Building your Instagram following

Collection of popular social media logos printed on paperInstagram is one of the most engaging social media platforms out there right now. Every day, tens of million photos are uploaded, and the network recently surpassed one billion users.

Instagram presents a huge opportunity for businesses to build a loyal base of fans and customers. But it takes more than posting pretty pictures to do it.

Just like all your other social media marketing efforts, you need a plan for Instagram. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult. Start with these three steps.

Figure out how Instagram’s strengths best suit your business

Instagram is a picture-based platform with limited linking capability and the ability to include up to 30 hashtags. Using quite so many isn’t always recommended, as your message can get lost in the shuffle, but the common practice is to use more hashtags on Instagram than you would on Twitter.

Given that, should your focus be on these items?

    • Displaying your product?
    • Building brand awareness?
    • Sharing your company culture?
    • Announcing company news?
    • Leading people to your website?

Build your community

The hashtagging capabilities mean you can drill down to reach a more targeted audience. So research your hashtags; use the most relevant ones and include them in a separate comment (so they don’t interfere with your caption). See above for more guidance on the number of acceptable hashtags to use.

Respond to comments, follow other accounts, like and comment as much as possible.

Then remember to tag brands and people in your photos, if appropriate – and always provide the photo source if you repost.

Be consistent

Maintain the same photo style by keeping the composition, filters and captions consistent. Also, keep your photo quality as high as possible.

As with any social media platform, results take time. Stay focused and stick with it, and you’ll develop an engaged, loyal following on this powerful network.