Instagram is proving to be a real winner in the realm of social media. It’s gone through a lot of changes since its early beginnings as a simple photo sharing app. These days, the bells and whistles of the platform make it a marketer’s dream.

There are so many ways to engage an audience and showcase products. It can definitely become overwhelming and a bit confusing. If you want to experience growth and get real followers for Instagram in 2019, take a look at the tips below.

1. Know your audience and post accordingly.

First and foremost, you must post what the people want to see. This means you have to know your intended audience pretty well. You can accomplish the feat by developing an ideal customer avatar. An avatar is merely the detailed demographics of a fictional individual who would be likely to buy from your company or follow your brand.

Have fun and get creative when creating this person. Decide on a gender, age, geographic location, interests, needs and more. When you’ve developed your ideal avatar, your posts should be directed at this “person.” Think of your avatar and what would appeal to them prior to creating an image or story. Your content will reach the right audience when you employ this strategy.

2. Know your hashtags and use them.

Are you using hashtags on other social media platforms? They’re popular everywhere online, but they’re
absolutely essential on Instagram. Relevant hashtags help people who are interested in what you have to offer find you. It’s kind of like a road map.

You don’t want to use just any tags, though. The ones you choose should be relevant to your brand and your post. That way you’ll attract the most targeted audience possible. You also want them to be
specific, rather than broad. Don’t just use #marketing as your hashtag. Instead, find something that conveys the type of marketing your post references. Finding hashtags can seem overwhelming, but there are lots of ways to discover the good ones.

Do a query through Instagram’s search bar. Check out what your competition is doing. Then research particular hashtags to see how many people are following them and whether that tag might be saturated. Again, more specific is often better because it eliminates some of the competing voices within the general field. Don’t forget geotags. These are location-specific tags that help you to connect with others in that area or who have an interested in the region.

3. Plan your posts.

It may seem all you have to do is post some pictures on a regular basis, and the people will come to look at them. Unfortunately, that’s far from the case. The most successful accounts on Instagram devote a great deal of time and dedication to their posts.

You’ll want to plan things out ahead of time to ensure you have an appropriate flow of material. You can create a calendar with your tentative daily post material. Then pull together your resources such as photography props, models and other assorted essentials. Some people shoot several Instagram posts on one day.

Others spread things out. You’ll find a groove that works for you, but you absolutely must plan. Winging it rarely works when it comes to running a successful social media account. Take particular holidays, campaigns and even days of the week into consideration when deciding what to include in each post.

4. Engage your audience.

Social media revolves around relationships. That’s what makes it social. Engagement is essential to any successful Instagram account. Not only do you want to get a lot of followers, but you need to keep them interested or they’ll leave you for something shinier. Basic ways to engage followers is to acknowledge them by responding to their comments, answering their questions in DM and visiting their feeds.

That’s right. Put yourself out there. Follow people in your niche. Like and comment on their content. It may seem obvious, but it’s what is absolutely necessary and the foundation of social media.

5. Keep the conversation going.

If you want to up your engagement game and increase your chances of gaining loyal and long-lasting followers, dedicate time to finding ways to bring your followers back for more on a regular basis.

You can do this in a number of ways. Holding contests and giveaways is always good because it requires people to interact with your account in order to be entered. You can also recognize individual followers on a regular basis by giving them a shout out in your feed and sharing their content. It’s flattering and will build bonds.

You might also want to encourage your followers to share photos of themselves using your products. Come up with a special hashtag to identify such posts, and then recognize them by sharing with your audience at large. User-generated content like this is gold. It makes followers feel special, provides you with social capital and keeps your feed full of interesting, engaging content.

These are a handful of the top ways to gain followers. Take some time to explore Instagram and try out all the cool features they offer. See what works for you and your audience, but don’t forget to employ these basic, proven strategies to maintain consistent follower growth in the new year. Your effort will pay off, and you’ll be building a brand that people love to follow.

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