What does it take to run a successful Instagram account?
That is the big question for individuals as well as businesses of all sizes.
Social media as a whole has taken everything we know about online business and has transformed the way people and businesses connect to each other. For the purpose of this article I decided to reach out to a few of my Instagram contacts that I have worked with in the past for some insight as to what they have done to ensure the growth of their accounts. Needless to say, each of them has built quite the following for their profiles and are always working towards providing their audience with quality content.
For those of you currently asking “what makes you experienced with Instagram?” I would not say I am a guru by any means, but I do know what works and what doesn’t due to trial and error, and networking. With that said, I currently own and operate an account on Instagram under the username “Alpha_Knowledge,” which currently has 60.3 thousand followers (at the time of writing this article).
To ensure I wasn’t providing you with one off information based on what I have done, I reached out to some of my favorite Instagram profiles to see what they are currently doing to continue to grow their pages and businesses. The accounts I’ve reached out to are in a league of their own, and I absolutely love the content they put out there.
Here is what they said.
Number one is be passionate about what you are sharing. Be sure to provide massive value and always show love to your followers. Network with like minded pages. Have a purpose and commit long-term. Post a minimum of 3 times per day, and show your followers that you care.
“You have to consistently post high quality content. No one is going to follow you if you are pushing low quality content that provides no value. It requires a lot of discipline and creativity, but if you don’t follow this rule you have no chance of building a following.”
Be consistent and post every day. There are no days off and you have to provide quality over quantity.
It takes time to get the result you want just like any other venture. It takes consistency, persistence and patience.
Be real and do what you love. The reason I started this was to inspire others and that’s something that I love. If I could provide value to others, I’m happy with life. That’s how I went about running this account. If you’re real with yourself and your audience you will have a successful Instagram account. Why? Because it doesn’t matter how many followers you have, but how many people you truly inspire/entertain because you love what you’re doing.
I don’t always follow these rules but I know anyone who is super serious about growing their page should. First you must be consistent to remain relevant as it is called ‘Social Media’ for a reason. Stay social, keep posting good quality content and always comment back and engage with your followers. They took time out of their day to say something and be engaged with you on your posts, the least you can do is respond when you find time. Also be sure to space your posts out throughout the day.
Next, if you’re trying to build a personal brand for yourself or business you must be entertaining to keep people’s interest. Show people what you’re up to and be real with them. People can always recognize authenticity and are naturally drawn to it. Lastly, no matter what type of social media account you have, you will always have to post high-quality images and have a bio that stands out and is clear about who/what you are and what you do. Unless you’re mega famous already, you will need more than just your name in your bio and always keep in mind that these things take time to catch on. So the more consistent you are with your posts and hashtags the more likely your account will gain momentum.
There are a few key factors for IG. 1. personal branding is key at the moment. 2. Networking with other pages to grow together or run multiple promotion packages. 3. ACTIVITY, is so important! Almost everyone forgets that though. But the truth is, if you don’t post for a few days, you are out. There are so many Instagram pages right now, and when you are inactive your engagement can be gone forever.
What it takes to run a successful social media profile is patience. It’s not easy to achieve 300k followers. I can tell you a few tricks of the trade. 1. Always network with your peers, collaborate, work with large scale companies who are willing to affiliate with you. 2. Post frequently to gain more momentum and awareness on your profile. 3. Target celebrities or big influencers that thrive motivation and success.
I was unable to reach Foundr, but I found a post they released titled “How Foundr Went From Unknown To A Top Influencer In 2 Years.”
The overall thing I want to communicate to you about the significance of branding, is that it’s all about attention, and it’s all about trust.” The ten steps Nathan lays out for fellow social media fanatics are:
- Treat your brand name like it is gold.
- Look to build trust however you can.
- Use great design
- Make use of case studies and testimonials
- Create a manifesto
- Align yourself with other Influencers
- Serve first, ask later
- Give away your best stuff for free
- Constantly and consistently deliver value
- Interview other people
Original content for daily posting and to learn the art of storytelling.
Go all in. If you want success on Instagram or anything you must dive into it. It’s not something you can just do a little bit here and a little bit over there. You need to dive into Instagram, learn it, absorb it from others, screw up a ton of times and then you’ll become a beast. It’s the only way. Then once you have learned it there are ways you can outsource and delegate of course.
Tim had an Interview with Huffington Post and here is what he said in “Founder Of Daily Dose Tim Karsliyev: Creating. Cultivating. Capturing.”
