01 Post Interesting, Colorful Photos and Videos
Instagram is all about providing value to your followers, especially if you want more engagement. When you post on Instagram, your goal should be to publish photos and videos that evoke some kind of emotion, such as happiness, humor, motivation, nostalgia, love, or something else. High-quality photos with a lot of colors tend to get the most action.
02 Don’t Overdo It With the Filter Effects
Instagram provides a bunch of filters you can apply to your photos to automatically enhance the look and style. However, this trend seems to have already hit its peak. People want photos and videos that are colorful, but relatively natural-looking. Although filter effects are tempting, try to limit their use and keep the color and contrast normal in most of your photos.
03 Feel Free to Use Hashtags, But Use Them Sparingly
Using hashtags on Instagram is a great way to increase your reach on the platform, encourage more engagement, and even attract new followers. Unfortunately, some people take it way too far. Their captions are often bloated with hashtags, many not even relevant to the post’s topic. If you decide to use hashtags, make sure to keep them to a minimum and only use keywords that are relevant.
04 Use the Search & Explore Function to Find Great New Content
When you tap Search & Explore (magnifying glass icon) on the Instagram app’s bottom row, you’re taken to the Search & Explore page, where you can see content curated to your interests. This content is based on the types of photo and video posts you’ve liked or commented on. The people you follow also inspire what you see here.
05 Post Often to Keep Followers Interested
If you want to keep followers engaged, you need to post new content on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean you need to post 10 photos a day. In fact, posting once a day, or at least once every other day, should be frequent enough to keep your current followers interested. If you go long periods of time without posting, don’t be surprised if you lose a few of them.
06 Use Messenger to Contact Specific Users
Although it’s a good idea to post frequently to keep your followers engaged, sometimes it’s not always necessary to post something publicly to all your followers. Instead, target one or more specific users by privately direct messaging them a text message, photo, or video. Instagram’s direct messaging functionality is integrated with Facebook Messenger, so you can message a Facebook friend who isn’t even on Instagram.
07 Interact With Your Followers
Never ignore your loyal followers who regularly like and comment on your photos! That’s a surefire way to eventually drive people away. Instead, let your followers know you value them. Reply to their comments or even go check out their account and like a few of their photos. You can use a third-party tool like Iconosquare (formerly Statigram) if you want to track Instagram comments and see which users are interacting with you the most.
08 Don’t Be Tempted to Purchase Followers
There’s a lot of hype around buying Instagram followers. And it’s true that you can get some big numbers for pretty cheap. The problem with buying them is that they’re often mostly fake and inactive. Your account may look a little strange to users who see that you have 15,000 followers, but almost no likes or comments on your photos and videos. Stick to real engagement. It’s not all about the numbers.
09 Experiment With Shoutouts
Interacting with your current followers is always recommended, but the more people you reach out to, the better. Doing a shout-out or a “shoutout for shoutout” (s4s) with another account in the same follower range is a very fast and effective way to reach more people. Two users basically agree to give the other a shoutout post on their accounts. This is actually the main technique many Instagram users use to grow their accounts by the thousands.
10 Stay on Top of the Latest Instagram Trends
Hashtags and shoutouts are great, but even trends like these eventually have an expiry date. If Instagram is a major social networking platform for you, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends to avoid getting left behind and putting yourself at risk of losing valuable followers.
11 Post Stories
Stories are less permanent, more “in the moment” pieces of content you can post for your followers to see. They come in the form of both photos and videos, and they automatically disappear after 24 hours. View them at the top of the feed (in the form of circular bubbles you tap). Stories simply offer a more casual way to connect, share, and interact with your followers.
Stories are becoming more integrated with other forms of social media. For example, if you use Twitter and find a tweet that resonates with you, you can easily add that tweet to your story. Tap the tweet, then tap the share icon and select Instagram Stories. The tweet will appear as part of your Instagram story. (This feature is currently supported only on iOS.)
12 Use Limits and Hidden Words to Avoid Abusive Comments and Messages
As your account grows, you might gain the attention of users who like subjecting other people to abuse. The Limits feature aims to prevent that by using different standards to determine which direct messages you see. For example, Instagram will automatically hide comments and messages from people who either aren’t following you or just started.
Similarly, Hidden Words lets you tell the app to filter out certain words, phrases, and even emojis when they appear in DM requests. Anything Hidden Words grabs will go to a dedicated folder that you can review (or not) as you wish.