One of the most effective ways to grow your social presence on Instagram is to have your posts become featured. Now, you may be wondering “What does getting featured mean?” and for good reason. Essentially, getting featured means that your Instagram posts are displayed, or showcased, on an Instagram featured account. A featured account (also known as a curation account) attracts a large amount of Instagrammers by covering communities, unique photography styles, or specific topics that people find interesting. Since these accounts are aggregators that tend to have a lot of followers, when your posts become featured, you receive access to a large viewing audience, and possibly gaining a bigger following of your own if your content is of a high enough quality to reel them in. But, the big question you’re searching for an answer for is, just how do you go about getting featured on a Social Media platform like Instagram?
Over the course of this article we will cover five different methods that anyone can follow in order to significantly increase their chances of getting their work seen by becoming featured on Instagram.
#1 Search and Study Instagram Accounts You Want To Be Featured In
Now, if getting featured is your goal, and if you’re reading this article it’s a safe assumption that it is, you’ll want to start at the base level to build yourself a good foundation and increase your chances of being successful in your endeavor. Start by taking the field that your work would fall under and examine the more popular Instagram accounts that take up the majority of that field. Observe the posts within the accounts and study the kind of images they post, what their photographic styles are, the themes and filters they use, as well as the subject matter they cover. Posting for a field incorrectly won’t be granting you success, meaning that you can’t take a post to an account featuring natural and realistic images if your posts are saturated and harsh in style; because as a result, your posts will never get featured on that account. They simply don’t match the field, and a featured account will never choose one of your images if the image is not remotely similar to what they would regularly post to their audience.
Inspecting the posts on featured accounts is also important because the account has a pre-established following that already likes the style of the photos the account is posting. Therefore, if the main reason you would like to become featured on Instagram is to build your follower base, you should be sticking with creating posts of the same style. If you can stick with that, you increase your chances of getting featured, and with great images, your follower count will start to consistently grow.
#2 Know the Guidelines for Submitting Photos
Another important rule to follow in order to one day see your work showcased on an Instagram featured account is that you must follow the set guidelines. Ignoring a featured account’s set rules and guidelines will only have a negative impact on your quest to become featured, and instead of working toward that goal, by not following the rules, you’re working against it. Do not forget that there are very passionate people who search through hundreds upon hundreds of images to find the cream of the crop, so they aren’t going to pick the posts that don’t live by the rules. Know the rules of the featured account so you can follow them when submitting your work. When you submit an image to be featured, you have to use the account’s dedicated hashtag as a tag. There are some accounts that will even ask users to tag them in their pictures, to like their pictures, or even comment on them. Use dedicated hashtags correctly. Many of the more popular brands and featured accounts dig through every post published with their hashtag attached on a daily basis in order to find new faces and talents to feature on their accounts.
#3 Take Pictures with Brands’ Products and Tag Them
Any brand would love to see their product being advertised. Therefore, if you have high quality, appealing images, and strong, appropriate hashtags, but aren’t getting your work displayed on a featured account, then you may have to take things a step further when it comes to your posts. When you post a photo go ahead and tag your favorite brands or accounts in your post. For instance, if there is a certain photographer or user’s style that you really enjoy seeing, you may want to recreate the style and tag them directly in the post. They will most likely see it and think of you as being a fan. Be wary, however, of tagging accounts in every image you post, as this could come off as being fake or irrelevant, and at that point you may as well have ignored the basic guidelines. Be smart with how and when you use tags, being picky isn’t always a bad thing, especially when it comes to getting your work featured. Save tagging your favorite Instagram accounts for when you have an incredible image or jaw-dropping photos to post, make sure the tag is on something relevant. For example, some brands regularly showcase the work of its fans, so go ahead and tag them in a photo that shows off your creativity in using their product. Not only making their product look good, but making you look good to the account as well. Another reason why you should be careful when tagging your favorite accounts in too many posts is due to the fact that Instagram feeds can become very cluttered quickly, meaning all of the images tagging the account will appear on the accounts’ photo feed. This has a chance of not sitting well with the owner of the account. When featured accounts try to curate content, it can be a long and arduous process. Therefore, if your posts are migraine-inducing or only further the annoyance of an already tedious job, chances are you will get blocked by the account, and at the same time, may even lose the interest of some of your followers leading to a downward trend and you falling further from your goal.
#4 Give and Get Shoutouts
Giving and receiving shoutouts is another surefire way to get featured on Instagram. By finding users that share a similar content style to you, you can talk with them about giving each other a shoutout. A shoutout is simply posting an image and telling your followers to follow or check out the account you’re shouting out. A shoutout is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to effectively give your Instagram follower count a nice boost. However, getting a great shoutout can very well be an uphill battle. In order to do so, you need to do a lot of networking and may even have to feature another user’s content on your account before they’ll consider posting yours on their account.
Try finding users that have more followers than you do in order to increase your chances of getting a great shoutout. Some users may only agree to do a shoutout if you have a similar follower count, however if you have great work and good looking posts on your account, some accounts with more followers may be more than willing to give you one go. Before asking for a shoutout however, show your interest in the users’ work by liking and commenting on their posts. That way the user sees that you are actually interested in their content and that you aren’t just buddying up with them to get some followers before dumping them on the wayside. Again, try not to spam photos tagging or requesting accounts for shoutouts. Try to make a strong connection and build some rapport before making your move toward obtaining a shoutout.
#5 Join Forces With Other Influencers in Your Niche
Lastly, another great option to significantly increase your chances of becoming featured on Instagram is to join forces with others who have a strong influence in your field or niche. By teaming up with influencers you can produce great results toward becoming featured. Try to find out who the gurus in your niche are and check out who and what their audience consists of. Successful influences have the right followers after all, an account just having a large number of followers will not necessarily do much for you.
Finding a good influencer with a strong and healthy following can not only expose you to a new audience but give you more chances to build up a strong audience of your own. It is not easy to build a healthy relationship with many influencers, so make sure to be patient and not press too hard. After identifying which influencers you would like to engage and build a relationship with, try starting conversations on Instagram. Again, show real interest in their content by liking and sharing before you dive head on into building a personal rapport with them. But, once that rapport gets going, feel free to attempt to move communications out of the real of Instagram and possibly push it toward E-mail. You can even send them a gift and ask them to share a photo of the gift with their fans, thus exposing their fan base to you and even if it is at a small level, it’s a start. Make an attempt to offer shared promotions or even contests with any influencers you’re pairing up with. Take a great picture and add captions, tag the influencer and really inform people about the contest. By having an image featured on the influencer’s account, your account is also promoted to his followers by proxy. Try using hashtags such as #contest or #promotion when creating the post so that way people can easily find it. Try asking the influencer to repost images from your account, not only does this increase your accounts exposure and open up the opportunity for your follower count to grow, but it also lets you control the aesthetic and the message of the post.
Wrapping It Up
Instagram can be a powerful advertising tool for any brand if and when used properly. Instagram provides more engagement and interactivity than other social networks do and is a perfect platform for a growing brand, whether that brand is a person, a community, or a business. While there is no guarantee set in stone that you will get featured on Instagram, if you really get involved and put in the effort you can get there. Following these guidelines will increase your chances of becoming featured, and if you can implement these tools and others you may pick up on the way properly into your Instagram practice, then you have just taken the first step toward your goal. If you put forward the effort to participate in the Instagram community, and follow the guidelines set, then building up a strong following won’t be a hassle for you.