Feel free to pin and share ♥ Emma Rae Thomas + The Poor Little Blogger Team

Instagram is no longer the new kid on the block in the world of social media (Hello Snapchat and Periscope), but there is no denying that it is currently one of the top dogs with more than 400 million active and users in 2015. Instagram presents a perfect opportunity for brands and blogs to interact with their fans on a more personal level, but learning a new social media platform will always have it’s difficulties (especially if you are new to this social media game.) Any schmuck with a phone and 20 minutes can get a follower on Instagram, but growing a dedicated following of fans and friends can be time consuming and tedious process. Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks to establish, grow, and maintain your IG following like the Boss that you are. ♥

Pick your niche and stick to it – As a blogger, you should already know what your niche is. Figure out who is in that target audience by looking at the followers of other bloggers in your niche and stick to it doll face. Don’t waste hours liking and commenting on photos that aren’t in your niche as you won’t gain longterm followers and your actions may not be perceived as sincere.

Socialize – One of the easiest ways to build followers is just to reach out and talk to people. Aim for people working in the same space as you, or with similar interests. Chat them up. Show ’em your gift of gab. Not only will they see this, but their followers will see it as well, giving you twice the chances to reap new followers and make a friend in the mean time.

Have a Contest – Contests (much like free drinks…) are a great way for you to generate quick buzz and get people excited. People love the chance to win something, and many people will look at a feed that they otherwise would never have seen, simply for the promise of a chance to win (it’s crazy, but people do it all the time.) Be sure that you have exciting content once they are there to keep them coming back even after the contest is over.

Get Followers From Other Social Media – Unless you are super new to the game, chances are that you already have several profiles on other social media sites. Maximize your Boss like efforts by asking your followers on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to follow you on IG. Try Announcing that you’re giving away a Starbucks giftcard to one random person in the first 500 people to follow you… (Also let me know if you do this, because I will TOTALLY follow you for the chance to win a Chai! ♥)

Start a New Hashtag – Starting a unique hashtag won’t necessarily build followers right away, but encouraging your followers to use the tag for a specific purpose can create a sense of community among them. It also provides you a new set of content. Sharing the hashtagged image of one of your followers makes them feel important, and gives you all new content for your feed, look at you go.

Do Your Research – Okay, now hunker down, cause this is super important, K? You have to KNOW who you are aiming for before you press that publish button on your pic. Would you shoot an arrow into the sky without looking at your target first? (Yes? Well then my friend, remind me never to practice archery with you!) Find who is watching your feed. See what they respond well to, and what they are interested in seeing more of. Watch the feeds of those who are already popular in the space you want to be in, and see which of their posts have been the most successful.

Give Them A Goal – If you need your followers to do something, some times the easiest way is to simply ask them to do it. (I know, it’s revolutionary thinking I’m giving you here. ♥) Giving your followers something to work towards gives them a sense of unity, purpose, and community. If you ask them to like so many of your posts, or to help get you to so many followers, they will respond to the challenge, and completing the task will give them the feeling of being part of a greater whole.

Work With Others – Find out early on who the notable figures are in your space, and who are some of the new, up-and-coming figures are in the field (just look at their follower count vs the amount of likes on their recent photos.) Reach out to these people about the possibility of collaboration for a link party as this will expose your account to a whole new audience who would otherwise most likely not have seen it. Just remember to stay with bloggers who are the same size as you. Bigger bloggers might not respond as they don’t see the value in corroborating with smaller accounts.

Geotagging – Geotagging is a great way of reaching out to local communities and may be a great way to gather followers from your local area( unless you live in the middle of no where like me : / ) Geotagging adds locations to your images, showing off where they were taken, allowing those near to your to see them quickly and easily. This can build a sense of local community, and if used while traveling makes for an excellent way to reach out to physical communities in a digital way. ♥