15 steps to make your Instagram Account Viral

Ekalavya Hansaj

The fetishization of Instagram and the virality that is drawn parallel to it is being sought after more than a high-end ‘dope’ in the market. As a marketer or influencer, viral marketing, especially on Instagram is an expedient way of not just getting noticed but growing either as a personal brand or as a company as a whole. When your account or your company’s for that fact, goes viral on Instagram, you do not just bring the hype around your product but your brand in general. That sounds like ‘money’ to me.



The plus is that once you’re viral on Instagram, every guy in Chipotle knows you, even when you didn’t have a pre-built audience like Paris Hilton or David Cameron. However, is it that easy to go viral on Instagram? And, shouldn’t you be working on a bigger funnel marketing strategy than focusing on viral marketing through Instagram?



To answer the former, it isn’t easy to get viral anywhere, and Internet fame isn’t just handed over to you because you yearn for it. With so many marketers and influencers trying to shove aside the others and make it to the top, getting your account viral isn’t about following a generic pathway. You can’t review a McDonald’s burger and hope to go viral with it just because you suggested a way to express people’s views on the burger. It’s not that easy, but it isn’t impossible either.



For the latter, viral marketing is just as big a marketing strategy as email marketing. Why? You’re the one here; you should know.



Now that we are finally done with why virality on Instagram matters, here it is, the manifested guide to earning your stardom on Instagram and becoming a living brand in the flesh. I curated this with the sole intention of making you believe that there is no sorcery on the path to becoming famous. It comes from sheer grit, hard work, and knowledge of the most marketable practices that help your efforts to meet results.



The 15 steps mentioned below can be concrete to paving your pathway to getting viral on Instagram, but before that, let’s understand what virality truly means.



What does the world consider ‘Viral’?



Before we venture out to learn the tricks of the trade and the secrets to becoming an overnight sensation we need to process what exactly being viral is. No, Carol, it has nothing to do with the Coronavirus, but just because you mentioned, stay indoors, wash your hands, and use a mask. Now that preliminary safety warnings have been made, let us move forward.



If anything goes viral, it means that people have lost their mind over something that surfaced over the internet and has interacted with the post tremendously, resulting in the hype around the post or the incident. A good post can be the doorway to getting your Instagram account viral, but what does it take for a post to make all the noise on Instagram?



For a post to become viral, it needs to have



1. A substantial amount of shares


2. A substantial amount of likes


3. A substantial amount of comments


4. The frequency at which the content is circulated in the internet sphere.


5. The number of times the post has been viewed



and many more.



Defining viral content would be difficult, but suffice it to say that these are the most common and obvious characteristics that can be observed in a viral post.



This post will primarily focus on building enough hype around your posts so that people engage with them in needful ways, and you can benefit from the said engagement.



Now to answer your first question. How many hits do you need for your account to go viral? Somewhere around 100,000+ hits, along with thousands of comments on most posts. Yes. That is the humongous amount of attention your content needs to create for you to make a noise. However, the process is systemic and can be achieved if you follow the next 15 steps. It won’t make your very first post go viral, but you’ll be creating a manifold amount of excitement among your followers. More followers mean more attention; more attention means more followers. And boom! Your account is viral now!



So here we go!



15 Steps to make your Instagram Account Viral



1. Understand your audience (duh!)


We can never stress this enough. Your post has to have an audience targeted; you can’t advertise nachos to people who are on a health-conscious diet. Your post, in that case, would be dead before it began.



Every post that you make on Instagram intending to gather hype around it is done with a specific target audience in mind. While the post has to be mesmerizing, the people you pitch it to should also be interested. In Instagram, this is easy because you get to use hashtags and attract people from niches to engage with your content, and if they like it, which they will (we believe in you), voila! Your purpose has been served. Now, on to the second.



2. Aesthetics – can’t define it but can’t leave it out either



This one is tricky, and it has every right to be. Aesthetics is something that you can’t put a finger on but is important just the same. Did you see Ariana’s upside-down photo with a dash of reflected light (probably out of a prism) smearing onto her face along with a thin strain of sunbeam? Yes, we all loved it but why? Aesthetics, and we do not know why.



The fun about aesthetics is that something as simple as a wall with a collage of wooden window panes can be very aesthetic and photogenic.



However, while you’re endeavoring to achieve this, do keep in mind that making your content, or your profile in general, aesthetically pleasing is exceptionally subjective. The most random of things may appear aesthetic at the most unexpected of times; the best way to go about this is to make sure that whatever you do, is visually appealing.



