Instagram can be a great way to increase visibility for your business, cause, or passion. I started my Instagram account, @chronicallyhealed for my modeling portfolio and I used that medium to help raise awareness, advocacy, and hope for chronic illnesses. It brings me joy to connect with and inspire others in ways I would not have been able to without the invention of social media! I grew my account to over 10,000 followers. Here is how I did it:
1. Write down a mission statement in your bio. What is your goal for creating your Instagram? This sums up what you are about and why people should follow you. If your mission is to get famous and popular, this is not inciting to prospective followers. Social media is a useful tool to get an important message across- use it purposefully and not just for your own ego.
2. Like, like, and like! Like every post in your feed. Like the posts of your followers. Go to relevant hashtags and like the posts there. Be genuine with your likes, don’t like something you don’t actually like and don’t like with the expectation of a follow. Like other’s posts as a show of support. But be careful not to like too quickly or too much, this could get you banned from liking!
3. Leave thoughtful and meaningful comments on other’s posts. “Nice pic!” is not very engaging. Encourage and lift others up. Again, don’t comment with the expectation of a follow. The point of liking and commenting is to be engaged with your community. This can help grow your Instagram because it makes your account more visible for those who would like to follow you.
4. Turn on post notifications for similar accounts with large followings. This way, you can be the first to comment on their new post and your account name will be featured for all who see it. This is not to try to get the celebrity to follow you, but it makes your account visible to all of their followers who might want to follow you. In your comment, make it relevant for the post, but also summarize what you are about. For example, a few times when Yolanda Hadid posted about her Lyme disease journey, I commented first to share my experiences with Lyme. The people who follow her for her Lyme journey then saw my comment, and some followed me for my Lyme journey.
5. Post high-quality and dynamic photos. Grainy, dark photos can be difficult to see. It’s okay to edit your photos to look brighter so they are easier to see. It is also not very interesting when your feed consists of photos that look almost exactly the same. Post before-and-after photos, shareable graphics, and pictures of your smile! Also, don’t forget about the aesthetic of your captions. Instead of one long paragraph, make your captions more interesting and easier to read by using bullet points and line breaks. (Sometimes Instagram won’t do line breaks, to fix this, enter your caption to https://apps4lifehost.com/Instagram/CaptionMaker.html before posting).
6. Provide helpful content in your captions. Share about an experience you had and what you learned from it. Be vulnerable so others can relate to you in a meaningful way. A good Instagram account takes a lot of time. I spend hours every week developing quality content and writing out captions for my posts. I plan out sometimes a week in advance so I do not have to spend time during my busy days to write a post. Don’t do the minimum and expect a massive following. What can people learn from you?
7. Post frequently. Post at least once a day and utilize all of Instagram’s features: stories, IGTV, reels, live. Staying active will show potential followers that you will be consistent. But still continue to remember to post quality content! Posting frequent quality content takes time.
8. Use targeted hashtags. Hashtags like #blessed or #picoftheday are very popular, but that does not mean they are effective. They are so popular that your post will get buried in the hashtag within seconds, and no one will see it. Use a few hashtags that have over 1,000,000 posts, then most of your hashtags with over 100,000 posts, and a few hashtags with less than 100,000 posts. Find what hashtags to use by going to the top posts in a relevant hashtag and see what other hashtags they use.
9. Don’t forget about the followers you already have! The more your existing followers engage on your posts, the higher the post will rank on the Instagram algorithm. A high ranking post will be featured on the explore page, increasing your reach to more people. So, show appreciation for your current followers! Reply to their comments, like their posts, and share their posts to your stories. If they share one of your posts, share it in your stories and tag them! Ask questions in your posts and share their answers to your stories.
10. Collaborate with other accounts. Find ways to share each other’s content or work together on a post. Ask someone else who is trying to grow their following for a shout-out for shout-out. Tag them in your stories, and they will tag you in their stories. Actually, tag me! I will give you a shout-out for shout-out! Tag @chronicallyhealed in your stories so I will see it 🙂
11. Be real. You are not a robot, you are a human! Don’t buy likes, follow then unfollow, or copy-paste spammy comments/DMs. Don’t alter the shape of your body or face in your photos. People appreciate authenticity, don’t let them follow a fake version of yourself.
12. Don’t worry about the number of likes and follows. It’s great to be able to share your message, but these numbers have nothing to do with your worth as a person. Post what you love, as if no one was following you. Let your passion be your driving force, not your desire for more followers, and those followers will come naturally. And even if they don’t, you will still feel satisfied with your Instagram.
Remember, not everyone is going to like you, and this is something you will have to be okay with when you put yourself out there. The more followers you get, the more haters you get. The best way to deal with haters is ignore them. Delete their comments, and block their account. Instagram also has a feature that will automatically hide offensive comments. Go to settings>privacy>comments, then turn on “Hide Offensive Comments.” You can also filter out comments that have certain words. If Instagram is causing nothing but feelings of insecurities for you, it’s best to stay off it for awhile and develop a strong identity untied to comparisons and what other people say about you. Your well-being is more important than the number of followers.
What is your instagram? Share your instagram account name in the comments for some likes 🙂