Instagram’s prime focus has always been building connections and communities. It has always tried to serve itself as a platform for aspirants to become Influencers.
A lot of people have cashed in on this ability of Instagram and have garnered credibility on it. But recently, there has been an observed shift in the approach of people becoming an Instagram Influencer.
After the inception of applications like Instagress, Instaplus, Instadub, etc. there was an observed increase in the amount of spam activity. People were turning into Instagram Influencers just by spending money on these applications buying followers.
These apps provided features like auto-liking, auto-following, auto-commenting which allowed people to market their account without putting in any effort.
Realizing this huge spike in accounts with automated behavior, Instagram decided to do away with these third party applications.
The accounts associated with these applications were also deactivated, to ensure that there is no compromise in authenticity.
While some people will definitely try and move on to different applications that let them do similar things, others will be interested in learning the way of steadily growing their credibility.
So, I logged into Instagram and looked through a lot of profiles and observed that people use these Top 10 ways to become a Legit Instagram Influencer.
1. Define Your Niche
If you want to up your Instagram game, you need to be YOU.
There are already so many people doing so many things but there is no one that can do what you can.
Be it having a specific theme or showcasing unique quirks, make sure that you put your spin to stand out from the crowd.
As shown by the account “CheeseCurlsOfInstagram” which showcases Cheetos that resemble something with the entire world. He basically found the content he wanted to post and ran with it,which now is a huge success.
2. Make Content Your King
There is nothing else that will help you in becoming an Instagram Influencer except the content that you create. Be it videos or photographs of exotic food, places, etc, at the end of the day only the quality of your content will determine how good you are.
The quality of the picture, the caption with that and the hashtags that you decide to use, all of those should be related to the idea you want to convey.
A perfect example is the Instagram feed of “National Geographic”. They have an amazing following of 80 million people who are encouraged to post photos from all around the world. Each of their photographs is equipped with elaborate information about that place that keeps followers engaged.
3. Tell them a story
Once you have decided the type of content you want to post, it’s important how you present it to your audience.
An account which serves content around a common theme and remains true to its name is more likely to get famous. Accounts which reflect the same vision throughout their posts soon becomes a fan favorite.
There is a reason that accounts such as Kristy Reive and Murad Osmann are known for the ‘bucket list’ worthy photographs. They write and share their 'experiences and gathered information' with their followers who keep coming back for more.
No one will be interested in you selling anything to them, but people like to relate to the stories you want to share.
Travel bloggers like Lauren Bullen or Travis Burke put their experiences or stories about a particular place with the picture they post. They not only provide information to their readers but also want to pique their interest.
4. Be Punctual
Along with good quality and uniqueness of your content should come consistency. If the content that you deliver is not consistent and not properly scheduled, the impact can be far less than what you would expect.
If you have promised to be live every Tuesday, you need to be live at that time. Letting your followers know at what time you post, will not only be beneficial for them but that rush of quick engagement will provide a boost for you too.
Cheerios have found an amazing way to build their followers by using Instagram Stories regularly to give shout outs to its followers with personal messages.
To help you automate your posting schedule, you can give Statusbrew’s Publish feature a try. You can download the mobile app and use Rebrew to search and share amazing pictures.
One thing that needs to be kept in mind is that even the time you choose to post your content is important. There are proper researches that have been conducted for deciding the times and days that are perfect for best engagement. You can check out this blog by CoSchedule.
5. Use The Special Features
Lately, Instagram has been releasing a lot of features like Live and Stories that you can leverage to grow your audience. All of these can be used to gain popularity and foothold in the field of your choice.
Hashtags can act as a way of appearing on the map and while using broad hashtags may not get you as much exposure as you’d hope but more unique, targeted hashtags that speak to the theme of your account will do you a lot of good and even might get you featured on the explore section.
Learn more about the explore section of Instagram.
Instagram Stories try to appeal to the short attention span of a human being.
The more loyal and unique the content will be to your brand, the more people will like it and the faster it will grow.
Read more about How Instagram stories can help your business!
Live Feature allows you to have a one on one conversation with your followers and start a human interaction that can turn into the building block of a strong connection.
Instagram now provides insights for businesses to use that help them discover their niche and keep a check whether their efforts are targeted in the right directions.
Learn more about Instagram Insights!
Instagram allows it users to post demographic specific posts now which then is visible to anyone who searches for that place.
This feature that can be used in both a post and a story is the perfect to bring new people to your account.
6. Interact! Interact! And Interact!
It is very important that you interact with the people behind the accounts that follow you. Following accounts that showcase similar interests as you, or the ones that really inspire you is very important.
Commenting on a post or giving shoutouts to an account that is doing really well will help you in building a massive and engaging community.
By using Instagram stories or Instagram live or by hosting giveaways you will not only attract new people but also increase your account’s interaction and reach.
Using filters can also help you increase the engagement numbers and while this sounds a bit unusual, a lot of times, specific filters garner more likes and comments than other and ultimately help you increase your influence.
7. Find The Right Tools!
If you want to become a brand, you are going to have to find the perfect tool for you to maintain the quality of your account.
There are some great apps that can help you keep an eye on your brand growth and help you analyse what and where you are lacking.
A lot of people who were earlier buying followers to become an Instagram Influencer are now out of the game.
So it’s high time that you dream of being a global Influencer.
The following apps are a great asset that can help you increase engagement and interaction with your followers while you remain true to your vision.
8. Don’t Hesitate To Start Small
Yes, it is obvious that you want to gain a lot of followers as soon as you post the first picture but understand that it’s not likely to happen.
Don’t focus too much of your attention on large communities straight away that may not notice you. Start small and target small communities that can turn into evangelists and tell about you to others.
You can read up on the blog “The Growth Hacking Roadmap” on tips to how to increase meaningful users onto your account.
9. Utilize All Your Social Profiles
Almost all social platforms support sharing of images. You can utilize these platforms to promote the Instagram account on which the content is going to be shared.
This will help create a hype not only for the image being posted but for the entire account, acting as an opportunity to attract people. Having access to more than one social medias is good for you and using other medias can help you get audience that varies over a large virtual demographic.
You can use Pinterest for teasing about your photos or use Facebook to share about the story behind that particular post you shared on Instagram and encourage people over there to go over to your Instagram profile.
Want to learn more about this? You can read How to Share Instagram Images on Pinterest (and Vice Versa) here!
At the end of the day, nothing will matter as much as you sticking on with it will.
The evolution of your account will not happen overnight. But if you decide to put yourself through the process, not only you will learn a lot but also you will get to share that with the rest of the world.
As daunting as it feels trying to become an Instagram Influencer when you are just starting out, it’s not very difficult.
Depicted by Max Chafkin, a writer for Bloomberg who decided to experiment whether he can too become an Influencer by doing things very similar to what we have written down. You can read more about Max Chafkin’s experience as an Instagram Influencer here.
While these are the ways that I observed worked wonders for some people, let me know in the comments which steps helped you in your journey to become a Legit Instagram Influencer!