Building a brand is now easier than ever. Social media platforms like Instagram can help you find the people who need exactly what you have to offer. Of course, there is some skill in getting your content to the right people. With that in mind, the following will look at some critical advice for growing your social media following. The focus is on Instagram accounts, but many of these tips also apply to other platforms.
Protect Your Sanity
Social media is a marathon; it’s not a sprint. This means you need to be able to maintain your efforts for a long time. Most accounts that devote continual time and effort to growing their community and following take between three and five years to get to a follower count and engagement rate that suits their business aims.
Whenever you’re looking at incorporating a new technique, post type, or standard, ask yourself if you’re willing to do that work for the next three years. If you’re not, this likely means you won’t be able to consistently put in the effort (and we all know that social media algorithms thrive on consistency).
With this in mind, consider how you’re going to manage all of the below tips. For many people, batching content creation is a must, as it’s easy to get emotionally overwhelmed by creating stellar content every other day. You’re a human and that means you don’t have consistent energy levels; you aren’t physically able to be the same level of creative every day of the week for three years. That’s not how bodies work.
Figure Out What Your Target Audience Needs
Before you start posting, take a moment to study your target audience. Look at accounts within your niche that reach a lot of people and study their audiences. What needs is their content providing for? What questions does their content answer? What mood does their content help cultivate in those viewing it? This will help you hone in on what your target audience is in need of. Focus on what the content provides, not whatever the content is selling provides. Building an audience involves providing something of value to anyone who interacts with your account, regardless of whether they buy something from you later or not.
While you’re doing this, be honest with yourself about what you feel comfortable/confident with. Can you create content that is as aesthetically pleasing as your target audience is used to, or do you need to hire help for that? Are you comfortable showing your face every few days in reels? If not, don’t aim to do that. Perhaps comedy reels and meme pages do well in your niche, but you’re not 100% confident making skits for strangers on the internet.
Keep researching accounts that are appealing to your target audience until you find a style of content that suits you, your abilities, and the time you have to offer in regard to content creation. You might even luck out and find a few prompting pages that give creators ideas for content within your niche.
Focus On Content That Can be Recycled
The content grind never ends. Whether or not you’re a fan of hustle culture, if you’re trying to grow an Instagram following, you want to think about focusing your efforts on content that can be recycled and reused. This means perhaps crafting an in-depth caption (which is nearly a blog post, when you think about it) and then using that information three months later in a carousel infographic post and then reusing that same information later as a how-to reel and then three months later posting that reel again in your stories to boost the views.
Whenever you’re creating a piece of content, think about how it can be reused later on. This can multiply your efforts dramatically, helping you connect to users who prefer different content structures and share your valuable knowledge with them. This is especially important to think about when it comes to content that people really responded to or resonated with.
Get Your Base Done ASAP
Your Instagram base is going to look different depending on your aims as an entrepreneur. It contains at least your first twelve posts, as an empty feed doesn’t convince a lot of people to follow you, your bio (which needs to be search engine optimized because Instagram is becoming more of a search engine), any links included in your bio and your initial followed accounts and followers. You probably also want at least one highlight; an “About Me” one is usually a good option.
It might not always be a great idea to repurpose an old account for a new goal, as your existing followers might not be good examples of who your new followers should be, and Instagram might recommend your content to the wrong people. Likewise, you might want to avoid connecting with people you know in real life who aren’t a good fit for your brand, as this can also mislead the algorithm into thinking that your content suits an audience it doesn’t.
Of course, there are a lot of different reasons for creating an Instagram page for your brand, and it’s possible that having a decent base of followers, regardless of their interests, might suit your situation. If you’re looking to establish your brand as a legitimate contributor to a given field or niche, followers can help create that impression; you might even want to buy likes on Instagram for this purpose. Having a nice chunk of followers can also help create the impression that your business has existed for a while or is well-established.
Once you’ve got all your basics covered, it’s time to start creating your content. There are many factors that contribute to a perfect post, including addressing an audience pain point, copywriting with engagement in mind, and putting together eye-catching visual images or videos. It’s a good idea to time yourself as you create content, so you have a sense of how long it takes you to get things done. This will help you better schedule your content creation time.
Once your content is out in the world, the real work begins: engagement. Respond thoughtfully to all the comments and DMs you get, and wherever possible, end your engagement with a question that encourages people to answer back. This can help build relationships and boost things like your number of comments.
Beyond engaging with your own content, you want to engage with other people’s content. Thoughtful comments can catch people’s attention and lead them to click on your profile. If they like what they see, they might follow you. This is a fantastic way to utilize someone else’s audience. Maybe even set notifications for top accounts with cross-over audiences and comment on their posts immediately for maximum exposure to your ideas.
The above information should help you build a brand on Instagram. It’s important that you always return to your target goals as you evaluate your progress. It’s really easy to get caught up in metrics like followers or likes, even if those metrics don’t turn into buying customers. Figure out what your actual aim is with your page and keep working on that.