How to Grow Your Instagram, and Why You Should Stop Counting Followers
Working in the social media landscape can seem like an ever-moving target, with constantly-changing rules and no real way of identifying whether or not your efforts are working. I sympathize with the new adopters and small businesses trying to utilize Instagram as a form of advertising for the first time. Truthfully, though, social media is a bit of a guessing game for everyone.
However, stressing out about your Instagram followers is bad for goal-setting. Here are some easy tips and best practices to help take the edge off.
1) Post consistently and frequently.
Creating content is time consuming, but if done correctly, can be incredibly rewarding. In most cases, one post per day is a good place to start. Remember that social media is not one-size-fits-all, so if you are limited on time, just pick one avenue and focus on that.
2) Keep it authentic and engaging.
If you're promoting a brand or product, don’t oversell. Keep your photography game polished, but be sure to include some behind-the-scenes moments or other interesting tidbits that keep your brand real. "Faces and places" is a good rule of thumb.
3) Your Instagram account is not the prom queen.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to have the biggest following to achieve maximum results! Quality over quantity is the metric you should be using to measure your success. Think of your social media account as a magnet in the middle of a large crowd, only pulling in people that are attracted and interested in what you are posting. It makes no sense for you to use hashtags unrelated to your topic. (EG: If you are a surf shop in Hawaii, don’t #hotdog when talking about surfboards.)
4) Say no to robots.
It is so tempting to utilize other methods to grow your Instagram account. I know the temptation for overnight results is real. Trust me when I tell you: Methods such as "follow/unfollow" and auto bot growth are ultimately bad for business. If you're thinking of buying followers, don’t do it! You may "grow" your account quickly, but the overall health of your account will be so muddied you won't get the authentic engagement you should be reaching for.
And lastly - and most importantly - remember to have fun!
If you're not ready to become a social media expert, consider hiring a social media professional like Laura Little.