So you want to get popular on Instagram?
There is one thing which is common with all popular people on Instagram. They have great eye-pleasing content.
Instagram is no longer just a social media app, it can create a lot of money-making opportunities. So if you are looking for awesome feed and better reach, you’re in the right place.
A thing to note here…
These steps are in the right direction and but everything takes its time.
So, If you’re looking for an overnight surge in following, this post isn’t for you.
If you are following someone who you think, had sudden success, that’s because he/she had been working hard when no one was watching. It may look to you as quick fame but mostly it isn’t (except for people who go viral for some reason). There are absolutely no shortcuts.
So if you’re serious about increasing your reach and improving your feed the right way, follow on.
Improve the quality of photography
You don’t have to know everything about photography but your photos should be good.
This is the most important factor, as the attention span of people on Instagram is very short. A bad photo might turn them off instantly but a decent(if not great) photo can keep them stuck longer to your feed.
And the good news is, it’s not that difficult to take decent photos.
You need to keep in mind these things:
– Keep straight horizon(always!)
– Avoid over or under-exposed images
– Follow the rule of thirds
– Always Shoot RAW if your camera/phone allows
– Look at the whole frame carefully and avoid distracting elements
Many beginners make the mistake of focusing just on the subject and let rest of the frame be distracting. This results in bad photos. So make it a practice to scan the whole frame while taking the photo and make adjustments where necessary and possible.
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Create your own style and look
For success on Instagram, focus and consistency are the keys.
Using same or similar looking filters/effects on images makes your page look consistent and awesome.
Also, you should be experimental in your photos but you will be followed for your own unique style. So make sure you stay original and develop a style.
When a person visits your profile, the first thing he sees, by default, is your page and not individual images. A consistent looking page will gain more followers than non-consistent ones.
So visit your page and ask yourself, if it looks consistent or haphazard/ cluttered? If your answer is the latter, make the necessary changes going forward.
There are many ways to achieve a particular look in your photos.
- Instagram presets
- VSCO presets
- Developing your own processing style
- And tons of photo editing apps which offer different possibilities of looks
It’s important that the effect is subtle and do not distort the reality of the photo.
You should note that overprocessing or applying very high-strength filters may result in unreal images which would turn off most people.
Moderation is the key here.
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Try different aspect ratios and white borders
Instagram currently supports a few aspect ratios. The 4:5 ratio is the best among them, for capturing the most screen real-estate.
But if you’re a landscape photographer you will feel that the 4:5 ratio is not suitable for your landscape photos. As it requires cropping which kills the composition in most cases.
The 1:1 ratio or square is good in terms of screen real estate and also it requires less cropping. But there is a slight compromise on composition in most cases.
Of course, you can choose to keep the original aspect ratio of the image. It does not require you to alter your composition. But on the page view, the thumbnail gets cropped, which may result in lack of appeal for the photos.
Then there are white borders…
We all have seen accounts with pictures containing white borders. These pages look really cool. White borders around your images create a very clean looking feed. Which increase the visual appeal of the page.
However, if you are looking to get featured in the hub pages, the white borders will sharply reduce your chances.
In the end, it is your personal liking, so choose what you find most suitable for your pictures & keep it consistent.
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Write intriguing captions
But, on Instagram, you may need a thousand words to make a picture worth.
The reason is that you need a great level of photography skill to make your images speak. And most often, everyday images we post on Instagram, fall short of the words for themselves.
So you need to pitch in and help your images express better.
Some may love your words, some may love your photos and some may just like the combo but none individually. However it is, you will be the ultimate beneficiary.
You can either write something on your own or use others’ words. But if you do the latter, make sure you do it with proper accreditation.
Use less popular hashtags
First of all, use the total of 30 hashtags, the number that Instagram allows. But do not use only the popular ones.
The logic is simple here.
Where there is a crowd, there is less chance of being discovered regardless of good work.
However, I’m not discouraging you to not use them at all, the point is, you should use them in moderation.
Discover the hashtags with less crowd but a decent reach. Anything with 50k to 150k posts should fit in this category. This is the ground where you can shine with great content and reach a decent number of people.
The relevance of the hashtag is crucial for this to work. For example:
if you are a landscape photographer and using fashion photography hashtags, it might even impact negatively.
Done strategically, this single step can boost your reach and followers within a few months and make you popular on Instagram in the long run.
Show up at others’ doors
We all wish to have more followers and less following.
But the harsh reality is, your number of followers have a strong impact on the visitors’ first impression of you.
If you’re not someone with followers with K letter at the end. You are less likely to appeal worthy to the visitors. Sad but true.
But then, what would make them see your work?
Remember, Dale Carnegie’s words, “Be genuinely interested in people.” And in turn, they will be interested in you.
Find real good people in your niche and show up at their doors, with your likes, comments, suggestions, compliments. But don’t be superficial.
‘Niche’ is the buzzword these days. And there is a good reason for that.
Everyone wants a specialist who does maybe just one thing but he does it great.
Similar is true for Instagram. You must find what niche you fall into. And be great at it.
Obviously, this is aimed at only those who are looking to create their personal brand and be popular on Instagram.
A little bit of all wouldn’t make you look like a trustworthy resource.
Be a specialist!
Build your own network
After knowing what is your niche, it becomes easier to find people in the same.
And like mentioned above, being genuinely interested in people makes them interested in you and your work. It creates a good ground for you to network with those people.
Start with a simple “Hi”. And see where the conversation flows.
There are countless benefits of having a good network. Like shoutouts, followers, a discussion group and a lot of learning.
Post at least one photo a day
The consistency of all sorts is essential for success on Instagram.
And most importantly, post frequency.
Repetition makes you relevant.
So as much as people come across your posts as relevant you will become in the wide world of Instagram.
And posting one image daily is the safest way to stay relevant and gradually be popular on Instagram.
But remember, too much of something makes it boring as well. So don’t overdo it.
Many people face the issue of not having photos ready to post. To solve this, I process many photos at once and keep them in Instagram drafts with captions. So as when I like I can post anytime.
That being said, there is no overnight success on Instagram (or anything in life).
These steps are the steps in the right direction, but you will have to walk the mile.
Wishing you success on Instagram & in life.
Do share your thoughts in the comments section.