By Olivia Crane
Do you use Instagram to promote your product or service? Then you know that growing followers and converting those followers to paying customers is not exactly easy—but there’s something you may be overlooking!
Many business owners think the best way to gain new followers and make sales through Instagram is to create new content to post every day, over and over, until someone, somewhere, buys from them. What a hamster wheel that sounds like, right?
You may feel there is something missing if you are consistently posting but you aren’t getting interaction or gaining any new followers.
If you’ve been using Instagram for a while, you know that the algorithm (the order in which Instagram chooses to show posts to current and potential followers) is always changing! But when it comes to marketing, there is one thing that never changes: people. The core of marketing is about building relationships and trust with your target audience. When it comes to social media, the key to doing that is to, well, be social!
So, are you ready to learn a simple, yet effective strategy on how to grow an
Instagram audience and convert that audience to customers? Try these tips:
Connect with your followers by commenting on and sharing their posts
You don’t have to follow everyone on your list, but do try to follow active accounts that fall into your target audience. Then spend some time scrolling through your news feed or heading to these people’s profiles to like, comment on, and share their posts! Ensure that your comments and shares make sense and are relevant. Doing this shows you are interested in your followers.
Use Instagram Stories to interact further
Instagram Stories is a great feature for building a relationship with your audience. You can create your own stories with questions and polls so that your audience has something to interact with (check this out in the “stickers” section of stories). Or you can interact with, reply to, and answer polls of the people you are following!
Your reaction to a story automatically goes to a direct message, which is different from a feed post. Being in a direct message with a follower will dramatically increase the chance that your next post gets seen by that follower.
Golden nugget: Because stories are a direct gateway to the “DMs,” they often result in more sales than Instagram feed posts.
Celebrate and collaborate
Do you keep track of client birthdays, anniversaries, or special dates in your customer relation management (CRM) system? Think of social media as a way to connect with followers on their special occasions. Wish your followers happy birthday, congratulations, or encouragement. Compliment them and their efforts. Shout them out in your stories and posts to gain them more traction. You get what you give. So give, give, give, and you will receive comments, shares, and interaction back!
Golden nugget: Always remember to be genuine and authentic. Inauthenticity will show and can damage your reputation.
The next time you think about your Instagram struggle, just remember, put people first! Use social media to make genuine connections along with creating great content. It will pay off in more valuable relationships with people who’ll keep coming back for more.
Olivia is a high-energy entrepreneur and adopts the philosophy of lifelong learning. She has four years of experience in growing social brands for local and national clients. She graduated from Memorial University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Commerce and has a corporate background in sales and marketing. She furthered her education with a diploma in Digital Marketing and is also involved in online communities for social media marketing, with a primary focus on Instagram. Olivia works with small business owners across Newfoundland and in other provinces to offer clarity, strategy, and direction to support and grow their businesses