SOCIAL MEDIA: WHERE BEING A LEADER AND A FOLLOWER IS ACCEPTABLE

By Ernisha Hall of NIRAY LLC

 May 26, 2020

Instagram has seen an increasing level of growth over the years, and as businesses continue to emerge, greater visibility for marketing your brand presents itself.

 

Once known as a photo sharing app, Instagram now appeals to business owners sharing their services, products, and personal experiences. If your competitor is using Instagram, now is the time that you do too.

 

Keeping up with the constantly changing Instagram algorithm, growing organic followers, and maintaining likes, is nothing short of a full-time job, however, it is worth it and vital for your business to grow. For example, the larger your audience, the greater likelihood that your brand will see positive returns. However, taking the easy way out and paying for likes and follows can reduce your Return on Investment (ROI). With Instagram it is important to attract followers that are not only interested in your brand, but who are going to like, share, and comment thus adding real value to what you have to offer.

Here are some tips on how to organically gain Instagram Followers:

 

1. Optimize your Instagram Bio:

The first and most important step to gaining followers is to optimize your account and update the homepage of your IG bio. This is your first opportunity to introduce yourself to potential followers.

Image by hannah grace

Filling your bio information with a link to your landing page or website, and selecting a familiar username, will drive traffic to your site. Your username should not only be search-friendly, it should be recognizable and flow with the overall presentation of your brand.

2. Remain consistent and reliable

Brand followers are looking for content that is engaging, consistent and informative. Gaining organic followers is hard enough, do not let them down by irregularly posting. Adhering to a posting schedule is very important, however, do not lose sight of regularly visiting your timeline in addition to posting to show recognition to others on their posts.  

Facebook offers a great content schedule that is free and allows you to post on both Facebook and Instagram simultaneously. Facebook Creator Studio lets you manage and publish posts, go live and review your online insights, all for FREE. Sticking to a schedule will offer an opportunity to maintain a constant presence on social media while keeping your followers informed which builds client engagement.  Posting at least 2 times, but no more than 10 times per day is more likely to yield organic results. Remember, quality over quantity! Your posts should capture your audience and keep them interested.

3. Interact and Converse (Social Media Networking)

Customer networking extends beyond face to face. Getting to know your followers and making new connections through online conversations demonstrate the relatability of your brand. People are using social media as an alternative means to gain insight into products and services. Try to respond to questions and comments on your timeline promptly and consistently. Lack of responsiveness could mean the loss of a sale. Would you invest in a business who did not take the time to answer your questions? Conversation gains followers. Spread happy feelings by posting content that is client driven and relatable, sparking conversation

is key.

 

Facebook Creator studio also allows you to engage in conversation with an inbox that combines both your Facebook and Instagram social media accounts.

 

4. Click Like & Comment

Remember conversation is not one-sided. Due to the ever-changing Instagram algorithm, at least two thirds of your followers do not see your posts on their timeline. Take a moment to initiate conversation and click like on the posts of potential followers. It is not enough to just gain followers; showing appreciation for others and the time they invest in posting will help you maintain strong online relationships. Organic growth can continue to trend upward with a like for a like, and a comment for a comment. Followers want to know you are not sales driven, and there is a human being behind the posts. Build your audience with genuine interactions.

5. #hashtagyourit

 

 

Hashtags have remained a consistent way to meet the Instagram algorithm where it is. They allow Instagram posts to reach users who are interested in your content. As a business or social media influencer, you can build your organic followers by offering hashtags that speak directly to your target audience.

Use hashtags that are not overpopulated. Your posts can potentially get lost between millions of others utilizing the same hashtag. Apply hashtags that are specific to your target audience and relevant to connecting to users. #blackbusinessowner has 492K post versus #blackbusinesslife has about 5K. Your post is more likely to be found in the second hashtag while still reaching an organic audience.

Do not overdo it with hashtags. Instagram has a limit of 30 tags, however, if the algorithm senses a repeat or irrelevant tag, you can do more harm than good by triggering an Instagram alert. Use hashtags that describe your theme, something unique to your business or community. Think of hashtags as unique search terms that potential clients would use to find your service or product.

Although there are several free hashtag generators, there is nothing more organic like building a hashtag list yourself. Before using a hashtag, check the number of people following and the type of post being included. Build organic followers with unique and relatable hashtags.

 

To Sum it up

We all know that you can have an amazing service or product, but if you only have 100 followers, potential customers/clients will pass you by. Gaining organic Instagram followers will not only increase your ROI, it will also improve the value of your brand. Remember paid followers will not generate traffic to your website or prompt an increase in revenue. Gaining organic followers on social media is crucial to building brand awareness. This will seem like a tedious task, but can your brand afford to exclude marketing on a platform that has over 1 billion subscribers?

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