One of the most frequent questions I get from you all is either how I grew my Instagram following or how I receive so much engagement with the amount of followers I do have and unfortunately, I don’t have an exact answer. Realistically, there are bloggers with so many more followers than me but don’t have the consistency of people commenting, interacting or engaging with what they’re posting. I’d much rather have my small(ish) following interact than receive a million likes because to be frank, I’m not interested in the numbers – I’m interested in you. I want to share the few things that have worked and continue to work for me as my following continues to quickly grow.
Interact with Others
The purpose of social media is to…. you guessed it – socialize! And I don’t mean by spamming accounts with comments like “Love!” or “Just liked!”. Don’t spend your time commenting “L4L” on Kylie Jenner’s post. I mean real genuine interaction. I follow people I know and people I admire and interact with them all the same – like we’re friends. I compliment them, joke on their photos and reply to their Instastories when I feel it necessary. Most influencers grew their followings by interacting, so they understand the importance of commenting back and often do it.
Post Regularly and Consistently
Before I had a blog, I’d post when I had something to post. For me this meant while I was dressed before going out, or on vacation. My photos did “well” and averaged about 300 likes with only a couple thousand followers, but when I began posting weekly, then daily, those numbers jumped considerably. More than half of the world’s top 100 social media brands post at least weekly. Merge consistency with quality content and the hard part is done.
Call to Action in Captions
This increases engagement tremendously. Think about the influencers that you follow. They don’t just post and go on about their business. They often ask you to tag a friend who would agree with their post, or to comment below with what you’d like to see more of. Followers are naturally inclined to respond. Ask for what you want in your captions. If you have a new blog post up, tell them to go and read it. If you have a feature in a magazine, direct them to the link in your bio to go and check it out. If you just released a new product, tell them where they can go and buy it. I struggled with not wanting to come off as pushy or demanding when I first started utilizing calls to action. That easily went away when I saw how effectively they work. I bet a few of you are here reading this because I told you to! LOL
Be Relatable, Get Personal
Before I had a brand, Instagram was really just a place for me to post photos where I thought I looked cute, but I wasn’t sharing anything other than “hey, I’m in Mexico and life’s great” or “black is my color, huh?”. When I began to be more transparent about who I was, what my life consisted of and what I believed in people, it was then that people began to relate with something more in depth than nice outfits and ocean front vacations. What is it about you that people can connect to? Highlight that.
Ask and Listen
Folks may be scrolling past you because you’re not posting anything they want to see, so why not ask? I asked my readers to fill out this survey several months ago asking them what they liked best about my content, what they wanted to see more of, and what they thought I was missing. Once you all answered, I went that route. I created a YouTube account that’s wrapping up it’s final stages, I got going on some B Werd merchandise for all my Boss Ladies and I focused on things you all wanted to see. Not only did providing what you all asked for grow my social media following, it increased my site visitors and subscribers. Feel free to complete that survey if you didn’t get the chance to last go ’round.
Promote your Instagram on your other Social Media Platforms
Instagram is my main form of social media, but many of you engage on Snapchat, Twitter or even Facebook much more than you do Instagram. Use the platforms that you’ve already built to lead followers to your Instagram. Sharing content you’ve already created on Instagram onto your other channels will organically bring people back to your account, even if it’s only a few at a time. Facebook ties right into Instagram for cross-promoting content, as do Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. Each have cross-promotion buttons directly in Instagram when you’re posting a new image or video. It’s not as time consuming as it sounds and the reward is big.
Know When to Post
For me, this came with trial and error. Now I know that when I have a new post up on The B Werd, I want to post early in the morning (about 9 a.m.) when people are just getting situated at their desks. I imagine most of my readers are like me. They get into the office, have a seat at their computers and do a scroll on Instagram. This gives my followers all day to log on and read whatever I just published. Outfit posts do better for me in the afternoon. If you have a business account on Instagram, they provide you with analytics on everything from when your followers are most active to where they’re from. If you need more info about Instagram business accounts, feel free to email me.
If you have questions about anything specific that I may have forgot to include, please comment below and I’ll answer it to the best of my knowledge. There is not only money, but amazing connections to be made on Instagram. Go ahead and grow it!