The time is June 2015 and with over 300 million active users Instagram has become one of the largest most widely used social media platforms in the world. Just about everyone and their little bro has an account and lets face it, whats an account good for without a following? I mean, who doesn’t get excited about new likes, followers, and comments every time you open the app up to your page? BUT creating a following for yourself or business isn’t nearly as easy as it seems.

Now, unless you’re a celebrity or the hot chick from down the street who knows just how to pose to make herself look famous, it’s going to be difficult for you to gain followers and likes. But even for the regular everyday user there are some simple tips that can help you get your numbers up and make instagram a little more enjoyable.

Here are 5 simple tips to start building your brand through the use of instagram. Hope you enjoy!

1 – Quality Photos

First and foremost, make sure your account is filled with high quality photos. You don’t want to look at someone’s blurry, poorly lit photos, do you? Of course not, so why would anyone else. I’m not saying go out and buy a professional camera, but with today’s technology and the quality of smartphone camera’s there is no excuse to be posting a photo that looks like it was taken with a Nokia from 2004. So before you snap, check the lighting and hit that focus button, it will do wonders.

Like the great quote Gordon B. Hinckley stated…

“You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation. You must have a strong foundation if you are going to build a strong superstructure”

the quality of your photos is the foundation of your Instagram community.

2 – Find Your Niche.

Now that your account is filled up with a nice high quality photos it’s time to find your ‘niche’. Even if you are not on instagram for business and just for fun, you most likely still have a niche. Maybe you like to take photos of scenery, or artwork, or your dog etc… Whatever it is figure it out because there is already a community of people on Instagram posting pics about the exact same things.

Write down your top 2-3 and keep the list handy as it will come into play later.

3 – Engage

Now that you have quality photos and have found your niche, it’s time to get active. As mentioned before, there are over 300 million users on instagram and a lot of them are just like you with the same interests as you. There is only one problem, they have no clue you exist. The only way they are going to find out is by interacting with them in some way. Here is a quick list of things you can do to join the conversation;

  1. Use the Instagram search tool and search the keywords for your niche.
  2. Browse around and find people that are posting similar posts to what you are posting and are interested in.
  3. Once you’ve found some good accounts, like and leave some comments on photos that interest you. Everyone likes getting a comment or a like on their photo and it will also cause the person to click on your account and view your photos (which will be similar to theirs). This will join you into their conversation and if you have good enough content they may just follow you.
  4. Get in a routine of doing this a few times a week and you will be sure to start attracting much more attention to your page and increase your likes/followers.

4 – Follow Influencers

One of the best ways to attract people to your page and gather new followers is to follow other accounts. Some people will follow you back just because you follow them but this technique will only work if you have followed the steps above. Example: If you post a lot of pictures of quality artwork and follow other people doing the same, they are much more likely to follow back than if if was someone who tends to post content that is totally different than you.

5 – Consistency.

The last tip is more of a way to keep your followers rather than gain new ones. Once you’ve been completing the steps above you will certainly bring in some new followers. Now, the trick is to keep those followers from hitting the unfollow button. One way to do this is by developing a somewhat consistent schedule to post photos working in conjunction with the steps above.

When it comes to content on instagram you can definitely post too much or too little, and this can will come into play when someone is deciding whether they should follow you or not. I said ‘reasonable’ in the paragraph above because we’ve all followed those accounts that will post 10-15 pictures within 5 minutes. I don’t care how great your photos are, if I scroll down my feed and all I see is 10 consecutive photos from the same account I’m most likely going to unfollow you. The other no-no is posting multiple photos of the same exact thing but from a slightly different angle. The same people that post 10 photos in a row are usually guilty of this. Do yourself a favor, after snapping 10 photos, pick the best ONE and post that. We don’t need to see it from 10 different angles, it’s just flat out annoying.

To keep your followers engaged, I suggest posting at least a photo a day. You can go higher than that but keep the content original and engaging. Doing this in conjunction with all the steps above will definitely help increase your pages visibility and in the long run increase your numbers across the board. To learn more tips on how to optimize your instagram page follow @HYPEMADE on IG and drop them a line with any questions you have.