Instagram is the fastest-growing social media platform with over 400,000 million active users each month. It’s become more than just a platform to share your snapshots of everyday life: it’s a marketplace, search engine and, most importantly, a community. It’s a 24/7 platform and the best way to reach people of almost all interests and demographics.
I’ve been asked many times about how to grow an Instagram account, so after checking several profiles and noticing common mistakes I decided to write about how to build a solid foundation for follower growth. Instagram is a 100% visual platform, but before talking about the content (which should be really good), let’s start with how you present yourself there.
‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression,’ – Harlan Hogan.
1. Easy-to-spell username
Your username on Instagram or any other social media platform should be clear, unique and easy to remember. If it’s your business account, use your brand name. If you are promoting yourself as a specialist in your niche, it’s good idea to use your real name if possible. Think about it: is it easier to remember an account with the handle @superluckygirl1994_ or the simpler @alice_gao ?
Although it’s better to have a short username, sometimes a longer one can be memorable too, such as @aminuteawayfromsnowing
This is what people see when they use the search tool on Instagram and it’s also the first line of your bio. Use it to your advantage! Choose two or three keywords that describe you and your work, and weave them into your headline. This is the main hook on your profile and you need to use strong words to your advantage.
You have 150 characters to distinguish yourself from the crowd, provide your contact details and include a call to action (CTA). Break down the facts about you in two to four lines so it’s easy to read. This is also where can add your other social accounts if you want. Include your email address if you want to be contacted for collaborations. If you have enough space, add a personal fact about yourself. Use the last line for your CTA – encourage your followers to take action, whether it’s to check out your YouTube videos or latest blog post, or to ‘like’ your Facebook page. You should clearly ask people to click your link and explain what they will get.
Pro tip: write your bio in Notes and then copy-paste it into Instagram. Use emoji (in moderation) to make your bio look a bit more interesting.
Let’s have a look at my Instagram profile:
Handle: katya_jackson. This is my real name
Headline: London iPhoneography. This describes what I do and what my profile is about: photos of London taken on an iPhone and ‘how to’ tips and tricks on iPhone photography.
London based blogger – my location and what I do
Snapchat: @jacksonkatya – another social platform I spend my time on
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – for partnerships and collaborations
CTA*: Want to take amazing photos of London? Check this out – asking people to check the link below where they will learn how to take better photos.
Link: bit.ly/LDN_Superstar – a link to my freebie
*I change my CTA depends on what my latest post on Instagram promotes