A question that I get a lot is “how do I build an Instagram audience?”
The answer to this is not simple or straightforward. There are many different ways that you can build your audience.
The bottom line is that Instagram is a community that you need to be active in in order to see results.
Here are some of my best tips on how to get your brand noticed and grow your following:
Instagram is all about building relationships.
Try to focus on the quality of your audience over follower count. When you make a post, take note if your audiences engages with that post. Are they liking or commenting? What are they saying? If you’re having trouble getting your audience to engage with your posts, then you may need to revisit your content strategy, so that you can start creating content that your audience cares about.
Optimize your Instagram profile for search purposes.
Make sure that who you are and what you do is crystal-clear on your profile. Think about a few really strong adjectives that you can integrate into your bio. You can use hashtags in your bio to get your profile to rank higher in search. If you have a business profile, you can also add directions or email buttons to your profile. These buttons are not always going to make sense for every business, but use the ones that are relevant to your brand. Make it as easy as possible for someone to reach out to your business – in this case, they can email you with the click of a button!
Set aside 30 minutes every day for engagement.
Think about your target audience and what hashtags they might be using on Instagram. For example, if you’re a promoter and you want to book more indie rock bands, try looking through #indierock for people that you could connect with. Like, and comment on posts from accounts that you think could be potential collaborators. You’ll likely see a return on this time investment very quickly – especially from the posts where you left comments.
Post on a schedule and with intent.
Posting regularly is a big part of being active and keeping your audience engaged on the platform. Create a content schedule and stick to it throughout the week.
Respond to people’s Instagram stories when appropriate.
Even sending a quick note or an emoji reaction to someone can help build that relationship with that person. Sending them a reaction via direct message is just a quick way to show that you’re engaged with their content and that you enjoy what they’re posting.
My last tip is a technical tip: If Instagram has rolled out a feature, they want you to use it.
If you happen to see a new feature pop-up, experiment with it. See if your audience reacts to it.
The key to all of this is persistence. Keep moving forward with your content strategy. Continue to engage with others and build those relationships.
It takes time to build an audience that knows, likes, and trusts you. Eventually, you’ll be able to turn those followers into prospective clients and collaborators.