Building a significant following on Instagram takes time and work. If you use it for business, you are going to have to commit to a strategy to build trust with your audience.
Just like Facebook and all the other social platforms, we are in the attention business. Once we get our target audiences attention, we have to keep it.
Gaining followers is the easy part. Attracting the RIGHT ones and keeping them takes work. There are followers, and there are the RIGHT followers. You want the latter.
The following tips are proven to work, but you have to be consistent. Don’t give up!
Here are my tips to build meaningful relationships on Instagram:
1. Create a compelling bio that depicts who you are as a person or business. Complete every detail and be creative. How do you want to be remembered?
2. Think about how you want your feed to look and how your audience will feel when they view it. Your photos and videos should tell a story and be visually appealing. Instagram users will decide in seconds if they want to follow you or not.
3. Post quality images or video consistently. You will have to find your sweet spot. Some people recommend 1-3 times daily or 5 times per week. Only you know your audience, and they will let you how you are doing by their actions.
4. Follow people your product or service can help, related to your field and whom you have a genuine interest. I recommend 5–10 per day.
5. Follow hashtags. This is a newer feature that many people do not even know about or use yet. You will see content from these tags in your feed and can meet people you might have interest in following.
6. Research hashtags carefully. The most popular ones tend to attract bots and your competitors. Make a list of tags that are relevant to your business and think about tags YOUR audience might search for. Use a variety of niche, industry, community, and branded tags.
7. Send direct messages to people. If someone follows you, message them and say thanks. Look at their profile for commonalities. Ask questions. Show interest. Not everyone will respond, but we do not know unless we try.
8. Use the Stories feature. Stories have grown tremendously in users and capabilities over the past year. They are a great way to gain additional exposure and allow people to experience you differently. Be careful not to over do it. If your stories aren’t entertaining you won’t get repeat viewers. Posting cool stories less often will probably get your more views.
9. Add thoughtful or helpful comments on posts from users you follow and others you find on the platform. I cannot tell you how many of my relationships began in the comments. Keep the conversation going!
10. Tag people when relevant. Add geotags to your posts.
11. Pay attention to your insights. This information will help shape your future decisions.
Experiment with the above suggestions. You have to be comfortable with whatever strategy you choose. What works for some may not work for others.
I feel it is more important to have meaningful connections rather than tons of people I do not engage. By growing your following organically, you will have users that choose to follow. That shows interest. The process may take more time but well worth it in the end.
The takeaway: Be active. Be consistent. Be Human.
Christopher is a Personal Branding and Productivity Coach empowering real estate agents and small business owners to stand out in the crowded marketplace and increase productivity. He’s developed his personal brand as a real estate broker in NY & ME, International DJ, and Coach. Everything he teaches revolves around real-world experience, not textbook advice.