videos on Instagram. Along with a good caption for the picture or video you want to include a few relevant hashtags so others can find you. This is similar to Twitter (and now Facebook) in how they use hashtags to get more likes, comments, and followers.
Make sure when posting you keep it consistent. It is best to start off testing different times of the day and week to see what gets the most engagement. Also try posting one time a day and other days post three or four times to see if engagement drops off or continues to grow. Every niche is different so it all depends on your target audience and when they are on Instagram to find the perfect times and frequency to post.
Engaging is so important with any social media channel, yet many people forget to do this. It is important to respond to comments and direct messages. Also, seek out influencers and like, comment, and follow them to get them aware of you. All you need is a few influencers to regarm a photo of yours to see instant marketing success.
If you follow the above guidelines your Instagram marketing is going to go through the roof. Growth hacking is easily achievable when following the strategies listed above.
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