Now that you’ve set up your account and added some spectacular content, you are well on your way to Instagram success. However, that saying “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t always ring true for online marketing. Yes, there are accounts that become an overnight sensation, but that’s not how it works for most people. Chances are you’re going to have to put in a little bit of work to get and keep those followers! Here are the best ways we’ve found to grow and engage your audience on Instagram:
There are all sorts of articles and theories about how often you should be posting on Instagram. From our experience, it’s the most important to simply be consistent and stick with a schedule you can maintain. If you’re working or in school you might have a lot of material for your feed and could commit to posting daily. Otherwise, just be sure to make a plan that works for you and stick with it!
Treat your Instagram account like the business it is, and look for tools that will make your life easier. Our favoruite scheduling app right now is Planoly, which is great for planning out the look and feel of your feed. This way you can caption and layout a bunch of photos ahead of time, then post them as needed.
Like and Comment
Interacting with other users and building relationships is one of the most important parts of social media. Go through some of your favourite hashtags to discover awesome content other users are sharing. Likes and comments need to be real and thoughtful – take the time to connect with those who are sharing around you. They just might enjoy checking out your pictures too!
Pay attention to users who like and engage with your posts. It’s good to take some time to check out their accounts too. Make sure you reply to every comment. Someone took the time to leave it and it’s a best practice to take the time to write back.
I would recommend connecting your Instagram and Facebook or phone contacts and doing a mass follow of those people to start off. Not only are users more likely to follow back if they know you, and that pre-existing relationship could even bring you some clients or references. You’d be surprised how people can crawl out of the woodwork once they realize they know a nail tech, makeup artist, hair stylist or style guru!
After you’ve hit up the people you know, go looking for others who might be interested in your feed. It’s not glamorous or fun, but if you want to grow your account, following people gets your name out there. Stick with users who already follow someone similar to you, and don’t go too crazy (stay under 50 changes/hour) but rather build it up slowly over time. If you find you’re following too many people, there are a ton of apps for selecting and unfollowing users who are not following you back. A word of caution though – you don’t want to violate any of Instagram’s community guidelines!
Hopefully this guide to Instagram Marketing 101 has been helpful in getting your account kick started on our favourite platform. As always, if you have any questions or feedback on the series, please let us know in the comments. Messaging @JCInstitute on any social media platform works too!