How To Get Your First 1000 Engaged Followers on Instagram
If you sit with your Instagram account and hope it will grow engaged followers by itself, you will wait for a long time.
Looking at the statistic, 30% of Internet users are on Instagram. This platform has the highest level of engagement with the brands now. It may seem like you just need to jump in and post the beautiful pictures, but in fact, it still takes an effort to build your followings.
There are plenty of tips on Internet how to grow an Instagram account. However, many of them work with bigger accounts and won’t work well with a few hundreds of followers.
The first thousand of followers on any social media is usually the hardest one because people are barely paying attention to the small accounts.
Most people who follow you there are usually your friends. That’s fine if it’s your personal account, but for growing your business or personal brand that’s not enough.
You can buy followers, but those are just numbers, and they are useless with the new Instagram algorithm. Now the engagement with the pictures is way more important than a number of followers.
In this article, we’ll go step-by-step how you will get your first 1000 engaged followers on Instagram.
1. Complete your BIO
There are two parts what you can take advantage of when you create your profile:
- Your Username.
- Your Name.
They both can appear in the Instagram search result. In this case, if you create a brand around your name, then your Username should be your name.
For your business pages – it’s the name of your business or if you create the thematic account, include the keyword there so it will be searchable.
For the Name field, include your keyword there too: something, which briefly describes your business or your target audience.
There is no need to double-write your name in the Name field, but you can do it if you like and still add 1-2 keywords for your business.
The rest of your BIO isn’t searchable. However, give the introduction to who you are and what you do, so people will get to know you more through it.
2. Connect to your friends
Follow people who you know. Search through your Facebook and Contact list. They will get the notification about your follow and may follow you back. They are your first followers.
3. Look for your audience
From the beginning, describe your potential audience for yourself (create an avatar).
Then, look for other accounts, which serves your audience. Not your competitors. But those who focused in their posts on people who you want to attract.
If you are a designer of kid’s clothes, then accounts for moms, kid’s training centers, kid’s events, or other kid’s fashion accounts may fit your audience criteria.
If you are a fitness trainer, then fitness centers, sports stores, healthy lifestyle account in your area may have the audience you need.
Find the accounts, which post on a regular basis and have a good engagement with their content.
Create a list of such accounts for your brand and then start engaging.
Go to their profile. Comment on their posts. Follow their followers and interact with those new people. You need to get their attention and get connected before they will be willing to buy from you.
4. Communication is the key
Do you know that you see only 30% of the content of people who you follow? So don’t follow more people than you are following.
The same for your followers, they also see only some content of people who they follow. The key point here is to start communicating with people, so they will check your feed, follow you and keep engaging.
The more people engage with your post, the higher it appears in their feed.
Your posts are also competing with each other. This way, the post, which got more engagement, shows first than the one with the less engagement.
5. Post the content interesting to your audience
Testing the variety of posts on different small business accounts, I found that besides of just posting the product picture there are several other types of posts work well:
- Before/after posts in service or work cases.
- Sharing your client’s stories about using your service or product. Whenever you have a chance, tell the story about them.
- Testimonials. Don’t be shy to ask about it or if they post something on social media ask if you can share it on your Instagram too. Every time you want to share someone’s experience, ask for the permission. Most of the time people won’t mind, but if they don’t want it, then you will avoid the unnecessary problems.
- Educational posts about your product or service. Sometimes people don’t know what else they can get or how to use stuff better.
- Including questions or call-to-action to the post can increase the engagement.
- The quotes, which are relevant to your business message. If your company focuses on the service or product, then a lot of quotes look like a spam and will get a low number of likes and comments, but posting it from time to time give some further engagement.
- Implement the branded hashtag and encourage the followers to use them in the capture so they will have the chance to get featured on your account.
- Sharing behind the scene photos or videos showing the process of your work.
Treat your social media as the high-standard online edition. Every time before you tap the ‘Post’ button ask yourself if it fits your social media ‘magazine’ and would you engage with this post? Is this worth to share? If the answer is ‘No’ or you doubt if you would engage with the post, then the post is weak.
6. Be consistent
Be consistent in your posting even if it will be just a few times per week. Pick the comfortable schedule for yourself. Don’t try to run a marathon from the first day or you will get burned out fast.
Once you got used to your optimal schedule, you can post more. When you post regularly, you consistently get to your follower’s radar, so they always remember about you.
When you don’t post for a while, you stop showing up on the people’s feed and even if you will start posting again you may lose the connection with some followers, as you won’t get to that 30 % of people’s posts they see.
7. Start a conversation
If you engage with your followers, start writing a simple open-ended question in the post. Ask them about something.
From the beginning most likely they won’t write anything. However, keep doing that even if it looks like you are talking to yourself for now.
The important part is if you want people to start the communication on your feed, go to them first and comment on their feed for a period of time with the proper comments.
Yes, it’s time-consuming. But when you do that, you will see that people start replying your questions too and the interaction with your other posts will grow.
Till you involve people to the conversation with you, posts with the open-ended question, ‘tag the person,’ ‘fill in the blank’ will get the minimum to zero effect with the low level of engagement.
8. Use the right hashtags
Hashtags help you to be discovered by other people. On Instagram, you can add up to 30 hashtags. Use many or all of them.
Search for relevant hashtags for the topic(s) you post.
Then, create the lists of them for each subject you post about. Pick those, which has a number of images about 500,000 or less. Those search results update is slower. You can also add 1-3 top hashtags to get the ‘quick’ engagement for the post for the first few minutes.
Save them in the phone app. When you publish the picture, just copy and paste them to the capture or the first comment.