Gain Instagram Followers In Just 30 Minutes A Day - Guaranteed!

June 27, 2016

Gain Instagram followers and engagement for FREE with two 15 minutes sitting per day. Create a plan, implement it, evaluate your results, make adjustments to suit your audience and repeat the cycle using free apps and social media management tools. When you've grown and seen the need for more in-depth analysis and assistance invest in a platform and continue to grow your business. It's not as hard as you think. It starts with only 15 minutes.

When I created my Instagram account I didn't create it with the intention to create a community and interact with thousands or tens of thousands or even millions of people worldwide.

I created it because I was curious and wanted to see what the new craze was.

I didn't get in then, but I certainly do now, because Instagram has opened up a whole world of opportunities to millions to:

  • Start or expand a business.
  • Build communities.
  • Create an extra income stream.
  • Reach a larger targeted market.

Instagram's Milestones


Instagram is a photo-centric and video-sharing social media platform allowing us to curate memories and share our stories. It has hit the 500,000,000 million users mark after 5 years and has the 1 billion users vision.

Acquired by Facebook for close to a billion dollars, Instagram underwent an algorithmic update in mid-June. 

This means Instagram will show you content based on what you interacted - liked, commented and shared - with in the past.

Instagram has grown to 500,000,000 users in just 5 years by allowing people to post pictures and videos. The best part is, they have taken many users along with them and help them to start and grow a business.

As with most changes, there comes a vociferous outcry from users. Many of whom worry that IG won't be the same platform that they've grown to love. 

There is only one constant in life and that's change. 

In this instance, change is good because Instagram is a business and all businesses have to undergo changes to:
  • facilitate growth, 
  • remain competitive, and 
  • to be useful and practical to their users.
In my post "How I Grew My Twitter Account by 360%", I lament my social media skills. I'm proud to say they've somewhat improved, but I have a far way to go yet.

Gain Instagram followers and engagement for FREE with two 15 minutes sitting per day. Create a plan, implement it, evaluate your results, make adjustments to suit your audience and repeat the cycle using free apps and social media management tools. When you've grown and seen the need for more in-depth analysis and assistance invest in a platform and continue to grow your business. It's not as hard as you think. It starts with only 15 minutes.

Currently, I'm in the process of dusting off my dormant accounts to bring value to my readers and followers.

So, yup, you've guessed it. I'm dusting off my Instagram account and today will be talking about Instagram and the tools and strategies to use and grow a smashingly beautiful, helpful and engaging account.

I'll be sharing some super tips that are not complicated, though will take time and a bit of elbow grease.


This article covers:

  • How I grow and will continue to grow my Instagram account.
  • Setting up an Instagram account.
  • Designing posts for Instagram.
  • Strategies and best practices to employ to get the best out of Instagram.
  • Tools to build and grow your Instagram account.
If you're rocking it with Instagram kudos to you and have at it!

Gain Instagram followers and engagement for FREE with two 15 minutes sitting per day. Create a plan, implement it, evaluate your results, make adjustments to suit your audience and repeat the cycle using free apps and social media management tools. When you've grown and seen the need for more in-depth analysis and assistance invest in a platform and continue to grow your business. It's not as hard as you think. It starts with only 15 minutes.

But, if you're clueless like me, lack the confidence and don't know where to begin; let's do this together and kick butt!

Instagram and Me

I've had an Instagram account since 2014 but have not used it much because:
  1. I didn't think my pictures were good enough to share.
  2. I was completely out of my depth.
  3. I didn't have pictures to contend with what seemed to be popular. Now, I've learned differently that there is a niche for everyone.
  4. I didn't know how to use the platform. I'm still learning by the way.
  5. I didn't get the hashtag thing. This # is a number sign for crying out loud!Instagrram is the home of the hashtag. You can use up to 30 of them per post. Put them in a separate comment on the post to make your feed neat.
  6. I had a crappy phone that gave error messages whenever I tried to use Instagram. The most common were that my phone didn't have enough space or the app kept crashing.
  7. I forgot all about it.
  8. I broke my tablet. Accidentally.
  9. I couldn't upload images from a browser. Nor can anyone else for that matter.
  10. I couldn't find a working desktop app or site that'd allow me to use Instagram.
  11. I forgot about it again because it was too much hassle to use the darn thing.  

I Never Gave Up on Instagram

Even though I became fed up trying to use Instagram I never gave up entirely because it's just not me.

