If you're new to social sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, it can be both a thrilling and disappointing experience, seeing the number of likes, followers and retweets wobble up and down. Gaining legitimate followers can take a lot of work, time and effort, so below are tips and tricks to help you increase your effect on Instagram.
Images and time
Building your portfolio is crucial to getting noticed. You want it to be interesting and engaging, but relatable and realistic enough that you can maintain it on a daily basis. In order to gain followers, it's best to upload 4-5 decent photos upon creating your account, as nobody will follow an empty profile.
Once your page is up and running, one thing to keep in mind before posting a new photo is the time at which you do it. It's proven that the best times to post are 8am and 5pm (time zone dependent), as many people login first thing in the morning and during early evening after work. This is more likely to get your photos noticed.
Filters and apps
Some say filters are crucial to a good photo. Whilst you're not likely to get more likes on a photo simply because of the filter used, they can help your photo to stand out or heighten certain aspects of the image. Currently, the most popular filters to use are: Lo-Fi, X-Pro II, Valencia, Mayfair and Rise, but you can use any you wish (or nothing at all).
Along with filters, apps are used to create a collage of images or add specialised filters that aren't included on Instagram. Apps such as Squaready are popular for creating collages, whereas Picfx and Camera+ are the go-to places for filters and photo editing. It's all about finding the right app and filters that work for you and your images.
Hashtags are essential to get your photos noticed, even if you have a low following. Saying this, too many can be too much – limit hashtags to a maximum of five, ensuring that they all relate to your photo. This can lead to users exploring the rest of your profile, simply from stumbling upon one of your images. #awesome
When you initially create your account, it's customary to follow your family and friends; this is a foundation you can work from to develop a larger following. You can also find people you know or who are of interest in the 'suggestions' feed, as engaging with other users can increase your visibility and popularity. One way to do this is using your photo caption to ask a question, encouraging users to comment, like and explore your account. Similarly, by following, liking and commenting on other content, you’ll discover new users and points of interest, and vice versa.
Quality not quantity
Inundating your followers with a string of images within a short time period can do more harm than good. Bombarding followers with your images can overexpose your account and lead people to unfollow you. You can post multiple times a day, but spreading your uploads over the course of a few hours is more effective, helping to build anticipation and a sense of desire for your next post.
Author: Harriet Brown