I grew my Instagram by 100 followers per day!

Perhaps I still don’t get it, but Instagram is a strange social media platform. Instagram is not a website, but an app. You have to use your phone to post on Instagram. Every post must include a photo – and the photo must be square. Further, you can’t include a link in your posts to drive people to your website. Quite honestly, I find all of these things annoying, especially for business use. Yet, I’ve heard so many great things about Instagram, especially for Influencer Marketing, that I keep trying to figure out how to really make it work. I’ve tried assorted services that will grow your account, without buying followers, but instead will get you real people following your account. These have worked only marginally, growing my followers by perhaps 10 to 20 people per day. Not stellar, but I know better than to buy fake followers. Besides, what good are followers on Instagram if you can’t include a link? – you might as well just advertise where you can get people to click.

I don’t take a constant stream of selfies to post to social media, I prefer to create real valuable content, so decided to generate a series of motivational quotes. I grabbed some free stock photos, found quotes related to marketing, online sales, and ebusiness, and made a new meme for each day. Editing tools are better on my laptop, so I create the memes on my computer, then transfer them to my phone in order to post them on Instagram. These are good quality content, and I share them on Instagram with automatic posts to Facebook and Twitter (which you can do on Instagram). I also included a variety of hashtags. (Hashtags are those key words that start with # and are clickable links that people follow). Hashtags are key to growing your following on Instagram, as that is how new people find you. So, you want to use hashtags that people are looking for.

Anyways, it was recently Veteran’s Day. I decided to post a photo of my dad from back in the day when he was a liaison officer at the Air Force Academy. I used hashtags like #airforce, #veteransday, and #military. My account grew by over 100 followers in a single day – way better than anything I had done previously. Then it hit me as to why Instagram is important for your business. It is becauseInstagram is great at storytelling.  People love stories, and storytelling is a great way to connect with people.  You need to use Instagram to tell your business’ story – why you provide the products and services that you offer, who you offer them for, and what is the motivation that keeps you up at night. It is not a sales pitch – it is relating to your customers in a way that they don’t see you on other social media channels. That is why it is so popular as an Influencer Marketing channel. You may never sell anything of of Instagram, but it will help you build your brand.

Instagram is great at storytelling. People love stories, and storytelling is a great way to connect with people. Click To Tweet

Now I think that the hashtags I used for Veteran’s Day happened to make a big difference as well. There are simply a lot more people following those hashtags than who are following #businesstips, so I decided to do some research. Here is what I found.

Currently, the 25 most popular Instagram hashtags are as follows:

#love
#instagood
#photooftheday
#fashion
#beautiful
#happy
#cute
#tbt
#like4like
#followme
#picoftheday
#follow
#me
#selfie
#summer
#art
#instadaily
#friends
#repost
#nature
#girl
#fun
#style
#smile
#food

Now, you don’t want to always use the most popular hashtags if you want your posts to stand out – pick one or two if it’s relevant, then use a number of less popular hashtags that are important for your post. Try to use between 8 and 12 hashtags per post.

I’m still going to do motivational business quotes, because I like them, but I’ll be mixing these up with other items related to doing business online. For example, here is the post I created for today.

This is great because I can use some of the more popular hashtags like #nature and #beautiful, but I can also use business related hashtags. You can follow me on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/gregwjameson/. Let me know your Instagram handle and I’ll follow you back.