Instagram has hit the "shop small" community by storm. No matter what kind of business or blog you run, one things for sure, show off your stuff on social media. I've put together 5 tips that will ensure your instagram growth not by fake followers, but engaged followers.
1. Quality Over Quantity
You know those accounts that are following 2 million people and have 10K followers? Well that's a waste of time, and comes off as not genuine. It's a practice a lot of "grow your insta super fast" blogs use because it does work, but turns your feed into a crazy mess of people you don't even want to be following in the first place.
One trick I've used to create quality followers is finding your niche. You need to know what kind of followers you want to capture. For me, growing my business profile I needed moms. So those are the people I engaged with. Commenting on their posts and talking about all things mom.
Hashtags are amazing little creatures when used correctly. I used to think of it as more of a joke using #whydontmykidseverleavemealonetopoop sorts of things. My current technique is finding mom bloggers, seeing what hashtags their using, and going from there. On Instagram now, when you type in a hashtag in the search it will pop up related hashtags. It's AMAZING for creating your list. Instagram allows you 30 hashtags per post (including the caption and the comments). I love to keep my hashtags out of the way so I usually throw them in the first comment with a bunch of periods before so they don't actually show when scrolling. That keep your feed looking fresh! They also help your posts come up on the popular posts or search features. If you have an iconic phrase or a shirt design try using that as a hashtag. Sometimes people can't remember your shop name but they can remember you had a shirt that said #imsocool so add those as tags just in case!
3. Looks can kill
Make sure your feed represents your brand or image. When people find you for the first time, they judge entirely by the first 9-12 squares. Do they have a cohesive look? Try using the same filters throughout your feed, make sure it's not too busy and you can clearly see what you're trying to sell in the first 6 images.
For products I like to see flat lays mixed with your item being used.
Above is an example of my feed selling kids clothing. When you scroll through you can see I sell rompers, pants, dresses, footies, and swim. I try to post a flat lay of each mixed in with some cute kids in my products so people can see the fit.
You've seen the game. Its crazy out there when it comes to giveaways! The key to a good giveaway is finding other accounts who share a similar audience. If you have a product your selling like a kids T shirt, find someone who sells killer kids pants and combine forces to do a giveaway. If you aren't getting asked to join giveaways, host it yourself! Don't be afraid to ask. Start with other accounts with a similar size following. If you have 10 followers and you're asking someone that has 10K followers, they probably aren't going to agree out of good will because what are you offering them in return? Don't be selfish!
If you don't sell a product try doing "share for share" type posts or "follow friday." It's fun to share about other accounts especially when you're getting it in return. People like consistency so if they can count on you to always send them to trustable accounts they'll want to follow, then they'll keep coming back. Being as genuine as you can is key to the engaged, quality, followers.
5. Instagram Stories!
THEE best invention instagram added. People love to see the real life face behind the account. Try and show your personality, what you like to do, and things that go along with why people follow you in the first place. (If you don't know why people follow, figure that out STAT and come back and re-read all this). On my blog account I love to show my day to day routine, my kids, our adventures, places we go, and fun facts about me. On my business page I like to show behind the brand, while i'm working, new products, biz trips, and videos from photoshoots.
Don't be afraid to go LIVE! If you were around for the short lived periscope boom, you'd know were all the same. Slightly insecure, don't always say the right things, sometimes halfway through forget what you're talking about, etc. I think that's why people love them! So be your awkward self and just do it! The more you do, the more fun they become.