3. #Viral (Use the right Hashtags)



Eye-popping content, along with the right hashtags, makes for the quintessential combination to capture new viewers. Using the right kind of hashtags will get your page’s train on the tracks of getting new audiences on board.



Use hashtags that relate to your product, niche, or service, and all the other relevant hashtags so that your content will reach those who’ll be genuinely inquisitive to take a look at it.



Take your sweet time researching hashtags and list the ones that synchronize with your content. You can also use tools to do your hashtag research, as they’ll make your job easier. If you are wondering how many hashtags your post should have, then my opinion would be that you should stick to 5 or 7 hashtags at max. You don’t want to appear as someone spamming the post and filling it up with incessantly irrelevant hashtags.



However, Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags in a post. You can either add the hashtags at the end of your post, or you can add them as a comment immediately after posting.



You should also use branded hashtags, which can be fruitful if you aim to go viral.



4. Use emojis



Emojis are a great way of evoking emotion that a typical text passage fails to portray. The use of emojis serves two general purposes. Firstly it helps you bring down the text’s tone to an informal one, and the reader feels more inclined to interact with the content.



Secondly, the emoji makes sure that any random scroller quickly notices the emoji and drops it to check the content and what it has to offer and thus, again, increasing your audience for that particular post. Don’t trust us? Corporate houses like Nike and FedEx use these ‘personifications of emotions’ to attract more traffic to their posts.



5. Consider paid promotions for easy visibility



Nothing is as good and reliable as some good old advertising gig and promotion scheme. You see, no matter what you do, the paid promotions ensure that Instagram will take extra care to bring your content into the limelight and pop it up on the feed of people who share similar interests. Paying for promotions is the surefire way to get noticed and increase your chances of going viral.



6. Publish more video content



Although Instagram has not said that videos are appreciated more than photos, it has been observed that video content always gets more attention than images. From IGTV and Reels to Instagram Live and Stories, the platform promotes video content and how!



You know the importance of eye-catchy content, right? Now, let’s dig a little deeper. Imagine this – when you sit and scroll through Instagram as a viewer yourself, videos autoplay, and anything entrancing immediately catches your attention. That is precisely what I’m talking about.



Video content grasps more engagement, and it naturally moves to have more chances of going viral. Another reason you should post more video content is that videos will make your followers pause and spend more time on your page, which is good because, as per the algorithm, that is precisely what we want.



Instagram has also announced that IGTVs will now appear on your followers’ feeds, which clearly means that Instagram wants you to make more videos.



7. Accounts and Location Tags help



Imagine someone searching for a restaurant, and your photo appears on their search because you have already dined there. That would be one hell of a promotion, right? You can achieve that with something as easy as a tag.



When you tag something or someone, anyone searching for something remotely analogous will be viewing your content if they happen to scroll enough or if your content is engaging enough. Tags and mentions go a long way to ensure your image stays in circulation long after the photo is published.



8. Leverage your ideas with Instagram Analytics



You can sneak into your Instagram analytics to take a look at the content which was loved the most by your audience. Your page’s Insights will give you direction, and they’ll allow you to create content that works best for your followers.



The analytics will help you learn about your follower locations, follower gender, most-liked post, and so much more. You’ll also get to know when your followers are active the most. If you posted something at 5 pm and did not get much engagement, and then you posted something at 8 pm and got flooded with engagement, then you’ll know that you need to post around 8 pm because that’s when most of your followers are active.



9. Connect with Influencers



Influencers exist for a reason – they have gathered strong trust from their fan base, and even micro-influencers have thousands of followers on Instagram. A word from these influencers would mean thousands of their followers dropping by your account and engaging with your account.



Once you focus on one post, this follower surge will benefit your entire profile. Influencers and breeding hype also build trust and help you engage with people outside the spectrum of your reach, no matter what measures you have taken. This is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your account and content on Instagram.



10. Post Frequency and the Time of Publishing Matter



First and foremost, we advise you to make a Calendar list of the ideas you will work on to create stellar content. You can’t post once in a blue moon and expect people will notice it.



Posting irregularly creates no traction at all and also serves to stop showing your posts even in your followers’ feeds. Yes. They do that, and the only way you can skirt around that is to post regularly and by posting quality content simultaneously.



