If you are wanting a social media following that is engaging (and an easier algorithm to figure out) then you need to be using Instagram. But what happens when you hit that plateau? Or if it feels like all your new followers are the spam accounts?Β How do you get out of that slump to climb the mountain?

The Golden Rule is that you need to make sure you are being social…online. Yes, it’s something that your mom may not understand. Being social online is very similar to IRL (you TALK), but when using it for business you also need to be strategic. You don’t want to be wasting your time scrolling through the feed when you could be actively gaining leads.

There’s three strategic tasks that I use to grow my Instagram following that keep my integrity.

No follow for follow.

No likes for likes.

And definitely no follow, like their top three posts, and then unfollow.

Let’s dive in.

1. Quarterly Hashtag Reviews

Every quarter I recommend going over your common hashtags. If you aren’t using hashtags onΒ InstagramΒ or are using the first one that comes to mind, then you are not using Instagram well. For example, I could tag most of my photos with #virtualassistant. I could…but so are 321K other posts. Yes, that’s 321,000 (and counting). I know that hashtag is not going to be my best bet to be seen in the Top Nine. I’ll be buried pretty quickly. So, I go through the related hashtags to see if ones are 1. DEFINITELY less than 100k posts and 2. Preferably around 50k.Β (I use these parameters so that the water is warm, but not as many sharks.) I also try to keep them in categories of four. As in I’ll use #virtualassistants (sometimes just one letter makes the difference!), #virtualassistantservices, #outsource, #virtualassistance to tag my posts that relate to my VA business.

Once I have my hashtags – and I generally stop around 20 hashtags – then I don’t worry about them until the next quarter. I’ll update my saved captions in Later and work cussing hard to get in the Top Nine of those hashtags. Why? πŸ‘‡πŸ»

2. Genuine Comments

Because this is where I’ve received the most followers. Being social on Instagram means you get a reward from the Insta Gods. Not really. BUT you will notice an uptick on your follows and likes! You may even reach the Top Nine for a specific hashtag.

When I reach the Top Nine for a hashtag, people who search for the tag will see my post, and are more likely to leave a comment. You WANT comments over likes!

This is where you are going to do something different than other business owners’ or those spam accounts. πŸ˜’You are going to leave a LEGITIMATELY GENUINE COMMENT on two Top Nines every day. I tweaked this idea from Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary Vee says it’s “leaving his $1.80”. If everyone is going to leave their “2 cents”, then he…well, he’s going to go super overboard and leave a genuine comment for 10 different hashtags’ Top Nines. Every. Day. You don’t have to do that. Just pick two a day. You will be able to 1. see what your competition is posting, 2. bring brand awareness by showing up on related accounts, and 3. get some love from the algorithm for being social!

Of course, don’t forget to comment on your Home Feed too! Hopefully you have populated your feed with people who inspire you so that it’s easy to leave a genuine comment! Not the “Great πŸ‘ŠπŸ»” or “😍” like a spam account.

3. Daily Stories

This one is what I’m using in 2019 to grow my business. At first, it was SUPER daunting and freaked me out to even think about Stories. I don’t want to get on camera and talk about…stuff! I used the excuses of “I’m an introvert!”, “I’m not a coach!”, “Only my mom would want to know about that!” for so long and I know my reach has suffered because of it. But that’s the beauty ofΒ Instagram Stories. People expect to see the behind the scenes, they want to see what life is like in your business, and it’s a way for them to see you are human! I created a list of 15 things to post on Stories so I was never without an excuse. I also am planning on creating campaigns through Canva (they have GREAT templates!) so be sure to keep your eye out for them!

Just start by sharing one photo of yourself. Maybe it’s your three tasks that HAVE to happen that day on a post-it. Maybe it’s a photo of your coffee. Maybe it’s you lip-syncing to your favorite pump-up song. But start utilizing Stories. It’s great to ask questions to your audience, and even to take the sale to the DMs. (But we can talk about that later. πŸ˜‰)

Ann Bellow helps women who struggle with booking clients to become her own boss by breaking the patterns that keep her broke.

Do you want 1-3 private clients in the next 30 days? Let's talk!

Work with Me

Ann Bellow helps women who struggle with booking clients to become her own boss by breaking the patterns that keep her broke.

Do you want 1-3 private clients in the next 30 days? Let's talk!

Work with Me

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