A few months back we had a local business friend inquire about growing her Instagram. This business owner is well known in the local community and even award winning in her industry. She sent me a message along the lines of “Any suggestions what I am doing wrong here? I can’t seem to grow my following on Instagram even though I have these awards and am known in the community.”
This is something I hear often. “Why can’t I seem to grow my online following?”
But before I get into the tips for how to grow your Instagram, let’s first take a look at what your goals are. When I sit down with a new or potential social media management client, I always ask what the goals are for the social media. Is the goal for more sales online? Is the goal for brand awareness? Do you have a specific followers count number in mind? Who is your customer you are speaking to online?
Armed with some of these answers we can create a game plan.
Personalize your brand
People are not inclined to follow accounts and companies that are all about the sales push. If you can connect with the people following your account through your personalization ,they are far more likely to follow AND to engage with you online.
A couple examples of personalizing your brand could be featuring people who work for your company. Share information about your staff, their interests and their jobs/experiences. At Panda Rose we do a weekly Feature Friday of one of our staff members and they are always a big hit. People like to know who is behind the work.
If you are a single person show or really small operation, you can offer some insight into your life. What do you like to do with some of your spare time outside of the office/work site? Do you have a family? Are you a foodie? Getting a bit more personal helps people connect with you and feel as if they are not always being sold on something.
Have clean/clear pictures
The occasional quote or meme can be fun, but too much of a good thing is well…. too much. Keep the photos you are uploading clean and clear. This doesn’t mean they have to all be done by a professional, but avoid posting pictures that are blurry, too dark and/or poor quality. You can take fun courses online about photography if you really are wanting to get into it, but honestly there are a lot of bloggers and Instagrammers online that also use their phones for snapping pictures.
I can’t stress this one enough. It’s called social media, not “put pictures up and don’t talk to anyone to get famous media”. Some quick tips for engaging online with others:
- Comment on other peoples photos that you follow and that follow you. Talk to the people who are already enagaging with you! This helps build a community around your page/brand.
- Search hashtags that are relevant to your industry/business. Are you a wedding cake baker in Edmonton? Search for #yegweddings and find and follow other industry people or couples getting married. Engage with them and be seen, but again also creating that community.
- Ask questions on your posts/stories. When you ask questions, people love to give you their opinions. They want to share in their experience with you and give suggestions and tips of their own. This helps with community building, relationship building, shows you are listening and at the same time gives you an in depth insight into your customer. What do they like? What do they want? What are their interests?