Yes, yes, I know life isn’t all about likes, followers or comments, but it IS when your purpose and strategy is to bring awareness to your brand or business. Social Media is the best place for you to engage directly with your consumers. You can leverage social platforms not only to increase awareness but for sales/lead generation, community engagement, growing your audience and even increasing your website traffic. You can build a relationship with your audience through these platforms and build a community that people want to be apart of! 

Here a FIVE hacks to use in order to grow your organic following: 

1. DON’T LET YOUR BIO BE DEAD SPACE 

So how do you leverage this area?

First, you can change your name or add to your name by letting people know what you do or who you are. This will help with SEO when it comes to the search portion within the app. If you’re a blogger or a photographer, change your name to First Name Last Name | Blogger or if you are a business you can put Business Name | Marketing. Think of how you’d search for people in certain industries and use that model to update your name accordingly. 

Next, showcase your personality or your brand voice in this section so people can get a feel for who you are and how you interact with your followers. This is typically the first place someone looks to get a feel for what you represent, so make sure you are unique and stand out! 

Lastly, it’s VERY important to include a website url in the link portion of your bio. This link would be where you want to direct your followers to learn more about you or when you’ve asked them to take action in one of your posts. For instance, do you want someone to sign up for your newsletter? Or read your blog posts? Instagram only allows you to include one link in your bio, so if you have multiple places you’d like to send your followers, you can leverage platforms like linktr.ee to send them there. Linktr.ee allows people to click on your one link, and then choose where they want to go based on options you’ve provided.

2. CONSISTENCY 

The very first part of creating and posting content is to BE CONSISTENT. This is something that we cannot stress enough. If you disappear or don’t post, you lose all of the momentum that you may have previously built. Once you start to post again, you have to re-engage your audience, which means your engagement rate will be low. Having a high or average rate will help your followers see your content. Don’t you hate it when you post stuff and then get nothing in return?! Yep, because Instagram shows your content to your followers based on how they interact with your content. So the moral of the story…BE CONSISTENT! 

If you have a business profile, check your analytics for the best days and times to post. This information is specific to your profile and will give you an idea of when your audience is online, which is when you should post. You can also check what pieces of content are being engaged with the most. If you see that educational content isn’t being liked or commented on, then you know that your audience doesn’t like that type of content. 

You should test your content type, times to post and captions to see what resonates with your audience the best. This will set you up for long-term success! 

3. HASHTAGS 

Hashtags have not gone away, and they really aren’t utilized by businesses as much as they should. This is the perfect opportunity for you to find people within your industry or find people who would be interested in your product/service. It’s important that you are including hashtag groups in all of your posts on Instagram. 

Pro Tip: Create 3 hashtag groups that you rotate using on your photos. Instagram will or can shadow-ban your content (i.e. not show it to your audience) because it will think that you are spamming that hashtag. Make sure you change them out and check your analytics through third party tools like Later to make sure that you are using hashtags that will bring you the highest impressions and engagement. 

Also, Instagram now has a feature where you can follow hashtags just as you would a profile. Following the hashtags will make it easier for you to engage with that content as it will show up in your timeline. This gives you a chance to like and follow people who are also using that hashtag. For example, if you are in a certain location, look through the photos that use that city’s hashtag. You can find people who are near you and may be able to come to your storefront or use your products. 

4. ENGAGE

People will recognize when you are interacting with them and will want to interact with you and your content. Be encouraging and complementary to what they are posting or to their caption. Of course, be sure that you are doing this with people who could be interested in your product or in your service. This will help you to build a relationship with them and ultimately result in the outcome you are looking to accomplish. 

In addition to that, be sure to include captions that will evoke a response. Including call-to-actions or asking questions will encourage your audience to do more instead of just liking a photo or just keep scrolling to the next photo. What do you want your audience to do or to feel when they see your content? Use that information to create and post that specific type of content!

5. CROSS PROMOTION

Use and leverage your other networks in order to lead people to your Instagram account. You can do this through your website or your email marketing strategy and even on your Facebook page. Offer exclusive content or giveaways on your Instagram account so that people are wanting to check out and follow your profile. This will give your audience and network that push that it needs to land on your profile. 

Make sure you include links to your social media profiles on your website as well as on all emails that you send out. Make it easily accessible for someone to find you. 

To sum it up….

With these five tips, you’ll start to see your community and network grow. You’ll build relationships and increase your brand awareness, which will overall help you to reach your goals! Let us know how you’ve implemented these strategies and tag us in your posts!  

XX, Megan + Tayler

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