Looking for ways to grow your following for free on Insta?
You don’t need a massive following to increase your reach or even revenue on Instagram. Remember, popularity doesn’t always mean profits. I know plenty of Influencers with over 100K followers that are struggling to make ends meet.
You will ALWAYS be better off with a few engaged followers who act as brand activists for you, refer you to others, and are unconditionally loyal to you/your business because they believe in you/your journey rather than 100K followers who are fleeting.
Here I am going to break down a few ways you can grow your following for free authentically for long-term growth.
Engage with Others
In real life, it’s easy to like a person who likes you, right? Think of that person who always compliments your outfit when you see each other at functions or events. Feels good, right? The same principle applies on Instagram—engaging with others builds and strengthens relationships. By providing value to other like-minded brands, your target audience will also see you as valuable and be inspired to follow you.
In doing some research, I found these to be the most popular ways to engage with influencers in your niche or your target audience:
Ways to engage include:
Like and comment on others’ posts.
Reply to comments on your posts within a reasonable amount of time
Tag your followers in your post captions
Ask an influencer to co-sponsor a contest with you
Focus on Storytelling over Selling
You have heard time and again, that creating a human connection with your audience is key to forming a community. It is the stories behind your visuals, the captions that create the magic, that set the stage for the journey you are taking them on. Share your heart.
So go ahead, give your captions a once over before you hit ‘publish’ and make sure you are creating stories within your feed to connect with your audience—be humble, be entertaining, be valuable.
Post with Consistency
A relationship is about consistent communication, support, and love, in order to create that relationship online you need to show up for your audience consistently. If you are building a brand, not just a business, you will want to establish a consistent marketing strategy.
When you are starting out, posting 3 to 4 times per day is optimal, however if you lack content that aligns to your business and brand, commit to at least 3 to 4 posts per week. Here, consistency matters the most. Commit to posting at times when you can spend at least 20 minutes responding to people and commenting back. Don’t be one of those post and ghosters.
Review your Instagram analytics often, to determine the best time of day to post. I caution you to continuously review this data, as your optimal posting periods will shift as months and seasons change.
Leverage The Power of Hashtags
According to new reports, 11 hashtags are optimal per post.
However be sure to mix up your hashtags regularly. Avoid using the same long list of 30 hashtags on every post. Instagram’s community guidelines, clearly states for you to avoid this type of practice.
When deciding the right hashtags for each of your posts, be sure they are relevant to your visuals and content. The more specific your hashtag, the more targeted your audience will be. Remember, your goal is to be seen by the RIGHT people not all the people. Which will in turn, lead to higher quality engagement and many more followers.
Here is a great guide to Hashtags written by Hootsuite if you want to learn more about other hashtag strategies.
Jump on Instagram Stories or IG Live
Interactivity is the name of the game here! IG stories are a great way to bring out your brand personality, invite your fans into your life and share more intimate details that you may not post in your Insta feed.
Here are some ideas on how to use Instagram Stories:
Ask questions of your audience
Take a poll
Share a private sale
Show up on IG live
Crowdsource your next blog post
Promote an upcoming event or new program you’re launching
Show Up For Your Tribe
Don’t just be a pretty face. You don’t have to be perfect to build your community on Instagram or even online. If you simply show up in an authentic way that supports your followers and connects with them, your followers will be full of people who truly care about you/your brand. Use the platform to inspire, influence, and teach. Serve your fans with purpose, create relationships that will last forever, even online.
This is not a quick fix, this can’t and won’t happen overnight but you will be laying a solid foundation for long-term and sustainable growth. Invest as much time as possible executing this outline and watch your following grow exponentially.
Want to be join my tribe, follow along with us @lizboer_com.