Instagram is one of the most popular social networks out there. So why do you have so few followers? Sports stars, musicians and influencers often have enormous numbers of followers there and can earn a lot of money from the photo- and video-sharing social networking service. Of course, that doesn’t have to be the goal of your own account. But if you’re hoping to collect a sizeable following, things shouldn’t just be ticking over. To start, you should at least be noticing a positive response from friends and family. But how can you give your account more profile? Social media consultant Teja Adams says the most important thing is to have fun with it. “Admittedly, this sounds like trivial advice, but your followers will notice whether you’re enjoying your Instagram account or not.” But Instagram is also a platform that is very time-consuming if you want it to grow and be successful. Adams suggests coming up with an account promise. This helps other users get an idea of what the account stands for and why they should follow it. “These can be very different things,” Adams says, providing examples: “Do you want to use the account to provide information on everyday questions or solutions to problems, to inspire or to trigger emotions?” These are the questions you should be asking yourself. Hong Kong’s ‘Instagram Pier’ closed to the public The answer then leads to the next question: what’s your target group? For a successful account, you need to know: “Who am I addressing with my content?” Adams suggests defining this target group as narrowly as possible. “The more specific the target group, the easier it is to inspire them and get them interested in your account.” This leads to the fourth point: content. Good pictures are one thing. However, Adams’ advice is to always provide some information or ask a question about each picture as well. “It’s a good idea to tell a little story about the image,” Adams says. Each post should also be hashtagged . Adams recommends between three and 10, but that they should really fit the topic of the post. Hashtags are extremely important on Instagram. Short videos that can have sound or music added to them, called Reels, were recently launched on Instagram. The new feature is a reaction to the success of TikTok. Just like Instagram Stories, however, Reels are not that important when it comes to building reach. “Stories and Reels are for the followers you already have. Posts that appear in the feed are for the followers you want to get,” explains Adams. Until you have your first 1,000 followers, you have to post new content continuously, about once a day. This is the only way to get a certain amount of attention in Instagram’s Explore section. You can still use TikTok in Hong Kong if you really want to The media expert also recommends being active on the platform beyond just posting. “Instagram rewards being active and interacting on the platform.” That means after posting, you should like and comment on other posts, as this increases the reach of your profile. Social media success and effective data protection don’t generally come hand in hand. “Protecting privacy is not the business of social media in general, nor of Instagram,” says Adams. Your profile and posts are public by default and only public profiles can attract new followers. That’s why you should always think carefully about how you use social networks. This is especially important for children and parents, says media coach Iren Schulz. Schulz recommends that parents set up profiles together with their children, and to always start in private mode for all activities. You should also remember image rights when uploading, something often neglected on Instagram. Posting other people’s photos or images is problematic at best, as you technically need the permission of the copyright holder. If you have a large account, you have to expect that you will get a warning. “Ideally, you should always use your own photos and upload them carefully so that it is clear that you own the rights,” Schulz says.