It’s no secret that Instagram has become a powerful e-marketing tool these recent years.  With the various business-friendly features that enable customers to shop right from a photo, Instagram has transformed itself from a photo sharing app to an influential e-commerce platform.

So naturally, brands are now dedicating a substantial portion of their marketing budget to Instagram through Influencer marketing.

Here’s how you can build your following on Instagram.

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Find your marketable skill

“Do people often compliment you on the way you dress? Do you have a hobby that others would benefit from ?  Are you passionate about photography? “These are questions you need to ask yourself when trying to find your marketable skill. Nowadays any hobby is marketable as long as you have the right social approach.

For example, let’s take Mari Andrew. You’ve probably seen her illustrations all over Instagram. Two years ago while going through a time time, she decided to post a doodle every day for a year on Instagram. Her heart-warming and genuine illustrations won the hearts of many. She now has over 600,000 thousand followers and has a book coming out in 2018.

It doesn’t matter your skill, as long as you market it the proper way.

-Find your niche

If you’re interested in cooking, it only makes sense to follow food related accounts on Instagram. The same as if you’re interested in fashion, you should follow the major fashion icons and magazines. By following the people in your industry, you are exposing yourself to their world. In addition, you will get inspired by the type of content that they post. It’s a great way for you to have your foot in the door.

-Post Quality Content consistently

Posting consistently on Instagram has been shown to generate more followers. People love a sense of consistency so therefore posting often will give a sense of continuity to your audience. I posted everyday on Instagram for the past week and gained about 100 followers for that week. By the same token, it’s important for you to pay close attention to your insights. Instagram has a feature where you can turn your profile into a business page. The business page allows you to see your analytics. It can tell you things such as demographics, optimal location and time. Use these tools wisely so you can maximize your engagement.

Another tool that you can use as well are hashtags. They are a great way for people to find you on Instagram. I would recommend having a list of different hashtags depending on the type of content you post.

Lastly, post quality content. Instagram is a visual platform; people are attracted to relatable and aesthetically pleasing visuals. Therefore having  a coherent feed with top notch photos will only increase your following.

*An example of an aesthetically pleasing instagram. Erica Choi is the creative director, designer and photographer behind Egg Canvas. Through compelling images, Egg Canvas has become the go-to destination for all things travel, lifestyle and fashion.

 

-Engage with your community

Each day, take time to do community management. By that I mean engaging with your audience. Make sure you answer all of your comments. Interact with people’s insta stories. Like and comment on your followers’ photos. Show genuine interest in getting to know your followers.

It’s also important to meet in real life the people you constantly engage with. Invite them out for coffee. Go to Instagram meetups. If you’re a model, go to the photographer meetups. They are hosted at least three times a year. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with plenty of photographers and models and you’ll also get some shots for your portfolio.

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Whether you are a graphic designer or a fitness enthusiast, it is possible to build a following on social media. With curated content and determination, you will be able to earn extra income on Instagram.

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Christy Joseph, Writer, Shortstints

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