I didn't give up when trying to find a social media I like: I found Pinterest!

I went further and re-found Twitter and has been growing ever since.

I've even managed to get more than 100 connections on Linked In and people to like links I post to Facebook.

So what's to stop me from learning to use Instagram and possibly drive traffic and earn an income?

Nothing!

Setting Up My Account 

Ignorantly, I created my account in 2014.

When I revived it, it didn't have a cohesive bio, so my first step was to edit it.

I did. I used my Twitter bio: word-for-word.

But I wasn't satisfied with it, plus it made me feel lazy. So I changed it a bit to what it is today.

However, over time, I'll be changing it again to reflect my brand.

Pro Tip: As a business, ALL your business-related social media accounts should reflect your brand, what it signifies, stands for, what it does and it's design.

Designing My Posts for Instagram

As with all social media sites, images rule and long form content is normally a huge turn-off. 

Twitter gives us 140 characters to say what we must, but luckily we can say at least one thousand more words by adding an image. Imagine the story you'll tell with 4 images.

Creating images have been a problem of long suffering for many who are neither tech savvy or creative. 

For this, things like Canva and Adobe Spark exists. 

These tools save time, money and a lot of aggravation and make you appear to be a graphic designer if done properly.

Don't worry! 

You can easily create a free account and get to creating immediately. 

Are you a marketer who hates designing images? Adobe Spark and Canva will make you an instant graphic designer with just a smidgen of elbow grease. Give each of them an hour of your time and see.

These tools are easy to use as they provide:
  • templates for blog and social media posts and video - in the case of Adobe Spark. And yes, you can post a video to Instagram.
  • Images.
  • Shapes.
  • Icons - in the case of Canva and 
  • allow you to upload your own images as well.

Canva: Instagram Content Creator


With Canva some layouts and images cost a dollar while the majority are free. Canva on a whole is free but also has Canva for business which is paid. 

There are also resources to help you learn the art of Canva and tons of images for inspiration. Whichever version you use, you'll be pleasantly surprised and happy you did. 

Adobe Spark: Instagram Content Creator


Adobe Spark in its desktop form was released in May and I've been using it ever since.

The apps are not available for Android, so they were nice enough to create a single web-based app to be used by everybody else who does not have Apple software.

Using the software is straight forward and you can create an Instagram posts in less than 90 seconds. Providing:
  • You have the words you want to add to your image.
  • Have reasonable internet speed.
  • You're not easily distracted.
  • You don't take long to decide which palette, theme, image or text to use.

If you don't like the image that's generated or have an image of your own to upload from:
  • Dropbox
  • your computer
  • Lightroom
  • Creative Cloud
  • Google Photos
No sweat! Adobe Spark allows you to search millions of creative commons images in one place as opposed to you having to leave the site and go searching other high-res image sites for an image.

Pro tip: Create posts before hand, and keep them in a folder. Therefore, if something stops you from creating posts you'll have a ready supply.

Instagram Tools I Use to Create, Share & Assess Irresistible Content


Instapic: Instagram Desktop Posting App 

    
I have an HP 2000 with Windows 10 operating system. This computer and OS brought about so many good things in my life and I'm so grateful.

I used this trusty beast to find an app that allows me to post, comment, like and share on Instagram.

Tools to use and grow your Instagram followers especially if you've got crappy hardware like me. Canva, Adobe Sparks, Instapic,Websta and Iconosquare.


I found and downloaded the Instapic App from the Windows Store on January 30, and started using it in early February. 

At first, it was a little buggy and crashed whenever launched.  

However, as time marched on and Windows made updates I can say it hasn't crashed since late February.

It allows me to:
  • Post flawlessly to my Instagram account. All posts on my account were posted by this app.
  • Edit and crop my images before posting.
  • Interact with others content by liking or commenting.
  • Find friends.
  • Search for specific people or hashtags.
  • Follow or unfollow 'Grammers.
  • Edit my profile and change my profile image.
  • Link my Facebook account.
  • See who and how many commented on my posts.
  • See my followers and followees.
  • See who and how many like my posts.
  • And more.

What's to Love? 


What I like most about Instapic is that it updates in real time. As soon as I post an image, respond to a comment, like a post, follow or unfollow a 'Grammer it's recorded immediately. And it's free.

Drawbacks of Instapic


As it is a free app from the Windows Store, it has advertisements.

