Commit to new goals that will build an authentic brand and following on the Gram
There’s more to Instagram goals than just getting more followers.
Here are a few exciting goals you should be considering as you make your new year plans.
All too often, as entrepreneurs, we get stuck or even sucked in to putting all of our efforts on getting new Instagram followers. Maybe it’s because you’d feel more confident if you had a certain number, or you believe you’ll get more clients if you had over 10K, or your competitors have a certain number and you feel the need to reach that same level. Either way, your REAL need is to gain more “fans” and book more “clients”.
By now, you should have your real authentic brand squared away on your Instagram presence. And, you feel comfortable with it. If not, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, pause here and check out my freebie on how to get real followers on Instagram here
Here we go
Note: These are in no particular order, they’re just a list of suggestions to help you put strategic effort into growing your Instagram account
To do a “collab” with someone within your niche will expose you to their audience and possibly even larger, the specific niche or industry audience because there is power in more than one voice and one account’s reach. Think about who, in your industry or niche, you would love to collaborate with because they are a known figure, they have your ideal clients and they are, by your standards, largely successful. If this person seems too out of reach to approach for a collab, I don’t fault you for thinking that. Reaching out to someone who doesn’t know you can seem intimidating. That’s a good indication that this is a good goal for you personal and account growth. Keep this person as you goal. Now, you can start a little smaller and gain the confidence you need to approach your ideal collaborator. Team up with someone you find from a group on Facebook or perhaps someone who shares your same coach.
Getting your post featured on an account that has a “tribe” following is huge! It exposes you to their huge audience in an organic way that says you are someone to follow. The question is how to make it happen? This isn’t something that can just happen instantly. If it was, this would be happening for everyone. Those last 3 words are very important to remember; to be featured is something that happens “for” you. Think about it, even if your best friend was someone with a gigantic tribal following and you asked her to repost or story one of your posts, but it didn’t make sense for her audience, she would probably avoid committing or advise you on what would make sense to her audience. This is something that is earned with a) great content and b) brand alignment. With that said, put really good, focused effort on a & b in the new year. Next, it’s something that can be possible by a) tagging an influencer account and also using their tribal hashtag in the post, b) aligning your content with theirs (if they’re posting about health trends, your post should be about health trends, not something they won’t align with) and c) engaging with their posts to get them to notice you.
At first glance, this might seem like a low exposure tactic. Actually, it can get you “new” exposure. When you do a livestream, Instagram tells your followers that you are live. So, even as they scroll over everyone else’s stuff, you are glowing at the top of their feed. And, if they are highly engaged with you and aren’t on IG the moment you go live, they should get a notification (if they allow it) that you’re on. Better yet, if you plan out when you’re going on, you can let people know ahead of time when you will be live with a post, a story, a text, etc.
If you create an IGTV channel to store all your livestreams or to upload other videos, you now have a whole new audience that can be looking at your content. Did you know that IGTV has its own app? Your ideal audience could be looking for your kind of content on IGTV and if you’re there with targeted titles and hashtags, they may, very well, find you.
Video is here to stay, so you might as well jump on it now. Videos can only be 10 minutes long to live past 24 hours which means you don’t need a whole script or hour long content. Keep it simple and give people what they want.
Pods are everyone’s super secret way to boost engagement. What if there are other ways?
a) Mix up your content a bit so that all your inspo posts (for example) don’t get boring to your highly engaged audience.
b) Keep engaging with your long time following, personal friends, etc just as much as you do with new followers or ideal clients.
c) Use call-to-actions in each post, but don’t bury it at the end of a 5 paragraph caption. Your CTA could be the very first thing in your caption and should be short and sweet. For example, “Double tap if you want this acai bowl as much as I did before I devoured it”.
d) If someone comments on your post with something shorter than 4 words (algorithms don’t see the shorties as a truly engaged post), reply and try to engage them again like you would an in-person conversation. You might just gain a “fan” through it all.
e) Engage with others. It’s amazing how social media works like real life. Just like you would compliment someone to start a conversation, the same can happen by engaging with someone on their post.
We all know we should do it. We all say we plan to do it. But, we likely don’t. Or, we don’t on a regular basis.
Do it now! Plan weekly. Download an app (Plann or Preview) to help you with reminders and keeping it all in one place.
You’re going to be so much better for it. Your content flow will be strong, your images will look so on-brand, you won’t be scrambling for an image to post, you’ll always post at your ideal or test time and you’ll only be burdened with thinking of content once a week.
The use of hashtags is so that people can find your content. Instagram only rewards those “relevant” hashtags with exposure — things like hashtag pages, follow suggestions, featured posts in the Explore page or categories.
First and most important piece of advice is, be authentic with those hashtags. Only use ones that actually apply to your post.
Next, you only need to master those hashtags that make exposure possible for you. This means, those super basic hashtags with over 4M lifetime posts has super heavy competition. So, shoot to master hashtags that range between 100K-750K lifetime posts.
And lastly, do your own hashtag research by checking out what others are using, look up what content is being used with the hashtag, engage with posts and follow users of hashtags similar or same as yours and dedicate time to do this daily. You’ll actually start to see your instagram followers increase just by doing this because you’re aligned so well with these other users.
You might have thought that the first goal with someone in your niche was intimidating. But, this one can be so easy. Think about your network, both personal and professional, it’s possible you know someone who you don’t 100% align to but your skills are complimentary. For example, a life coach has an audience pool who holds themselves back from putting themselves out there in the digital space because they are not confident with putting their physical imperfections on display. This coach happens to know a great visual stylist who doesn’t even do it professionally, but has an amazing feed, interested followers and can share tips on how to get the perfect shot or style your photos. This coach will be providing her audience value. And, at the end of the day, that’s your entire purpose for being in business. Followers will love it! They’ll engage with it. They’ll even come back looking for more.