Growing an authentic and engaged following organically doesn’t have to be a trial in insanity. There are a few steps you can take to make sure that you are consistently growing an engaged Instagram following that values what you post and shows it by engaging with your content!
But first you must be aware that Instagram is changing!
Usually this causes widespread panic attacks and riots. But in this case it’s definitely for the better. First, they are finally cracking down on inauthentic engagement and fake followers. (1) It’s about time for the takedown of fake influencers. Second, the new profile design de-emphasizes follower count and puts the emphasis on where it should be, you! (2)
With all the fun new changes taking place you are probably wondering how to grow an authentic engaged following without the use of spambots and spammy tactics. I’m here to tell you that it can be done with a little effort on your part. The best part is that you will end up with an active and engaged following who are actually interested in what you post.
The Top five secrets to growing an authentic and engaged instagram following.
1. Post consistently and often.
Despite how simple this seems it’s a major game changer. Let’s say you post once a day and get 1000 impressions that means if you post 2 times a day you will double that. It’s simple math. Not everyone needs to be posting 4 times a day and I don’t recommend you post any more than that in any case. But if you at least consistently post once a day you will start to see major growth.
Remember to be consistent, whatever that means for you and your brand. If you start by posting twice a day make sure you continue with it. I have done experiments and when I stop posting consistently my reach and impressions tank regardless of my hashtag strategy and content. This is SO IMPORTANT. This is also why I preach the use of schedulers but that’s a different blog post.
2. Target your market.
If posting consistently is important, then making sure you are catering to your market is essential. I mean, I would go as far as to say that this is the major key in gaining a lot of organic followers fast. Do you know who your target market is? I suggest heading over to google and learning about how to identify your target market if you’re unsure. You need to do the legwork in order to find your ‘people’. Especially if you are selling something. If your product is targeted at vegans you won’t want a following comprised of avid meat eaters.
A well thought out avatar of who your target market encompasses is your golden ticket to an engaged following. Knowing who you are speaking to will also help with content creation. You will have a better understanding of what pain points you need to address and how to go about addressing them. When you create content that speaks to your following they are more likely to engage with it!
I can’t emphasize enough how important hashtags are to help you grow on Instagram. If you think people are not searching hashtags you are, to put it simply, wrong. Instagram not only encourages people to search hashtags but also allows for people to follow specific hashtags!
You are allowed up to 30 per post and my suggestion is you use them all, especially when you are growing your account. Celebrities with a built in following can get away with using 0-3 hashtags but if you are not as recognizable as Selena Gomez you are going to need a little more help getting noticed.
My best advice for hashtags is to use the ladder method. This means that you would use 10 hashtags’s in the 25K range, 10 in the 50K range and 10 in the 100K range. Stay away from the ones with millions of uses because your post will easily get lost. The best way to do your research is on the app itself. Once you know who you are targeting you can figure out relevant hashtags that they are using/searching. It’s ok to check out your competitors and see what they are using to get some ideas. You will also need to switch up these hashtags for each post so create list of around 100 and mix and match for each of your posts.
4. Create with a purpose
Don’t just post viral videos that have nothing to do with your business or brand because they have a ton of engagement elsewhere. Be really strategic about what content you are putting out. People follow you because you provide them with answers, value, and/or entertainment. They are always looking for what is in it for them. Maybe they follow you because you post amazing landscape photos. If you then start posting funny memes about cats you run the risk of alienating your dedicated followers.
Think about why you follow the people you follow and what your reaction would be if someone suddenly drastically changed up their content. Give your target market what they want!
5. Utilize Stories and geotagging.
Stories are a powerhouse for getting you noticed. Because of the algorithm your posts are only reaching a small percentage of your followers (unless you are following everything mentioned above 😉) Stories allow you to be a little more spontaneous and fun! You can show more behind the scenes, do polls and fun videos. It allows you to engage more with your following and when you ask questions it sends the answer right to you DM’s so you now have an opening to further that relationship! win/win.
Geotagging is a great strategy to use as well, especially for local brick and mortars. This is another way for you to be found and increases your visibility because it’s yet another way for someone to find you.
Engage, engage, engage, engage. This is perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT tip I can give you. Do I need to say it again? Be social! This is social media after all. Go to the hashtags you are using and engage with the posts. Don’t just drop a emoji and run. Like and comment with real comments. Be authentic. Let someone know that you are paying attention to their posts, answer their questions, compliment their photos. There is no faster way to build an engaged audience than to be social and engaging yourself. Find your target market and ENGAGE with them. Have I mentioned the word engage enough for you?
If you start putting these 6 tips into practice immediately I can practically guarantee that you will start to see a bigger more engaged following on your account. What are you waiting for? Don’t forget to come back and tell me how its going for you!!
For more fun social tips and motivation follow me on Instagram @stratosphere_social