Gain Instagram followers and engagement for FREE with two 15 minutes sitting per day. Create a plan, implement it, evaluate your results, make adjustments to suit your audience and repeat the cycle using free apps and social media management tools. When you've grown and seen the need for more in-depth analysis and assistance invest in a platform and continue to grow your business. It's not as hard as you think. It starts with only 15 minutes.

However, they are neither intrusive, invasive or overbearing.

Most times all I see is an empty box with the Instapic logo that says advertisement.

The advertisements are ONLY shown in my feed on Instapic. They do not show up on Instagram or any other app I use.

Another drawback is that it does not have analytics to show:
  • the performance of my recent posts.
  • New likes.
  • New comments and so on.
As a result, I went on another hunting expedition and found my second useful Instagram app.

Update: July 14, 2016

Guess who's back, guess who's back...

I'm golden again!

Because Instapic posting is back online and for this I'm absolutely thrilled!

For the past 2 weeks or so, I was unable to post on Instagram.  

During this time, I gained and lost some followers.

Thanks for those who stuck around and came onboard during my inactivity.

But now that I'm back I'll continue to fulfill my plans.

Click on the camera icon on the bottom left to take an image or upload one from your files, crop, add filter, caption, hashtags and post away.


Update

On June 28, I woke to not being able to post with Instapic due to a recent update.
Recent update causes issues with Instapic. Issues include not being able to post videos or images to Instagram.

The new interface looks good and is loadable once you uninstall then reinstall the app.

However, I'm unable to post images or videos to Instagram. 

Am I disappointed?

Totally!

Is my Instagram growth impeded by this update?

100%.

With a clunky smartphone and busted tablet, I have no way to continue posting to Instagram, engage with my followers and grow my account.

Instapic latest Windows 10 update has rendered the app useless to post images or videos to Instagram. However, they indicated that a pending update should rectify the issue allowing us to post again.

How do I plan to solve this dilemma?


While Instapic states they're working on the issue, and that a pending update should allow posting images and videos to Instagram again, I'll work towards a smarter smart phone and a shatter proof tablet.


Websta: Instagram Analytics


Websta is more popularly known as Webstagram and back in the day, you could use it as a desktop app to access your Instagram account and post content.
    
Today, Websta provides me with easy to understand analytics about my Instagram account. 
    
I started using it in June and I'm very glad I found it. It allows me to:

  • Create an Instagram widget for my blog. Check out my side bar and footer.
  • Follow and unfollow 'Grammers.
  • Share posts to other sites like Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook; as well as via email.
  • Like and comment on others posts.
  • Know the best day and time to post.
  • Know my engagement rate.
  • My popular hashtags.
  • The top 100 hashtags on Instagram.
  • And more.

What's to Love?


I like it because it is easy to use and presents the information in easy to read and understandable format using graphs and charts.

I also like it because it is free, though they do offer their services in a pro plan.

Drawbacks 


Websta is currently experiencing some issues as it relates to generating reports for the overview field on the analyze tab. 

As it is now, it's showing that my overview was last updated on June 13, 2016. 

Gain Instagram followers and engagement for FREE with two 15 minutes sitting per day. Create a plan, implement it, evaluate your results, make adjustments to suit your audience and repeat the cycle using free apps and social media management tools. When you've grown and seen the need for more in-depth analysis and assistance invest in a platform and continue to grow your business. It's not as hard as you think. It starts with only 15 minutes.

Obviously, this information is incorrect as I have published more posts since then and have amassed more followers.

However, if you should click through for each area, you'll be able to see the correct updated information. 

Another point is, as it is an analytics site, I'm unable to post to my account.

The reporting is not as in-depth as I'd like, but it's more than adequate for me to start growing my Instagram account. 

Iconosquare: Instagram Analytics


In my research for the best app for my Instagram purposes, I found many referrals to Iconosquare.
Now That I've found them, I'm sorry I didn't take action sooner because:

As of June 2016, Iconosquare has become a paid service and now only offers a free 7-day trial that you can access without providing a credit card.

Iconosquare is an Instagram analytics site that allows multiple Instagram accounts and is so easy to use, it does not have a learning curve. 

I can, at a glance see a broad spectrum of information such as:
  • total followers and total followings
  • total likes received
  • total comments received
  • most recent posts 
  • follower growth 
  • followers gained and lost 
  • latest followers
  • top followers 
  • engagement rate 
  • love rate 
  • reports
  • manage feeds
  • track comments 
  • shows the best times to post
  • competitor tracking - elite feature
  • hashtag tracking - elite feature 
  • engage your audience - corporate feature
  • and so much more.
If you're serious about growing your business with Instagram, Iconosquare is a great investment.

