7 Ways To Grow an Authentic Instagram Following

October 10, 2017

With Instagram taking over as one of the most popular social networks for business and firmly cementing its place as a leader for creative brands to find their niche and connect with their tribe, it's no wonder people are madly searching for the key to organic growth on their accounts.

 

The amazing thing about social media is that is completely free, and building your following is a simple formula that can be achieved with time, engagement and unique content (with no need for purchasing followers or using silly tricks). 

 

 Photo credit: On the Decorative Fringe

 

1. Know your message - and make it clear!

 

 

 

The reason businesses have success on Instagram is because they have a clear and concise brand story that they consistently communicate to their audience. 

Not sure what yours is?

Focus on writing down in a couple of sentences what you want people to know about your brand and what you offer - you may also want to look at jotting down 4-5 words you would like people to associate with your business/profile as this will help determine how you will communicate your message. 

 

 

2. Find a great content formula for your niche

 

Depending on your target market you are talking to on your socials, this will be different for everyone - however, finding a formula of the way you layout and post your content to suit your niche is essential in achieving consistent and sustainable social media growth. 

Focus on engaging with your audience and finding out what they like, look at your analytics and see which posts they respond to best. 

This may be a mix on inspirational quotes/graphics, asking a question, product/service pictures, sharing a free resource or tip or shout-outs or collaborations with other businesses. 

 

 Photo credit: On the Decorative Fringe

 

 

 

"Focus on engaging with your audience and finding out what they like, look at your analytics and see which posts they respond to best. "

 

 

3. Be consistently active

 

While this seems like an obvious point, it is surprising how often people miss it - I think as a result of small business owners having to wear so many hats, social media can often be put on the back burner, with hardly any time at all being dedicated to engaging with your audience. Being consistently active and sticking to a strategy for your socials you are providing your followers with opportunities to connect with your product or service as well as appearing professional because it is evident you've created a clear plan. 

 

4. Create a kiss-ass Instagram bio

 

One thing you will notice about many successful Instagram accounts or accounts with large followings, is that they have written a bio that is engaging, clear and simply put... kick-ass. A popular and effective way to layout your bio is to use emoji's like dot points - much like your Instagram feed, choose a colour palette or theme for these emoji's so they all somehow relate and work cohesively. 

Make sure you be descriptive and make your services or products sounds EXCITING and different!

Ensure your profile photo is recognisable (either a logo or headshot), easy to remember name, link in your website address and/or location. 

 

 

 

"The reason businesses have success on Instagram is because they have a clear and concise brand story that they consistently communicate to their audience. "

 

 Photo credit: On the Decorative Fringe

 

 

 

5. Use relevant hash-tags

 

The key to connecting with your audience on Instagram and growing that audience is hash-tags - it

always has been, but now even more so with the change in Instagram's algorithm, it's essential.

Currently you are allowed to use up to 30 hash-tags to target your audience and allot your photos into categories, so use them wisely (and make sure to us all of them!)

Focus on the industry your business is in, the age of the target market, what their interests are, your location, trending topics etc. Stay away from generic tags like #love or #instagood etc, they attract a lot of spam and may lead to your account being Shadow Banned.

If you want to find out more information on shadow banning, click here

 

 

"Spell out the direction for them and make it simple, you should be able to communicate your call to action in a handful of words."

 

 

 

 

6. Tag other businesses & brands

 

A great way to target other people's audiences and expand your network is to tag other brands that may be included in your content (this opens opportunities for shares/reposts) as well as showing your audience that you love to support other people. 

A great tip for this point is to focus some of your attention on social media influencers or brands who have quite a large following - by interacting with them on their socials or tagging them in relevant content you now speaking to maybe double or triple the number of people you were before. 

As always don't tag people in irrelevant content as they will just get annoyed and most likely block you. 

 

 

 Photo credit: On the Decorative Fringe

 

 

 

7. Use call-to-action (and connect your different platforms)

 

Letting your audience know what you expect of them is what you need to be doing everyday!

While it might seem like your followers don't need every little thing explained to them, the majority of the time when people are on their social networks they aren't particularly focused or paying too much attention to the captions or what they mean.

Spell out the direction for them and make it simple, you should be able to communicate your call to action in a handful of words.

Just like the importance of adding call to action at the end of every caption/post, making sure the appropriate information is linked in both your website and social accounts adds credibility to your brand.

 

 

Although some days its seems like it's not making a difference, the consistency of "showing up" each day to interact, reply to comments, create unique imagery, write engaging captions and simply put in the time and effort, is how brands elevate their accounts and stand out from the crowd. 

 

Now, write down your strategy and get posting!

 

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