Growing your Instagram followers can be a SLOW and painful process, especially with all of the follow, unfollow foolery currently. At times you almost want to throw in the towel and buy followers, BUT we never, ever want you to do that. Your money, dignity and followers are worth more than that.
A follower should be someone that you A) want to do business with B) are interested in being a customer of theirs or C) you genuinely like the content they produce and you’re interested in their journey. Following someone, just to unfollow them once they return you the favour is a dirty tactic and it won’t lead to a valuable relationship! We put together a little list of 7 ways to grow your Instagram followers, that don’t involve any of the nasty tricks around at the moment!
Remember, no follow, unfollow business! Here are some simple and effective ways to grow your Instagram followers organically and authentically.
Instagram is image first, so you want to ensure that you’re choosing photos that are high quality (ain’t nobody got time for grainy, low res photos) and fits in nicely with your feed. We recommend using a tool like Planoly which allows you to plan out your grid ahead of time so you can ensure it flows smoothly. If you’re going to use stock images (need some good ones? – check out our list), make sure they align with your brand identity and colours. If you’re creating your own, make sure you’re using a consistent filter and colour scheme. Once you’ve got a set of killer visuals, you can move on to the good stuff – the content.
When you write content for Instagram, make sure you keep your audience in mind. If you balance out your content by writing a mixture of valuable, personal and promotional posts, you’ll notice that your audience will feel like they aren’t just being sold to all the time. They will start to build a relationship with you because they’re starting to get to you know you. The point of social media, is to be social! The weight of how often you post each of these should be in that order too, try to remember to always add value for your followers. Whether it be sharing a tip or trick of your trade, sharing a battle or triumph, or something you’ve learnt along the way could just be the little push that someone needs to get their motivation up to push forward in their own business and they’ll thank you for it.
You may have read our little blog on hashtags, but they are a very important tool that helps connect you with your current followers and find new ones! You should have a mix of 30 local, relevant hashtags and broader (but still relevant to your industry/post) hashtags. If you’re a Brisbane or Melbourne local biz, check out our hashtag cheat sheets in our store, they’ll save you a heap of time.
Spend 20/30 minutes a day engaging with the accounts you’re currently following, but make sure that it’s meaningful. Don’t just leave an emoji. Try to answer a question, provide insight or feedback in a positive way. Those who aren’t following you currently might check out your profile and realise they do find value in your account and follow you back (let’s be real, so many of us hold off on following because of the follow/unfollow culture).
5. Follow new hashtags
Find local hashtags e.g. #brisbanebusiness and follow those. That will bring the users of these hashtags into your feed and you can follow and engage with those potential followers.
6. Look up geographic locations
People who are tagging photos in the destination of your choice, it could be around your business or where you’re wanting to do business. You could follow these people / businesses and use the location as a topic of conversation to engage with these potential new followers to build a relationship.
7. Look at your current followers & who they are following
You might find that they have a similar demographic to yours and are already following a wealth of potential followers (we’re not saying follow their entire list, cos that’s just rude. It’ll just save you a little bit of time and they might be the kind of followers you want!). Don’t forget to engage after you follow, just liking a few posts often won’t do it. Leave a few words of encouragement, telling them you love their feed, their brand vision or their product!
So there you have it! There are some ways to grow your following the right way, not the dodgy way. And it does take time, but oh boy is it worth it when you have an engaged, wonderful little community of followers who you actually enjoy seeing in your feed and enjoy chatting to regularly!