Make the Most Out of Instagram's So-Called Vanity Features This marketing expert reveals two of the most effective ways to attract more followers on your business's Instagram account.

By Kim Walsh Phillips

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The following excerpt is from Kim Walsh Phillips's book Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code SOCIAL2021 through 5/27/21.

Although there's no magic potion or spell you can use to instantly get new followers on Instagram, as someone who has experimented and grown her account herself, I know firsthand the good, the bad and the ugly. And I'm spilling all of the beans. Even the pintos.

Related: Harness the Power of Stardom With Instagram

Here are two effective ways you can attract more followers:

Emojis

This is one of those little ninja tricks for creating a pattern interrupt in your post. A pattern interrupt is a technique to interrupt what your audience is doing -- a behavior or situation. Behavioral psychology and neuro-linguistic programming use this technique to interrupt and change thought patterns and behaviors. It is meant to make your post stand out in a crowded Instagram thread.

You can use emojis to bring attention to your call to action, such as when you ask them to share the post with others or to comment, or simply to bring visual attention to your photo description. I have found this easiest to do by using an emoji search site. I copy the image into my notes when I write the full caption, and then copy it on my phone for the post itself. One of my favorites at the time of this writing is www.Emojipedia.org. Emojis are broken down into categories:

Smileys and People

Animals and Nature

Food and Drink

Activity

Travel and Places

Objects

Symbols

Flags

According to Emojipedia, the most popular emojis are:

Face with Tears of Joy

Person Shrugging

Smiling Face with Heart-Shaped Eyes

Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes

Face Throwing a Kiss

Smirking Face

Fire

Face with Rolling Eyes

I have not had enough results to say whether it helps, but it does make the posts more visually interesting. I use them most of the time, so I give this one a thumbs-up.

Filters

I noticed a distinct difference in engagement with certain Instagram filters. Turns out those filters aren't just vanity -- they can dramatically change your results with engagement.

Related: How to Make the Power of the Hashtag Work for You

Researchers from Georgia Tech and Yahoo Labs analyzed millions of photos and corresponding data on viewing and commenting frequency to determine that filtered photos are 21 percent more likely to be viewed and 45 percent more likely to be commented on than unfiltered ones.

What kind of filter works best? After examining five different types, researchers found the top filters to increase chances of views and comments are those that create:

  • higher exposure
  • warm temperatures
  • higher contrast

Higher exposure filters were tied to more views, and warmth had the biggest correlation with comments. Two types of filters had negative correlations: Saturation correlated to slightly lower views, and Age Effects led to lower comments. So filter it up, Jedi.

Did you enjoy your book preview? Click here to grab a copy today—now 60% off when you use code SOCIAL2021 through 5/27/21.

Kim Walsh Phillips

Founder of Powerful Professionals

Kim Walsh Phillips went from 32 clients to over 11,000 in less than a year and founded Powerful Professionals, a business coaching company that has been scaling consulting and coaching businesses. Phillips is the best-selling author of The No BS Guide To Direct Response Social Media Marketing.

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