With 800 million monthly active users, Instagram has become one of the most popular social media channels. But that’s not all; Instagram also has the highest interaction rate compared to all the other channels, according to Quintly. This high interaction rate is exactly why brands are flocking to the platform to partner with influencers.
Image Source: Quintly
So if you’re planning to become famous on the internet, Instagram is the perfect platform. In fact, the Quintly study cited earlier found that follower growth rate is the highest on the channel compared to all other social media channels. Even other influencers are vouching for Instagram, with 91.9% of them choosing it as their number one platform in a Hashoff survey.
Earning fame on Instagram gives you an excellent opportunity to earn thousands of dollars even for a single post. You may not earn much as a micro-influencer, but macro-influencers like Zoella and Cameron Dallas charge as much as $17,000 for each Instagram post. Influencer Marketing Hub has compiled some useful facts about Instagram influencer payments, if you’d like to learn more.
Convinced that you should be investing your time and effort into Instagram? Here are some useful steps you can take to become famous on the platform in less than a month:
#1: Define Your Niche
You may have a lot of interests and talents – whether it’s in fitness, fashion, lifestyle, writing, etc. And you’re free to use Instagram to create content related to all these niches at a time. The problem is that most of the audience you’re attracting may not share all these interests. And if you keep creating content that’s not relevant to their interests, you could end up losing followers.
For example, if you attracted some followers with your style-related posts, you may lose their interest if you keep sharing your poetry or recipes with them. So it would be wise to first define which specific niche you want to specialize in and build your influence in. This will help you gain a clearer idea of what type of content to focus on, what type of audience to attract, etc.
If you take a look at the content created by influencers like Alex Aldeborgh (daisybeet), you can see that everything is about healthy food. So the audience she attracts is comprised of people who want to eat healthy. She has clearly defined her niche, which has made it easier for her to build her following.
When Izea created a list of micro-influencers in June 2017, she had about 41.2k followers. As of the writing of this post, her following size has already increased to 66.2k.
There are some cases in which you can focus on more than one niche if they are relevant to each other. For example, fitness enthusiasts could create content related to exercising and healthy eating, which means your niche would be fitness and food.
#2: Decide on Your Aesthetic
If you look at the Instagram accounts of the most popular influencers, you’ll notice one thing – there is a certain aesthetic they maintain in all of their posts. Some influencers uniformly post photos in bright, uplifting colors with warm undertones. Others may maintain a clean and crisp aesthetic with photos in cold undertones.
Similarly, you should decide on what aesthetic you want to maintain. But make sure it suits your niche and your personality.
Here’s an excellent example of a micro-influencer, Amelia, who has clearly defined her aesthetic. You can see that she has taken a minimalistic approach with her beauty and makeup posts. All of the photos have minimal colors with cool undertones.
The goal of defining your aesthetic is to immediately attract any user that visits your profile. It can show prospective followers that you’re dedicated and you’re consistent. It gives a professional appearance to your account and could be appealing to brands that are in search of prospective influencers.
#3: Experiment with Hashtag Variations
You may have heard all kinds of theories about which hashtag tactic works best to gain visibility. While some may suggest that you use only a few hashtags to avoid looking spammy, others recommend using as many hashtags as possible.
The Influencer Marketing Hub post cited earlier talks about how posts with hashtags can get 12.6% higher engagement. So we know for a fact that hashtags are important for visibility.
According to the post, 88% of brands use at least one hashtag in their post, and 91% of the posts by top brands have no more than seven hashtags.
So if you follow this example, it might be wise to try creating posts with a few hashtags that are highly relevant to your niche. In other words, avoid adding hashtags to your post just for the sake of it.
At the same time, it would be best if you can try experimenting with different hashtag tactics to see which one works best for you to drive visibility. Try to add as many relevant hashtags to some of your posts as possible. Then compare the engagement rate of those posts with the engagement rate of posts having fewer hashtags.
Based on these results, you’ll be able to tell whether you should be using more or less hashtags. This is important because there’s a chance one tactic may not be effective for everyone. It’s best to see which tactic specifically works for your account and niche.
Smaller influencers seem to be using more hashtags since they’re still in the process of trying to boost their visibility.
