How to grow on Instagram: 5 features to focus on

Do you want to grow on Instagram? Trying to attract more followers on the platform?

When it comes to Instagram marketing, it’s important to pay attention to the data.

According to Nathan Chan, Foundr founder, 36% of marketers use Instagram.
(At least that’s what he shared during his session for Social Media Examiner‘s Social Media Success Summit.) 

What does this mean? Why is this important?

The statistic means that you have an opportunity to claim your stake on Instagram and start working to attract a loyal following BEFORE the rest of the competition jumps onto the platform.

With 700+ million active users, Instagram is one of the most used and adored social media channels out there.

Growing a following:

Quality photos and value-driven content performs best on Instagram.

If you want to grow a following on the channel, you have to commit to showing up consistently to educate, inspire and entertain your audience.

It’s also important to take advantage of the features and functionality within Instagram that allow you to grow.

Below are 5 features to use in order to grow your Instagram community:

  • Bio Link: You’ve only got one place to add a link inside of Instagram, so be smart. The best places to send people from Instagram: your website, a form to sign up for your email newsletter, your YouTube channel. Think about your goal for using Instagram; what do you want to see happen for your BUSINESS as a result of engaging and posting on this channel? Are you trying to grow sales? Looking to build your email list? When you’re clear on your goals, it’s easy to pick what link to add to your bio. Pro tip: customize the link using a tool like bit.ly to tease the value of where you’re sending people.
  • Stories: Are you using Stories yet to take people behind-the-scenes? Instagram Stories are a great way to humanize your brand and provide extra value to your fans. It’s also a great way to build relationships. Through Stories, you can get real and raw with your audience. This feature is going to help your fans feel like they really know you. Pro tip: give shout-outs to your favorite brands or viewers of your stories to generate more engagement and show them you appreciate them!
  • Content strategy: Having a plan for what you’re going to post about is critical. Understand what your audience wants, and find creative and beautiful ways to provide it to them. With each piece of content, you should aim to trigger an emotion. Whether you inspire, amaze or entertain, people remember emotions. When you tap into someone’s emotions, you get on their radar. Post high-quality content only. The most important part of your content strategy should be consistency, as that’s the only way to build trust and generate momentum. Pro tip: include calls to action in your content to drive people to take specific actions.
  • Hashtags & DMs: Not everything you do is scalable. Some of the best features you can tap into on Instagram are features that you can’t scale or automate. For instance, sending personalized direct messages is a great way to create meaningful connections on the channel. Search for relevant hashtags to engage with, engage with people in your target audience through likes and comments, and show the love! The more you show up as someone who wants to connect AUTHENTICALLY, the faster you’re going to grow that community. Pro tip: treat your community like GOLD. Bend over backward for your loyal fans in order to show them just how serious you are.
  • Dig into data: Analyzing the engagement metrics available to Instagram Business profiles is super important. When you dig into the data, you start to see what types of photos perform best. Seeing a lot of likes for every selfie you post, but hardly any love for your city shots? Your audience clearly wants to see more of YOU. Use engagement as a barometer of success for your content. The more comments, the better. Pay attention to spikes or declines in follower growth so that you understand what actions attract and turn off your audience. Pro tip: use a paid tool or keep a spreadsheet filled with this information so that you can track it over longer periods of time.

If you want to grow on Instagram, you want to tap into the 5 features above.

By using your bio link wisely, crafting quality content, posting Stories, sending personalized DM’s and analyzing your analytics, you’ll learn a lot about your audience.

Which of these 5 features have you tried to focus on? What successes have you seen?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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