With 400 million active monthly accounts, Instagram is the eighth ranking photo-showing app.

But with so many Users, how can you make your photos stand-out from the crowds and gain more followers? Read on for tips on how to take the perfect photo and attract more followers…

  • Use Hashtags

Hashtags increase the chance of your photos being seen and shared. Categorise your shots using keywords and use a variety of hashtags for each photo. For example, if you are launching a health food snack, take a photo of your product and use #food #healthy #happiness.

Using hashtags increases follower count and therefore exposure. Popular hashtags include: #Love, #Happy, #Food, #Fun, #photooftheday, #Instagood, #tbt (throwback Thursday). Use Websta to find which hashtags are currently trending, and to source users with similar interests to yours.

Like anything, hashtags are best used sparingly; too many may make your posts look cluttered and clumsy; so use 2-3 in your post and add more to comments.

  • Post Photos at Appropriate Times

You may have the best shot in the world, but if you post it at 12am on a Sunday morning, the chances are it won’t be seen. Use an app like Iconosquare to help you identify the best time to post for follower engagement. Utilising a service like this (many are free) will provide invaluable insight on how to gain maximum followers and likes and prevent you from wasting the best photos at the worst times.

  • Take Decent Pictures

If possible, stand above your subject and take the shot from at least three feet away (especially important with food). Make sure your picture looks attractive and arrange your surroundings appropriately.

Use natural light wherever you can, or use a flash light to brighten shots.

Blue tones attract more likes, so add them in wherever you can.

When taking selfies, editing tools such as Squaready are excellent for blotting out blemishes, but don’t overdo it – people prefer natural.

Use filters sparingly to make your shot appear as natural as possible – don’t lose sight of what things really look like in the quest for the perfect photo.

Hold your phone upright – this will ensure your picture looks clear.

Use the HDR function in low light.

#NoFilter is a great way to show an honest, accurate photo of your subject. Natural really is best!

Use an app like Diptic to combine multiple shots into one frame.

Avoid clogging up people’s newsfeeds with too many pictures; use a timer to space out your photos.

  • Get Networking and Stay Active

Find other users with similar interests and work with them to cross promote each other. The Internet is one massive social hub, and collaborating with people relevant to your brand will help you all to get extra exposure. Establish friendship groups and get connected; shout-outs from other Instagrammers or websites will help you to gain followers. Acknowledge other user’s photos, and interact with them. Compliment shots and comment. Reciprocate likes to show you’re interest in other people’s content. Think of Instagram as a ‘You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ kind of environment.

  • Link Your Social Media Accounts

Link your Instagram account to your Facebook account for maximum exposure to a wider audience.

  • Know Who You Are

The best way to encourage user engagement is to be yourself and stay consistent. Have a theme, and stick to it by posting regularly; people find comfort in familiarity. Be conscious of your tone and pace. Have a knowledge of current topics and post appropriately to stay interesting and relevant. Know your audience and understand what will appeal to them. Stay natural, honest and original to build up a long term and engaged following.

  • And Finally…

You can buy followers from service such as Instafollow (insta-follow.com). Instafollow promises to not only provide you with real followers (not bots) but also to promote your brand to professionals and comes with a refund guarantee.

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