If you're serious about growing your business with Instagram, Iconosquare is a great investment. If you try it and don't like it...well, you're a tough cookie. Even tougher than I. I'm impressed!

What's to Love?


What's not to love! 

What I like most about it is:
  • the analytics is in-depth and relevant;
  • it updates hourly; and 
  • they're an approved third party Instagram app. 

The analytics is provided in a straightforward and easy to read and understandable weekly or monthly format. 
   

Drawbacks 


Iconosquare provides so much data, if your not careful you'll ended up with information overload.

Also, it does not allow the full range of services to be accessed with it's 7-day free trial.

Pro tip: Use Iconosquare for the trial period and optimize, make informed decisions and assess your Instagram account. Based on your results, make more informed decisions.

Before You Begin: Have a Plan 

Before you start creating or editing your Instagram account lay out an action plan, schedule or task lists - whatever you want to call it - BEFORE you begin. 

Start with a realistic goal. This step is vital to your success as it will help to keep you focused. For example, "I want to have 50 more followers by the end of the week, month, quarter, or year". 

After all, you need a solid foundation on which to build your house right? One is also necessary for building your IG account. 

Answer these questions 


Why do I want followers on Instagram? 
  • To be famous.
  • To help others grow their businesses.
  • To present your products/services to a targeted audience.
  • To make an income.
  • Give your customers a behind the scenes view of your business? 
Will I provide a visual portfolio of my work? Maybe you're:
  • an artist.
  • Fashion designer.
  • Graphic designer.
  • Architect.
  • Wedding photographer.
Or do you want to use a more personal approach?

Once you've got your plan settled you'll want to get into creating your account. But what type?

Types of Instagram Accounts

Decide if you're creating a personal, business or fan page (feature) account as this will have a huge impact on your results. 

Personal Account 

A personal account is one that is separate and apart from your work or business life. One where you show images of your family, pets, and all the other really personal stuff. 

Or, it can be a personal account where you are your brand and you make posts that are personal yet relevant to your audience. For example, you got an award for blogging mommy of the year from the Blogging Mommy Association. 

Or let's say you are a food blogger and you want to share a recipe and state that it's the dinner you prepared for your 8th wedding anniversary.

Business Account 

A business account would be one that brands your business like Nike and the content would complement your products and services.

Fan or Feature Page

While a fan page or feature type account would be more about:
  • fun and 
  • carries content your target market enjoys. 
These types of accounts have user generated content, are easier to maintain and grows more quickly. 
  
You can create a personal account to experiment with then you can later tweak it to represent your current or future business. You might be so successful that you'll have several businesses that require individual accounts. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Whether you're creating a personal or business account the strategies outlined below will help you grow an engaged Instagram following.

Strategies and Best Practices to Employ to Get the Most Out of Instagram

Step 1: Create Your Bio


Make your bio:
  • About the benefit(s) you provide and not all about you.
  • Catchy, relevant and interesting. Don't be boring and drab.
  • Use keywords to make your account searchable.
  • Remember, you need good grammar on social media too.
    
For this, we need an image, username, description, and unique link.

Image

Use a professional avatar that speaks to your brand and the image you want people to remember of your business.

Pro tip: Use the same image across your social networks because it will make you more recognizable.


Username

Create a searchable username that's:
  • easy to remember, 
  • not too long, and 
  • easy to spell. 
Again it should match with the image you want to portray. 

Use your Twitter username so you can be tagged. 

If your username is not available get creative while bearing your purpose in mind. 

Remember, your username is what people will use to find you. If you are yet to create an Instagram account and you think it could bring value to your current or future business, grab your username now before someone else does.

Know Darren Rowse from Problogger? 

He's not the owner of the Problogger handle on Instagram. 

In fact, as a prime piece of real estate to Darren, it sits idly gathering dust and getting a whole lot of followers, and folks looking for Darren the Problogger. Take a look and see what Darren has to say.


Description

Instagram allows us 160 characters to create a description. 

Use them and make your description strong. 

Here is also where you add a call-to-action. 

What do you want the viewer to do? 
  • Get free recipes, 
  • an e-Book, 
  • visit your blog or site, 
  • enter a contest?

