Photo from Stock That Rocks
When starting a blog or a business, it is no secret that Instagram is a tool that anyone could use to their benefit. Over the past few years, this site has proven to be one that lets users express their creative side!
What so often gets overlooked is that along with the creative side, comes a community. It turns out, Instagram could be used to grow far more than just your following! You could get the best of both worlds with your Instagram account by having an adorable feed and a network to go along with it.
Maybe you have tried the route of buying followers and realized that this growth was not very organic. Truth is, it is nearly impossible to gain an engaged audience really quickly!
Just like everything else in life, this is going to take some time. However, don’t stress–it turns out there are a few ways to gain a network rather than just a following on your Instagram. This is not a way to gain thousands of followers overnight, but rather a way to gain a true network of people that are going to help both you and your business in the future!
Here are some of our tips for growing an authentic Instagram following:
First Things First, Find an Instagram Pod
If you are one of the many bloggers out there wondering what these are, that is totally fine. Instagram Pods are not exactly a hot topic of conversation lately, yet they are so beneficial.
An Instagram Pod is a group message that includes multiple bloggers who share a niche similar to your own. So if your blog is all about fashion, your Instagram pod would include you and 5-10 other bloggers who also fill their pages with trendy outfits.
In this group message, you and your fellow girlbosses are able to chat about all of the struggles that you face while blogging. Yet, the main reason these pods were created is to increase audience engagement.
So if you need to know how they work, here you have it!
When you post something, you send a message to the group and let them know that you posted. From there, all of the girls in the pod will go like and comment on your photo and support you. Then when someone else posts, you do the same for them!
Tip: You can find ways to join Instagram pods through resources such as Facebook or Pinterest. A great place to start your search is through the Bloguettes Bulletin Board on Facebook! Our Facebook is full of like-minded creatives looking for ways to collaborate.
Make Your Insta-Stories Relatable!
The Story feature on Instagram is one that is so beneficial in the aspect of growing your network. This is a space to have a more laid back and even comical feel than your actual feed. So on your Instagram Story, let your guard down a little bit and let people see the unedited version of you!
When you are in charge of a business or blog, it could be easy for people to forget that there is a real human being behind the account. In order to gain an organic following and a relatable page, post about your daily life on your Story! Your followers will know that they can relate to you when they see more than just the way you present yourself on your feed.
Now, if you are trying to think of ways to make your stories personal, we’ve got you covered! For starters, use the feature to its full potential by showing your followers content that is considered to be behind-the-scenes. An example of this is sharing your cute workspace or office with your viewers!
If you have a following over 10k, take full advantage of the “swipe up” feature. When you have a new post, take a quick video or snap a quick photo to let your audience know that it is live! Let your viewers know when you have a new product and use this to give them access to the product in an easy way. Your readers will be able to swipe up and view your post within seconds!
Sharing inspirational quotes is another way to let your audience in on a new post. This could also just be a quick way to share any words that pop into your head. This allows your audience to see your page and think about your blog, without having to make a full post on your feed!
Comment and Interact with Other Accounts
There is no doubt that designing and creating an aesthetically pleasing feed is fun and lets you use your creative side. However, it is easy to get so caught up in your own feed that you forget to like, comment, and interact with those who follow you!
Take a few minutes each day to comment and like some photos posted by those you follow and those who follow you. Be sure to do this with the ladies in your pod as well as a few other accounts in order to build your community each day. Odds are, the other accounts that you comment on could spark some inspiration for your future posts as well.
It turns out that collaborating with other ‘grammers is super valuable. By meeting other people in your business on this platform, you can host giveaways, or get sponsored for sharing other products on your page.
Don’t be afraid to comment or message some of your favorite bloggers to let them know that you thought their post was adorable. You never know what connections could be made through Instagram!
Craft Captions That Engage Your Followers!
If you have ever struggled with coming up with the perfect caption, then this for you.
Something that always helps your audience engagement is including a call-to-action in your caption. So, once you have shared your wise words, let the reader know to click the link in your bio! Or, you could include a question to engage your audience. For instance, if your post includes an adorable coffee shop downtown, throw in, “What are your favorite coffee shops in the Phoenix area?” This allows your readers to comment and be a part of your platform or business themselves!
Make Use of Relevant Hashtags
We have all used a hashtag at one point or another! In the blogging community, there are certain hashtags that are going to take your post way further than you would think! Search for some hashtags that are unique to your brand.
Leave your hashtags in the comments and be sure that they relate to what you are posting! This means that anyone who posts something slightly similar to you may happen to stumble upon your post, just by seeing the hashtag.
Share Your ‘Gram On Other Platforms
Among each of your social media accounts, you are bound to find someone who will click on your post! If only your Instagram followers know about your post, there is a whole community on Facebook that has not yet seen it!
The solution for this is cross-promoting. Share your ‘gram with your Facebook friends! If you own a small business, include your Instagram handle on your business cards. There is a whole world out there and you never know how far a business card or shared Facebook post could take your page!
After you share a post on Instagram, go ahead and start pinning it to a relatable Pinterest board as well. This allows for people to come across your Instagram account and hit that follow button!
What are some of your favorite ways to use Instagram to network? Let us know in the comments below! While you’re at it, be sure to give us a follow on Bloglovin’ to keep up with all of our latest posts!