Today we are going to throw out 3 Instagram hacks to build your following and engagement. If you’ve read my other blogs about Instagram, we’ve laid a great foundation for your Instagram account. Laying a great foundation will help you get noticed on Instagram, but that’s only the beginning.
This includes your bio, content, and the hashtags that you use. Now it’s time to take it to the next level. Simply setting up your profile the best way, throwing out the best pictures and blurbs, and using the right hashtags are not going to get you massive engagement. Yes, these things help but will only take you so far.
Remember… Instagram is a social media platform; the key word here is social. If you simply sit behind your account and posts once you’ve made them, people will not come flocking to you. Basically, you must be social. Once of the tricks I’m going to teach you increased my engagement by 80 percent in just two weeks after implementing it.
I encourage you to go read the other four blogs that I’ve done on Instagram. These will give you a great foundation to your Instagram account. You’ll be ahead of 90 percent of the other home-based businesses on there.
Before we get into the 3 Instagram hacks, let’s look at the other stuff I’ve covered. I added links to these blogs below so you can go check them out. What we’ve covered in the last blogs were your bio, the theme and content, and how to use hashtags. These are all critical areas to get right because Instagram uses an algorithm called the Unicorn and gives you a goodness score partially based on these things.
The key things you need to pay attention to in your bio starts with the name you put on the account. Create a name that goes along with your website address and branding. Make it something that people can remember.
The bio allows you 150 characters to entice your potential followers, and you must tell people what you do and have a link to your website. You can also use a website like LinkTree to add multiple website links in your bio. I have heard good and bad points when it comes to creating multiple links to your website compared to one web address.
Some people say that having multiple will distract your audience from what you want them to do. Others have said that having a variety captures more people. Try different things for yourself and see what works.
Also, put valid contact information on your bio to give you the best potential of someone contacting you. If you are a business, you should have a web address, email, and phone number for people to reach you.
Content is king on Instagram, and to be great you must have great content. To start with, you should have a recognizable theme to your page. Have a similar look and feel to your posts so that it stands out to people.
Consistency is very important to your followers, so make sure you are always posting the same time all the time. If you post three times a week, always post three times a week. If you shoutout your new YouTube video on Wednesday, always shoutout your YouTube video on Wednesday. You get the point.
The quality of your content matters, and create the highest quality content your can. This can be in pictures, carousels, stories, or what you write in your posts.
Hashtags are a finicky thing, and you can either be noticed by them or completely ignored. You should have between 140 and 170 hashtags that you use on a regular basis, switching it up depending on the content of your post.
You should use 30 hashtags when you first start because this will get you the most exposure on Instagram. Some people say this is spammy and to them I disagree. How many of you take the time when you are reading Instagram posts to scrutinize the hashtags used? Probably not many.
Pick four to five main categories of hashtags and find others within that main one until you come up with 35 per group. This will give you the 140 to 175 that are recommended.
Likes, Comments, and Shares
Although likes, comments, and shares are the most visible thing on Instagram to measure success, don’t rely on them. These are minor data points to determine how well you are doing on the platform. We are going to discuss next the stats you should be looking at.
If you go onto Instagram there is a button called “Insights” that lets you look at a few different numbers. You can see the number of accounts reached. This shows you how well others find your account and is broken down to impressions, profile visits, and taps.
Look at the content Interactions that breaks down your likes, comments, saves, and shares over a time period. You can use this area to get a bird’s eye view of how much people engage your content. Use this area rather than scrutinizing each individual post.
Follower breakdown shows you the overall growth of your account, or not. You can see the number of followers gained and followers lost. If you are getting real legitimate people to follow your account then this should be a constant uptick. This doesn’t mean you won’t lose a few here and there, your overall growth should be positive though.
This section also gives you really valuable information when you start accumulating followers. It breaks down location, age, gender, and most active time of your followers. Use this data to create content, and when you are ready to place ads, this is great information. You can use this data to narrow down your niche/target market based on real information.
