So, you want to know how to be successful on Instagram? While there are over 800 million monthly active accounts, being an Instagram success story is still possible. You will be required to put in a lot of work and effort, but the outcome is worth it. Doing so will help your account stand out and gain a targeted following. For the last few weeks, I’ve been gaining over 700 new followers every few days. This is down to several strategies which I’ll be explaining in this article, including how I use Sked (formerly Schedugram) to plan, create, and automatically publish content. The best thing of all, these can be applied to both personal and business accounts. Are you ready to be an Instagram success? How To Be An Instagram Success? Create the perfect bio Produce interesting content Post regularly Identify top hashtags Utilise Instagram Stories Take advantage of Instagram Highlights Cross promote friends and influencers Go Live on Instagram Engage with your followers and targeted audience 1. Create the Perfect Bio Before anything, you first need to make sure your Instagram bio is attractive. It needs to be able to tell your audience who you are, what you do and includes a clear call-to-action. This is mandatory to becoming an Instagram success. Your targeted audience won’t follow you if they aren’t interested in what you have to offer and being able to tell them that within a few words is important. Instagram for Business 101 Grab our ebook Instagram for Business to take your Instagram game up a notch! Check out the below examples to get inspiration for your Instagram bio to help achieve Instagram success. MyProtein’s Instagram Bio As you can see from the above screenshot, MyProtein explain who they are, how you can get involved and lastly giving them some sort of value by entering their competition to win their products for free. Clear, attractive and informative. Creation Agency Instagram Bio Creation Agency’s Instagram bio consists of what the agency does, who they are, what they have to offer on the platform by following and also a few links for extra information. The last link takes you directly to the latest blog post. My Instagram profile bio consists of who I am, what I do, where I’m going next and a clear call-to-action to follow on Facebook. Straight away you will be able to identify what type of content I would likely post. This is exactly what you need to do so your targeted audience have an actual reason to follow you. You also get one clickable link that you can add to your profile, so it’s worth putting some thought into how best you can use it. Many brands use it to link to their websites but that may not be the most beneficial way to use it. One way you can get more mileage out of your profile link is to use a redirect URL. It’ll allow you to send traffic to any web page you want, every time you post. It’s a great way to promote different offers to your followers and the good news is, you get three branded redirect URLs for free with every Sked account as a part of the app’s link-in-bio feature. For more detailed tips on how to set up a redirect URL and create the perfect Instagram bio, check out this article. Back to Content Menu 2. Produce Interesting Content Now you have got a quality Instagram bio sorted for your account, it’s time to think about your content plan. If you create low-quality boring content that just really sucks and isn’t attractive, too many words and not interesting to your audience, don’t expect to be an Instagram success. Throwback to an early morning Christmas day walk to Loch Tummel. Where did you spend Christmas? A post shared by Gareth O’Sullivan – Travel ✈🌎 (@garethgoesplaces) on Dec 30, 2017 at 8:50am PST This platform is all about content, and not just any content. It’s about sharing high-quality interesting content. In order to succeed, you need to plan out your content strategy and create eye-catching media – whether that’s images or videos. It’s not that hard to create super engaging content on Instagram… On the go with #GoProFamily member @theblondeabroad. 🇿🇦 Update your #GoProApp today for the ability to connect, control, + share #GoProFusion content from both Android + IOS devices. 📱 • • • #GoPro #GoProTravel #Paragliding #SouthAfrica #GoProGirl #TravelPhotography A post shared by GoPro (@gopro) on Jan 18, 2018 at 12:11pm PST There are lots of tools available on the web and app stores that will help you create striking content. When I’m not using Photoshop, I’ll tend to use tools like Canva, Adobe Spark Post, Typorama or other tools on the web. In fact, if you haven’t tried it yet, Sked’s Canva integration is a great way to add graphic design elements to your images and give them an extra ‘wow’ factor before scheduling them to post automatically. To get started, log into your account, click on the ‘Upload posts’ option, then ‘Create banner with Canva’. This will open the Canva integration, as in the image below. Next, upload an image (see green arrow above) and let your creativity take over using Canva’s wide range of drag-and-drop tools. You can add text, borders, frames, backgrounds, shapes, and more … the options really are limitless. Once you’re happy with your design, click on publish, fill out your caption and first comment, then add it to your queue or schedule it to post on a specific time/date. Back to Content Menu 3. Post regularly Posting regularly is one of the ingredients on how to be an Instagram success. This requires you to be very active. Ideally, you should be posting a least once a day. If you can post more than that, 2-3 times a day will get you the most reach and engagement, especially to grow your account. While it can be a pain to post several times a day, Sked comes in handy for this and automates your posting. Just set-up your content queue and add the Instagram content. To do this, open your account and click on the ‘Setup queue’ option on the homepage. Next, select your account, enable your queue (see green arrow below), and choose your timezone (red arrow). Then, click the ‘Add’ button for the days you want to post and set the time (blue arrow). Now, when you add a post to your queue, Sked will automatically post it for you when your preferred time comes around. I would also recommend identifying the best time to post on Instagram. This also applies to Instagram Stories. You should be utilising that feature mostly every-day or when you have the chance to show off interesting content. You could also make use of Instagram stories by promoting your latest content, telling your audience you have uploaded a new post (and in case you didn’t know, you can schedule images and videos to post automatically to Instagram Stories using Sked, too). Back to Content Menu 4. Identify Top Hashtags Throughout my time managing various Instagram accounts I’ve come across a lot of businesses making silly little mistakes on Instagram that really affects their chance of growth and being an Instagram success. These little mistakes can be anything from using no hashtags to a bunch of random non-related hashtags to even no caption! When sharing content on Instagram, it’s vital you utilise Instagram hashtags. The reason being you will maximise your chances of reach, engagement and potential growth. For all content I share on the platform, I make sure to use up all 30 hashtags – this gives me maximum exposure. I also make sure to do regular in-depth keyword research to find the best