I get this question a lot! This surprises me because I’m what they call a “nano influencer” meaning I have less than 10k followers on Instagram. BUT, I have come to learn from trying several different strategies, researching and taking online courses, that there is a way to increase your following and engagement on Instagram authentically and genuinely.
And although it is important to grow your following, what ultimately matters is your engagement.
Are you interested in growing your personal account or business? Are you looking to monetize your account and work with brands? Are you an influencer yourself? Are you just looking to inspire and spread positivity? Whatever reason you’re here for, I’m happy to give you a few tips on how to increase your following and engagement on Instagram.
Although I did say that engagement is the most important factor, following is also important. Let me break down the difference:
Why are followers important, if engagement is the key to success? Well, you need to build your community, that’s why!
Your followers should always be top of mind because they determine the kind of content you will produce. Whether your industry is travel, fitness and wellness, beauty, food, entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, etc. the content you will be producing is for THEM. That’s the difference between a personal Instagram account and a business one – a personal account, you are posting for you, and with a business account, you are posting for them.
As soon as you start treating your Instagram account like a business, you will start to see growth. What can you offer others that is truly unique and valuable? What are you best at? What do all your friends come to YOU for? A following is one thing, but an actual audience is another. You want to build an audience that sits there with popcorn in their lap and soaks up everything you put out there because you always have them in mind.
Building an authentic and genuine community is what will bring you success. You want to attract an audience that actually cares about what you’re posting and will take action on what you’re promoting. Never buy followers because that is designed to make you look successful. If your followers are fake, than so is your message and contribution to brands, companies and collaborations.
A potential collaborator would much rather see a low following with high engagement as opposed to a high following with low engagement. Keep that in mind!
I’ve read several influencer marketing blog posts, articles and have listened to podcasts that all say that what brands pay attention to most is the engagement and overall look and feel of an Intsagram account when deciding if they want to work with that person, not the amount of followers they have.
This means you don’t need to have 10k+ followers in order to be successful! As long as you are posting original, consistent, intentional and creative content, others will see that.
Engagement is SO important because potential collaborators want to see what your audience is saying in the comments. When they see you have high engagement in the comments and are interacting with them on a daily basis, they’ll know you’re trustworthy and genuine. If they see that others trust you, they are also likely to trust you.
here are a few ways to increase your following and engagement:
- Have a clear niche or theme defined
- Write a bio that tells people who you are, what you enjoy and what you have to offer
- Make sure your feed is clean and aesthetically pleasing
- Choose one filter and stick with it!
- Write thoughtful, considerate and relevant captions for you posts
- Use hashtags strategically and carefully for each post – don’t use the same hashtags all the time or hashtags that generate millions of views as your post will likely get lost within those
- Study your analytics to find out who your demographic is and which posts of yours perform best
- Post often!
- Join an engagement pod or group within your niche
- Join a giveaway within your niche
- FOLLOW accounts that inspire you or have a similar niche as you
- ENGAGE (like and comment) with all your follower’s accounts and posts, don’t just expect people to care about you if you don’t care about them too
- Just be you and the world will love you for it.
other things to keep in mind
- Instagram growth is not a one size fits all. It takes time and a lot of trial and error.
- Not every post will perform well no matter how much effort you put into it. A single Instagram post is visible for about 48-72 hours and then it gets lost among the others. Sometimes, it just doesn’t happen.
- You will always lose followers. Try not to get upset but instead frame your mind to understand that not everyone will always find your content valuable. You only want the true fans sticking around anyway.
- Don’t play the follow, unfollow game. Follow accounts who’s content you personally love and find inspiration from whether they are following you or not.
- Growth on Instagram is more often than not, a slow and gradual pace. Stay strong, patient and determined. It will happen if you put the work in!
Please leave a message if you have any comments or questions! My DMs are also always open xx