Current status of the Ning Platform is always available on the Ning Status Blog.

1. Sign up for Instagram 

2. Use your site name as your user name (of course, lol).

3. Include your site url in your description. (no Brainer) 

Always use your site name as a hashtag when posting pictures.  And be sure to use other popular hashtags so that your pictures show up on multiple feeds. Example: #fun #funny #JenSocial <----

4. Always be liking. Trust me this is one of the most effective ways to grow your following on instagram.

Liking the pictures that other people have posted is the best way to get likes on your photos and followers on your account. I have some where around 6,700 followers on my personal account and about 85% all came from me liking random pictures. 

If your not inerested in liking pictures manually there is an app that will automate your likes based on the hashtag(s) you input. Very cheap and effective. I'm currently using autolikestagram

5. Be consistent, If your site is about music it doesn't make much since to be posting pictures of food now does it. Post daily. 

6. Do not flood the time lime with photos, people hate that and will usually unfollow you because of that. I'd recommend that you never post more than two photos at a time. 

7. When posting a picture make sure you leave something about your website in the description of your photo. See more pics of this band on 

8. Ask your members to use your # hashtag when posting site related content on instagram. 
9. Create a group on your site just for instagram and have members invite their friends to that group. This will grow your members and followers on instagram. 

10. I've saved the best for last. Run a instagram photo contest using your site # hashtag you can give away a month as a featured member, or something like a $100 or $250 dollar gift card, its up to you. Get creative with this you will see your followers and site sign ups increase. 

I hope this helps some of you. 

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  • Continuity is key. In addition to adding your site url to your description, including your most used hashtags will help fans, friends, and followers to interact with you. (Warning: this can look tacky.)

    I'm on board with #6, though sometimes I can't help but go on a 'gramming spree and have been known to inject upwards of five photos into the feed in a span of a few minutes. Always feel a little guilty on the rare occasion that I do. 

    Not really in favor of #4, but can see how useful autolikestagram would be for brands with very specific growth targets, and for those with specific campaigns like the one mentioned in #10. It would be quite the time (aka money) suck for a 100K+ personality to search and <3 every fan photo/contest submission -- € 3 is a bargain in that case.

    Out of curiosity, do you scroll through your favorites feed often? What, in your opinion, merits a follow back?

    • Allison 

      I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner. I didn't receive a notification that you left a comment. 

      Using the hashtags on Instagram does look a bit tacky. I wouldn't recommend using more than two or three hashtags at a time.

      Using a description of the photo can help to clean up the hashtag. Everyone has a different style for hashtaging. This is an example of how I hashtag my photos. 


      This is a #photo taken by MD Photography for a T-Mobile campaign. This was a really #fun shoot. I can't wait to see it one day when I walk in the store. #FerrariMusic #Droid

      In my example I used four tags but I think it looks fairly clean and it's to the point. Of course you will have to find the style that best fits you and your brand. 

      I agree about Autolikestagram. 

      I base my follow backs on comments most of the time. This is not typical, most people base their follow backs on likes.

      I think a comment that is specific to the photo is more deserving of a follow back than a like is. "The picture has great contrast" ect....Something that let's me know that they are actually interested in what is going on in my world. 

      I'm not sure if I understand what you mean about the photo contest reply, it is late here. I will reply about the photo contest in the morning if I get a little time. 

      Jay F. 

      • Allison, 

        Do you think a caption/comment this photo would work better than using the hashtags? 

        All users must be following the account, or even be members of the NING site to enter the contest?

        • Hey Jay, Hope you're doing well! Back to the point here, I think caption contests are brilliant for Instagram, but best when used in conjunction with hashtagging. Hashtagging can earn 100x more exposure. 

          You don't want the barrier to entry to be too high. Contest participants must follow the account is okay, but membership to your Ning community would be harder to track and would discourage many folks from sharing and participating. Instead, you could use the contest as an entry point to the community. To accomplish this, I'd suggest mentioning a hot new album over on your Ning community and including a link to the exclusive photo set and using the contest pic as the cover image, or something along those lines.

          I also tend to incorporate hashtags into an image description, and consider this a best practice. Sometimes, if I snapped a photo I'm super proud of or just want to get more folks to see it, I'll comment on the image with a bundle of related hashtags. This way, the tags aren't in plain view, but they're still linked to the image. Another pro to tagging in the comments (exclusively or in addition to the image description) is that you can delete the comment later on without affecting the image history.

This reply was deleted.

Some interesting articles related to community management, digital marketing etc. could be found in our digest. Don't hesitate to leave a feedback so we would know that we should continue :-)

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