sharing ALL the things ‘how to grow an authentic following on Instagram’. I’m sharing a few tips that I know have helped me and that have helped others in the industry grow their following.
I think the first thing to realize is that social media – numbers don’t matter. you could have 100,000 followers and none of them ‘buy’ from you. you could have 1,000 followers and if every single one bought $100 from you in 1 year, you’d have $100,000. as a business, QUALITY is much better.
do you have an engaged community? meaning, are your followers seeing and interacting with your posts? a lot of the time people on social media (mostly Instagram) talk about ‘engagement’ this is a percentage. it means basically what percentage of your following is ‘engaging’ with you and your content. the industry standard is around 2-3% and anything over that is considered high engagement.
so before you stress too much about how big or small your ‘following’ is, note that in my opinion it’s better to have TRUE and honest numbers. interact with your followers and build a relationship with them. if you have 100 followers or 10,000 – each person following you, is there for YOU and quality over quantity is better.
WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE?
figuring out your purpose, is probably the most crucial step. WHY are you trying to grow a following? are you a new business? even as a blogger, I sell myself in a sense. I AM the product as I share a lot of content that is about my personal style. people trust me and my opinions and therefore I need to BE MYSELF and showcase ME and what I’m all about.
DEFINE what you share.
this gets a little contradictory because I believe you should be YOU 100% and share whatever you love, but if one post is about how you bake and the recipes you share, and the next is a fashion post and the next is of your kids’ baseball game and the next is a vlog of your Hawaii trip .. unless they’ve been following you for a while I might start to feel lost and wonder what value do you provide them?
it’s the mentality that a lot of people have. they want to know what they are gaining from following you. is it style tips? daily recipes? are you a vlogger? do you share business advice? do you share daily outfits/sales?
and you can totally DO IT ALL, my advice is keep a general theme running throughout your posts. I typically share photos of my outfits or beauty related products with tidbits of my ‘mom life’.
IG BIO + RECENT 9 POSTS
keep your IG bio section descriptive about YOU. someone new coming to view your profile will read that heading and should instantly get a feel for who you are and what you’re about.
this applies to your most recent 9 posts on Instagram. most people don’t scroll, and scroll and scroll on a new profile. they will glance at the most recent 9 pictures you’ve posted. make those 9 pictures count. showcase WHAT you’re all about and WHO you are in each photo so when new people come to your page – they can understand what kind of content you provide.
CONNECT WITH LIKE MINDED PEOPLE
this is where it gets fun. once you know what it is that you do. SEEK out those people too! search hashtags, or look for brands that have the same/similar approach you do.
*you’re not going to ‘grow’ when you interact with the same people ALL the time. this is one reason why I don’t like engagement ‘pods’ I don’t use them and while once upon a time I did .. it was too time consuming and I didn’t feel the interactions and relationships were authentic. I’m wanting to create deeper/stronger bonds with my following and I truly believe I’ve created some amazing friendships and so I hope these tips will help you in how to grow an authentic following on Instagram.
this leads into my next thought ..
DON’T COMPARE YOUR NUMBERS TO OTHERS
you have no idea where those likes or follows came from. it could be an engagement pod, it could be bots, they could be fake numbers. I try really hard not to let the numbers affect me and my work.
ultimately I believe for myself that it’s better to have lower engagement/ lower numbers and have them be true than fake my way to getting collaborations.
the more eyes that can see your profile/pictures, the more chances for NEW people to see what you’re creating. it’s such a fun feeling when you know someone loves your stuff so much that they willingly share it to their profile or their IG stories.
I LOVE showcasing other creators and things I’m inspired by, so I’m always sharing to my IG stories what other people are doing and creating. it’s a confidence boost when your work is shown to others in a positive manner like that. my advice – share, share, share! you never know who will share the love back to you!
I look back to some of my past years of blogging and my Instagram wasn’t the most pleasing to look at. I didn’t have a preset and my editing was all over the place. I have found that those with a ‘look’ and who keep the cohesion tend to gain a following faster than those who don’t. it’s kind of an odd one, but the look of your Instagram CAN affect how to grow a following on social media.
invest in a preset for your photos
I use the free lightroom app and a few editing apps for all my photos. getting presets has been the best thing for my Instagram in creating a more cohesive look. (I’m not perfect and I’m not quite where I want to be, but I’m getting there)
use or don’t use specific colors when you can
you might notice that I incorporate a lot of pink into my pictures. I try not to do too much with black or red .. sometimes I do, but it’s RARE. they aren’t colors that do well with my ‘look’. keeping a color scheme is also eye pleasing, and it gives your followers something they can expect from you.
PARTICIPATE IN GIVEAWAYS / NETWORK
I have done giveaways in the past with like-minded people, when you do collaborate with brands or people that have a similar niche as you .. your followings have a similar audience too.
for example .. if I team up with mom bloggers who also share style posts, our audiences would be very similar and those who enter would most likely be interested in engaging on my pictures and continue to follow me even after the giveaway has ended.
go to events locally, get your name out there. talk about your Instagram, mention your name. I have my IG name as my personal name which makes it a lot easier for someone to look me up if they wanted to.
a little about my outfit .. I linked my exact shoes but everything else is similar. my purse I’ve had for over 5 years and I haven’t been using it much because the color is such a bright mint shade. I decided to break it out again for spring and I LOVE it. what do you have in your closet that you haven’t worn in ages?? I challenge you to style it this month!
I hope these tips on how to grow an authentic following on Instagram have been helpful. I know for me, once I started implementing a more cohesive look and investing in my photos (my husband takes my pictures with our own camera) we have noticed a BIG difference in the quality of our work and the growth on Instagram has also come.
have an amazing day!
if you have any more questions about how to grow an authentic following on Instagram or other blogging topics, let me know!