The Best Ways to Grow on Instagram
I think I speak for all social media consultants when I say that the question we get asked most is “How do I gain more followers on Instagram?”
I get it, because I was there once too, but before we dive into the growth strategies that have worked for me and my clients, I want to preface this discussion with this:
Just because someone has 10K followers doesn’t mean that they have 10K paying customers.
The good news is, all of these strategies we are going to talk about today are going to help you build a thriving community of engaged followers who actually want to buy what you’re selling.
- Engage daily
- Create consistent Valuable Feed Posts
- Show up on stories daily
- Go live with someone in a similar niche
This is the most important way to grow but it is often the most overlooked because it is the least “sexy” strategy out there. But if you do it consistently IT WORKS. I recommend spending 15 minutes a day on this (but at LEAST 5 minutes a day). Here’s how:
- LOOK UP YOUR WINERY’S LOCATION TAGS Often people will forget to tag your business in their post but they will use the location tag feature! Watch any stories that are location-tagged and respond to them with a DM. Swipe to “Most Recent” and like & comment on every post you can (bonus, share their post to your stories if you like the photo and be sure to tag them in the story so they can share some more!)
- LOOK UP YOUR WINERY’S NAME AS A HASHTAG (ex: Brave & Maiden= #braveandmaiden) It’s the same concept as the location tag. Sometimes people will use your business name as a hashtag instead of using a mention or location tag. Do the same steps as above! Be sure to look at ANY hashtags that may be associated with you. for example, Foxen Winery may be hashtagged: #foxenwinery #foxenwines #foxen7200 #foxen #foxenvineyard etc. I also recommend FOLLOWING any hashtag that is associated with your business. This way, posts will show up in your newsfeed and you can engage with them much more easily
- RESPOND TO ANY STORIES OR POSTS YOU’VE BEEN MENTIONED IN And don't forget to share those mentions in your own stories!
- ENGAGE WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS AND THE ACCOUNTS YOU FOLLOW Spend a few minutes a day going through your followers and engaging with them.
- LOOK UP HASHTAGS, LOCATION TAGS, AND MENTIONS THAT YOUR IDEAL AUDIENCE MIGHT BE USING AND TAGGING. For example, Babi’s Beer Emporium in Los Alamos, could look at the Skyview Motel’s location tag and engage with anyone who is mentioning the Skyview. Or they could look at the #visitsyv hashtag or #losalamosca hashtag. When you engage genuinely and consistently, that tells people that you are an active user and it often has the effect of triggering a reciprocal like, comment, DM, and yes, FOLLOW.
CREATE CONSISTENT, VALUABLE FEED POSTS:
When people go over to your profile, one of the first things they will do is look at your most recent posts to see if it’s content they find valuable. Remember, people are on social media to be engaged, entertained, or educated. Be sure to create valuable posts that will make them hit that follow button for more.
You can think of your feed as your storefront. If you aren’t carrying what they want, they won’t bother walking in.
Furthermore, creating posts that people want to share (either on their stories or directly with friends in their DMs) is a great way to reach new audiences. Before social media existed, one of the best ways to get discovered was through word-of-mouth. This is the same idea.
SHOW UP ON STORIES DAILY:
If your feed is your storefront, then your stories are the lights and sign on the front door that tells customers, “We’re open, come on in.” If the lights aren’t on and there’s no sign, customers will assume you’re closed.
So, when someone comes to your profile and not only like your feed posts, but also see that you are actively posting on your stories, they are much more likely to follow you (and engage with you) than if you don’t show up on stories at all.
And if you are sharing social proof in your stories every day: i.e. reposting posts and stories from happy customers enjoying themselves, that is going to ensure that new audience members begin to know, like, and trust you.
GO LIVE WITH SOMEONE:
This has been one of the MOST successful ways I’ve grown my audience, because when you go live with someone, Instagram will alert both your audience and the audience of the account you’re going live with, thus increasing your reach. I recommend going live once per week anyways to give valuable content to your audience, but go live with a partner at least once per month for the best results.
A note on this though: make sure who you’re going live with has an audience full of the type of people you are after.
For example, if you are a winery focusing on natural wines, then you will want to go live with either a natural wine shop, a restaurant that carries your wine, an influencer (with an engaged following) who focuses on natural wine, and/or another winery focusing on natural wine.
Similarly, if you’re a high-end winery but you go live with a market known for low-end wines, you are unlikely to gain the type of audience that would buy your products. Remember, like attracts like.
I’m going to keep saying it: Instagram is favoring Reels heavily right now, as a result, it has insane reach, so one of the best ways to reach more people (and thus, gain new followers) is to start consistently posting on Instagram Reels. In fact, one of my clients reported that they gained 19 new followers in a single day after posting their first Reel. That's impressive a.f.
If you do each of these things consistently, you will see results.
One of my clients saw a growth of 267 new followers in 30 days when they began implementing these strategies consistently. Another saw a growth of 181. Each of these clients were only previously gaining about 25-40 new followers on a good month. This. Shit. Works. And the beauty of it is as you gain more followers your growth will continue to appreciate over time.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see my clients gaining 500-600 followers/month soon if they continue to implement these strategies.
But remember, those followers don’t mean a thing if you aren’t nurturing them, delivering value, and converting them to paying customers.
Need help creating and implementing these social media strategies?
I offer 1:1 Instagram Strategy Sessions to help you jump start your Instagram
Each session includes
- Complete Instagram Audit
- Resources and tools for implementing your custom strategy
- Personalized advice on how to improve your engagement
- Inspiration & ideas for content to help you grow
- Notes to refer back to any time