Everybody wants to get more followers on Instagram. However what you really want are more quality followers, ones who are actually interested in your brand and who interact with the posts you create.
This is the second post in the how to sell your paracord creations series and in it we will discuss a couple of ways which I have used to successfully grow my followers. However first of all I want to make you aware of a couple of quick and easy ways to grow your followers which you should NEVER do.
Never buy followers! There are sites to can go to where they will sell you 500+ instant followers, which will have nothing to do with your brand, they will never buy anything off you and as they are fake accounts, they will most likely get your account suspended or closed.
Avoid using apps which will allow you to automatically follow and unfollow people. They tend to work by you entering hashtags which are relevant to what you are posting and automatically comment on the posts. You’ve most likely had a few generic spam posts like that already, saying things like “That looks amazing, you’ll like what we create too”. I get them from time to time and I always delete those comments as they’re just not relevant. Also beware that Instagram is clamping down on posts from apps like that and punishing the accounts what use them.
So What is a Quality Follower?
The ideal quality follower is someone who is interested in what you are creating and will actively engage with your posts, liking them, commenting on them and ultimately buying something from you.
It’s no good having 10k followers if you only get 30 people liking your posts and 1 or 2 comments. You want people who are passionate about what you create and who are chatty and interactive. An engaged audience will have a much higher chance of becoming a return customer.
There isn’t a quick way to do this. All of the tactics I’m about to discuss will take time and patience, however if you stick to it and put the effort in you will get great results.
Who Follows Your Competition?
Make sure you know who your direct competition is and take a look at who is commenting on their posts. Follow these people as they are interested in what you are posting about too. It can also be a good idea to comment on their posts, to show you are a real person who is interested in them too.
Also look at who is liking your competitors posts by selecting the “bert-and-ernie and 95 others liked this post” text under the image. I’d recommend just going down the list and following each person who doesn’t look like a brand, model or music DJ. These people are likely to be interested in what you create. Beware, don’t do this too many times in one go as if you do Instagram will catch on and suspend your following privileges for 24 hours, or worse!
Hashtag Your Posts
Make sure that your posts are visible to people who are interested in what you create. I recommend doing a bit of research by looking at which hashtags your popular competitors are using.
Make a list, in a notepad app, of your hashtags so you don’t have to type them in every time. This also helps you to pick and choose the most relevant hashtags to the current post.
Whatever you do, don’t post the same ones in the same order each time. Instagram has some clever algorithms behind the scenes and it sees this as spamming.
Also beware of using generic hashtags with over a million uses as not only will your post get lost, there are also some blacklisted generic hashtags which will get you banned or Shadow Banned (where your account looks active but you won’t be appearing in other people’s streams). Currently there’s over 100k banned hashtags, you can search online for lists of them, or a quick way to verify a hashtag is to search for it in Instagram, select the hashtag and then select the Recent tab. If it’s banned you will see a notification here.
Ask for Mentions
Every so often post a picture of a new product and ask your followers to mention their friends in the comments. Maybe by saying “Do you know someone who would be crazy enough to wear this?”. If you make it fun and a bit of a challenge then you’re more likely to get people to do it. However I would recommend that you don’t do this too often as that can get annoying.
These work best when you’ve got something new to promote as you’ll be getting new followers as well as promoting your new products.
The most common giveaway (also known as a GAW) is to celebrate getting to a follower milestone, such as 1000 followers. You can also do them to get you to a milestone, starting at say 900 followers and saying that the giveaway will be drawn when you get to 1000 followers.
You should look at setting one or more of the following rules:
- Tag 2 (or more) friends in a comment on the post
- Must follow your account
- Share the post (sometimes for an extra entry into the giveaway)
You may want to also collaborate with another creative who compliments but doesn’t compete with your brand to do a joint giveaway and double the amount of items you can giveaway. This will create a much bigger buzz about the contest and maximize the amount of new followers you will get. An example of a good creative to collaborate with is if you make paracord creations then speak to someone who makes hanks or other every day carry items.
Remember to randomly select a winner. This can be done using a random number generator online, or by placing names on paper into a container and picking a winner on a live stream.
Remember to mark the original post as closed after the giveaway.
When you sell an item. Think about adding in a personalised note, saying that you hope the buyer enjoys your creation and asking them to post a picture of them wearing / using it, tagging you and adding a hashtag.
This is the Instagram equivalent of a word of mouth recommendation.
This won’t get you many new followers. But I thought it was worth a mention as people can stumble across your live video as it streams in the discovery section. Although from my experience, you’ll usually just get your regular followers watching you live. It’s a great tool, but not for getting new followers.
In conclusion. Start creating eye catching content, follow the steps above and be willing to put in the time and effort and you’ll soon have a rapidly growing group of quality followers. Good luck