Most people believe that there's some trick to Instagram followers, where you just enter your credit card info and all of a sudden you have a thousand new followers. If you'd like a thousand followers that will never purchase your product or engage with your content this is true. However, most people are looking for an engaged audience that will hopefully turn into a sale. The "Get Followers Quick!" bit is just not possible. We're sorry, but unless you have the best ass in the world (we're looking at you Jenn Selter) you're going to need a social media strategy to gain a huge Instagram following. Even Jen Selter probably spent tireless hours flexing her butt to get the following she has today. Your product may not be as widely loved as a good booty, but there are steps you can take to gain the following you desire.
Your followers want to engage with you. Be authentic, ask them questions, give them incentives to like your photos. The cheesy one-liners are funny but don't prompt for a lot of engagement. By asking a question or saying "hit the like button if you love grilled cheese as much as me" you're involving your followers. Being authentic means being your true self, or whoever you've decided your internet presence is, so don't become a carbon copy of your Insta-Idols. We really don't need any more Tea Detox models, REALLY, we don't. Use stories and live mode to show your followers who you really are. You're building a community with human beings, not just likes and follows. Don't forget that social media is meant to be SOCIAL.
Hashtags, when used correctly, are an integral part of gaining new followers. Instead of adding your hashtags to your caption try adding them as a separate comment. Adding 30 hashtags to a caption makes it look cluttered and spammy, but when hashtags are hidden in a comment no one can see how hard you're trying! Using the correct hashtags is incredibly important. You wouldn't hashtag #blondehairdontcare on a photo of waffles, would you? Actually, who knows. We've seen some shit. We advise checking out some of the hashtags that are relevant to your industry and tracking how fast the turnover rate is. You can do this by clicking on a hashtag and checking how long the sixth post has been up. If it has been up for 2 minutes that means your post won't remain visible for very long so you may want to use a less popular hashtag. The longer your photo stays on the hashtags explore page, the longer your content will be visible to those looking at that hashtag.
Gone are the days of the chronological Instagram feed, so if you want your social media presence to take off we recommend scheduling your content in advance. Scheduling your content allows you to post content according to your best post times, which will give you the highest likes and engagement. We use GabStats to find out our optimal post times. It's currently free so get on that before they start charging. To schedule posts, we LOVE Later, which allows you to see how the post will look on your feed before it's posted. By scheduling posts, in advance, you can prepare for upcoming holidays, local events and give yourself time to think of captions. Some days captions feel impossible. Like how many funny things can you really say about eggs benedict? Scheduling gives you ample time to create your captions when you're in a caption kind of mood.
Ever heard of The Skimm? It's a morning email blast sent out to 3.5 million active subscribers. The Skimm uses a very sassy and fun voice to target their millennial female audience. The Skimm has an insane email open rate of 40%. The average email open rate is 24.79%, so I guess you could say they did something right. Having a strong voice on your social media networks is extremely important for your brand and in making your audience feel connected to you. You're never going to please the entire population, so pick your niche and hone your voice. Maybe you're a snarky political type or an empowered feminist. Whatever you may be there is a target audience for you so work that voice and they will come.
While working on your social media following don't worry about the outcome so much! Social media is about making friends, connections, and building your digital dreams. Everything will come in time if you remain vigilant. That's all for now, Instagram models.