Links

You only get to have one clickable link on Instagram.

Make it count. 

Use Bitly to make it unique and trackable. 

This link should lead to a landing page with an opt-in form to capture email addresses straight away. 

This will help you not to only grow your email list for numbers sake, but to get more leads which will lead to more sales. 

Step 2: Content Creation Strategy

Irresistible content is what we'll use to turn strangers into followers.

When creating a post, ensure you complete it. 

For example, I created this post and have been wondering why I haven't gotten even one like. 

I'm so smart I forgot to add the hashtags. Don't be like me and sabotage your growth.

Ensure you complete your posts and don't sabotage your Instagram growth.

Irrelevant Content

Irrelevant content can turn away the right audience. Recently, I made this mistake.

I decided to populate my Instagram account with quotes. 

Motivational, inspirational, empowering, blogging, marketing et cetera. 

Tuesday, June 21 was national selfie day (#NationalSelfieDay). 

So, I jumped on the bandwagon and posted a selfie. 

Of course, I posted it without adding a quote. 

It has gotten a few likes, yes, but it has disrupted the look I wanted for my account. 

Now I'll have to rectify this because I've disrupted my theme. 

Theme

In creating a theme, be imaginative. You'd be surprised what you can do if you put your mind to it. 

Use other's work as an inspiration - don't copy. It's not cool - and then add your uniqueness to the mix. This is how creativity is born. You might end up being a sensation or creative genius.

You can have:
  • Lovely landscapes, gardens, flowers, plants, the sky or animals (are a big hit on social media. Period.) if you're a nature lover.
  • Go black and white, sepia or retro style.
  • Bright and colorful. 'Grammers don't go for reds and oranges like Pinterest. But go for blues if it's right for you and your audience.
  • Or use drawings. Your own, your kids or any you can get the legal right to use. 

Step 3: Photo Formula


A fancy camera is not needed to take awesome shots for your posts. 

Use the Instagram and other free apps and your Android or iOS device or free images from these websites

How will you post your photos?

Will you edit them first using photo editing software on your computer or will you use an app?
  • Use filters to enhance your images. Filters are used to add effect and can drastically change the mood or atmosphere of your images.
  • Color plays a huge role in images on Instagram. If you're a food or flower centered business you'd use bright intense colors to make your images stand out. 
In contrast, architecture and scenic images come across better in black and white. 

A 'Grammer who does this very well is @mr007


  • The perspective of your image has to do with the angle the picture was taken. To the side, up above or down below. This helps to add interest to your posts. With interest comes interaction. Take a look at how @Nike Golf does it.

Angles and lines are also a great way to enhance your images. Pose your images on shelves, tables and other areas that have natural angels and lines built into them. Therefore, if you work in flooring, roofing, carpentry, architecture go ahead and incorporate those linear aspects in your photos. 

Whichever you choose, try not to break the chain of your theme, and make your posts appealing.

What types of Photos will you use?

  1. Customer-centric will include photos of your customers interacting with your product(s) or service(s) like wearing your jewelry or drinking your coffee.
  2. Employee centric shows your employees in action or you showing appreciation. Like an employee of the month or intern of the summer.
  3. Instagram Contests are used to boost engagement and give your users something to look forward to. For instance, a football game is coming up on the weekend. You could run a contest and ask your followers to submit a photo from the game. The prize would be a pair of tickets for the next game.
  4. Product-centric speaks to you showing your products. For example, showing an image with items that makes a complete outfit.
  5. Blogger-centric is geared towards bloggers who create posts about your products or services. A fashion blogger could write about your latest aqua maxi dress for your 2016 summer catalog. In her post, she'll have images of herself wearing the dress. You could post her image as a form of testimonial and give yourself some added credibility. 

Step 4: Create Gallery


Build up your gallery with:
  • helpful, 
  • relevant, and 
  • beautiful images. 
Your followers will love you for it. Literally.

Step 5: Comment 


Like and comment on other photos with themes you love. This will increase engagement. 

Leave a meaningful comment and not one with a link promoting a product or service. 

Comment naturally. 

Like a real person. Let your personality shine through.

Step 6: Emotional Engagement 


Make your captions and comments longer to get more emotional engagement. 

Remember the algorithmic update. 

Therefore, your comments written to engage your audience will likely give you an increase in future likes, comments, and shares. 

NatGeo does this beautifully. They are the first account I followed way back when. 

