How To Set Up Your Instagram Account & Grow Your Following: The Ultimate Guide For Beginners
As the world’s 6th most used website, Instagram boasts of over 1 billion users worldwide! No wonder it’s one of the best social networks to grow your following and network with the right people. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet and would like create an Instagram account, then you’ve come to the right place!
In this ultimate guide for beginners, let’s talk about how you can set up your Instagram account start and create content, and even delete your account if you need to. By following these tactics, you can quickly find the right followers and catch up with the top competitors on Instagram.
Sign Up And Optimize Your Instagram Account
You can start by signing up for Instagram from your mobile device or desktop using your work email id.
The Instagram mobile app is available on both the Google Play Store as well as the Apple iOS store. Desktop users can sign up from their website.
Here, you will be asked to enter your mobile number or email, your full name, a username and a password.
Once you have entered these details and tap ‘Sign up’, the next step is to enter other details like your date of birth, and on tapping ‘Next’, Instagram will request you to verify your email address or mobile number by sending a verification link or OTP.
Follow the steps to verify your account and start using Instagram.
By the way, you can also skip the steps above and choose to login with your Facebook credentials instead. You can do this by simply tapping on the ‘Log in with Facebook’ button at the top of the sign up page.
You can enter your business name under the Full Name section.
Once done, you can start optimizing your account:
- Add a profile picture that is consistent with your branding (your logo or some other recognizable image.)
- Add a good bio that precisely describes what you do. Try to make it interesting by showing some personality.
- In your bio, add a call to action to urge the users to take some action in your favor. You can add an external link here. This can be your website or any other link where you want to redirect your users.
Types Of Content That You Can Post On Instagram
Once your initial set up is done, you can start posting content right away. When you start getting traction, it’s good to have at least a few posts on your account.
Here are some of the most common types of content that you can post on Instagram:
Images are the most common and the simplest type of content used on Instagram. You can share a variety of images on your account. Make sure that you keep the blatantly promotional images to a minimum, especially when you’re starting out.
To start with, you can post images that resonate with your brand. Your images should be visually appealing and useful too. Adding value can be super-beneficial during the early stages of your account.
You can also post image carousels which are nothing but a series of images. You can create graphics with your brand colors and use them for your Instagram image carousels. You can also hire illustrators to work on your designs.
Creating great Instagram captions for your images can be powerful in increasing your engagement.
Captions with interesting questions tend to get a lot of comments and shares. You can also share emotional and inspirational stories to build a personal connection with your audience.
Videos are easily one of the most attractive forms of content on any platform. On Instagram, you can use IGTV to upload videos that are anywhere between 1 to 15 minutes long. The range is higher for verified accounts.
You can start putting up IGTVs that benefit your target audience by solving their pain points in some way. Ensure that the videos you add are of good quality and are highly engaging.
Using Instagram stories, you can post images and videos that disappear in 24 hours. This content format tends to get a lot of engagement as there is a type of FOMO associated with it.
You can experiment with different types of stories. You can post about your day to day life, or ask your followers to take some action. You can also ask questions and conduct polls through your stories. All these will boost your organic engagement on Instagram.
Reels are the latest and the most popular content format on Instagram. These are fun, 15-second clips where you can experiment with different types of videos. You can share reels with your followers and also get traction to it from other people on the platform.
Reels are highly likely to go viral on Instagram more than any other content format. Hence, it’s essential that you cash in on this. Reels need quick and sharp editing along with creative effects.
Pro Tip: A tool such as Videoleap can help create fun, good-quality reels.
Lives are highly beneficial in increasing your followers and gaining visibility during the initial days of your Instagram account’s growth.
Going live has many perks. You can connect with your audience, ask them questions, and get to know them better. Through frequent Instagram Live sessions, you’ll see significant growth in your organic following.
For Instagram Live, you can pick a topic and offer to answer your followers’ questions. Or have a “get to know me” or an Ask Me Anything (AMA) live session. One great tip here is to interview industry experts or influencers. This way, you’ll get noticed by their audience.
Your target audience will follow you only when they feel that you can add value to them in some way. Posting content that is a mix of entertainment and value works best.
Take a look at your competitors’ accounts. This way, you’ll know what it is that your target audience is looking for and you’ll get a fair idea about what kind of content does well. But, remember not to copy them.
Consistency Is Key
Consistency is truly the key when it comes to posting on Instagram. You need to keep your followers engaged and interested. If you’re not consistent with your content, your followers will probably lose interest in you, and the Instagram algorithm wouldn’t work in your favor.