You also need to take into consideration the fact that there is a time when there is a maximum amount of audience using the platform and are ready to engage with the post that you are going to make. This is the peak time we talk about. You can identify this by using analytics software and then determining the amount of audience generated, segregated by the time of the day. Once you have identified the time your audience generally engages the most with posts in your vertical, make full use of it.



11. Host Contests and Giveaways to Boost Engagement



Now if there is something that the human mind treasures more than his own life, it is the greed to have something for free or the least amount of elbow greasing involved. This is why giveaways are of cosmic importance.



There are two benefits again to giveaway campaigns. Firstly, greed will force the human mind to succumb and do whatever is necessary (make sure it is not very tedious) to stand a chance of winning the giveaway; the other is the advertisement you make.



Giveaways are essential because, unlike traditional advertising, where you focus on your campaign manager to ignite a spark, the products in a giveaway speak for themselves. Suppose the quality is satisfactory and the prices are not exorbitant. In that case, you will notice a steep increase in audiences for each post and a general increase in followers.



12. Post-High-Quality Photos



Quality always goes a long way, doesn’t it? Don’t miss out on clarity and style because crystal-clear photos are a game-changer. Think of Instagram as your parents, but the only twist here is that your parents want you to focus on your career, while Instagram likes you to post focused images on your wall, you know what I’m saying? You’re not expected to maintain television-worthy standards, but it’s just that blurry photos make it big on Instagram.



If your photos are not in focus, they won’t be able to get the kind of engagement you’re aiming for. Engagement comes with high-quality, and low-quality images just won’t cut. You might also end up losing a few followers, and you don’t really want that to happen now, do you?



13. Including CTA is an effective way to go viral



Including CTA in a witty way can work like magic in terms of engagement. Call-to-action can work wonders for your page if you use it potently. Every story or post published on your page should contain a significant CTA. It is like telling your audience what you want them to do. Think of your audience like a baby. You need to create enthralling and creative content that they like, and then you need to spoon-feed them with a CTA to make them interact with the content.



Want your content to go viral? Your page will flourish tremendously by using CTAs like ‘double tap to take a look at more of such videos,’ ‘click on the link in bio to learn more,’ ‘turn on post updates to never miss out on anything,’ or ask captivating questions for that matter.



For a quick example, let’s say you are a beauty content creator who has just posted a makeup tutorial video on the page. After writing a crisp caption, you can quickly ask a question like, ‘comment below and tell me all about what kind of makeup videos or tutorials do you want me to post in the future?’. This will make your audience feel like you care about what they want from you, and it will work as a great way to stick to your page.



14. Know What’s Trending



Instagram is all about making or following new trends every day. As a viewer yourself, do you ever feel like every morning comes with an over-the-top, drop-dead gorgeous, or maybe adorable trend on Instagram that makes the world go crazy because everyone hops on it?



Yeah, we are all sailing in the same boat then. That’s what the platform is all about, right? As a page, you need to know what’s trending so that you can hop on it and grab your audience’s attention.



Hopping on trends creates a superlative, fail-proof strategy to skyrocket your post engagement. Another way to keep yourself updated is by knowing what your competitors are doing, but don’t forget to add your twists and flavors to the table.



Stalking your corrivals might give you significant inputs, reveal hashtags, pop new ideas in your head, and you’ll be able to use their content strategies to make a few of your own.



15. Use tech tools to get more followers and boost engagement



Tech tools will work like your magic wands to boost engagement and get new followers on your page. If you are serious about making it big on Instagram, then you should consider taking the help of tech tools to help you get there quickly. All kinds of customers and brands have hopped on the platform, and the hype for Instagram and the competition is real. Hence, you can make use of several tech tools that are out there. These tools will help you push the crowd and allow you to reach heights.



With all that said and done, remember this: to catapult yourself into making more money doesn’t mean idol-worshipping virality on Instagram. Being viral is as much about patience as your sheer grit and strategies. You may go viral with just one post, or it may be the 101st post that worked for you to wind your way to get your Instagram account viral. However, resorting to disingenuity or ill-intended practices would only lead to short-lived fame, and you will be back to square one when it all ends.



Thus, do not try finding a loophole to virality or working towards negative criticism because ‘Internet fame’ of that sort will not take you anywhere. Now that I have dispensed my Jamocha shakes of wisdom, here is the last bit of utter cliche yet will-fuelling advice to getting your account viral on Instagram – GO GET IT! And Follow our viral Instagram account here.


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