Now the Hacks
Now we are going to get into the 3 Instagram hacks that you can use to get more engagement, more followers, and more people to your personal place on the web.
My recommendation is to implement one at a time so you can see how well it works in your favor. Then add the next and the last one once you see how well these works.
Engage Those That Notice You
The first of the 3 Instagram hacks is common sense once you hear it. This may seem obvious, and when I started using it my engagement went up 80 percent within two weeks. When you are starting, you have no followers, we’ve all been there. Your goal is to build that following.
If you setup your profile, content, and hashtags the right way people will start to pay attention. You will get likes and comments on your post from those people. Whether it be a like or comment, you should always send them a personal message thanking them for either the like or comment.
Think about this, how many times have you gotten someone to send a personal message saying thank you for liking a post? I bet once if ever. Point being that when you do this, you stand out in other’s eyes.
What happens is people feel gratitude for your thanks and will be back for more, liking and commenting. When you have people that regularly like your post, you should also go onto their page and like their stuff. I did this with one guy and he put a huge thank you on his Instagram story to me. This got me followers because all I did was thank him and liked some of his stuff.
This literally can take five minutes a day and you can jump on your phone or tablet between commercials when you are watching tv to say thanks. If you do this, you will see awesome results. If you do this from the beginning, you’ll get quicker and better results with people interested in your content.
The $1.80 Strategy
This next strategy in the 3 Instagram hacks is not one that I came up with, rather one I borrowed. Mega entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk came up with this strategy to get major attention when he started. You know how big he is now.
The strategy boils down to a few steps:
1) Find 10 of the top hashtags in your niche and follow them
2) Go to each of the top nine posts within those hashtags
3) Write a valued added reply to someone that said something in the post or reply to the post directly
4) Wash, rinse, and repeat daily to grow followers
This one doesn’t cost an actual $1.80 as you have probably guessed. However, if you do this technique you are giving your two cents for a total of 90 times (10 hashtags X 9 posts per hashtag).
90 X Your $0.02 = $1.80
Use it and see your results because it still works. In the beginning you may see only 5 to 10 new followers a week. As you continue this, it will snowball on you and you’ll gain a ton of loyal followers.
Video Content is King
The final of the 3 Instagram hacks may scare some of you. Many of you may have never been in front of a camera and you might be really scared to. Let me say you are missing out on a huge opportunity if you don’t get over it and conquer it. Video posts on average have a higher engagement rate.
Videos typically get almost 15 percent more likes than other types of content. It also is right up there on comments and shares too.
If you are worried that you don’t have the equipment, you can start with a $10.00 selfie stick from Walmart and your smart phone. I personally have a GroPro Hero 5 with a tripod, and a dry erase board to create my video content.
Create videos that engage just like your other content. Instagram allows only 60 second videos so this is an easy starting point for those shy of the camera. You can write and memorize a 60 second script easily if you don’t want to freestyle the video.
Once you start getting confident and know you rock on video, you can also make longer videos that you post on Instagram TV or YouTube. Then you can take a 60 second cut of it to create a post and get them over to the rest of it.
Now you know the 3 Instagram hacks that can get you followers, engagement, and lead people off of Instagram to your place on the web. Setting up your Instagram profile, establishing the right content, and using the right hashtags are a great foundation.
You can take it to the next level, and grow your stats more quickly following these 3 Instagram hacks. As I said earlier, try one and see the results. After a while, add the next. If you are afraid of the camera, be practicing while you spend four to six weeks on the other two.
The bottom line is that you must engage people on Instagram to get them to engage you. Think about it like going to a party. If you go and plant yourself on the wall talking to no one, no one will talk to you. It is when you get off the wall and start interacting with people that people want to interact with you. The same applies here.
Good luck growing your Instagram account and I hope you enjoyed these 3 Instagram hacks.
|Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.|
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