Don’t be fooled by the title of this blog! We’re not about to reveal some big secret that is guaranteed to skyrocket the number of your followers overnight.
It takes time and strategic planning to grow and nurture a following who care about your brand and engage with your messaging. Gone are the days of buying bots to boost numbers, now it’s not about quantity, but the quality of followers.
Whether you’re a small at-home business just starting up, an individual wanting to build your brand or an established business that’s struggling to see growth, with these 5 simple steps, supported by an overall marketing plan, your IG audience will be on the rise in no time!
Strategic Posting Strategy
One of the most important steps of developing a social media presence is determining the specifics of your target audience, who they are, what they like and the actions you need them to take, whether that be in regards to sales, traffic, awareness, etc. Once this has been decided, you can focus on a posting strategy that speaks specifically to them.
Ever heard of the saying ‘consistency is key’? Well, this also applies to a successful posting strategy! Posting 5 times one week and none the next can affect not only your momentum but how your audience perceives you. Therefore, it’s important to plan your posts in advance, acknowledging key dates that align with your messaging and design a scheduling process that ensures consistency week to week.
Ps. Don’t post for the sake of posting. Make sure every post has a purpose and is on-brand.
For help with scheduling, some resources we like are;
Reels, Reels & More Reels
The ‘reel’ reason you need to be utilising Reels on Instagram? REACH!
With Reels showing up on your followers’ feeds, the explore tab, and the dedicated Reels feed and with Instagram pushing Reels across the platform to compete with the tycoon, Tik Tok, they are currently experiencing unmatched visibility and reach. This affords smaller accounts the opportunity to appear in front of a new audience and be ‘discovered’ by those who may not have otherwise found you. Therefore, when growing your account, this is a must-do!
Captivate users’ attention in the first 3 seconds to stop them from scrolling on!
Try and keep it under 30 seconds (even with the new 60 second increase).
Including hashtags in your reels and hiding them will further increase the reach.
Use trending music, saved straight from Instagram.
What’s the point of Social Media if you’re not using it to regularly socialize with your followers?
Engaging with your community will help humanize your brand, build credibility and encourage loyalty. Connecting with your audience can be as simple as following those who follow you and commenting on their posts (hint: avoid generic comments and strive for a more personable approach).
Furthermore, reaching out to local/micro-influencers and like-minded brands for their opinions of your products or services is an ideal way to garner organic reach. However, it’s important to stay authentic in this space, especially if you’re relatively new or a small company, as customers will easily see through false posts and dishonest reviews.
One of the quickest and most exciting ways to grow your following is through Instagram giveaways. Competitions directing users to follow, like, tag, and reshare a post can go a long way in gaining traction and getting your name out there and in front of new potential customers/clients. However, BEWARE, giveaways like this can be tricky and need to be done right to ensure you don’t sacrifice the brand image and reputation for a jump in numbers.
Some things to consider to make your competition a success and to avoid negative ramifications:
Make sure there is a reason for your giveaway, for example, celebrating an important milestone for the brand (a birthday or hitting a certain number of followers), a new item/service release, etc.
Most importantly, pick a prize that aligns with your brands, such as one of your own products or services.
Ensure the entry steps benefit your brand! Prompt participants to follow, comment, tag, like, etc.
If possible, collaborating with other brands for a bigger and more appealing giveaway is an amazing way to access a whole new engaged audience.
Help your potential audience find you! Whilst Instagram captions don’t show up in searches, hashtags do. Therefore, with a meaningful and relevant hashtag strategy, you can show up in the searches and on the feeds of those who; share the same interests, engage with similar brands, and are more likely to engage with your content and/or product.
Even though Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, quality over quantity applies here. Therefore, research into what your target audience is relating to is essential, as is avoiding hashtags the likes of #likeforlike or #followme. These may increase your following to a point, but they won’t be the users who will elevate your brand or further engage with your page.
Struggling with the research side of things? We find these sources highly effective and easy to use:
Bonus 6th Step!
Reach out to AM Group for a team of expert marketers, who will utilize their knowledge and experience to grow your audience, elevate your brand and drive actionable messaging across your social media platforms. At AM Group, we make it our priority to understand the ins and outs of your business and harness this knowledge to create a social media strategy with a purpose. Let us know a bit about your business and find out if we’re the right fit for you, click here.