In order to efficiently use any tool to its maximum potential you need to know everything you can do with it. It’s the same with Instagram, so let’s see what are the actions you can do and what outcome they can have.
We won’t do an in-depth discussion about each of them but rather list them all so you can create more connections the further you go into this course. They will be all thoroughly discussed at some point though.
One last thing before we start, most of these actions are supposed to have one outcome – attract attention to your account with the high possibility of receiving a follow. Keep this in mind while you go through the list.
1. Follow and Unfollow
Although these are basically 2 actions, I’ve grouped them together because they always go hand in hand. Following other accounts is one of the most used tactics to attract attention to your account because the account you followed will receive a notification that you followed him/her and in most cases will check you out to see who you are. At this point everything you learned so far comes into effect, if you created a catchy, great looking account you’ll have higher chances of getting a follow.
Depending on your account you can do a few hundred follows per day up to 600-700 follows per day. Some people push it even more, usually with aged accounts but it’s not recommended if you want to be on the safe side.
Due to the fact that Instagram imposes a limit of maximum 7500 people you can follow you can’t do this indefinitely, so that’s why the unfollow action is here. At some point you’ll need to unfollow the people that didn’t follow you back in order to keep doing the follow technique.
2. Follow back
Some people do this, some don’t. It’s basically up to you, I do think this is a good thing to do while your account is still small. The idea is to follow back people that followed you so you increase the chances of them remaining a follower. At some point you’ll probably have to unfollow them though, if your account gets really big but by that time they will forget about this. Or if they have an automated system to check for this they will unfollow as well, but there’s nothing you can do about that.
The like actions works in the same way as the follow one, you like other people’s posts to attract attention. In order to have a higher chance of getting a follow back targeting is really important here so there are different tactics. You can like posts in your niche, you can like one post per user or several to grab more attention, you can like latest posts or posts that have a higher engagement rate and so on.
Commenting on someone else’s post definitely attracts attention, it’s just that you can’t do too much of this, not nearly as much as follow and like. But it’s definitely a good thing to do. Some do combine this with a like and or a follow on the same user’s posts that they commented on in order to maximize the chance of a follow. It will lower the amount of people you can reach within a day, but it will increase your follow back rate.
Comments should be engaging and attract attention, generic comments like “love”, “like” or even simple emojis are mostly considered spam and will be disregarded by most regular people.
5. Sending messages
Sending a personal message to other people is also a great way to increase engagement for your account. Usually people use this to send messages to new followers (automatically or not) and mention a product or service they’re promoting. If you really want to do this the right way, I’d suggest you don’t start selling from the first message but create a connection first. It will work a lot better in the long run.
You can also send messages to other people, however be careful when you do this and don’t spam people, if several of them report you your account is in jeopardy.
6. Posting stories
Stories are a special kind of post you can make, they automatically disappear after 24 hours. So it’s something limited that will not remain on your IG wall. These are great to be used as limited time promotions, contests, shoutouts and so on.
For business accounts, stories can have a link attached as well, you should remember this from the “extra bio options for the business accounts” lesson.
There’s also an addition to this, “Instagram live” where you can actually broadcast yourself to your followers. It lasts for 24hours as a regular story though.
7. Instagram highlights
These are stories or lives that you can highlight on your profile and they will show up there even after the story disappeared after its allotted 24h period. These are even better for business profiles due to the extra link you can use with the stories feature.
8. Posting with hashtags
Unlike most other platforms, hashtags on Instagram are really important so it’s definitely a good idea to add hashtags to all your posts. Most people add random hashtags that sound related without regard to how big their account is and how popular the hashtag is.
Hashtags on Instagram are not there just cause they look good, there are special pages automatically created by Instagram for each hashtag that exists where the top posts using that hashtag are shown. People regularly browse these pages for the hashtags they are interested in so if you reach on this page with one of your posts your account will get a huge boost of followers and engagement.
You can use up to 30 hashtags per post and there’s even a little known tactic to add up to 60 hashtags in a post and the first comment. You don’t necessarily want to do that though as you need to balance the want for account engagement with the need of your followers.
9. Posting/commenting with mentions
Another direct way to attract someone’s attention is to mention or tag them in a post or comment. This was a highly used tactic until Instagram considered people abused it too much so the limits on it are now quite drastic. You can still use it, but very lightly and ideally mention only people that follow you or have a direct connection with you.
10. Double tapping
You can do this on the phone app for any post and it will like it. People sometimes use this in the caption for what they post, you will see “double tap if you agree” or something similar. This is done in order to increase engagement for the posts.
11. F4F, L4L & S4S
These 3 stand for “follow for follow”, “like for like” and “shoutout for shoutout”. They were used as hashtags for a very long time, however nowadays mostly bots use these and they are also quite frowned upon by Instagram so it’s no longer a good idea to use them. The first two mean that if you follow or like an account that account will do the same for you, it’s basically the same outcome as in points 1 and 3 from above, however with a 100% (theoretically) probability, whereas if you do the like and follow method a 5-10% follow back rate is considered quite good.
Shoutout for shoutout is a growth tactic accounts use to help each other grow. They would each make a post where they mention the other user, this way their followers saw the other person’s account and maybe followed them as well. Generally accounts with around the same number of follower do this as an exchange, accounts that are a lot bigger than your own will ask for money in exchange for a shoutout.
12. Using engagement groups or pods
This is another commonly used growth tactic on Instagram, basically you join a group of people and everyone makes a post and all the people in that group like or engage with that post. This drives the engagement of a post really high and the chances of that posts getting on multiple hashtag top pages increases. When that happens your account will receive a lot of free, organic engagement.
This sounds great in theory, however it’s hard to find high quality engagement groups and even if you do, this has to be done in moderation.
13. Saving your posts
If you run lots of accounts, you can set them up to save each other’s posts. Instagram considers posts getting lots of saves important and ranks them higher in the hashtags top posts page. You can add this to your engagement groups.
As you can see there are a lot of things you can do on Instagram to increase your account’s engagement. You can even combine 2 or more of the above in smart ways that will increase engagement even further. We’ll talk more about each of them in the coming lessons, for now just keep them in mind.
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