Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools in the digital age. Businesses and brands utilize it to engage with their customers and reach new audiences. A marketing trend that has been increasing over the past couple years is brands leveraging social media influencers to gain greater exposure. A social media influencer is an individual who has a large and engaged following on their personal social media accounts. At Snapwire, we're always looking for photographers who have a large social following to become brand partners, helping to spread awareness of us as a brand to other photographers. Becoming a social media influencer, however, is a difficult task. To help you get started, we've compiled a list of 4 tips to help boost your Instagram following. 1. Personal Branding The most important tip to gaining a following on Instagram is to choose a theme and stick with it! If you're a food photographer, make sure to post mostly food photos. If you're into traveling, post mostly travel and landscape photos. It is important to think about the niche that you're trying to reach. Instagram accounts that appeal to a certain niche of people will result in more engaged followers and will more likely grow faster than accounts that try to appeal to many different niches. 2. Cohesiveness is Key After deciding which niche you're trying to reach, you now need to start posting relevant content. It's important to keep in mind that Instagram is a visual platform. Your photos need to not only be consistent to your account theme, but they also need to be consistent with each other. If you decide to use filters on your photos, make sure to use the same or similar filters for ALL of your photos. When deciding whether or not to follow an account, Instagram users will look at the account as a whole. If it is visually appealing and organized, users will more likely follow the account. 3. Utilizing Hashtags You've picked your theme, and uploaded a handful of relevant photos to your account, but you're not gaining any followers. In order for users to know your account exists, you need to somehow be discoverable to your target audience. The easiest way to do this is to utilize hashtags. Tag each of your photos with RELEVANT hashtags that match your theme. Using too many irrelevant hashtags will lead to disorganization and will decrease your brand strength. 4. Follow and Like Photos From Similar Accounts The last step that will help you gain followers is to search through hashtags yourself and try to find accounts similar to yours. Like a bunch of photos from users who have the same hashtags as you. Follow some of your favorite ones. Engaging with community members from the niche you're trying to reach will prompt them to engage back with you. If you follow these four steps and execute it well, you are guaranteed to gain a massive following in a few short weeks.