Micro-influencer GlamOnGlam, for example, can be seen using lots of hashtags for her beauty and skincare product posts.
Even so, mega-influencers like Rachel Brathen, who has 2.1 million followers, are still using several hashtags for their posts.
On the other hand, some popular influencers like Zoella, who has 11.1 million followers, hardly use any hashtags on their posts anymore.
So you can see that the hashtag tactic for different influencers varies. And it’s crucial that you conduct an experiment to find out exactly what works for you. For your hashtag research, you can use tools like Tag Blender and Instagram Tags.
#4: Post Consistently
Another crucial factor to boost your visibility and attract more followers is to post consistently. The more you post on Instagram, the better your chances of engaging your followers and increasing your follower rate.
Tailwind conducted a thorough study of 100,000 Instagram posts for three months. Through this study, they discovered that the engagement rates for accounts that posted once in a week and accounts that posted seven times a week were significantly different. In fact, they also noticed that an increase in the rate of posting also boosted the engagement rate and follower growth rate.
According to their study, accounts that created 100% more posts during the study period experienced a 19% increase in engagement rate. This proves that posting more could help you drive more engagement. They also found that these results were applicable, regardless of the account size.
Image Source: Tailwind
Another interesting finding from the Tailwind study is that, not only does posting more get you more likes, it also increases your follower growth rate. Your follower growth rate could almost double, even just by going from fewer than one post a week to 1-6 posts per week. And by posting more than seven times a week, you could experience a follower growth rate of 56%.
Image Source: Tailwind
What you can do is run a few experiments to see what time of day your posts tend to get the most likes. You can then create a posting schedule based on the results. You don’t necessarily have to post more than once every single day. But it is absolutely necessary that you post every day if you wish to gain more followers.
Maybe you could try posting twice a day for 2-3 days a week. For the remaining days, you can post once each day. Whatever you decide on, make sure you consistently follow your schedule to keep your followers engaged and to attract new followers.
#5: Build a Relationship with Your Followers
There may be some accounts you follow that never respond to your comments. Although you have no hard feelings towards them, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t hesitate to unfollow them at some point. You don’t really feel a connection to them if they don’t even take the time to engage with you.
That’s exactly why it’s vital for influencers to build lasting relationships with their followers. The goal is to establish loyalty so you don’t lose them as followers. You should take some time to respond to your followers’ comments to show them that you’re listening. You could answer their questions, or even give them a simple acknowledgment such as a “like” on their comment.
Although this step may not necessarily grow your following, it’s going to win the loyalty of your existing followers. This ensures that you don’t lose some of the followers you’ve already won over. You’ll build a stronger bond with them so that they consider you more like a friend than just an internet personality.
Here’s an excellent example of micro-influencer Liz Wible (lizandlavender) responding to comments from her followers. She personally responds to each of the comments, even if it’s with just emojis. This shows them that she values their input, and helps her to win their loyalty.
This step is also important to convince prospective brand partners to work with you. They’ll be able to see you interacting with your followers, guiding them with their purchase decisions, providing them with useful and relevant tips, etc. This can help prove to them that you can effectively market their products or services.
#6: Don’t Forget a Call-to-Action
Finally, there’s also your call-to-action, which you should always include in every post. Remember that Instagram isn’t just a broadcasting platform, but rather a conversation platform. It’s where you can build lasting relationships with people who share the same interests as you.
So instead of simply sharing your post and explaining what it is about, it’s important that you also guide your followers on what they should do next. If you want to drive more engagement on your posts, you’ll need to include a CTA that tells followers exactly what they need to do.
You could ask them a relevant question, and invite them to answer it in the comments. You could ask them to make use of the unique hashtag you’ve come up with when creating their own posts. Or you could even get them to check the link in your bio. Whatever the case may be, make sure your followers have a clear sense of direction.
An increase in engagement rate for your posts could boost their visibility. And increased visibility improves your chances of gaining more followers.
Beauty influencer Adri (sortofobsessed) always ends her post captions with a question to encourage her followers to leave a comment.
These steps can help you build your Instagram fame within weeks. If you religiously follow them, and stay focused on your goal, it will help you achieve that goal. However, following just one or two steps may not be enough to gain the kind of following you want.