Do you want to spin Instagram? Unless you're a celebrity, then consistency is the secret to growing your following on Instagram.
Reading time: 5 minutes
Instagram has become a social network many companies and organizations consider building a following on.
But how do you become successful as a brand on Instagram?
- Are there any magic hashtags that you can use?
- Or a way to game the Instagram user recommendation engine?
- Should you sharpen your comedy skills — or just take some photography classes?
Well, there is a spin strategy that will help you. But it might just not be what you think.
What Seems To Be Working
The Instagram “Celebrity Effect”
One obvious way to get hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers would be to become a celebrity. Being famous will trigger your fans to find and follow you on social media.
If you’re a celebrity, you could post a picture of yourself brushing your teeth; you would still get thousands and thousands of likes for it. That’s the power of fame for you.
The most liked image on Instagram (2,700,000 likes and counting) is a recent pic by a celebrity — Kendall Jenner:
The Kendall Jenner image has many things going for it:
It’s a message of love with a touch of creativity, it’s cute and instantaneous, and most of all — it’s a picture many of her fans and followers can replicate. It gives people a reason to take selfies, which usually works well on Instagram.
And the Kardashian/Jenner family are no strangers to going big on Instagram:
The Instagram “Inspiration Effect”
Another way to go about it is to go for inspiration. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that an image-driven social medium like Instagram tends to err on the superficial side of things.
Example 1: Beauty & Style
The German Instagram influencer deborah_tmz is a great example. She has grown a following of 753,000 fans from a total of 340 selfies — much like this one:
Example 2: Stunning Photography
If you’re a talented photographer, you could grow a serious audience. Swedish amateur nature photographer @wisslaren (Christoffer Collin) grow his following to 1,000,000 fans by posting 5,000+ pictures like this one:
Example 3: Exploring Passions
Maybe gym training is your passion? Fly-fishing? Interior decorating? Or maybe you’re passionate about your dog? People are always looking for inspiration, and there seems to be an audience for many niche interests, just like Boss The French Bulldog with his 182,000 followers:
Example 4: Entertainment
Maybe you’re funny as hell, and you have a knack for the particular type of comedy that works on Instagram? Like The Fat Jewish with his 5,000,000+ followers and updates like this one:
What Strategy Will Work For My Brand?
“But I’m not a celebrity!”
“But I’m not a beauty queen!”
“But I’m not a talented photographer!”
“But our business has nothing to do with French bulldogs!”
“But our prospects won’t appreciate us trying to be funny at all!”
Well, I’m sure you’ll be okay. Chances are your brand wouldn’t want the following a celebrity, a beauty queen, a world-class photographer or a French bulldog gets.
You want a following that’s relevant to your business, right? You want a community that’s yours.
You should consider the Instagram Consistency Strategy.
The Instagram Consistency Strategy
People (or dogs) who manages to attract massive audiences through the “inspiration effect” all have one thing in common:
They’re surprisingly consistent in their postings. They don’t go out on tangents, and they rarely experiment with their content. They’ve learnt what their followers appreciate, so they stick to that.
Consistent publishing schedule: They post on a consistent schedule that works well for the type of audience they’re building.
Consistent emotional message: Their images have a consistent quality in evoking an emotional response, like laughter or surprise.
Consistent formatting: They are consistent in their use of filters/editing, whitespace and general composition/cropping.
Consistent motive choices: They pick a type of motive(s), angle(s) and/or location(s) — and then they stick with these choices.
Consistent copy tonality: They are consistent with the way they write about their uploaded photos, from copy to tagging.
Case Study: louiselj
Swedish Instagram talent Louise Ljungberg serves as an excellent example of being consistent and getting a niche following. From posting 599 pictures, she has grown a following 182,000 fans. Here’re her latest photos:
From a visual perspective, Ljungberg takes great pictures. The shots are well-balanced, emotional, softly understated and often interesting perspective choices.
But she’s consistent in everything else as well. Her selection of motives, the use of whitespace to create a harmony between the pictures, the color palettes, etc. It’s all about The Follower Contract — if you glance at her account just for a second, you can still decide with certainty if her work is going to be inspiring to you or not.
So go for relevancy, commit to a quality level and stay the course. Consistency, at least for Instagram, rules.
I’d love to check out (and follow!) your Instagram account! Leave your Instagram account name in the comments below and I’ll make sure to follow you.
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