How to gain your first 1000 engaged Instagram followers
The past month has seen a small but significant milestone for the Rabbit Ideas blog- we reached our first 1000 followers on Instagram. Woop!
This has taken about 5 months of posting once daily with a relevant image, and putting into practice various tips I have picked up online (Youtube is a goldmine for content like this!) Along the way, I’ve been asked some questions from people who are running Instagram accounts for small businesses or organisations:
-How can I get better engagement?
-How much time do I need to spend on there?
-What can I do to get more followers?
Of all of the fast-moving social media platforms, Instagram is the most visual. In my experience, this means it is the best platform for the early education niche as our content is very visual. (Obviously, Pinterest is excellent, too, but that is more of a search engine than a social media space.) We, as educators and product creators, already know that young children react best to activities and ideas which look engaging and fun to do. Images of these work brilliantly on Instagram. It is also a platform which busy professionals or parents can spend some time dipping in and out and quickly pick up ideas and tips to use. This means that our content has a high chance to being appreciated, if it is of high quality and you are being followed by your target audience.
Tip 1- Set up your feed and bio
Every feed looks different and should reflect your overall brand. Easy wins would be: making sure your profile is public, making sure your bio contains lots of information (link to your website and releant hashtags), posting at least one high-quality image daily, and generally sticking to your niche area. You absolutely do not need to be a professional photographer to do well on Instagram; people like real, but they also like to follow an account which loosely sticks to a specific area of interest or common theme.
Tip 2- Be sociable
Professional friendliness will go a long way on social media- by interacting and supporting other accounts, you will develop a community around your brand. Little and often is the way to go here; 10 minute coffee break? Watch some stories and make sure you send a message to build those relationships. 15 minutes waiting for the bus? Like and comment on as many posts as you can in that time. It is a marathon, not a sprint, but gradually your community should start to build.
Tip 3- Use stories
It took me a while to realise the potential of stories. For engagement, they are brilliant; a great way of showing people ‘behind the scenes’ or works in progress. You can also afford to be generous in stories, screenshots of other accounts and tagging people is a great way to give them a ‘shout-out’. Promoting others builds relationships and also encourages people to interact on your main feed. Using the ‘type’ feature and polls within stories can be an easy way of practicing if you are not comfortable with speaking directly on screen.
Tip 4- Research new features and make the most of them
Keeping up to date with new features and constantly learning will keep you ahead of the game when it comes to any social media. With filters, gifs, stories, polls, hashtags etc. there is a lot going on and whilst you might not want to use all of these straight away, it is always worth trialling one new thing, and watching how your audience reacts.
Tip 5- Go for it.
There are no real ‘experts’ on social media; there are only people half a step ahead of where you are. This gets easier with practice, but consistently showing up and sharing relevant content is always time well spent. If you get the brand and content right, you should start to see growth. Go get ‘em!
Do you use Instagram for your blog or small business? Pop on over to the Rabbit Ideas profile and say hi!