In the previous 2 parts of this series we interviewed successful Bristol Instagrammers about why they were on Instagram and how they use if for their business.
This third installment focuses on followers; Increasing following and increasing engagement.
Read what they had to say..
How long has it taken you to gain your followers?
What did you do to increase your following?
Chroma Stationery – It has taken a while but it is steady organic growth which I feel is very important. I try not to concentrate on the numbers of followers, and instead focus on engagement, conversions and website clicks.
Pinkman’s Bakery – We’ve had the Instagram account live since just before we opened the store about 3 years ago now. We now have just over 7.3K followers. We gain followers naturally through consistently posting with relevant tags. Every so often we will team up with an influencer to help increase our following from circles outside of our own.
Kimba Digital – We set up our account in 2016 when the business started and we are currently at just over 5,000 followers. We had other priorities in the beginning so Instagram just kind of sat there – most of that growth has happened in 2018.
Bird and Blend Tea – We’ve slowly built our following over the 6 years that we’ve been around! It’s taken a lot of work to get to where we are now but we try to make sure that we’re keeping both fun and informative – that really helps to engage our fans and build our following!
Conclusion: Slow and steady wins the race. You could boost your following with ads or get some fake followers by buying them – but nothing beats an organic and relevant audience. Those are the people who you want to engage with and will likely engage back! Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get lots of followers straight away – even the biggest accounts had to start somewhere!
What do you do to increase follower engagement on Instagram?
Chroma Stationery – The key for me has always been consistency and creating meaningful conversations. Posing questions and creating content which appeals to my audience.
Pinkman’s Bakery – We try to engage with our followers as much as we can, and hope this contributes to a larger engagement with us on their part. We also monitor which sort of posts tend to do well and balance those with posts we need to make but know will do less well based on previous statistics.
Kimba Digital – We’ve found that if we share our story, photos of our team or our customers we get higher engagement. People like to see and hear about other people. We also take time to engage with our audience.
Bird and Blend Tea – We make every effort to be honest and personable with our fans – we chat to them individually (as well as through our posts) and we love sharing our favourite ideas for iced teas and lattes, as well as other blends that we think they’re going to love.
Conclusion: If you want engagement on your posts you need to engage with others too. Being consistent and friendly tends to lead people to be more comfortable interacting with your business.
How much time do you spend engaging with your audience?
Chroma Stationery – I normally spend two 15 minute slots every day, and up this after I’ve posted.
Pinkman’s Bakery – Around an hour a week.
Kimba Digital – As much as it takes. If someone engages with our posts the absolute least we can do is respond!
Bird and Blend Tea – All day, every day! From morning to night, we’re busy posting on our social media accounts, responding to comments and tags and chatting in our DMs!
Palyglass – I used to post every day and worried if I didn’t people would not be interested or stop following, but this is not the case. I go through times where I might not post for a couple of weeks or might post 3 to 4 times a week. I think it’s good to take breaks and not constantly post. I also make sure to reply to all comments whether it be just like the comment or reply – it’s good to make sure you engage with your audience and not ignore them!
Conclusion: Follower numbers aren’t the most important thing. What you want is an egaged audience of the right people. If you want to increase your engagement then you need to actively engage with others every day.