In the world of social media, it’s so easy to get hung up on the numbers when the numbers are simply an ego boost. If you are using Instagram for business or blogging purposes, you have to convert followers into customers or readers. Luckily, I’ve been able to do just that. Instagram has been an incredibly powerful tool for building my business. I don’t believe that it’s because I’ve achieved a reasonably high number of followers, but it’s because I engage with them. If you are using Instagram for your business, engagement is essential. You need to be strategic with what you post and how you engages. Your Instagram feed should tell a story that reflects your personal brand. Make sure it’s a story worth telling. Here’s how to grow your Instagram following, connect with your audience, and drive profits for your business.
How to Grow Your Instagram Following
1. Your Aesthetics Need to be On Point:
This first tip is a no brainer because Instagram is a visual platform. If you want to capture your audience’s attention and turn them from a casual follower into a true fan, you want your images to encourage them to go and check out your entire feed and follow you.
Another reason why aesthetics is so important is because most of us work in a saturated market with a huge amount of competition. Posting the same pictures as everyone else in your niche isn’t going to get heads turning. Chances are, they will just keep scrolling. They’ve seen it all before. Think about how you can make your feed different. This could be doing something as simple as sticking with a certain theme (colors, fonts, graphics etc.) or something a little more unusual like using an app like Giant Square to make larger Instagram images that take up the width of your feed.
VSCO is also worth a mention because it’s a great app for photo editing and is the go to app for fashion bloggers. Word Swag is another favorite of mine because it allows you to easily add graphics over your images.
2. Your Feed Needs to Reflect Your Brand
Branding is one of the first things you think about when you are building a website, so why wouldn’t you give it thought when building your presence on Instagram? Have a clear brand message and a consistent theme. When people see you feed, you want them to instantly recognize it. There are some Instagram accounts that have done this incredibly well. Alex, founder of @bossbabe has totally nailed it when it comes to branding. The brand message is always crystal clear and her graphics, fonts, and color scheme make the feed easily distinguishable. Other than creating consistency with your images (via fonts, color schemes, filters etc.) also think about branding your images with a watermark such as your logo or your web address so that you identity is stamped throughout your feed.
3. Be Personal But Not Too Personal
I fell into this trap early on in the Instagram game. I posted without ever revealing very much about who I was and what I did. You are a big part of the brand.
One of my first really personal Instagram images was of me and my boyfriend at Christmas. In the caption, I thanked him for his support while I build my business. That is one of my most liked images to date because it showed that there was an actual human behind the account and that I wasn’t just posting on Instagram for the sake of it. I was working hard behind the scenes too. Posting personal pictures every now and then helps me connect with people who may work with me in the future. It helps build a deeper relationship with followers and makes them more likely to stick around.
At the same time, you need to know where to draw the line when it comes to posting personal stuff. We don’t need to see what you had for lunch, breakfast and dinner, nor do we need to see a gazillion pictures of your dog dressed up as an elf. Don’t let the personal stuff distract from your main brand message and theme.
4. Ask Questions
Questions, by nature, generate responses. You ask something and they will answer. This creates a conversation and produces a highly engaged audience. People want to join in, because they feel like they are a part of the discussion. Think about what your audience will respond to. What is going to get them to comment? The question doesn’t necessarily have to be related to your niche. Think about what else excites your customer, client, or reader. By asking questions, it shows you care about your audience. It shows that you are a business that is both interesting and interested.
5. Ask for Feedback
Engage your audience by asking for feedback about your business or blog. Ask them what they like, what you could improve upon, and what they would love to see more of. Give them options and make them feel that they are involved in how your business develops. Feedback allows you to figure out what is working for your business or blog, and where you should be focusing your efforts.
Instagram is an amazing platform for building relationships with other people in your niche. Rather than seeing them as the competition, think of them as a potential alley and come up with ways you could work together. Supporting and promoting each other is a great way to make friends and grow your audience.
Reach out to someone you admire on Instagram and discover ways you could work together. Perhaps it could be guest blogging on each other’s site, doing a webinar together, or something as simple as regramming each others images. Share your audience and, in return, watch your audience grow.
Instagram can be an amazing way to elevate your personal brand!
What are your tips for growing your Instagram following?
By Dani: Dani is founder of The Clique (www.wearetheclique.com) and a business strategist who coaches women to build their empires and bring their A-game. She likes social media marketing, french bulldogs, and coffee, although on Fridays she prefers her espresso in a martini. For a daily hit of inspiration, follow her on Instagram @we_are_the_clique. This post was originally published on Yes Supply Co. Image via Glitter Guide.