Six basic rules of Instagram for success

Oh, Instagram. That girl from your high school is pretty famous on it, the people you follow seem to have a pretty normal life even though their followers are up in the thousands, and that cliché photo page is famous, too. So, what are they doing to be so successful in that platform? Should you be looking to increase your followers even if you’re ordinary? Yes, you should! And here is why.

Instagram can be a great tool for you to promote yourself by highlighting your talents. If you promote what you do well, you gain followers, which gives you opportunities that you may have never even thought of. Building a network based on an Instagram-specific niche helps you attain credibility. It’s a great source to meet friends, collaborators and even employers.

So here are six rules you need to start applying to increase those numbers:

  1. Find what you’re good at (hint: you already know it)

Do you have a passion for cooking or baking? Do you cheer on adoption for animals and have adopted one yourself? Are you funny? Have you struggled with maintaining a fitness lifestyle and know all the ins and outs? Have you majored in or currently work on something that is your passion?

Whatever it may be, chances are, you already know what you are good at and are passionate about it. Use it! There are tons of people out there just like you who needs someone to draw inspiration from. Anne Boswell started about two years ago and is now a successful blogger and Instagram user. Companies often offers collaboration with her and she has more than 12,000 followers. “I found my niche simply by knowing what I love doing or what my passion is, which is fashion,” says Anne Boswell from Anne Styled Twice.

Finding a niche is important because it helps you narrow down the group you will be targeting. Once narrowed down, the people who matter will be the ones who get your message.

  1. Put a twist to it

I know what you’re saying: “I love fitness/baking/photography. But there are already tons of pages like that. How can I stand out?” The trick is to put a twist to it and add something original to what you do.

Chances are, no one has lived your life, and no one has your unique perspective. Maybe you have this one secret that allows you to get the best workout no matter the schedule. Maybe your recipes were inspired by your grandmother who made things from scratch. Maybe you like looking at things with a different perspective in photography. “I incorporate life in all my posts because everyone gets it,” says Boswell. “You have to be able to relate to your followers.”

Let’s take the famous Jessica Shyba. One would say she is just a mom of five who does normal day-to-day things. However, she got a massive number of followers when she adopted a dog named Theo. So many people adopt dogs, but what took her from hundreds of followers to thousands was that her dog cutely cuddled with her youngest son during naptimes. It went viral because no one had seen anything cuter. Jessica is now an advocate for family life, adoption and has a strong voice in politics.

Jessica Shyba’s son, Beau, cuddles with Theo during a naptime. Photo via @mommasgonecity.

She didn’t need to break a limb or do an extraordinary act for her to gain her fellowship. A picture of a boy and his best friend was all that it was needed. And that’s all that you need.

  1. Choose a theme to match

Whatever you’re going for, make sure that you’re choosing a color scheme that goes with it. Fitness guru? Try bold and bright colors. Baking goddess? Try pastels and vibrant colors that makes the food colors pop.

Whatever you pick though, make sure that it’s consistent throughout your whole channel. Sometimes using the same photo filter and using the same lighting will do the trick. “My theme is very ME,” says Boswell. “It’s soft and chic and classy. Consistency is the key to effectiveness.”

Anne Boswell shares her Instagram color scheme that is soft, summery, and classy. Photo via @annestyledtwice.

And now to make the numbers rise….

  1. Post regularly

You need to be feeding information constantly to your viewers. They follow you for a reason, and they expect to get what they are promised. You should post on average about 1.5 posts a day. Posts at 2:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. are known to be viewed more, according to the Huffington Post.

  1. Engage, engage, engage!

Posting photos is not enough. When someone comments, make sure you reply quickly. Go to other niche-like pages and follow them, comment and get a conversation going within your community. The more you are engaged on your Instagram, the more likely it is for Instagram’s algorithms to put you on their top page.

“I’ve made so many friends on Instagram just by engaging. And I mean, engaging on their feed,” says Boswell. “Take the time of day to actually respond to people and be part of their posts and just be a friend.”

  1. Stick to it

And finally, stick to it. Whatever your niche is, whatever your color theme is, commit to commit. You can always improve, but once you create your brand, stick to it and people will follow. Don’t change it every other month just because you visited Italy and now think you’re better off posting about your travels. Incorporate, get creative and stick to it.

You might have read this and are now thinking that this is time consuming. Yes, it is. “The first six months of my brand, I basically lived on Instagram. I was on Instagram every day posting a new photo or endorsing a brand collaboration,” says Boswell.

It’s the people who are willing to put the time in that have thousands and thousands, if not millions, of followers. If it were easy, everyone would be Instagram famous. But with these six steps, you can launch your efforts into magical success.

Comment below on what your niche is and experiences with Instagram success!

Bruna Barbosa is a Public Relations practitioner who loves writing, wildlife, and photography.


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