How many of you feel like you have no followers or engagement on your Instagram account? You hear about all of these success stories about people getting clients through Instagram but you can’t even get people to follow your page! Let alone like your posts that you spend hours on trying to find the perfect pictures and typing up the best captions. Don’t get discouraged. I used to have hardly any followers on Instagram, and I more than doubled in the last year and so has my engagement. I want to share some of my simple secrets that I’ve used to grow my Instagram.
I have grown my followers completely organically, which means I haven’t run sponsored posts or paid to get more followers. It has happened naturally through my small and simple efforts. Now, don’t me wrong. I do not have thousands of followers like some bloggers do. I am still growing, but I thought ti wouldn’t hurt to share what has worked so far.
I made a list of all of my competitors, major local news outlets, local magazines, city travel guides, bloggers, other popular local Instagram pages etc. and I go on their pages and click on one of their images and see who likes their posts. I then scroll through the people who liked their posts and go and like at least 3 of their photos. If I see an important relationship opportunity sometimes I will even follow them after liking their photos. I do this with about 50 people a day. Nearly every time, I get at least one new follower from doing that and people liking my posts back.
Why does this work? Because people get the notifications and see your name and they are intrigued. They usually end up clicking on your page and learning more. Plus, you are targeting people who are already interested in businesses similar to yours (hence why I see who follows my competitors).
This might seem overly simple, but it really does work. I have even had new clients result from simply liking someone’s photo. Most marketing agencies and social media strategists will also say that this is one of the best way to grow your followers – is to engage! I think that’s why it’s so important to remember that Instagram is a social platform and sometimes we forget that. We get so used to just posting and then being done without really interacting and networking with others.
This in turn, usually increases my engagement too. However, a dear chef friend recently told me about Instagram pods. With Instagram’s newest algorithm, it’s getting harder and harder for small Instagram pages to show up in feeds and rank high for certain hashtags if they don’t have engagement. That is what Instagram is really pushing. That is one reason why you see so many annoying “bots” commenting on photos with words like “love it” or “cool pic.” Of course, I am talking about real engagement though.
An Instagram pod can help you get the engagement and beat the algorithm while still being genuine. How it works, is you find 15 people or so who will be your brand cheerleaders. You can create a special Instagram messenger group where you keep each other updated on when you post so that everyone in the group can then go like and post a genuine comment. The great thing about this, is that when others see more engagement on your page, they will want to engage also. Being social is contagious!
I hope these tips help you find more success with your Instagram business account! One of the chefs in my coaching programs just applied these principles and she has already gained 40 new followers in just a week! Pretty cool.