The question I am often asked is how do I grow my page? While it is important to grow your audience, if done incorrectly it will negatively affect your engagement levels, which is the last thing you want.
Growing a page is not hard, there are lots of corner-cutting-tools available online that promise rapid growth – and some actually deliver. There are also lots of tricks you can employ yourself to grow your page at speed, but at what cost? The point of this exercise is to grow a community of followers, who become customers and eventually advocates for your business. To accomplish that, there are no short-cuts.
You have to invest time and effort to achieve effective Instagram growth.
I have grown my brand page from 0 to over 50k followers and here are some of the strategies I employed over the years to make that happen.
So what are my top tips?
1. Understand your brand story and your target audience
People connect with stories and are drawn to authenticity. Think about your brand, how it came to be, what problem you are solving and why you are the best possible solution for your customers. This does not need to be a complex or long story, in fact, the simpler the better. You then need to clearly define who your target audience is, who you will be speaking to and what kind of things they are interested in and motivated by.
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2. Plan your content using key dates that are relevant
Create a content calendar that contains key dates that you can participate in over the year. This calendar should be constantly reviewed and updated. Being organized and planning ahead puts you in the best possible position to keep your page relevant and engaging. In addition to having your own calendar, you can make use of scheduling tools like Hootsuite to set up posts in advance.
3. Use relevant hashtags to increase discovery
Hashtags are a great way to segment the vast instagram community into relevant conversations and posts. I would suggest having 2 or 3 hashtags that you use on a consistent basis and adding 1 or 2 hashtags that are specific to the post you are publishing. Be selective, I know it’s tempting to use as many hashtags as you can think of but this leads to a messy post that comes across inauthentic. Go for a small but relevant selection.
4. Be engaged with your own audience and relevant pages
Instagram is a community. As much as you want people to be engaged with your page, others will want the same for theirs and are far more likely to respond to you if you are responsive. Make sure you follow pages that are relevant to your brand and engage with their posts. Ask thought provoking questions, share feedback on posts and compliment when suitable – but remember to stay within your brand tone.
5. Collaborate to increase your reach in an authentic way
Working with other brands and pages is a great way to tap into new audiences. Find complimentary pages that you can run giveaways with or creative joint campaigns. For example a hair brand working with a salon brand or a drink brand partnering with a snacks brand. Make a target list and start to reach out to people for collaborations. Your content calendar can offer great prompts for certain key dates.
Finally, remember that Instagram is an ongoing activity that works best when you are consistent. Be patient with it. As tempting as it is, avoid cutting corners and focus on creating a community that grows as you grow and one that develops an authentic relationship with your brand.