Share QUALITY content
- Quality content means that you have intention behind what you are posting. Are you trying to entertain, educate or inspire your audience? Put the research and work behind the creation and posting of your content on your feed because that will show. When you’re filming an IG reel for example, make sure the lighting is good and that you get the best take where the audio lines up. Don’t just put content out to put it out, but take the time to create GOOD photos/videos that your audience will connect with and share.
Show up consistently
- If you haven’t heard this a million times already… consistency is EVERYTHING. You cannot expect to grow that peach booty you’ve been wanting without focusing on legs/glutes 2-3 days per week and eating the right foods, correct? Same thing goes for social media. You cannot expect to grow to 10,000 followers by showing up and posting whenever “you feel like it”. We all have days where we’re tired or moody, but we still have to show up and go after our goals. Make it a non-negotiable and it will become a habit.
Target your niche audience
- First we have to figure out WHO your audience is – who are you even talking to? To do this, you should do a deep dive into your Instagram insights & check out demographics, locations and what posts have resonated the most with your audience. What content does the best & why? Once you start to build a list of qualities, you can better target your content to your niche. Are they into hiking? Fitness? Yoga, specifically? Are they spiritual? Sense of humor? What catches their attention and also aligns with you and your interests.
Build relationships with your followers
- When you pop on IG stories or post a photo on your feed, ask for feedback and talk to them like you’re sitting with your girlfriends. This type of conversation will help build trust and they will feel like they truly know you & that you know them too. Comment on their posts, reply to comments, answer DMs, ask them questions on your stories, get feedback on what they prefer. This give & take helps build that relationship and their loyalty towards supporting your business and page.
- Use hashtags, location tags & Alt text strategically. Do not tag your photos with #instalikes or anything spammy – you want to use these hashtags to target your audience & specific post. For example, if you post you & your family and you live in Michigan, you can use hashtags like #momlife #toddlermom #momof3 #michiganmom #michiganblogger #girlmom #familyphotography #michiganphotography etc. You get the jist? Get more specific on location and subject. I also recommend hashtags on photo posts go in the first comment & not in the caption and that you only use 1-2 hashtags for reels (10-12 hashtags recommended for photos). Also, you can add descriptive words to the alt text and make sure you’re tagging your location whether it’s the city or a specific place where the photo was taken. That’ll help target your local audience!
Listen to what your audience wants
- Take a look at what posts/stories have had the most engagement. Does your audience prefer when you talk about beauty products, when you show your daily workout routine, are they super into seeing you make your smoothies in the morning? Narrow down what photos and videos have caught the most attention and start to build out a list. You also want to make sure you’re posting when your followers are on Instagram & you can checkout the most active times by going into your IG insights. You don’t want to post while they’re busy at work or getting their kids ready for school in the morning – maybe they are most active at lunch or at night after dinner.
Create an aesthetic
- Instagram aesthetics aren’t like they used to be anymore. We are moving away from the perfectly curated feed to more of a “voice” aesthetic. What content can your followers expect from you? Do your reel cover photos align well color-wise with the rest of your feed? Is it bright & cheerful or dark & mysterious? You want to somewhat align with a theme when posting, so that when your followers see your content, they know it’s yours. Plus when brands check out your profile, you want to show consistency and a personal aesthetic that could line up with their product.
Instagram stories every day
- This is a non-negotiable for me and it should also be for everyone who is looking to grow their following. Think of Instagram stories as a daily vlog – what are you having for breakfast that day, what’s on your mind, are you meeting up with friends, what products are you using? Keep them engaged and expecting to see your beautiful face in the morning & allow them to follow you through your day. The great thing is that you can make this what you want. Either it’s random and different based on how you’re feeling or you schedule it out – Tip Tuesday’s (give life hacks, beauty tricks, etc.), Wine Wednesday’s (sit down, drink your wine and chat)… it can be whatever you prefer.
Use the tools Instagram gives you
- We’re all just out here trying to figure out the ever-changing Instagram algorithm, but what it really comes down to is Instagram just wants you to use the tools they give you. For example, on IG stories: tag locations, use hashtags, add gifs, polls, question boxes. This will create engagement with your audience & increase the number of story views. There is also a BIG push for Instagram reels, so if you’re not consistently creating videos… you NEED to. Creators are getting more views/engagement on reels over photos, so try and stick to a 2:1 ratio (2 reels to every 1 photo).
Update your storefront
- Whenever someone asks for help on growing their following, the first thing I do is check out their “storefront” AKA their feed. This is the first impression that potential followers and brands get when they click onto your page, so you want to grab their attention (in a good way). Make sure that you have a bright, inviting profile photo of your face, you have a clean but engaging bio, a URL with links (amazon storefront, website, discount codes…), IG highlights with a certain theme and a feed that quickly shows who you are and what your target is. If they come to your page and are confused and it feels messy, they’ll just click off and not hit the follow button. But if you have all of these boxes checked & also have current IG stories, they will be intrigued and want to learn more.