Social Media Growth Tips
What you will learn from reading this article:
How to keep your feed relevant
Use of hashtags
Formulating a post
Create an engaged following
Analyzing follower data
Learning and implementing these important tips is key to sustaining and growing an engaging and purposeful Instagram page.
According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites...
Keeping Your Feed Relevant
So you have an idea that you want to share with people locally, and or around the world. You think your idea is so great that, immediately, everyone will fall in love with it and your message will “go viral”. You share the message on your Instagram page and BOOM! Nothing happens. In-fact, you get less likes on that post than you did on the posts about your cat, favorite t.v. show and new socks... This is almost always the case for every new entrepreneur. Why is this typically the case you ask? Simple. The message that you are trying to share is not something that is relevant to your feed.
If you look at successful Instagram pages, pages with 5,000 plus followers, you will see that they all have something very similar in common. Every post is in some way related to the last. Coffee shops are only posting about coffee, photographers are posting about photography, models are posting about modeling, so on and so forth… Every post is about ONE single message. (Example below)
Now, look at your friends’ Instagram pages and the vast majority of worldwide Instagram pages. You will see that they have 50-500 maybe even 1,500 followers. You may also notice that those accounts all have a few things in common as well. For example, they are sharing different topics and messages, each time they make a post.
So, what do you do to stand out from the large crowd of unsuccessful Instagram pages? Easy! Begin by starting a new Instagram account, dedicated to sharing your important and beneficial message and that message ONLY!
This leads us to the next issue… You have no followers to see your message… That is OK!
Use of Hashtags
Before you make your first post you will need to consider your audience. Do this by considering who might benefit from the message you are wanting to share. Once you’ve determined who that target audience may be, you can begin your search for hashtags to use in your posts.
#Hashtags are trending topics or keywords that people people using social media frequently search for. For example, people who have an interested in beautiful vacation spots might search for something like #BestVacationSpots. Now, travel companies who are looking for customers know that this is a frequently searched hashtag, so they use it in their posts. They include the hashtag so that when someone searches for that specific hashtag, the travel company’s post will show up in the search results. This may lead to new likes, comments, follows and customers.
To find the right hashtags and target audience, search for companies that are in some ways similar to the message that you would like to share. For example, if your message is to save the environment, you would want to search for nature conservancies or other non-profit organizations.
Take a look at the hashtags that they are using, click on the hashtag and see how frequently it is being searched for. (The use frequency number should pop up when you click on the hashtag). If it is a trending hashtag, then it’s one that you could benefit from using. Write it down in the note section of your phone and save the hashtag. You will want to use at least 30 hashtags per post.
Once you’ve got a relevant photo to share that compliments your message, you can begin putting your post together.
Read more about Hashtags HERE
Formulating a Post
You’ve got your new account dedicated to your message, a photo to go along with your message, and hashtags that will help others find your message. Now it’s time to share that message! However, you want to make sure that your message is being shared in the most appropriate manor.
In the caption area of your post is where your message is going to be thoughtfully represented. Since this is a caption area, begin by using a catchy caption. For example, if your message is to show people healthier eating alternatives and your photo is of a beautifully composed vegan dish, your caption should include something along the lines of “Not only is this super beneficial for your health, but it doesn’t include any animal products.” Something that compliments your photo and message.
Another great thing to do for your caption is to write and interesting story to go along with your picture. The longer people are on your post, the more interested they will become in you and the more Instagram will see you as an interesting person and share your page with people who are not yet following you, bringing on new followers.
Once you’ve put together that information you can begin tagging accoutns to your photo. Tag accounts that you would want your post featured by. Not competitors but rather advocates of your message. For the above example: tag accounts like @veganlife @healthfoods @foodart or other related Instagram accounts who might be interested in featuring your post.
After you’ve got your photo uploaded, accounts tagged, and your caption ready, you will want to paste all of your related hashtags underneath your caption. Here is a quick format:
Finally, share your post. You may notice right away that you are getting a lot of likes. Way more than you would expect to find on your personal Instagram page. As long as your message is beneficial, and your photo and hashtags are relevant, this WILL work!
Create an Engaged Audience
When you begin getting likes, comments and followers from your posts, you can begin engaging with your audience. If someone comments on your photo you should “Like” their comment, respond in a meaningful and appreciative way, AND follow them. Most times if someone comments on your post, that means they are interested in your message and are likely going to be engaging with future posts. In turn, that commenter may go from a commenter to a follower. If they do not end up following you or engaging with your posts, you can always unfollow them later.
Engaging with your likers, commenters and followers is a great way to stay in front of them and show your appreciation for their time. Doing this will ensure that followers stay engaged and that they feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. In turn, they will on their own terms, share your message with their friends and family.
Most importantly here, you need to be social in return. Don't just keep making posts, getting comments and not returning the favor. Go out of your way and make time for the people you are following. Go leave a like and a thoughtful comment on their posts and do it on a very regular basis. Doing this can increase your engagement ten fold!
Analyzing Follower Data
Now that your social media following, and customer base is growing, you might be thinking of other ways to speed up growth even more. This is where follower analysis comes into play.
To turn on your Instagram Analytics you will need to link your Instagram page to a Facebook Business Page. Upon doing this you will have the ability to share your Instagram posts to Facebook simultaneously, if you choose, and turn on Analytics.
When Analytics are turned on, you’re able to research your follower behavior. Such as: the times your followers are most active, follower demographics and see how well your posts are performing.
Studying this information will help you to figure out the best days and times to make a post, which posts are doing better than others and where most of your new business is coming from.
Be warned, there are so many companies out there that simply guarantee “thousands of followers.” There is a difference between getting more followers and Managing your social media. About 99.9% of the time when you see an ad that is “selling followers” those followers are not real people and even if they are, they have no interest in your message. That is why it is important to have your page genuinely “Managed”, rather than buying followers, AND ensure that all your followers have an interest in your message.
Applying the tips that are provided, as well as consistent posting (1 posts per day is recommended) will ensure consistent growth of your social media pages and customer base. However, take note that this can easily turn into a full-time job. That is why most companies and entrepreneurs turn over these management practices to professional social media management teams.
If you’re interested in sharing a message and growing your social media presence with LOCAL followers who have an interest, we hope that you consider these tips and consider our team to help you take your message to the next level of awareness.
Together we are Growing.Oregon
Learn more HERE