Tips from Christian Zervos: 1M Instagram Followers and Counting

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Across a number of Instagram accounts, Christian has tallied more than one million Instagram followers.  Having success in this area before class allowed him to help his group and other students in the class learn how to use Instagram more successfully with their projects.  In his final report, Christian provided some tips on Instagram success.  He states:

“To become successful on Instagram, I focused on three factors: quality of content, activity levels, and audience interaction.

  1. Quality Content: After thorough research and experimentation on my Instagram page, I was able to find exactly what content was most beneficial for the performance of my account. Many Instagram users fail in this aspect, where they post content without any research. Many content curators neglect the process of finding content that has a higher likelihood of succeeding for their own accounts, where they might pick and choose photos/videos that they found on the Internet without any expectations of how well it would perform. As mentioned in the previous slide, my content curation strategy revolves around finding viral material, which is content that has the ability to reach a large audience, reach the top of the explore page or hashtag, and has a higher engagement capture rate. On top of that, my content had to be of excellent image quality and very appealing to the eye, with the ability to provoke interests in users scrolling their timelines.
  2. Activity: Instagram’s algorithm is setup to benefit users that are actively posting to the platform, which is made to encourage users to stay on the platform longer. If you are not remaining active on Instagram, you will likely fall in the ranking system of Instagram. Since Instagram’s algorithm is now based on relevance rather than most recent, user’s timelines consist of content from accounts that they engage with the most. For example, the more one engages with a certain account, the higher that account’s content will appear on the user’s feed. Since Instagram users do not spend an excessive amount of time scrolling through their feeds, it’s important to make sure that your content is ranked high to optimize your engagement levels. Therefore, it is suggested that content curators post at least 3-4 times a day, while content creators should publish at least 1-3 times a day. Moreover, the content needs to be posted amid the most active time slots of the day, which is usually in the morning between 8:00am-11:00am, during lunch break from 12:00pm-1:30pm, and in the evening when users are returning from the workday at 6:00pm-8:00pm.
  3. Interaction: Finally, the last step for Instagram success relies on Instagram interaction. This can mean interaction with the audience or other Instagram influencers. The most beneficial method to engage with the audience and encourage engagement is through “call-to-action”, in which the audience is inclined to give their opinion on the content. For example, in all of my posts, I present a call-to-action in the caption. These inquiries ranged from asking the viewers to give their opinions in the comment selection, encouraging them to like the content, and directing them to follow my page. On the other hand, I was able to connect with other influencers within my niche by creating mutually beneficial relationships, in which I would engage with their content if they would exchange the favor on my account. Moreover, I would frequently exchange page promotions with other influencers, where they would promote my page through either the Instagram story feature or one of their main posts.”

Thank you Christian for letting us share some of your insights.


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