The secret to exploding your following on Instagram
Updated: Nov 18, 2019
Want to learn a secret for growing your Instagram following WITHOUT having to pay for followers? Then read on.
If you are an entrepreneur in the 21st century, you are on Instagram.
Social media is the BEST WAY to connect with your audience and to grow your following, and Instagram provides you the most access to customers (even more than Facebook.)
What I love about Instagram is that I have the power to control my content and leverage trends to connect with my audience, showcase why my brand is perfect for them and sell them on what I have to offer.
However for a lot of brands, growing an audience full of engaged customers is a huge challenge.
There is so much competition, the algorithm is constantly changing and it can be really hard to get your voice heard. While there are tons of great growth strategies out there (check out this awesome article on Melyssa Griffin's website for inspiration), I want to deep dive into a lesser known strategy that has brought tons of my clients success.
Top Instagram growth strategies:
Like photos in your niche
Interact with 10 new accounts a day
Run a contest
Collaborate with influencers in your niche
This strategy isn't widely known or used often, which will give you an advantage over your competition if you are consistent, strategic and put in the effort.
The secret to growing on Instagram is playing for the long game. Followers aren't going to rush to your door and they won't all come at once. If you want to grow your brand, you need to be patient and persistent.
My secret for growing your audience on Instagram is:
Create vertical accounts in your niche to drive traffic to your main account and your website.
This strategy is super effective and will help you grow much more quickly if you are strategic about 3 things:
Note: This strategy is much more effective for product based businesses than service based, so if you sell a product, listen up!
To create a vertical strategy, simply create new profiles in your niche that will drive leads and traffic to your website.
Great van Riel is a master at creating vertical accounts. Her company SkinnyMe Tea sells detox tea kits. However she leverages other accounts based off of hashtags that are trending in the health niche, like detox tips, detox water, be-fit foods and be-fit smoothies to direct traffic back to her Skinnyme Tea website. The rationale here is that anyone who follows those hashtags will be a good client fit for her company.
The main goal with vertical accounts is to leverage viral trending content, and then reposting it to your account.
The first step is to follow industry leaders within your niche. To find them, search in the niche and click on the the top accounts that appear. Then, find content that has anywhere from 4,000 to 12,000 likes, and repurpose the material by sharing it on your vertical accounts. Your goal here is to find viral content, and then make that content viral again so you can grow your account fast.
Once you've grown your account, you can start to move your followers from a cold lead, or someone who isn't familiar with your brand, to a warm lead, someone who is moving down your sales funnel. Reference your brand in photos, leave comments on your vertical posts, and offer lead magnets or 'freebies' in your bio to drive traffic to your website or landing page.
The goal here isn't necessarily to drive traffic back to your main profile (though that's always nice), but to drive traffic to OFF of the platform and to a place where you can actually own their email and the communication channel-- ie your landing page or website.
As a business owner, your goal with your social media platforms is to get your audience to know, like and trust you so that they give you their contact, thereby signing into your email funnels where you can sell them on your brand and your product.
The best way to grow your business off of Instagram is through an email list. Leverage vertical accounts to grow your following, then capture their emails by creating an attractive lead magnet or posting a link to your landing page.
I go over what a lead magnet is in this post, so go read it NOW if you want to learn more! In the meantime, think about what niche you sell to, who your customers are and what they care about. That will help you understand what kind of vertical accounts to create and how you can leverage them to drive more traffic to your Instagram profile and ultimately your website.
Keep checking back in weekly to stay up to date on all the latest content, as well as to get inspired as you grow what you love. If you liked this post, please share it on your social media accounts, and leave a comment below! Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions, or are interested in working with me to help you build what you love.