In June of this year, TechCrunch announced Instagram surpassed the 1 billion monthly active user mark, making it the fastest growing social media platform in 2018!
With the recent release of IGTV, it’s clear that growing your Instagram is more important than ever. But even more so if you’re an influencer, small business owner, or desire any kind of online presence.
So in today’s article, we’ll walk you through 11 different ways to organically grow your Instagram following, engage with your community, and ultimately make more sales.
Your Audience Is Waiting For You
#1: Use More Hashtags
Using just a single hashtag has shown to increase engagement by 12.6%. The sweet spot according to a recent study appears to be somewhere between 11 and 30. With 30 being the maximum which Instagram allows.
You can also hide your hashtags in the comments so it doesn’t look as spammy. To make them “invisible” simply follow your hashtags with five periods, each one on a line by itself and no space after periods. If you post this in your first comment, your followers will just see […] after your name in the photostream.
Branded hashtags are also incredibly effective in helping you create a community around your Knowledge Commerce business. You can see one of ours at #kajabihero
#2: Portrait Over Landscape
Post portrait instead of landscape as portrait images appear bigger in feeds, drawing more attention and potentially leading to more engagement. Landscape images cover less than half the space as a portrait image would.
In marketing, attention is everything and portrait images will help you get more of that!
#3: Post At The Right Time
What time is best to post for the most engagement? The easy answer, post for your most active time zones. If most of your followers are on the West Coast, then keep that in mind and post when they’re more likely to be on.
Typically, the best times to post are around lunch time (11am-1pm) and evenings (7-9pm). Many studies have also shown that on average, Sunday’s get the least engagement. But like with anything in marketing, test to find out what’s true for you!
#4: Use Geotags
According to a study conducted by Simply Measured, posts which include a location get 79% more engagement! You can also use a geotag strategically by tagging your location in an area where some of your potential prospects may see it.
If you sell fitness information, try tagging your posts at a nearby gym. If you sell online courses teaching yoga, tag a yoga center or even a Lululemon store. You get it the picture : )
#5: Partner With Other Influencers
As a digital entrepreneur, you’re obviously an influencer. But this shouldn’t stop you from reaching out to other influencers in your niche or people who may have followings relevant to who you help.
Partnering with influencers is by far one of the fastest ways to not only grow your following but also generate massive sales. These prospects have far less resistance to buy from you when your material is being promoted by someone they already trust.
You can even create special discounts for your online courses or digital products, only available to the audience of the influencer you’re partnering with. Start reaching out to influencers today!
#6: Photos With Faces
While it’s important to have certain photos just featuring your product, remember to include faces whenever it makes sense. In fact, posts which feature faces have shown to get 38% more likes than those without!
You’ll notice on our own Kajabi Instagram (www.instagram.com/kajabi) that we feature a lot of lifestyle type shots which include both faces and products. If you can show your online course, membership site, or personal coaching in action...all the better!
#7: Public Profile Not Private
Obviously, this is a personal preference, but if you’re still a smaller channel, potential new followers are less likely to follow you if they can’t quickly sample some of your existing content.
Once you’re a little more established with tens of thousands of followers, then making your page private may not be that big of a deal as your account has more built-in social proof. But when just starting, our recommendation is to make it public so those stumbling across it can get an idea of how you help people!
#8: Optimize Your Bio-Link
If you’re not already doing this, then this is something you can quickly and easily do today! If you think of your Instagram account as an online ad, would you ever want to drive someone to an ad and not capture any of their information?
Well, many make this same mistake with their Instagram bio. While you want to obviously communicate who you help or what it is you do in your bio, you also want to provide a strong call to action with a link which sends them to a squeeze page or somewhere you can potentially get their email address.
Take some time to think of a valuable opt-in gift you can offer right there in your bio in exchange for their email. This allows you to build both your Instagram following and email list at the same time.
#9: Interact With Your Followers
This may seem common sense, but what’s common sense is always common practice. Remember to frequently interact with your followers. You’ve spent time, energy, and in some cases money to acquire them.
Engage with them by asking for feedback or thanking them for their like or comment. You can also go on their page and like or comment on their account. These sort of little things go a long way in creating a personal and friendly relationship over what at times can feel like a distant medium.
#10: Post Consistently
This one is huge! Instagram rewards you for engagement and when you post consistently that’s exactly what you get more of. But you’ll not only be rewarded by the Instagram algorithm, you’ll also be rewarded with brand recognition by your followers.
Have you ever noticed you start to remember weird commercials or phrases just because they showed up a few times? The same thing will happen with your personal brand as you post quality content consistently.
Once a day, twice a day, the same times every day. It’s completely up to you! But the key is consistency whenever possible.
#11: Post More Stories
As you’ve probably noticed, Instagram stories are becoming more and more popular. While many have started using them, there are still many who are not. Our advice? Use them as much as you can!
It’s one of the most effective ways to connect with your followers. Think of it as your own reality show. You can show them behind the scenes of you filming your content, the results your online courses are creating, or even you out doing normal things like grocery shopping.
Don’t take this ease of promotion for granted! If you wanted to market similarly to your followers using something like radio or television, it would cost tens of thousands to do the exact same thing!
But with Instagram stories you can do it for free, at any time of the day, and as much as you’d like! So start taking advantage and post a story today!
Your Business Is An Audience
Always keep in mind that your online business is nothing more than an audience of people who want the product or service you provide.
Your email list, Facebook page, and of course your Instagram following are all accumulated audiences which you can use to help grow your business even further and make more sales.
So start using these tips today to continue to monetize your knowledge online...
Not sure where to start?
Come join us on my closed FB group and ask your questions there.
Content sourced from Kajabi
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