Looking to upgrade your Instagram game?
Do you want to create an Instagram account with good content and high following? Do you have an Instagram account already but you are struggling with a small number of followers or low engagement? Are you interested in sharing your photography via Instagram but are not sure how to reach the people with same interests? If you recognized yourself, this article is for you!
Anyone who knows a little about Instagram probably knows that there are tons of accounts with a lot of followers and engagement. Of course, many of those accounts belong to celebrities who are followed by their fans. But, many of those accounts belong to people who you probably haven't heard about before, at least anywhere else than Instagram. These profiles have gained their popularity with the high-quality content they are posting. All have started small, with the followers growing with time. Luckily, your account can be one of them too! The great thing about Instagram is that you don't have to be a celebrity to have a large number of followers.
What are the qualities of a good Instagram account? Everyone may have different opinions on this one, but we think they include bringing great value to its followers, having good-looking pictures with a certain theme, having well-thought captions and having engaged and loyal followers. This article is for everyone who wants to create an Instagram account that has all the previously mentioned qualities. All of our tips in this article will help you with creating valuable content, gaining more followers, and reaching more people with your posts.
Creating high-quality content
Before you should be concerned about anything else, you need to know how to create high-quality content and how to be a profile worth following for.
Celebrities are followed because people and their fans are generally interested in everything about them, including their everyday life. This is why a lot of celebrities don't care that much about their content or a specific theme - resulting in a gallery of miscellaneous shots lacking a coherent outlook. However, if you are not a celebrity, it's extremely hard to gain plenty of followers just by taking snapshots of things you do without paying attention to the quality of the shots. If you're starting from the bottom, like all the people without a large follower base, you really need to focus on the content you create. This includes taking everything, like lighting, editing, captions, and hashtags, into consideration.
First, you want to choose a theme for your Instagram account. Usually, the theme is whatever you're interested in and passionate about. There are a lot of non-celebrities who have gained a large number of followers by posting about something they are good at or interested in. If you play basketball, you can create an account related to basketball. If you love nature and like to go out taking pictures, you can create an Instagram page just for nature photography. If you're a foodie, you can surely find a lot of people interested in food and recipes. Whatever the theme, there is a huge audience waiting for you. If the content you post is good, and you know how to reach your optimal audience, you have great chances of creating a popular Instagram account.
When your theme is picked, remember to stay loyal to it. Let's say that you are into fashion and you want to create an Instagram account about style and fashion. By keeping your posts exclusively fashion-related, you make people interested in fashion wanting to follow you. If, on the other hand, half of your posts are about fashion and the other half, say, about your dog or about your Fortnite wins, the people who would follow you for your fashion posts might decide not to, since they don't want to fill their feed with something they are not interested in.
How to take great photos?
You don't need an expensive camera or a professional photographer to take high-quality Instagram pictures. The cameras in smartphones are so good nowadays, that they will surely be good enough to capture great shots.
To take great photos, the key things to pay attention to are good lighting and background. Always choose natural lighting over artificial lighting. The difference between those two is huge. If your apartment doesn't have large windows and you can't shoot outside, you can buy a ring light to create a better lighting for your selfies. Also, don't take photos in a messy environment. For example, if a part of your apartment shows in the background, do a quick check before shooting and make sure that the background is tidy enough.
If you take photos of yourself, you obviously want to look as good as possible. Check out this video by Alex Costa. He shares his tips and tricks on how to look good in every photo.
Editing your photos
If you dream of a perfect Instagram feed, you can't forget one major thing: editing. Editing makes a huge difference in the outlook of photos. You should at least take the time to adjust the colors in your photos. A lot of popular fashion accounts are editing their pictures to have clean, pure whites, dark blacks, and quite unsaturated tones. In addition, some like to smoothen out all imperfections of their skin with an app like Facetune, or to create artsy details and interesting cuts with an app like PicFrame. As we live in a world where editing tools are so advanced that you can basically shape up your whole body and face without any editing marks to be seen, our advice is to keep things as natural as possible. You don't want your editing to change your appearance so much, that people who meet you in real life don't recognize you from your photos.
If you like the popular unsaturated theme that most fashion accounts love, check out this video by DevanOnTech. He shows you how you can give your photos a similar outlook and which apps to use to achieve it.
How to write a good caption?
People read blogs mostly for the entertaining, thought-provoking writing and stories. It wouldn't be a much of a blog without any text, even though photos are a big part of the experience as well. Think of Instagram as a reversed blog. As photos are the main focus, the text is still extremely important. This is why you should write good captions to your Instagram posts.
Writing good Instagram captions adds value to your content and makes people more interested in your account. A great Instagram caption with an effective call-to-action is one of the best ways to inspire your followers to comment on your post. This will help to drive even more engagement with your Instagram account. A call-to-action can be a question like "What is your favorite summer accessory?" or a request like "Tag a friend who loves summer".