The best way to go about it is to post some form of content every single day on the platform. Creating content and posting every day can be a tedious task. The best way to handle this is to create content in batches.
For instance, you can plan a month’s worth of content using an Instagram content calendar. Then you can simply schedule the posts. This way, you can rest assured that your content is getting posted even when you are preoccupied with something else.
It’s a good idea to experiment with various content formats, when you publish your posts, the hashtags you use, and so on. This way you will know what works, and what doesn’t.
How To Grow Your Instagram Account
Use the Right Tools To Accelerate Your Growth
One of the key elements of growing on Instagram is to invest in the right tools. Using the right social media management tools will completely change your game.
A powerful Instagram growth tool like Kicksta will help you grow organically on Instagram. So, you don’t have to resort to unnatural, spammy strategies such as fake followers and engagement. This will be super-helpful in accelerating your growth by gaining attention from the audience that you want to target.
Use The Right Hashtags
While starting out, one of the crucial things that you should pay attention to are hashtags.
Through hashtags, people will be able to find your content by following or searching for certain keywords.
Simply using any hashtags wouldn’t suffice. Do some research on trending hashtags, hashtags your competitor are using. But make sure not to use hashtags that are too big (300k uses or more) because your content won’t get seen.
- Hashtags with a massive following will be helpful in getting traction for ‘your content. But since the competition for these hashtags is very high, it’s highly likely that your posts will get buried deep down and get very little engagement.
- Hashtags with a relatively lower following will not put your content in front of many people. But your posts will stay on top for longer and thus you’ll probably get more engagement.
The best way to go about it is to use a mix of both. Keep experimenting with different hashtags and you’ll definitely see a good increase in engagement and following.
Make Use Of The Latest Trends
The biggest winners you see on Instagram with millions of followers probably got viral overnight because of a social media trend that they followed. Instagram trends are huge and if you’re quick to leverage these trends, you’re likely to get massive engagement from it.
Be it the content format or trending audio for your reel, you need to constantly keep your eyes open for trends. Don’t limit yourself to a certain kind of content. Just observe the platform and adopt to it. This will yield the best results for you.
Engage With Your Competitors’ Followers
When you first create an Instagram account, you cannot expect followers to come to you. You need some initial inertia to kick start your account. You can gain this by doing some research on what some of your competitors are doing.
Simply hop on to your competitors’ profiles and start engaging with their followers. You can follow them and like/comment on their posts. This is a tedious process but it will help you get your initial few followers.
This strategy works great because your competitors’ followers are already interested in the type of content that you create. So, it’s highly likely that they’ll check out your profile. Try to have at least a few pieces of content up on your account before you begin with this process.
Everyone loves a good story, right? What better way to use it than on your Instagram account!
Yes, the success of your Instagram account depends on the value that you offer through your content. But your results will be significantly amplified if you build a personal connection with your audience. And, storytelling is one of the best ways to go about it.
You can tell your personal stories, your brand’s story, talk about your struggles, speak up about a social cause that you support, or anything similar that will help you connect with your audience. Your story should be truthful and relevant to your audience to make a considerable impact.
You can tell stories through images, reels, IGTVs, carousels, Instagram highlights, or even through your Instagram stories.
There is no specific formula for Instagram. Though watching your competitors and engaging with your followers will give you some insights, you can only do so much with it.
To truly exploit the potential of Instagram, you should try to experiment with your content. You can experiment with things like content formats, hashtags, tone, style, branding, graphics, colors, and the list is endless. With consistent experimentation, you might just get one step closer to your biggest breakthrough on Instagram.
How To Delete Your Instagram Account
It’s important to know that if you ever choose to delete your Instagram account, you permanently lose all your photos, videos, comments, likes and followers you’ve built. You will also not be allowed to sign up to Instagram with the same username.
However, if you have to delete your account for any reason, follow these steps below.
You will first need to visit the Instagram website from a desktop or a mobile browser (account deletion cannot be done from your Instagram app).
You’ll be asked to log into your account. Enter your username, email, or phone number along with the password to access your account.
Next, click on this link to visit their account deletion page. You’ll be asked to choose a reason from the drop down menu.
Pick a reason, and re-enter your password to request deletion.
Instagram typically hides your profile for a month and will permanently delete your account after that.
Set Up Your Instagram Account and Start Growing your Following
There you have it – the ultimate guide on how to create an Instagram account, content, and how to remove your account if needed.
Use the strategies provided in this guide and you’ll soon watch yourself massively grow on Instagram.
Anand Srinivasan is the founder of Hubbion, a suite of business tools and resources. He is also the author of “How We Did It 100 entrepreneurs share the story of their struggles and life experiences”.
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