A picture is worth a thousand words.
Well, not 1000 but 60,000 words to be precise. That is because our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
This is exactly the premise on which Instagram has been created. The seamless combination of technology with visual content has made Instagram, a very popular platform. With 700 million followers worldwide, Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform. That people like to spend time on Instagram is apparent from the fact that Instagram is now twice the size of Twitter and has surpassed Snapchat.
Though I had an Instagram account, I had hardly ever engaged on it for 2 years or so, as I never really understood the platform. Once in a while, I would post at random, and naturally, I had only a handful of followers. It was only in December 2016 after I started uploading the pictures from my trip to Jaipur that I started paying attention and figured out how to the engage on Instagram.
Within 8 months, I gathered 6000 followers organically, plus an average engagement rate that is more than 10%. By no means, I can claim that this is a great number as there are several accounts that have millions of followers. Yet, having discovered the power of Instagram in the high traction it garners, I can categorically say that Instagram is a platform that a digital influencer should not ignore.
So, how do you build and grow your Instagram account?
Of course, the easiest is to buy followers, but when people buy followers, they do not necessarily engage with the account. So, when you come across accounts with ten thousand or more followers and a very low engagement rate (1- 2% of the followers), you know that the followers are most likely fake.
Engagement Rate = [(Likes+Comments)/ No. of followers] as %
Engagements (likes, comments) can also be purchased. But again, if you go on purchasing interactions for all your pictures, you’ll most likely end up spending much more than the benefits that accrue from your account.
Here’s how you can boost your Instagram presence in an organic manner
1. Post consistently on Instagram
The thing that attracts me (maybe others too) about Instagram is that it encourages quality over quantity. Posting only one to two pictures in a day is sufficient to start building your follower base, provided you post on a regular basis.
When you post regularly, the Instagram algorithm that detects your posting and engagements (likes, comments, shares) rewards you by making your post appear in the feed of your followers or in the feed of those you engage with. If your pictures have a rich visual appeal, it increases the chance of people liking your pictures while scrolling through their feed.
Pay attention to the timing of your posts. Posts on times when the traction tends to be the highest.
In my experience, I can say that Instagram rewards consistency more than any other platform.
2. Improve the aesthetics of your feed
On Instagram, many people generally tend to like pictures that stand out while scrolling through the feed. Pictures with higher exposure, warm temperatures and higher contrast have been found to have higher engagement levels. Use of certain filters that create these effects is thus likely to increase the engagement level. Apart from the filters that Instagram provides while posting, filters can also be applied using filter apps. My favourite filter app is Aviary. Some other good filter apps are Snapseed, VSCO, and Instasize.