Hello, dear reader! So you want to grow your audience on Instagram? It’s okay if you do. Deep down we’re all just looking for 20k+ people who stalk us online, aren’t we? Seriously, though. People have been asking me a lot about Instagram advice lately, which is why I decided to answer the most frequently asked questions. Enjoy!
Why would I even need to grow my audience?
Great question! I’m not saying that you absolutely need to grow your audience but as a matter of fact, a lot of Instagram users are eager to do so. The reasons thereof may vary. Some want the fame, others want to promote their business.
I personally consider my Instagram page a marketing project. During my studies, I tried out various strategies that helped me learn more about Instagram’s algorithm. Since I’m working in the media business, my Instagram is also my business card. It shows people that I have a hunch about how social media works.
Be careful, though. Instagram and other channels might get into your head which is not healthy. But that’s a whole different story.
How often should I post?
Great question! It mainly depends on two factors: How much time you have on your hands and how much content there’s available. Why? Because ideally, you want to create high quality content and doing so is a long and arduous process.
When I started out with my account, I posted one picture a day. I usually published it at about 6 p.m. because I noticed that I got most reactions during this time. After doing this for a week straight, I realized that my follower count grew and so did the number of comments and messages I received. Until this very day, I try to reply to each and every single comment I get, by the way.
After a while, I noticed that my followers aren’t only active in the evening but also in the morning. So half a year later, I started posting twice a day – at 9 a.m. and at 6 p.m. that is. It made my audience grow even more.
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Flags. Flags everywhere. 🇺🇸 Btw, my birthday is on flag day, which is celebrated on June 14 here in the US. Just in case, if you guys wanna send me a present next year. 😋 . . . #fall #starspangledbanner #igersaustria #igerscarinthia #running #instarunners #runnerscommunity #runnersofinstagram #runforfun #runforlife #usflag #inspiration #journalist #healthylifestyle #austria #falllover #traveler #washingtondc #igersdc #eastcoast
At the moment, I’m back to one post a day. This is mainly because of the time difference between D.C., where I am right now, and Austria, where a major part of my audience is located. Due to this time difference, containing my regular posting schedule would require me to get up at 4 a.m. to reach my target audience in Austria. Also, I’m pretty busy with my blog and my internship here so I don’t have enough time to create as much content as I used to – which brings me to the next point.
If you don’t have enough content to post twice a day, don’t post twice a day.
If you don’t have enough content to post twice a day, don’t post twice a day. Just think about it: If you have a neat account that’s all about nature shots and all of a sudden, you upload a photo of a bagel, your audience will most likely be confused. And maybe envious because, hey, you have a bagel. But more than anything, they’ll probably unfollow you. So my advice is: Adjust your schedule according to your content.
And since I’m already giving out free advice, here’s another one: Don’t spam! Posting twice a day doesn’t mean that you should post two photos in a row. This will not only annoy your audience, it will also piss off Instagram’s algorithm and your account will get ranked less favourable.
Which hashtags should I use?
Great question! My advice when it comes to hashtags: be straight-forward. If you upload a photo of a donut (Can you tell I’m hungry?), use hashtags like #donut, #donutlover and #sweettreat. In addition to this, check out hashtags of photos that are similar to yours.
When I looked up the most popular uploads that pops up when you search #donut on Instagram, I came across hasthags such as #foodgasm, #foodie, #doughnuts and #foodlover. And besides the hashtags I already mentioned, there are all time favourites such as #instagood or #weekendbliss. Depending on which country you’re at, you can also use location hashtags such as #igersaustria – igers stands for instagrammers. Make sure to tag the place where you got the donut too. Be careful, though. Depending on which country you operate in, you might have to label your post as an ad, even though it might not be sponsored.
Don’t overuse hashtags, though. Last time I checked, Instagram only allowed up to 30 hashtags (which is a lot already). If you use more than this, your whole caption will disappear.
How often should I update my Instagram Story?
Great question! I’ve heard from a couple of people that they rarely scroll through their feed anymore. Rather, they just check out people’s stories. While this little survey of mine is by no means representative, I still advice you to make use of Instagram’s story feature.
As we all know, the story posts disappear after a day. So I try to update my story at least once every 24 hours. This way, there’s always a story to check out if someone comes across my profile.
On a side note: Even though they’re meant to be spontaneous snippets, more and more people edit their story posts instead of uploading them right away, just like they do with regular posts. It’s up to you whether you want to do this or not. I personally like the spontaneous character of Instastories which is why I don’t always edit them.
Keep in mind, though, that even though your stories might be spontaneous, they should still somewhat correspond with the leitmotiv of your account. Because after all, you want to build yourself a personal brand, don’t you?
Should I switch to a business profile?
Great question! A while ago, Instagram introduced a new feature that is similar to Facebook fanpages. In your Instagram settings, there is now the option to switch to a business profile that comes with a whole set of new features.
Switching to a business profile helps you getting to know your audience better. You can check where your followers are from and when they’re online. On top of this, it shows you neat statistics about your posts – such as which one reached the biggest audience and which one got you the most profile visits.
I personally do not know how the algorithm affects business profiles and if it treats them differently from regular profiles. I haven’t been aware of any changes ever since I switched to a business profile and I’m assuming that’s a good sign.
Thus, my advice: If you want to manage your Instagram account in a professional manner and maybe even pursue financial goals, you should definitely switch to a business profile.
Do have any other questions? Leave a comment or drop me a message.