I Just Achieved These Results Myself
As part of studying digital marketing, I learned that the fastest growing of the large social media platforms is Instagram. And by a good margin.
So I decided to start an Instagram to accompany my website (1000yearoldvampire.com) I am building to learn SEO & content marketing.
10 days ago marks the beginning of my Instagram account “cuddlyvampire.” As of writing this post I have 308 followers. I will tell-all how I got here.
Post Once a Day
In order to market a social media account, you have to actually have content.
From bestselling author James Clear years ago I adopted a 1% better mindset. The easiest goals, therefore the most powerful, are small goals everyday.
So, in keeping with this mindset, I made the goal for myself to create one “cuddly vampire” a day. 10 days later, I have 10 new pieces of content, which is enough to appear as an active channel.
I’ve heard general rules of thumb to have somewhere between 7-9 posts before you seriously expect to market your account.
A trend in Instagram is that stories are becoming more popular. This is also a trend on Facebook and other social media platforms that have the stories feature. Whenever you post, make sure to share it on your story for maximum exposure to your current followers (your best prospects).
Follow as Many People You Can in Your Niche
My way of getting to 300 followers can’t be replicated if you don’t want to follow anybody. It could make you feel less popular if you follow more people than follow you. But another way to think of it is absolutely free lead generation! The biggest appeal of a lot of social media (although I hear Facebook is almost completely pay-to-play) is that social media is free publicity, free marketing, and a free customer service platform.
When you follow someone, they get notified that you have begun following them, likely they will check you out. Even better if you give them more attention. Neil Patel says to follow 50 users every hour in this article. He says this because this is the fastest rate of following users Instagram allows you to do.
Engage in a Real Way with Your Target Audience
Showing love to your target audience is a very natural way of building your reputation in their eyes, promoting your brand, getting their attention; additionally, it makes them feel good (just so long as you aren’t overly robotic or condescending of course).
I’m not going to say that it’s mandatory. But I think it’s very nice and will build your account to spread true appreciation. This was one of Dale Carnegies rules to making and keeping friends: show appreciation.
What is mandatory is to like and reply to people who take the time to comment on your post. Building engagement (not just generating views) is very important for a number of reasons, one of which being that Google & Facebook treat engagement as a very important metric.
Use 30 Relevent Hashtags a Post
30 is the maximum number of hashtags Instagram will allow you to add to a post. Instagram is unique from other social media platforms like LinkedIn & Twitter, where the best practice is to use much fewer hashtags, like 3 hashtags per post.
Not only use hashtags, but use as topically relevant hashtags as possible. Uniquely, my most popular post–where I painted the face of a popstar blackbear–generated a lot of traffic from hashtags (about a third of overall traffic). However, all my other posts generated very little traffic from hashtags.
All in all, hashtags did not make nearly the same impact as consistently showing appreciation to my target audience. However, it would be helpful to create a hashtag list. Not only will it help you when it’s time to type in hashtags, but similar to a keyword list, a hashtag list can help you focus on what you have decided to focus on. Look for at least around 100 hashtags, but my opinion is that you can easily have many more hashtags within the scope of your account. And be flexible to use different hashtags when the post warrants it.
As a note, don’t use the exact same hashtags every post. You want to spread your social “real estate” not putting all your marbles on the same 30 topics. In the same spirit, don’t only target super popular hashtags (1M and higher), also target medium hashtags (500K-1M) and small hashtags (1K-500K).
In Conclusion, Post Consistently & Show Appreciation
Before I conclude, I must admit that this article’s weakness and the weaknesses in my social media strategy currently is that I don’t use video. Video is extremely popular and only growing. It is “the new language of business.”
Make sure you have enough posts to display a healthy active account. Post regularly and often; 3 posts a day and 12 story posts would be very excellent. I don’t have the credentials to say this, but more is better. A lot of content is good. But avoid burnout, and by all means ensure that your quality doesn’t suffer. There is already far more content online than any person could ever digest, ensure what you add is great quality.
Follow and pursue your target audience. Follow as many people you think you love and engage with your content, and there will be no shortage of people. Instagram will limit how often you can follow more people so after you follow about 50 users take a break and come back in an hour. I got results, but I didn’t religiously follow this rule. The principle is to follow users to leverage the free exposure it brings.
Use 30 relevant hashtags per post. This is the least emphasized point. But hashtag’s are very important to the Instagram ecosystem.
Thank you sincerely for reading! My name is Evan River Welch. I’m a digital marketing learner with Simplilearn, a professional skills bootcamp provider. Feel welcome to write any comments that popped up for you. And do not hesitate to contact me!