We recently hit 700 followers on our Instagram page and while that's not a ton, it's a milestone we're super happy about because we've been growing our audience authentically. We also work with other companies to create social media followings and in doing so, we've learned a few tricks of the trade over the past few months. Today, we want to share those tricks with you.
Before we get started, I want to set some expectations with this post. We're talking about quality over quantity here. You can easily set up an Instagram bot, get a bunch of followers and walk away - that's not how we like to do things. We want to help you create a community of individuals who are interested in what you have to offer - individuals who have the potential to turn into customers.
Creating Quality Content
This is generally what you think of when you think of when you think about Instagram. The people who have great success on Instagram almost always have professional quality photos with thoughtful write-ups.
Professional quality photos that are aesthetically pleasing are going to draw attention to your captions, captions are what provide your audience with value. You can't have one without the other.
Focus on providing some sort of value to your audience. With every post you write, think "who is going to read this? Is this content helping that person?" If the answer is yes, you're doing it right. Value can look different to everyone. If you have information to offer, give it - don't give them everything, remember this information is still valuable, but give them enough to showcase that you're the expert. If you're not an expert at anything, be #relatable. As humans, we just want to connect with other people and being relatable and showing your flaws is a great way to do that.
I would argue that engagement is just as, if not more important than quality content. You need to get your account out into the world. Unless you're sponsoring posts, the best way to do that is with engagement. This means liking other people's photos but more importantly it means comments and DM's.
When you comment on a photo, you begin a relationship with whoever posted the photo, but your comment is also accessible to everyone who is scrolling through and sees the photo. This means that your little comment can have a lot of reach!
Posting engaging comments - ones that begin a conversation or contribute to the conversation started by the post are always the best as it shows other Instagram users that you have a voice. Those who agree with your voice or want to hear more of what you have to say will follow you. So comments amplify the voice you have and they increase the potential for new users to find and follow you.
Consistency is key. Because of the algorithm that Instagram uses, only 4% of your followers on Instagram are going to natively see your posts. Choose a posting schedule and stick to it! When your followers expect a post from you but don't see it, they'll be inclined to check out your page to see what they've missed. If you don't post for a long period of time, your followers will just think you still haven't posted if they miss a post.
Stories add value to your instagram and when used properly can really enhance your page with the highlights feature. Stories also help you with the algorithm as Instagram keeps accounts with stories at the top of any searches. Posting 3-5 stories a day gives your followers an insight into your life, reminds them that you exist (and that they should check out your profile for recent posts), and allows your followers to feel more connected to you and your brand.
Do you have any tips for building your Instagram following? Let us know your strategies in the comments below! And don't forget to follow us on Instagram @gdcommerce :)