Marketing

How To Grow Your Instagram Following with Branding and Engagement

How to Grow Instagram Following

Maximising the power of social media is one of the best ways to increase your website traffic. In order for your website traffic to be genuine, you need genuine followers, and Instagram is a great platform for that. But, how can you effectively grow your Instagram following with branding and engagement?

In a nutshell, it’s your theme, your copy, your timing, and your level of interaction. All of these things will improve your visibility on the platform.

Consistent Graphics and Branding

There are a number of graphic apps and software available, such as Wordswag and Canva. For my personal finance website, Miss Penny Money, I use Wordswag to create consistent, branded grid posts.

Miss Penny Money’s Instagram Grid

I use the same font in each post, and alternate each post with an image and a plain coloured background. Each graphic has a snippet of wording to pull the reader in to read the caption, or a call-to-action, such as clicking through to the website.

The consistency in font means followers learn to recognise who the post is from as soon as they see it. The overall grid presents neat, easy-to-read graphics so that new visitors can view the content at a glance.

Post Regularly with a Schedule

While the Instagram algorithm is a mystery to many, one way to ensure your content is seen by followers is to post consistently at a time your audience is most likely to be online. If you’re engaged with your followers, you’ll know when they’re mostly online and catching up on their feed. For my audience, that’s generally in the evening after the kids have gone to bed.

As I can’t be on Instagram all the time (as much as I’d like to be, because it’s pretty addictive), it makes sense for me to pre-plan my grid-post content and schedule it.

I use Preview app, which is a really cool scheduling tool. In addition to being able to schedule when you want to publish it, you can also preview your grid to see how it looks before you hit publish.

Preview won’t automatically post for you, but it will send a notification to your phone, telling you it’s time to post. You simply click on the post and select the option to share it to your Instagram feed (with an option to share to stories). The app will automatically copy the caption, which you can then paste into the caption field.

Use Your Stories

While your grid is perfect for a neat, topical, or perfectly-timed content strategy, sharing it to your stories can also get eyes on your content. Stories should be used for what they’re intended, which is to give your followers snippets of what’s going on in your life. Let them know what you’re up to (but make it at least something they can identify with).

You can write a simple caption, use hashtags, add a gif, or a call to action. When you reach 10,000 followers, you can use the swipe-up function.

Interact With Your Followers

It’s all very well sharing content, but your followers are people. If you just walked into a room and talked at them, then walked away without asking them how they are, they’d likely not think very highly of you.

That’s why it’s so important to see what they’re up to as well. Go and see what your existing followers have to say, and comment on their posts. Watch their stories and give them some reactions, or better still, write a quick message.

People love to be acknowledged. Social acceptance is so important in today’s world of social media. Big them up, and they’ll thank you for it.

Use Relevant Hashtags

When using hashtags, you need to drill down to what’s popular and what your audience is using. There are a few ways to do this, one of them being through Instagram itself. A simple hashtag search will also bring up related hashtags, together with how popular it is.

Another way is to check which hashtags your followers, competitors, or others in your market are using, as you’ll notice recurring common hashtags.

Click on a relevant hashtag to view other grid content, and make a habit of liking and commenting on these posts. It’s better to write something personal rather than a generic message though, to avoid looking like a bot. Interaction is what’s important here, and no-one likes spam.

Use Persuasive Copy

The ultimate goal here is to get your followers to land on your website. Once you’ve built trust and rapport with your customers, you’ll want to write something enticing to get them to click through to your post.

Put yourself in the mind of your reader. Ask yourself what it is they’re looking for when your post appears in your feed. Appeal to their needs, and use a compelling heading or caption to encourage a click.

In Summary

With consistent and regular use of the platform using the above tips, you should see genuine organic growth. With organic growth comes a genuine audience, and a genuine audience is your target market. If you’ve got that bit right, you’re on the path to more traffic, and with any luck (and a good marketing strategy), more conversions.

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