As of late February 2013, Instagram announced that it has over 100 million active monthly users.
With this amount of potential exposure for your brand, it would be a shame to let such a great online photo-sharing and social networking site go to waste.
But how do you get people to follow you? To engage with your brand? To like and comment your photos?
Here are 6 ways to “instantly” blow up your Instagram:
1. Add an Instagram “Badge” on Your Other Social Networks
Many people may not know that you have an Instagram account, so adding a “badge” to your Facebook, website, or blog that links to your Instagram will be sure to gain you more followers.
You can do this simply by clicking here, choosing which badge you want on your page, and copying and pasting or you could also get really creative and make your own badge.
2. Like Pictures and Leave Comments
Liking other people's photos and leaving comments can help you receive more followers and likes, as well. Engage and be human!
Try liking pictures from the popular page to start engaging with people that you don't know or search a hashtag that has to do with your niche to find people that are more likely to follow and keep engaging with you.
3. Consistently Post Pictures
As usual, consistency is key. A daily picture or two is perfect to keep growing your audience.
To go above and beyond just consistently posting, try to consistently post aesthetically pleasing (the most popular filters are Lo-Fi, X-Pro II, Amaro, and Hudson and around half of Instagrams use no filter) and creative (try using an app like Diptic to make your photos into a cool collage).
4. Follow Your Established Followers and Suggested Users
If some of your established followers on other social media sites have an Instagram account, follow them on that platform as well.
Instagram also has a feature called “Suggested Users.” Follow your suggested users by selecting “Find Friends” and then “Suggested Users.” Following users that have similar interests as you may encourage them to follow you in return.
5. Share Your Instagrams on Other Social Networks
You'll see a list of other social networks that you can link to your Instagram account so that your photos are automatically uploaded there in addition to Instagram. You can automatically share your photos with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Foursquare.
The more social services you share your Instagram account with, the more you can promote your photos and increase your following on the platform.
6. Include Your Hashtags on Your Pictures
Does your brand have some specific hashtags that you use on other sites like Twitter or Google+? Use them on your Instagram pictures as well. For example, I might include #youcandosocial and #boomsocial on my pictures.
Also, use hashtags if you're at an event to connect to others that are also attending. I recently attended an event called Social Media Marketing World 2013, so while there I included the hashtag #SMMW13 on all of my pictures. By clicking on this hashtag, it was easy for me to find the pictures that others at the event were posting so that I could engage with them.
What other ways do you use to engage, promote, and gain followers on Instagram? Sound off in the comments below!