We know that sometimes it might be hard to think of a good caption. We've all been in a situation where we have an amazing pic to post but we can't think of a splendid caption. To help you out in the situations like those, we have put together a list of ideas and questions to help you create that perfect caption.
- Describe what the place looks like and the light and the colors of things you can see in the picture
- Describe the sounds around you
- Describe the weather and temperature
- How was your day?
- What is it?
- Where is it at?
- When or why did it happen?
- Why are you showing this?
- What are you doing next?
If you don't feel like using our list or writing about the things in the photo, you can always use an inspirational quote as a caption instead. For ideas, visit BrainyQuote's site. They have listed a wide selection of quotes in many different categories.
Reaching your optimal audience
How to get more followers?
Now that you know how to create good content, it is time to take a look at how to reach people on Instagram and get them to follow you.
First of all, we want to embrace that there is a huge difference between organic followers and bought followers. Organic followers are the best kind of followers. They choose to follow you for your content, which makes them genuinely interested in your posts, resulting in active liking, commenting, saving and possibly sharing your photos.
Bought followers, on the other hand, are fake accounts that don't grant you any activity like organic followers do. Sure, buying followers will make your number of followers bigger, but it will mess up with your followers/engagement ratio, which will lead to having a hard time showing up it the "popular posts" in the hashtags.
It's safe to say that the easiest way to get followers is to buy them. As easy as it is, it will cost you money, and it won't help you to grow your account in the long run. Also, it is pretty easy to spot an account with bought followers. We all have run into profiles with +100K followers, but with the number of likes staying below 100. That's just one example, but there are an enormous amount of profiles with an engagement rate like this. Even though the followers/engagement ratio will get smaller as the number of followers increases, the difference between followers and engagement shouldn't be that huge. Whatever you do, don't be one of those accounts. The goal is to get as many organic followers as possible since they are the key to growing your account with the high engagement they provide.
How to increase engagement?
Instagram changed into an algorithmic feed a couple years back, making it harder to have high engagement nowadays than it was before. After the change, Instagram tries to learn what kind of content each user likes, and brings that kind of content to the start of their feed. However, if Instagram decides that your content is not what the user likes, your photos might not even show up in the feeds of the people who follow you.
The new Instagram algorithm favors posts with high engagement, so when a post receives a ton of likes and comments, this signals to the algorithm that it’s high-quality content that other users might want to see. With better engagement, you also have better chances to appear in the "top posts" of the hashtag pages. It means that people who visit hashtag pages will see your post in the first posts, making discovering your account easier.
You will automatically get a better engagement by being active on Instagram. Like and comment photos that are similar to what you're posting, and you often get likes and comments back. You can, for example, pick a hashtag related to your theme, and like and comment photos that appear under it. Don't do it excessively, as you might get shadowbanned, but we'll tell you more about it later.
You might have seen profiles that get a large number of comments to their posts, with most of the comments being vague and has no relation to the content of the post. These type of comments include comments containing just emojis, and phrases such as "great post" or "keep up the good work". As you can see, these comments can be posted to any picture since they are irrelevant to the content. These comments might, of course, be bought, but the bigger chances are that the account is a part of a comment group. Comment groups are direct message chats, where all members exchange comments. Even though comment groups are more common than you'd think, you can't surely know who is a part of a comment group and who's not. If you want to be a part of a group like this, you can try your luck by sending a message to someone who gets a lot of comments, and asking if you can get in.
If you have a business account, you can see when your followers are most active on the insights tab. Choose to post your photos right before the most active time, so that people will engage with your photo as soon as possible.
Use the right hashtags
Hashtags are extremely important on Instagram and should be used on every post to increase reach. Instagram limits using hashtags to the maximum of 30 per post. The more hashtags you use, the easier it is for other people to discover your page. You can either include the hashtags in your caption, or you can post them as a separate comment right after you've posted a pic. Don’t use popular hashtags like #tagforlikes or #love. Using general hashtags actually end up not showing your photo on any of the hashtag. Use hashtags that are relevant to your theme. If your theme is fashion-related, use hashtags like #fashion and #style. Every time you are thinking about adding a hashtag, ask yourself this question: "Is this hashtag only used by my target audience or by other people on Instagram?" If yes: add the hashtag. If no: do not add the hashtag.
Avoid getting shadowbanned
Instagram has recently started "shadowbanning" people. The worst thing about it is that you may not notice it when it happens. What happens when you are shadowbanned, is that your pictures are only visible in the hashtags to you and the people that follow you. Not only it is hard to know if you are banned or not, it takes away all the benefits of using hashtags since the ability to reach new people is eliminated. To prevent shadowbanning, make sure to change hashtags every now and then. You can collect a couple of different lists of relevant hashtags, and rotate them between pictures. You should also avoid all spammy behavior, as liking pictures or following people excessively, as this type of behavior may also lead to being shadowbanned.
So here were our tips and tricks to help you create and grow a great and popular Instagram account with high engagement. As a bonus, here's an awesome video by Chris Hau. He shares some great tips on how you can grow your Instagram account organically.
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