Eight Ways to Go From #Fail to #FTW by Boosting Your Instagram Follower Count in 2020.

Written by Ricky Lall

On October 31, 2019

Andy Warhol famously declared that we should all enjoy our “15 Minutes of Fame.”

Today, fame doesn’t start before you’ve reached your 15 Thousand Followers.

Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube – an endless well of new content is always just one click away.

On the one hand, that means the pressure on you to keep your audience engaged is high.

On the other hand, that also means there are more opportunities than ever for you to attract, target, and engage new Followers.

That said, if you’re just posting blindly without direction or guidance, your shot at fame or Followers will fizzle out fast.

That’s why you’ll want to follow along with these:

1. Get Organized with Schedulers and Management Software

First and foremost, you need to get organized. For as much as social media trends are made and capitalized in the moment, successful social media strategies are as much about planning in the macro as execution in the micro.

That’s why you’ll want to acquire a high-quality social media scheduler to help you plan your social media posts to the second. Social media is a 24/7 game. You can’t possibly post around the clock – but a social media scheduler can. Craft and plan posts ahead of time, schedule when you want them posted, and watch your social media game unfold.

2. Get Better Identifying and Targeting Your Audience

If you’re a health and fitness fiend, you know empty calories are the enemy. The same goes for empty Likes or Impressions on social media, which may look nice in the moment, but won’t generate any long-term attention.

Empty Likes and Impressions often result from posts which garner one-off engagements from those outside your target audience. If you’re an Instagrammer all about baking succulent chocolate cakes, chances are those health and fitness fiends aren’t your target audience. While you always want to diversify your brand, especially on social media, getting a stray Like or two from them at the expense of your core audience is a bad move.

You’ll, thus, want to use the dashboards provided by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These can tell you more about who’s actually seeing your content. Factors to look out for here include your viewers’:

  • Age
  • Income
  • Interests
  • Location
  • Gender

3. Instagram Is a Visual Medium

Picture one of those chocolate cakes we were just talking about. Think of every possible adjective you imagine to describe it such as succulent, decadent, creamy, soft, velvety texture, and taste. (Apologies to anyone who’s reading and really hungry.) Now take all those words and replace them with this:

(If you weren’t really, unbearably hungry before…)

For all our “words, words, words” here, a picture is worth a thousand words and at least as many Followers on social media. People can scroll past your post in a split-second. You need something big, bold, and immediate to grab and keep their attention.

What’s more likely to do that – a brick of text, or a big, bright picture?

Instagram is a visual media, so most or all of your posts should have pictures or videos. What’s more, these pics and vids must be of high quality. You only get a first chance at scoring a positive first impression, and if the first thing people see on your page are a bunch of fuzzy, non-HD, poor quality pictures, they likely won’t give your page a second look.

That goes for thumbnails, too. YouTubers Matthew and Stephanie Patrick of the excellent Game Theorists and GTLive channels theorize about games and media, make livestreams a bingo-worthy series of adorkable moments, and educate their viewers, fellow influencers, and major companies on how to increase their social media presence. “Pro-Tips with Stephanie” aside, one of their biggest social media pro-tips involve making bold, eye-catching thumbnails.

4. #ChooseTheRightHashtags

From the social impact of #MeToo to the weekly round of #WednesdayWisdom to those classic #YOLO tags, it’s a #HashtagWorld and we’re all just #LivingInIt. If you aren’t hashtagging your posts, #sorrynotsorry but that’s just an #epicfail – #facepalm!

Hashtags help algorithms match users to the content they care about. It helps users find the content they like. If you aren’t hashtagging, you’re missing a huge chunk of what social media is all about.

That said, you shouldn’t just hashtag to hashtag. Poorly-targeted hashtags have the same problem as poorly-targeted content. Make sure you are using hashtags which are directly related to your content, platform, and target audience. Every post, picture, and hashtag you post should have a specific purpose.

5. Create a Consistent Aesthetic

Let’s return to Andy Warhol for a moment. Warhol understood the supreme power of popularity. Part of Warhol’s genius was to produce art that at once captured, satirized, and commodified modern America’s fixation with mass production and popularity. His Marilyns are a perfect example of this.

They’re also a perfect example of how a little aesthetic can go a long way. Warhol stands out for figuring out how to create an aesthetic that’s unique, yet mass produced, pop art that truly makes art “pop” – a powerful lesson for the social media era. Every great artist has an aesthetic that is all their own and instantly recognizable. Your Instagram aesthetic likewise needs to be unique.

It also needs to be consistent. If your style is constantly changing, you won’t be able to craft a consistent online “identity.” On the other hand, if you don’t innovate, your style will grow stale. Find a happy balance between these two extremes – and, once you find it, be consistent about maintaining it.

6. Timing Matters

As with so many aspects of life, when it comes to social media posting, timing matters. This is why it is so important to check your dashboard and find out where your audience lives. While you always want to have posts ready to go to keep your audience engaged, posting that content when it’s 3 a.m. where the majority of your engagers live won’t lead to too many engagements. Make sure that you are posting things at peak posting times and when they are online the most.

7. Show Off Your Sense of Humor

Nothing trends like a good #LOL! The online world is full of funny videos and memes battling for supremacy. Laughter is one of our instinctual ways of being able to tell who’s “in on the joke” and, thus, “part of our tribe.” You want people to get that you get them, and that means getting their sense of humor.

Showing a joke or two can also help you shift the tone of your posts while keeping your aesthetic consistent. Let’s face it – even if you’re looking to post the mostly inspirationally inspiring posts to ever scream #inspiration, people get tired of being “inspired” 24/7. Social media is all about relatability, and whose life is so perfect they can “relate” to being #inspirational day in and day out?

You don’t want to seem “smug” or “better than” your userbase, so sharing a laugh (and that you can laugh at yourself) can keep you laughing all the way to the bank – and big-time small business promotion.

You’ll also want to make sure you have your finger firmly on the pulse of the latest memes, gifs, vids, and trends, as well as enduring classics. Mastering the sly, snarky, oh-so-meme-able Mean Girls-esque Millennial tone that rules social media can help you build an Instagram following faster than you can say “That’s so Fetch!” (someday, Gretchen…someday…).

8. Promoting Your Small Business with Social Media Management Software

Which brings us to the little matter of promoting big businesses.

All of the above steps hinge upon being able to post your content efficiently, and that’s precisely what social media management software does.

One of the great things about the Internet is that it really does allow David to take on Goliath on a more even playing field than is often otherwise possible. You don’t have the kind of money, staff, or resources Walmart, Apple, or a big conglomerate like that does, but with the right pictures, hashtags, content and social media management software, you can out-post and out-trend them to the tune of a massive online following.

This kind of software can help you plan your social media posts a smarter way, helping small businesses make big gains online by allowing them to organize, plan, and post all their content in one place. Keeping track of different social media accounts can feel overwhelming, especially for a small business staff. With social media management software like Ryzely, you can queue up posts well in advance, get detailed feedback on the success of those posts in real time, add as many team members and social media accounts as you like, and all without breaking the bank.

The online world is a democracy. Instagram influencers, YouTube channels, social media mavens of all stripes – they all get big because people choose them. Everything you do online should be done with the goal of making people choose and continue to keep choosing you and your content.

Fifteen Minutes of Fame can, and often is, a fluke. Fifteen Thousand Followers, and far beyond, is the product of careful planning and posting with social media software, insights, and #savvy.