They currently have 53.9 million followers. It should be more than guesswork that they know what they're doing. 


Step 7: Respond to Comments 


Please, please, please. 

Respond in a natural way to comments made on YOUR images. 

This will increase your engagement score. 

And again, your followers and prospective followers will reward you. 

How many times have you recommended a strangers social media account to your friends? Why did you do it?   

Step 8: Use copy to Strenghten your Images


Use your written content (caption) to strengthen your images. 

Yes, a picture says a thousand words:

But enhancing it with 100 or 250 more will go well with telling your story. 

Step 9: Communication: Two-way Street


Make your captions a two-way communication portal. 

Think of your caption as a headline. 

Use it to pull the viewer in and make them click through to give a like, leave a comment, become a new follower or visitor to your blog.

Step 10: Call-to-action


Use a direct call-to-action for your visitors to interact with your content if they enjoy it or find it useful. Believe it or not, if you want your followers or potential followers to do something. 

You're going to have to flat out ask them. 

I know right! 

In theory, I know this, but in practice, I give it a half-assed swipe. 

And I think my viewers know this too. 

As a result, I don't get the interaction I'm hoping for. But I'll be taking my own advice. 

Join me on Instagram

Step 11: Turn on Notifications


Ask your followers to turn on notifications. 

That way they'll be notified as soon as you submit a new post.

Step 12: Use Images with Faces


Use pictures with faces as they increase engagement on Instagram. 

These images should be organic. That means they should look natural, native or less staged:

Because they help to boost your engagement. (This should be applied outside of Instagram as well.) 

Step 13: Share Images of your Product


If you share images of your product(s),  the best image to post is one that has your product in use. 

Step 14: Follow your Posting Schedule 


Create a consistent posting frequency based on YOUR best times to post on Instagram.

Step 15: Post Less Frequently 


 Post less frequently. 

Wha…? 

Yes, but the trick is to make your posts quality posts because better content will increase engagement. 

Increased engagement will only lead to an increase in everything else.

Step 16: Experiment with Videos 


Experiment with Instagram videos. 30 seconds or less. Give it a try and tweak as you go.

Gain Instagram followers and engagement for FREE with two 15 minutes sitting per day. Create a plan, implement it, evaluate your results, make adjustments to suit your audience and repeat the cycle using free apps and social media management tools. When you've grown and seen the need for more in-depth analysis and assistance invest in a platform and continue to grow your business. It's not as hard as you think. It starts with only 15 minutes.

Step 17: Try Instagram Ads 


Consider getting Instagram ads because they link back to your blog or site. 

Step 18: Use Instagram Apps to your Advantage


Use Iconosquare to instantly find followers and your best time to post on Instagram. 

Step 19: Use Relevant Hashtags


Instagram is the land of hashtags. USE THEM.  

More hashtags results in getting your content before more eyes. 

That is, the more you use the further your post will go. 

The more hashtags your content is found under, the higher the chance of users finding you. 

Hashtag usage requires an entire article but here's a summary.

  • If you have a private profile and use hashtags, the hashtags will not appear on the hashtag pages. For example, you've found out that Adobe Spark can help you create 1 post each for Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and a blog post in under 5 minutes; and you want to share this with hashtag  #NewToolTuesday. It will not appear with all the other #NewToolTuesday posts. Therefore, your target audience and potential followers won't be able to benefit from this super helpful post. 
  • You can use emoji's and numbers in hashtags, but not spaces or special characters such as % or $.
  • You can tag only your posts, but not those of others - photos or videos. Whether you are following them or not.
  • You can use up to 30 hashtags on a post. If you use more than 30, your post won't be able to post. 
  • Never use your product as a hashtag.
  • Run hashtag contests with Wishpond as more contests will give you a better engagement rate.
  • Use relevant hashtags. Avoid generic hashtags like #photooftheday, #red, #friends and #cute because they are a waste of valuable space and will likely bring you untargeted engagement.
  • Research popular or influential users in your niche to find targeted hashtags that are searched for. 
  • In your notes - Trello, Evernote, OneNote, Word - create lists of 30 hashtags that you will copy and paste for each post.
  • Post all 30 hashtags in a separate comment. That way, they won't show up in your feed unless all the comments are viewed. This also helps to make your posts neater.

Step 20:  Tell Stories


Be personable, relatable and human. 

Don't be afraid to share your vulnerabilities. 

Tell stories about the benefits and value your product or service provide to others.

