Building an active Instagram following takes time and effort. Again, buying followers only drives up your number, not your interactions. What good are 1 million followers if only a tiny fraction (your organics) like your photo? The quality of your feed matters most. According to the Odyssey, the crucial formula for success is “50 percent picture, 20 percent caption, 30 percent timing.”
Only post quality photos. Practice composition and use good lighting. Photos that show something personal and those displaying luxury items do best. Ensure that each photo truly represents your brand.
Compose a pithy caption that describes the moment shown in the photo. Use relevant hashtags, stresses Quicksprout. Don’t go overboard, but do use them on every photo. For example, a female who works from home could use #workfromhome, #entrepreneur, and #girlboss. This provides a clickable keyword that brings up related photos. If you consistently use the same hashtags, when a user clicks on one, they’ll see more of your photos. Make your brand one of your hashtags.
Post only at the best times of day and week for maximum interaction. Marketers have conducted countless studies on this with consist results. Always post on Sunday. It’s the day with the greatest social interaction. Latergramme shared the summary of its timing research with Experticity. For best reach, post on the following schedule consistently:
Sunday at 5:00 pm
Monday at 7:00 pm & 10:00 pm
Tuesday at 3:00 am & 10:00 pm
Wednesday at 5:00 pm
Thursday at 7:00 am & 11:00 pm
Friday at 1:00 am & 8:00 pm
Saturday at 12:00 am & 2:00 am.
Although it only topped the list on Wednesday, the study revealed 5 pm as a high performer on each weekday. Quite simply, it’s the end of the workday and millions of people whip out their cell to check messages and social media. Your photo should be part of their commute home. Keep them company on the bus or train, and they’ll reward you with likes.
If it seems tough to remember this schedule, you can use one of the scheduler apps available for Android or Apple devices to set up your posts early. Although the Instagram API prohibits users from completely automating posts, the scheduler apps allow you to create a complete post ahead of time and provide you a notification when the time comes. You click to post and it opens Instagram, where you simply click “Share” and you’re done.
You don’t need to post every day, but you should post at least one or twice per week. Also, interact with your followers. At the tail end of 2016, Instagram introduced the ability to like comments. Harness this to like the most meaningful comments. Respond to one or two per week in a positive manner. The best branding provides a personal touch. Like other people’s photos, too, but ensure you only like photos that fit your brand. Train your social media interns in these branding aspects. There’s nothing more confusing to your followers or fans than inconsistent interactions. Recently, the social media interns managing one vegan athlete’s account began liking photos of bacon cheeseburgers. Talk about brand inconsistency. Over time this could harm the athlete brand reputation since part of his fan base comes from the vegan community. Consistency is key.