An Instagram workshop by Doha-based Filipino content creator Sharice Tan was held last Friday at Java U coffee shop Al Sadd and an overflowing support from local bloggers, vloggers, and influencers was a testament to the community event's apparent success.
Sharice, a 19-year-old beauty, lifestyle, and travel blogger since 2013, is more than happy to share her knowledge of Instagram—one of Qatar's most well-loved social media platforms since its launch in year 2010.
As Instagram is quickly becoming Qatar's premier social app next to Facebook and WhatsApp (and after the redesigning and sudden death of Snapchat), more and more millenials (and non-millenials) in Qatar are getting hooked by the Facebook-owned's photo and video-sharing social networking services.
The ILQ team is lucky to secure a seat from the the full house workshop and listed below are 10 of Sharice's tips on how to organically grow your following on Instagram:
Just like in any social media platform, an Instagram user has the choice to go all the way (public account) or incognito (private) depending on his/her intentions for opening such account. Well, if your goal is to make it big, then we'd advise you to prefer going for the former. It will not only speed up the networking process, going public can also give your followers (old and new) the signal that you're actually an approachable Instagrammer online and in person.
Once your decision to make your account public is settled, you might want to ask yourself these questions: "What are you most interested in?" "What are you good at?" and "What's that topic you consider your passion and you're willing to practice and tackle your whole life?" By doing this, you'll come up with your niche. Concentrate on it and give your 100%—this is how your brand voice will come to life.
Your username can either make or break your Instagram potential so make sure that it's of decent length and represents your brand well. For the record, Instagram names containing only three to four letters look more appealing and are way more searchable than extremely long ones. Always remember that people won't spend all day looking for your username so take this tip in prime consideration.
While your username is of great importance, so is your Instagram image. If you have a photography account, see to it that you're at least holding a camera in your avatar. Or if you're a foodie, then your profile photo alone should make your followers drool and crave. The list goes on. But the point is: to present your brand professionally by choosing a profile image that aligns perfectly. And... don't forget too to position the thumbnail accordingly! This tip can move mountains!
Stressing on credibility, Sharice shared this quote in front of her all-smiles audience: "If people can't trust what you put in your bio—how are they gonna trust the content you produce or the information you give?"
Which is true, because your Instagram bio is limited to only 150 characters and saying otherwise would not make your brand look good in any way especially if there's a doubt in your likely followers' minds regarding your credibility.
Update: A recent Instagram update already allows its users to put a website link, use hashtags, and mention verified accounts on their Bio.
Consistency is key when it comes to keeping your feed look like it's carefully-planned and scheduled and not just sloppily put out there so that you can fill the gaps. By choosing an aesthetic for your feed, you'll achieve uniformity which your followers will surely appreciate. You can use external apps such as UNUM and Planoly if you want to properly curate your Instagram feed.
Sharice has enumerated a number of photography tips for Instagram and here are some of them:
She also puts emphasis on the importance of deciding whether your photo would be portrait, landscape, or square in orientation. For Instagram, portrait images always look more attractive and like-worthy.
For editing, reducing highlights and increasing shadows are two effective steps in producing a better-looking image. Photo editing apps such as Lightroom, Vsco, and Snapseed are available for download to help you step up your Instagram curation game.
Another way to attract more followers on Instagram is by writing captions that trigger conversation and you can do this by asking questions, looking for suggestions, and crowd sourcing. Take note that the new Instagram algorithm puts posts with more engagements up meaning the more users are commenting on your post, the more likely for it to achieve further engagements—resulting to more profile visits and more followers.
When you use these features well, more people will come to your feed since they're seeing that you live in the same city (by disclosing your location) and have the same interest (by using relevant hashtags).
This feature has been out for a couple of years now and besides your feed, posting Instagram Stories is also a prominent way to express your creativity in a more fast-paced and breaking news-style. Instagram has a wide selection of Story tools so it pays to learn how to use them properly. You can even use external apps to make your 24-hour Stories look more appealing! The Unfold app is a great companion for that.
We'll make this one quick by saying that at the end of the day, it's the friends and network that you've made which will truly matter. Instagram is just an instrument invented to make socializing in the digital age a lot more handy and accessible.
Sharice's 'Build and Boost your Instagram Workshop' will have its Part 2 this coming Friday (September 7) at the same venue.
The workshop is made possible by Best Life Qatar and sponsored by Java U Qatar.
Visit Sharice's blog by clicking HERE.
To know the 25 widely-used social media terminologies you may not have heard of, click HERE.
Are you a Doha-based content creator who's also eyeing to escalate your Instagram following? If yes, did our tips give you an idea on how to make your ideal social media status come to life? Drop us a line in the comments below and also, don't forget to like and share this article—it keeps us going!
(Cover image courtesy of IStock Photo)
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