Instagram seems to be rising in popularity and usage faster than any other social network right now.
For newcomers to the platform, it can be difficult to find new followers. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, which have share features that make it easy for your content to appear in the newsfeeds of influencers, Instagram only allows you to like or comment on posts. (Although it is now possible to share other people’s posts as an Instagram story.)
So, the only way for people to discover you within the Instagram platform is to see your name in the comments of a post or as a mention in someone’s post or story. The other way is for your content to get featured as a top post under a certain hashtag.
As I wrote about in my description of Gary Vaynerchuk’s $1.80 Instagram Strategy, the way to grow your audience is to be a valued member of a community. In that strategy, you find a hashtag related to your community and add a comment to the top nine posts for that hashtag (your $0.02) and do this ten times (9 x $0.20 x 10 = $1.80). People see that post, see your valuable comment, and then check out your profile.
The Follow, Like, Like, Like Strategy
Another strategy that works extremely well is The Follow, Like, Like, Like, Strategy.
You can read about it more in one of these two posts, where I first learned about it:
Here is how it works:
- Research: Find someone in a community you want to serve. You can do this by finding people who comment on relevant influencer’s posts or post to a relevant hashtag.
- Follow: Read their profile and if they show interest in something related to your work, follow them.
- Like, Like, Like: Like their three most recent posts or most relevant posts to your interests.
Commenting on these posts also works really well, too.
This tactic only takes a few minutes and it works very, very well. People see your affirmation of their posts, check out your profile, and they may follow you back. One of the articles above mentions about a 25% follow-back and that has been pretty consistent with what I’ve experienced as well.
I know some people who will follow then unfollow. In fact, a vlogger who creates content for authors just did that to my profile this morning. I think that takes this strategy too far and completely insincere.
Be a valued member of a community.
Make your likes meaningful.
Engage with actual people in comments on posts and in Instagram Stories.