There are those who use Instagram for fun and there are those who take the social media channel more seriously. Certainly, you can still try to enjoy yourself while being serious, but if your goal is increasing your exposure, traffic and overall influence, be ready to put additional effort than average users who post a couple of pictures occasionally and calls it good.

All of today’s influencers started small and built their Instagram platforms, one follower, at a time. But they also took extra steps to constantly focus on engagement as a way to stand out along with offering useful and relevant content.

 If you’re interested in improving your reach consider these strategies.

Change things up. Though your loyal followers might love everything you say and do, they also might be pleasantly surprised if you tried different things sometimes, like a Story instead of a photo or vice versa. Or a series of photos. Or a Carousel, which many social media experts say do tend to get more traffic than photos alone.

Pay it forward. The modern Internet is all about doing people favors and inviting them to do favors for you, and Instagram is a perfect example. Liking a fellow Instagrammer’s post is good, but how about sharing one of their photos and giving them a mention on your page. Be sure to give them credit, or better yet, privately ask them for permission before doing so. Do enough of these and you’ll soon get a reputation for being friendly and generous. (But make sure to alternate with your own original content, and allow people the chance to reshare.)

Figure out optimal times for posting. Figure out what time of day and what time of the week you get the best response to your posts. Although Internet experts study this information regularly, your experience may differ. This is also a good opportunity to learn more about your audience based on their responses. Are they in different time zones? Are the students so not as active in the mornings?

For more Instagram strategies visit MGA Digital Marketing.