Day #17: Growing Your Instagram Following
Marketing on Instagram is all about earning lots of followers. If you can build your page to over 1 million followers, you can make quite a good living on Instagram. If you think that level of popularity is out of your reach, think again. By spending no more than 30 to 60 minutes on Instagram 5 or so days a week there are people generating 5-figure-a-month revenue. When you first get started, you’re going to want to check into Instagram every single day. Once you develop a considerable following, you don’t have to put it near as much time to see your marketing efforts pay off.
The magic number for followers when you’re first starting out is 10K. Getting your first 10,000 followers is no cakewalk, but growth after that point really begins to take on a life of its own. Depending on how dedicated you are, you could gain 10,000 followers in your first 30 days on Instagram.
Growing Followers by Interacting with Others
Let’s use an example to illustrate this – let’s say you have a business selling truck accessories. In order to gain your first followers, find another page on Instagram that posts truck photos. You want to find one with over a million followers in your niche if that is possible. In a perfect world, you want to wait until that page posts a brand-new photo. This is because when you see people liking that photo and commenting on it, you know they are currently online.
As long as you find photos that have been posted within the last hour, you have a good chance of catching Instagram users that are still online. Now you can start following, clicking through to these users’ profiles, and leaving meaningful comments on them (no generic comments or spam!)
Some marketing experts will tell you to follow as many people as you can on Instagram each day to gain new followers (as a small percentage will decide to follow you back). This can work, but very slowly and isn’t really the best way to get an engaged following. Instead, take a look at individual profiles and follow those you’d be more likely to actually like and interact with.
Doing things the right way does take work, but it’s worth it. Instagram is, after all, a social network, so it’s important to be social, respect the rules and avoid spamming. Thankfully there are others methods you can use, too, like hashtags.
Another way to make sure you are hanging around with the people you eventually want to have as blog followers is to use the hashtag. In the Instagram search engine, look for #trucks, or #cupcakes or #monkeys, anything that is relative to your blog. You will be shown the most recent photos that also have that same hashtag. Start with ones that have been posted in the last few seconds or minutes, and click on the images. Find out those users that liked those photos, and interact with them in a genuine way.
More powerful, though, is to actually use these hashtags when you post new content. This is another way of hopefully getting access to Instagram users that are still on the site, but do not follow you so would not have seen your posts otherwise. By the way, one Instagram study showed that adding at least one hashtag to all of your posts will create 12.6 % more engagement on average.
It takes time to find the best hashtags to use. Some ideas include:
- Looking at the hashtags your competitors regularly use,
- Experimenting with different hashtags and analyzing your results,
- Downloading an app for hashtag ideas (like TagOMatic)
Other Ways to Grow Your Instagram Following
The importance of hashtags for people to find your content was mentioned earlier. You can also use the following techniques to further improve the engagement you have with your audience, while increasing your following.
- Host a contest. Award a prize for whoever comes up with the best caption for one of your photos, and use apps like Heyo, WishPond and AgoraPulse to run your contest.
- Survey Monkey is just one survey managing website that lets you ask your Instagram followers exactly what is on their mind.
- Spend some time commenting on content similar to yours. Provide real value and in-depth comments, and not just “nice pic”.
- Liking photos and following others is the best way to get yourself followed on Instagram.
- Post regularly. If you can, post content on a set schedule. This trains your audience when you are going to be online, which drives engagement.
- Stay consistent to your page theme. This is not like Facebook, where your personal page may cover several different topics. Only include photos, hashtags, captions and videos relevant to your blog’s topic.
- Respond to the comments you receive on your content, and reach out to other page owners who are posting content similar to yours. Social media networks are all about socializing.
- Tell your followers what to do. Ask them to like your photo if they enjoy it, and ask for comments as well.
- Link your Instagram account to your other social networks.
Are you set up on Instagram? If not, today’s task is to set up an account for your blog. Here’s a basic tutorial to help you get started.
If you’re already on Instagram,