You don’t have to be a celeb to have a more vibrant social network…
1. Bio & Photo
Make sure your biography is clear, personable and doesn’t waffle on. Three or four sentences is plenty. Reference your main interests, throw in a bit of humour and colour if possible and avoid overly personal disclosures. Tone-wise, make it sound like you’re talking to a new potential friend. You profile photo should be the best quality you can take, know your good angles, show you smiling and/or engaged in and/or framed by a background that hints at your interests.
2. Theme Yourself
Friends you know in real life will follow you anyway. But strangers will follow you for a reason that’s clear and uncluttered. You’re that funny guy. Or that foodie guy. Or that yoga guy. Having a theme and sticking to it helps define who you are for the millions out there. If you’re really into fitness and this is the way you want to be known, then the majority of your posts should reflect this interest in some way. Suddenly posting about a day at the races or your childhood toy collection will come off as weird to people who’ve followed you because they like what you have to say and show them about exercise, diet and health. While this might sound narrow, with a bit of imagination you can bend other interests into your main theme. A holiday snap can become an opportunity for yoga on the beach. A movie night could be themed as a reward for a week of workouts.
3. Go Public, Post Wide, Later & Often
This should be a no-brainer but lots of people overlook setting their account profile to public. People want to be able to check out your photos and posts before they follow you without you approving them. Ensure your Instagram posts reach as many people as possible by setting it up to automatically post to Facebook and Twitter. Research has shown that posts at 5pm reach the most people. That said, a steady stream of posts, five per day even if they’re simply inspirational quotes or photos, serves to keep you fresh in people’s minds.
4. Caption & Hashtag
A picture is worth a thousand words. But it might be worth a thousand likes if you use a clever or informative caption to explain what it is people are seeing. Beyond that hashtags are key because they’re often how people search for what they’re looking for. Research has shown that Insta-posts with 11+ hashtags get the widest reach and attract the most new followers. Just be sure the hashtags are relevant and somewhat specific. Posting a photo of you with your birthday cake and hashtags #baking #birthday #winner is far too generic. But #birthdaydisaster #cakeboss #icinglife are intriguing. That said, if Justin Bieber has just released a song called “Birthday Plans” you could do worse than include #birthdayplans in your hashtags.
5. Follow To Be Followed
Follow lots of accounts. You’re allowed to follow 160 an hour. Doing this in your downtime – commuting, in ad breaks – means many of these folks will follow you back. Boom! Your reach is growing exponentially. If someone takes the time to follow you and like your posts, do likewise unless they’re exceedingly objectionable. The Internet acts as a bit of an echo chamber and amplifier and you’ve got to follow the what-goes-around-comes-around attitude to amass followers and extend your social influence. Commenting positively on others’ posts helps a lot, too. Commenting on celebrity Instagram posts is also a way to get yourself potentially noticed by hundreds of thousands or even millions of users. That said, don’t jump in there and say “Follow me!” unless you want to get spammed or blocked. Better to actually follow celebs you like and have a positive opinion of.