hashtags that will give me the chance of being featured in the top nine posts. Instagram hashtag keyword research is very important. If you get it right and manage to rack up a lot of engagement within a short period of posting, you may even hit the explore page. If I were you, I would start doing Instagram hashtag research and then use Sked’s hashtag manager to keep them organised. You can use it to store all your hashtags separately or in groups, which is really handy if have more than one account to manage. It’s much easier than storing them in Evernote and having to copy-paste them all the time. If you haven’t tried hashtag manager yet, take it for a test drive and see what you think. Back to Content Menu 5. Utilise Instagram Stories Instagram Stories can be used in various ways. It’s a brilliant feature that should be utilised regularly. Especially when your account surpasses 10,000 followers which enables you to start adding hyperlinks within your stories. This is a fantastic way to drive more traffic and generate more business from Instagram. You should also create polls on Instagram stories to find out specific information about your followers, for example, what type of content they prefer. Using this feature to announce a new post is also a great strategy, as a result, you will see an increase in engagement much faster. And you can use Sked to schedule image and videos posts to publish automatically to Instagram Stories, as well as to add clickable links. To find out how to enable story posting for your account, check out this article. Back to Content Menu 6. Take Advantage of Instagram Highlights Taking advantage of Instagram’s recent update which includes the ability to display story highlights on your profile, is the perfect strategy for increasing website traffic. You might consider creating a few highlights to promote and encourage your audience to follow you on other social networks. You may decide to create a few product highlights including a hyperlink to directly buy the product or service. Use your creative mind to find interesting unique ways to increase traffic, engagement and follower growth – all of which will help you become an Instagram success. Back to Content Menu 7. Cross Promote with Friends and Influencers Cross promoting contribute to Instagram success if done right. Make use of your other social accounts to help grow your Instagram. Share your Instagram updates on your Facebook or Twitter, consider even showcasing your Instagram uploads on your website – ASOS do a great job of this to promote their clothing. You can also automate your Instagram uploads directly to your Twitter by using tools like IFTTT. Instagram for Business 101 Grab our ebook Instagram for Business to take your Instagram game up a notch! Depending on how big your account is, you should consider connecting with large accounts and Instagram influencers, ask them if they would be willing to collaborate. However, if your account is nowhere near the same size nor the engagement ratio, then you should really consider providing value before you drop that ask. I’ve done this plenty of times and it has really helped with follower growth and engagement. This strategy can also be done via Instagram Stories and is quite effective. Back to Content Menu 8. Go Live on Instagram Instagram Live can bring in a lot of engagement and new followers, especially if you provide value and share it across your social channels. If you promote it before-hand using hashtags in your story and posts you’ll most likely gather a few new interested followers wanting to see what you have to offer. Instagram Livestreams are great for driving traffic too if your Instagram Live has racked up a lot of viewers, considering dropping in a few call-to-actions such as telling them to click the link in your bio for exclusive content. Your Instagram Live should be interesting to your audience and that can be achieved by sharing what happens behind-the-scenes. You could also do weekly or monthly question and answer streams, these are great for your audience to get to know you more and for you to find out what your audience likes to know about you, giving you more ideas for content. Back to Content Menu 9. Engage with Your Followers and Targeted Audience Ultimately, being an Instagram success on Instagram also comes down to how you engage with your followers. If you show that you are an actual human behind that profile picture and actively reply to your audience’s comments and direct messages regularly they will be more likely to engage with your content and recommend you to their friends, family and followers. This also applies to engaging with your followers content. Leaving a few likes, comments and following back your audience will help build positive healthy relationships encouraging engagement and trust. This can be very effective when engaging with targeted audiences. I’ve found this one of the best ways to grow my accounts. When I’ve identified targeted accounts or competitors that have a large following, I’ll visit their followers and engage with their content providing it’s suitable. This is very effective as they will receive a notification each time I engage with their account. For the best results, I would highly recommend spacing out your interactions. For example, I tend to like a few of their pictures, then 10 minutes later I’ll leave a comment, 20 minutes after that I’ll possibly follow them. This will give them three notifications all at different times, of which they would probably want to find out who I am. You will have a better chance of them checking out your profile. If they do and they like what they see, they may engage with the content on my account and potentially drop a follow. That’s how great relationships with a targeted audience are then built. However, I wouldn’t just stop there. You should continually engage with them whenever you see their posts in your feed. This will keep them engaging back with your content unless they already do. The more “human-like” your account is, the more engagement and interaction you may receive. PRO TIP: Did you know that tagging people, products, and locations in your posts can increase engagement by almost 30%? Try it by adding some tags the next time your scheduling a post using Sked and get your promos in front of a bigger audience. To enable tagging for your account, follow the instructions in this article. Back to Content Menu Over to you So now you know how to be Instagram success story, you just need to action the above tips and try out different types of content and hashtags. Never be afraid to experiment with your marketing. Recap: How to be an Instagram success Create the perfect bio. Produce interesting content. Post regularly. Identify top hashtags and use them effectively. Utilise Instagram Stories as much as possible. Take advantage of Instagram Highlights. Cross promote friends and influencers, the bigger the account, the return is usually much better. Go Live on Instagram with interesting topics/stories and include call-to-actions. Engage with your followers and targeted audience on a regular basis to build a healthy relationship. If you’re looking to carve out hours in your social media workflow, sign up for Sked’s 7-day trial. Our all-in-one Instagram scheduler allows you to automatically post images, carousels, Stories, videos and more. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week.