This week’s blog posts are based on frequent questions asked by our Everly Ambassadors. Want to become an Everly Ambassador? Apply today. We’ll be accepting applications starting March 2018.
All around the world, people are expressing themselves and sharing their lives – friends, fashion, travel, family, and more – through the universe of social media. Instagram is a particularly easy platform to share the details of your life, both meaningful and superficial.
Through filtered photographs, clever captions, and tagged locations, Instagram has become a space to connect with friends and family. However, many users want to broaden their network of followers to reach out to others who share their interests, values, and passions. Instagram influencing has become a career, with models, style stars, and other icons creating content, posting advertisements, and gaining thousands of followers in the process.
Whether you want 200 or 200,000 more followers, here are 5 tips from Everly Mag to gaining and maintaining more (real) followers on your Instagram.
Tip 1: Keep. It. Real.
It can be tempting to buy fake followers on Instagram. Paying for Instagram followers, or bots, can entice users for their immediacy (who wouldn’t want to wake up to a higher follower count?) and their ability to attract more followers who see that higher number and want to follow you.
However, fake followers are dangerous for three main reasons:
- Fake followers can be deleted by Instagram at any time.
- Fake followers don’t accurately show you who is enjoying your content.
- Fake followers can damage self-esteem.
That last statement is the most important reason to keep it real. Finding real people who like what you’re doing is the most valuable step on the path to improving your social media content. Even if it’s just a small number, you’ll know that you’ve found people who actually appreciate your Instagram feed and want to keep viewing, liking, and commenting on your posts.
With real followers, you can…
- Ask what they like and dislike about your posts.
- Ask what they want to see from your feed.
- Create conversations, campaigns, and contests.
- Form meaningful, lasting connections.
Tip 2: Get to know your followers.
Now that you know your followers are real, it’s time to learn a little more about who they are. Take time to talk to new followers through comments and Instagram messages. Follow them back and take a look at what they are posting and what other accounts they follow.
Every single one of your followers has made a choice to follow you.
Ask yourself: Why has this person decided to follow me? What am I doing or creating that has this particular follower interested?
Maybe it’s a shared interest, like a sports team or a favorite TV show. Maybe it’s a shared opinion, like politics or thinking an underrated celebrity needs more attention. Maybe it’s a desire to learn more about your style, fashion, country, or hobby. Maybe that person just wants to figure out who you are, or is hoping for a chance to grow closer to you.
Sit down and study your followers, searching for commonalities between them and why they may have chosen to follow your account.
Here are some valuable questions to consider:
- Are my followers the same age, nationality, or gender?
- Do they follow similar accounts?
- Have they connected over my feed in general or a specific type of post?
- If I were to combine my followers into one person, what would that person want to see from my feed?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start creating clear, targeted content that will reach your followers and keep them interested.
Tip 3: Find the core message of your Instagram feed.
It may sound silly, but every Instagram has a core message. If you were describing your Instagram to someone, what would you say? Try to get your message down to a sentence or two, and you’ll know that you’ve figured it out.
Here are some examples of clear, strong messages that will reach your followers:
- My Instagram is all about my love of cooking. I post pictures of the meals I’ve created and recipes I’d like to try, and share them with other aspiring chefs around the world.
- My Instagram is a fan account for Annie and Hayley LeBlanc. I post pictures of the sisters, screenshots of their vlogs, and my own opinions about them, which I share with other Bratayley fans.
- My Instagram is about being adventurous and how to achieve that in an everyday life. I post unique outfits I wear, exotic foods I try, exciting people I meet, and new places I travel – anything that communicates to my followers how I seek adventure and spontaneity.
Once you’ve figured out your core message, write it down somewhere. Make sure it’s echoed in all aspects of your Instagram feed: your profile picture, bio, and aesthetic should all connect to your core message.
Now that you have a core message, it’s time to stick to it.
Tip 4: Be consistent.
At this stage, you know that your followers are real, and you know how they became fans of your account. You’ve committed to a clear, core message that you can follow as you create your content.
Now, the only thing you have to do is keep doing it. Continue to create posts that support your Instagram’s message and form closer connections with your target followers.
As easy as it sounds, this step may be the hardest one of all….
- You may have people unfollow as they decide they aren’t interested in your core message anymore.
- You may want to start posting other, less original content to attract more followers.
- You may feel impatient that your following isn’t growing fast enough.
- You may lose followers before you gain them.
Even Instagram influencers like Vandy Jaidenn feel the responsibility of having a consistent feed and producing content that followers will like.
Remember this: If people unfollow, that doesn’t mean they don’t like you. That just means that they don’t connect to your message anymore.
Tip 5: Followers aren’t everything.
If you have followers, that means you are a leader. Whether you’re leading 9 or 9 million, it’s still pretty cool that social media has given you the opportunity to influence others with the original content you create.
Through Instagram, you can…
- Connect with like-minded and diverse people.
- Share opinions, engage in conversations, and learn more about the world.
- Learn more about brands and celebrities you love.
- Be creative, open-minded, and experiment with your design and writing skills.
While all of these strategies may not get you more followers, they are worthwhile pursuits and ways to spend your social media time.
Remember that social influencers are using Instagram as part of their career. If you want to have a large following, it will take up time and energy that could be spent on other passions. You’ll care more about your message and consistency, whereas with a smaller following you can focus more on just posting whatever you want.
A real follower is someone who loves the way you think and create and wants to learn more about you, whether online or IRL. Find followers outside of Instagram by entering photography or writing contests, pursuing your hobby by taking classes, and talking to the people you know about the things they like.
Life is full of connections and leadership opportunities. Some people may find their way on Instagram, and others may not. With so much creativity, there’s space in the world for us all to succeed.
This blog post was written by Everly Mag © 2018. All Rights Reserved.
Feature Image Credit: Everly Mag