Have you ever felt the need to quit Instagram? After working and working on your strategy without seeing the results you want, it can be quite stressful and overwhelming at times. Trust me, I know the feeling.
But today I want to share with you the one thing that can completely change your social media game. No, it doesn’t involve fancy algorithms or techniques to fool them, it’s only one simple word… engaging.
We often forget that social media is for actually being social and we tend to focus more on the numbers. I get it, having 10K followers would be so amazing, but sometimes even with those numbers you might still not get the results you need for your brand.
This month I made a commitment to make time each morning to engage on Instagram, with both my followers and new accounts from my niche. Liking and leaving thoughtful comments on photos. Want to guess what happened? My account started growing and really fast! Not only that, but I met amazing creatives and a few of them inquired about my services. I even got featured on Pantone’s account…still can’t believe that!
I’m not even close to reaching 10K followers, but since when is that the only goal and the magic number to be considered successful? I know you’ve probably heard this before: is not about quantity, is about quality. As cliché as it sounds, it’s completely true. What do you prefer, thousands of followers that never comment, like or even see your photos on Instagram or people who look forward to hearing from you and are genuinely interested in what you have to say? I prefer the latter.
What I want to share with you is that you don’t have to get discouraged when you see those accounts with more than 10K followers and thousands of likes. It’s about connecting and finding that space in social media where you can shine.
We all want more clients, people who buy our products, who read our blogs. If you make the time, I promise you will see results.
Here’s how to take that first step to change your Instagram strategy and truly connect with your ideal audience:
Make time each day to like and comment photos from your followers
Don’t forget about them because they are already following you. This is a two-way street, so engage with them and show that you care.
Use hashtags that are relevant to your ideal audience
This is a must these days. Using hashtags is the way your ideal audience can find you. Just be careful with banned hashtags and do some research on the ones that have a good number of posts in them but are not saturated.
Discover new accounts using hashtags
If you already have a list of hashtags for your audience, then this will be easy. Take some time each day, choose five hashtags and click on two or three photos that you like. This will help you discover new accounts that relate to your brand.
Leave thoughtful comments
Not only ‘great picture’ or ‘awesome account’…yes, I’ve got a few of those as well. Read their caption and add something of value. This is even easier now since a lot of people are using Instagram as a mini blog, so there’s a lot you can say.
Design a grid that showcases your work or products, as well as other content.
You can design your own templates and grid using an app like Planoly to not only share snippets of your life but also to promote your products or services.
When someone new is following, check their account and follow back if you like their content.
Now, this might be a tricky step. Some experts out there say that you have to follow each account that follows you or that you should follow them at least for a while and then unfollow.
Honestly, I don’t like that at all. I prefer to follow accounts I enjoy, those that inspire me. So, my advice is exactly that.
Stop using the follow/unfollow technique, nobody likes it.
This goes hand in hand with the previous tip. The follow/unfollow practice is incredibly frustrating and it means that numbers are the only thing that matters, which is not the case. Try to focus on engagement instead and you will see results.