Marketer. Business owner. Entrepreneur. Social media manager.
How are you doing on Instagram?
And what is it that you want most out of Instagram?
Are you working hard to create content, or are you winging it, hoping your next blog post will take off after a quick Instagram mention?
In our Facebook group, questions about Instagram engagement and growing an Instagram following come up frequently.
While this social media platform is fun and visual, it still intimidates many.
In his article we will explore several ways to grow a loyal and engaged community on Instagram.
What You Can Do For Your Loyal Instagram Community
While there are many good things that come from your engaged community and their actions, nothing will grow your community faster than when you yourself invest time and effort into building and nurturing the community.
So first, let’s look at what you can to for your community.
To grow your loyal Instagram community, give of yourself:
1 High Quality Content
Never skimp on this. High resolution images, beautiful scenery, professional photography are just some of the elements of high quality content. If you don’t have these skills yet, work towards them. Learn how to shoot better images, take classes and upgrade your equipment and editing tools when you can.
If you mess something up, confess to it. Being honest and transparent with your online community will earn you way more credit than pretending that everything is fine.
3 Raw Behind The Scenes Content
This goes along with the previous point; showing your loyal fans your raw emotions: mistakes, fears, worries and bloopers, all of these will earn endearment, not resentment.
4 Customer Service
When loyal fans are in need, bring it. Be kind, considerate, and nice and giving of your time and attention; in other words, have empathy. Doing this is 100% free.
5 Be Present
Posting and then running away is not how you build a loyal and engaged community. Instead, posting and being present is. Be available to answer questions and ask follow up questions is a great way to show your presence.
Hand in hand with being present is showing up day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. That is what earns you your stripes on Instagram!
7 The Spotlight
Every once in a while, give your loyal following the spotlight when it‘s deserved! Share tagged content and user generated content, to highlight someone or something other than yourself. You’ll look like the rockstar community builder you are!
What an Engaged Instagram Community Can Do For You
What is it that so many are striving for on Instagram? Is it recognition, fame, money?
If you’ve never experienced the love of an insta-audience, you’re in for a treat!
After giving of yourself, after being present and publishing some stellar content, your Instagram community will give back to you!
An engaged Instagram community will:
1 Defend you
When things so south, loyal fans will defend your honor and antagonize internet trolls! They will stand besides you and give it to those who dare cross you.
2 Love you Unconditionally
No matter (sort of) what you’ve said or done in error, loyal fans will love you unconditionally and consider you innocent until proven guilty.
3 Forgive You
An engaged community will also forgive you when you make mistakes, as we all make mistake – we are human after all
4 Support You
Loyal fans will support you, your projects, your feelings and those you love and endorse.
5 Help you Grow
Engaged fans are happy fans, for the most part! They will be your best (and free) brand ambassadors if you let ‘em! They will share your message and tell their friends.
6 Lift You Up
If you are feeling down and out, your engaged community will lift you up, if you let them know you need it! Transparency is key here; if your community sees your vulnerability, they will lift you up!
6 Buy from You
And eventually, an engaged community will take be ready to action when asked (with a clear call-to-action of course): “buy what I sell, order what I show, support me”.
How Can You Grow a Loyal and Engaged Community on Instagram
By giving and taking, by building a relationship with one follower at a time, one post on Instagram at a time, you too can grow a loyal and engaged community.
The building blocks to this formula to success are ‘easy to stack’ and include
- Knowing your target audience
- Finding and connecting with like-minded people
- Validating members of your community on a regular basis
- Executing an Instagram strategy
- Utilizing all of Instagram’s features including Instagram stories, IGTV, Instagram Live, stickers, hashtags and carousel posts
- Integrating user generated content
- Offering unique Instagram content
- Committing to high engagement on the Instagram account
- Driving traffic from Instagram to your website
Each audience for each Instagram account is different and unique.
Finding your own ‘sweet spot’ is the holy grail of Instagram. It’s also a fleeting idea that can never be captured as social media is ever-changing.
Those who ask for a shortcut or growth-hacking success need to realize that in order to build an Instagram account, it takes commitment, time, effort, money, stamina, creativity and elbow grease.
All of these.
Plus your personal commitment to be in it for the long-haul. Then you when you build it, they will come!
I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You’ll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.