Daily Dose is beyond a brand, but about building others up. Aside from the vision itself, I aggressively study market trends which allows me to constantly be pivoting… People have to create an environment and culture they envision and love… At the end of the day, your network isn’t who you know, it’s who knows you and how they know you. The more people that know you, the greater impact you can make towards the masses.
The bare minimum is to post consistently 3 times a day at least, and they have to post quality content. Step 2, is you need to grow by leveraging other peoples audiences. That’s done by purchasing shoutouts or doing Share for Share with other pages.
Running an ‘above average follower’ Instagram is not easy. It definitely requires everyday attention, willingness to go for a long period without any direct results. But… Instagram is probably one of the easiest ways to build a huge audience fast. Instagram is easy to use, fun and constantly developing which makes it attractive for people to stay on and for marketers to build on.
Just to refresh your memory, I asked every account above the same question.
“What would you say it actually takes to run a successful Instagram profile? What is the bare minimum anyone should expect to have to do if they want real results?”
The responses as you could tell have not differed drastically, but rather all encompass the same game plan.
Your account has to be about more than just about your business. You have to learn to tell your story and create relatable content. Why?
2. CREATE HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT:
What does that mean? High Quality content includes a variety of things such as, the quality of the image, the font(s) you place on the image, the caption you’ve attached to it, as well as the hashtags you’ve selected to help gain further exposure.
3. BE CONSISTENT:
This is a big one. If you want to succeed with Instagram you have to accept the fact that it’s not JUST an Instagram page anymore. It’s so much more than that. It is a means of building relationships with people from all over the world. Being consistent helps build a level of trust with your audience as to what type of content they can expect from you, and when they can expect to receive it.
4. PATIENCE AND DETERMINATION:
Many of the pages I spoke with said that results take time and that you have to be invested for the long-run. I couldn’t agree with them more. We’ve all been working at growing our audiences for YEARS. Remember, quality over quantity. You want ‘followers’ who are going to engage with you and your content. How many followers you have doesn’t really matter, as long as the people you are attracting are engaging with your account.
When people engage with your account by commenting, liking, or sharing your content you have to reciprocate. Comment back thanking them for engaging, liking one of their photos, or sharing one of their images on your account. By doing that, you begin to build a relationship with that user, which will more than likely make them become more involved with your page/business.
Some of the advice given earlier has mentioned leveraging other pages to help grow your audience by either purchasing Shoutouts (advertisements) or doing Share for Shares. Both are equally as important, but not everyone has the money to purchase shoutouts. With that said, begin to network with accounts that have a similar sized audience and fall within a similar niche. Sharing each other’s photos will help each of you grow. Fun Fact: If I didn’t network on Instagram producing this article for all of you would have been significantly more difficult. The accounts I reached out to for input, I have either collaborated with or reached out to previously in some way for additional insight.
The BIG Question: Why would any of their insights matter to me or Business?
All in all, at the very least, you have to treat Instagram like a part-time job if you expect to build relationships, grow your audience, and build a reputable brand. Creating high-quality photos, providing valuable/meaningful content in the caption, attaching appropriate and effective hashtags, networking with other Instagram accounts, and building relationships with your audience all take an immense amount of time. Truthfully, I spend one full 8 hour day per week developing photos and writing captions for my own account, and that doesn’t include the time it takes to post the content, engage with my audience or network with other accounts.
Now, consider this. There are over 700 million (2017 Statista) users on Instagram worldwide that are posting new content 24/7. In the United states there were 88.48 million people and in Canada 10.1 million people (2016 Statista). That is roughly one third of each country’s total population. Top brands post an average of 4.9 times per day (2016 Hootesuite), and 75% of Instagram users take action such as liking a post or following a web link (2016 Hootesuite).
Look at those stats again.
Having your business on Instagram is a no brainer, especially if 75% of Instagram users take action. What other platform can you get that sort of engagement? None that I am familiar with. Regardless of your type of business, whether you’re offering products or services, attaching a web link to your profile that leads to an exclusive offer or opt-in page will prove to be more than effective in generating leads or increasing sales. However, placing a link in your Instagram Bio while posting once a day/week/month isn’t going to change anything for you.
If you run a business account and expect to grow your audience and later convert some of your audience into pay customers, then you must keep this in mind. With the amount of accounts posting every single day fighting for the attention of their target audience, posting once or twice a week won’t cut it. Your images and marketing efforts will simply get drowned out by everyone else posting three to five times per day. The more you post, the more likely your desired audience will see your content. Just be careful, you don’t want to annoy your audience by posting 10+ times a day. That could quickly prove to have the opposite effect. Needless to say, you’re either all in, or all out when it comes to Instagram regardless of the industry or niche you or your business fall under.
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