The Ultimate Photographer’s Guide to Growing an Instagram Following
1. Consistent Posting
I’m guilty of not following this VITAL point on my own personal profile and have learnt the hard way – to build a highly engaged and active following you must be consistent with posting regularly on a day to day basis. If you’re not a celebrity, it can often be difficult to grow a strong fanbase of people that actively seek your content out and to gain their trust and dedication.
I’ve carefully reviewed some of the top photographer’s accounts & generally you should be be aiming to post at least once a day… if not twice. You need to post often enough that people start to recognise and remember you. This has to be carefully balanced with being sure not to annoy people by spamming them with too much content!
Ultimately it’s really up to you to experiment and do your own testing to find that balance with your audience, but 1-2 posts a day is a good benchmark figure to use.
From my past experience and research undertaken in the social media world, posting in the morning at 8-9AM is optimal and between 4-5PM when people are coming home from work.
2. Utilise Popular Hashtags
Hashtags exist for a reason! This integral part of how Instagram works is often either forgotten about completely, or fatally overused. By learning how to properly use them, you can take the first step into preparing your account for Instagram fame.
Using relevant hashtags are invaluable to making your content discoverable by potential fans. I’ve listed the most popular hashtags used on Instagram below:
#love #TagsForLikes #TagsForLikesApp #TFLers #tweegram #photooftheday #20likes #amazing #smile #follow4follow #like4like #look #instalike #igers #picoftheday #food #instadaily #instafollow #followme #girl #iphoneonly #instagood #bestoftheday #instacool #instago #all_shots #follow #webstagram #colorful #style #swag
Alternatively you can download some of the following apps that will list the most popular hashtags by niche, which can help greatly with gaining followers that are actually interested in your content.
Including hashtags of feature accounts in your captions can also provide an opportunity to be featured to hundreds of thousands of people. These accounts main goal is to feature small photographer’s and can provide a huge boost in followers and engagement.
I’ve included a small list of large photography feature accounts along with their hashtags that often re-post tagged photos:
@QuietTheChaos || #quietthechaos
@BleachFilm || #BleachMyFilm #Under3kyo
@IvoryFilm || #IvoryFilm
@WaitingOnTheWorld || #ftwotw
@ExpoFilm || #expofilm #expofilm3k
3. Engage With Your Followers
If you’re reading this article, it’s likely you don’t have a die-hard fanbase of a few million Instagram fan-girls. Because of this, it’s extremely important that you actively engage with your followers and people that comment on your photos.
Replying to comments and initiating conversion may seem trivial, but in reality is just something that should be done out of common curtesy. If a stranger walked past you in the street and gave you a smile, it would be rude to then just ignore them! It’s common to develop a mentality as you grow a larger following that you’re somehow ‘better’ than your followers, that they don’t deserve your time and respect.
If this is the case it will ultimately be your inevitable downfall!
A simple gesture of friendliness can convert a stranger into an engaged fan for life. Just as in every other aspect in life, you must give selflessly before expecting anything in return.
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