Step 21: Delete Spam


Delete spammy comments even if its the only one you got. 

Remember the algotithm update, it takes these things into consideration.

Pro tip: Keep on improving your account because once you get to the 1000 followers mark, the followers will roll in faster.


Action Plan Steps

  1. Set clear, time-sensitive and measurable goals.
  2. Have a solid content strategy that triggers an emotion.
  3. Pay attention to the look of your account. Your theme. Aesthetics.
  4. Use as many growth tactics you can find.
  5. Know your market and provide value.
  6. Post consistently based on your best posting times.
  7. Network with influencers within your niche.
  8. Instagram espionage. Know your competition. What type of content are they posting? What is their theme? What are they doing? Running contests, sharing user content? Learn from them and do what they're doing; only better.
  9. Do an S4S. That's Instagram speak for Shoutout for Shoutout.
  10. Track your performance with analytics.

Additional Tools to Grow Your Instagram Account 

Command is a free advanced Instagram analytics and tracking tool for iOS.

Hootsuite is a powerful and useful social media management tool. However, you'll still need to log in to Instagram to post your images.

InstaBam is a free app that allows you to find photos taken within a certain distance around you.

InstaDesk is a Mac app and is used to view your or your friends feed. It also has a social graph that lets you find new people to follow. 
  
InstaGallery is both a browser and a gallery that has the functionality of the Instagram app, but it also can be used to create sets of your favorite photos.

InstaMap is a browser for Instagram that allows you to browse and view Instagram photos by location or geotag. The best thing about it is, it’s a “real-time” browser. This means you can load a location, or a feed and watch as photos from that location are uploaded, in real time. You can also view popular photos and your own stream in gallery mode.

Use apps and social media management platforms to build, grow and analyze your Instagram account.

InstaRadar uses an interactive map to search, explore, and view Instagram photos via geo-location. This is an awesome way to check out not only points around you but places all over the world! 

InstaShow shows a live stream slideshow of the people you’re following, your photos, the photos you’ve liked, or show photos from a  specific #hashtag. It's a great plugin for e-commerce sites such as Shopify.

Kik is a communication app for both Android and Mac.

Phonto is a free content creation app for both Android and Mac.

Sprout Social is a social media management tool for small businesses and are compatible with Android and iPhone/iPad. It has a 30 day free trial that does not require a credit card for their plans.

Trello is a content creation app where you can create boards for different projects as well as have your lists of 30 hashtags.

Typorama is a content creation app for Mac.

Wishpond is great for running Instagram contests.

Wordswag is a content creation app for Mac.

Conclusion


Getting followers on Instagram is free. All you need to do to get them is to put in the work.

With Instapic and Websta I've managed to grow my Instagram following by 225% in minutes in less than a week by using only a few of the best practices I've mentioned. 

What do you think will happen when I add captions and hashtags to my new and existing content?

These tools coupled with my urge to succeed I managed to also:

  •     Get comments
  •     Likes and 
  •     Followers on Instagram.

Instagram is an image-centric social media that is used to boost traffic and revenues for many businesses - large and small. Don't be afraid to experiment with:

  •     Colors
  •     Palettes
  •     Themes
  •     Perspectives
  •     Lines 
  •     Angles 
  •     Filters
  •     Settings and 
  •     Hashtags to find what works best for you and your audience.  
Gain Instagram followers and engagement for FREE with two 15 minutes sitting per day. Create a plan, implement it, evaluate your results, make adjustments to suit your audience and repeat the cycle using free apps and social media management tools. When you've grown and seen the need for more in-depth analysis and assistance invest in a platform and continue to grow your business. It's not as hard as you think. It starts with only 15 minutes.

PIN ME FOR LATER!



Now it's Your Turn


I know this is a lot of information to take in all at once.

Pin it to Pinterest, Stumble it, or add it to your bookmarks because with just two fifteen minutes visit to Instagram per day to interact with your audience by liking, sharing, posting and commenting you have the potential to grow your business to four, five, six or even seven figures.  

Make sure to implement these strategies and best practices, and take action TODAY to get your account and business where you want it and beyond. 

And when you're working on your Instagram account make sure you say hello to me there. 

Comment 


What apps and strategies do you use to engage your Instagram followers? 

Feel free to share them in the comments.

What will you take away from this article?

I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd share this with a friend so they too can learn.

Thanks for stopping by and happy 'Gramming!

As always... do something to grow!



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