I often get asked how I grew my Instagram following so quickly. I launched StartUp Creative officially in August 2014 and 2.5 years later we are about to hit 40,000 followers. I’m going to give you a few insider tips on how I did it so you can do the same for your business, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t want more followers.
Just start. A year from now you’ll wish you started today. Stop sitting around trying to figure out how to get more followers and start being social on Instagram. The number of people who tell me they don’t have time to be on social media but want to know how to get the followers is cray! Get online and be active is the first step. GO!
Only use clear, quality images. Don’t be lazy and post shitty quality images. As soon as I invested in photoshoots for my business I noticed a difference in the number of people who started following and taking notice of what I was doing.
Make re-gramable content. You’re not going to hit 40K on your own. Make and post stuff that people want to share or tag people in and they will help you grow your followers for you.
Run events. Since launching I have hosted over 1000 people at in person events. At every event I promote my Instagram account and invite people to use the hashtag to win a prize. Without a doubt after every event we have a spike in followers.
Leverage off user generated content. My magazine was a huge game changer for StartUp Creative. I have distributed 10,000 hard copies literally across the world. People love taking pictures of magazine covers and coffee so it’s great for us. The trick here is to really appreciate those who make and share the content for you and where possible regram to show you care.
Comment back. Don’t be slack! If people are commenting on your profile, be a real person and reply. Show that there is a real person behind the account and that they can get answers/engagement from you if they need.
Get personal. My best post as when I am sharing my real life startup story. Today I did a post from my bathtub and people loved it. Don’t be afraid to share your uniqueness, that’s what stands out. There is way too much ‘crafted copy’ on the internet these days, don’t be so boring.
Use video content. Instagram Stories was a brilliant move on behalf of Instagram. Instead of just posting 1-2 times a day on our profiles we now have the option to post endlessly in our 24 hour story. I’ve personally fallen in love with stories. It allows me to post less polished content to my audience and means I can get more personal with my day to day life without it being on the internet forever (FYI it expires after 24 hours)
Use influencers wisely. The best way to make use of influencers is to make it all about them. How I did it was I interviewed them in my magazine, gave them pretty images of their article that they were proud of and asked them to share it. I learnt that from the book ‘How To Win Friends and Influence People”. The Tipping Point talks about this strategy as well.
Be consistent. Pick a few colours and themes you’re going to post about and stick to it. Don’t try and do it all, it will get messy. The best thing you can do is find a colour scheme that suits your brand and rock it! If you’re looking for help on what to post check out chapter #2 & #5 in our marketing ebook.
Instagram can be a slow burn some days and other days it will boom without any reasonable explanation. In my experience it is a matter of trial and error, testing out what you like posting and seeing if other people enjoy it.
Come up with your unique tone of voice and offering and give it a good hard crack. It may look easy but it takes a lot of time and sometimes money to build these big profiles with lots of followers, so don’t be fooled.
If you really want the big following, it’s yours to get, start now and don’t give up! My advice is to be careful not to get caught in the rat race of it all. Remember there will always be someone with more followers than you so if you’re constantly chasing the numbers you might want to ask yourself why you’re doing it? Do you need it to serve more people in your business, make yourself feel better about yourself or validate your business model? Whatever it is make sure you’re doing it from a place of authenticity.