I recently took my very first vacation since starting this business, and I really wanted to take some time off the online world and to scale back on my time on Instagram.
I generally spend about an hour on the app between replying to comments on my posts, engaging with my followers, and using some of my growth strategies to grow my account.
The thing about Instagram is that it’s ALL about being present - so what can you do if you don’t have that much time to actively engage with your audience?
Is it possible to STILL keep your engagement high and ATTRACT new followers?
** Spoiler alert: It is! ;)
Read on to learn my top 3 free and easy strategies to grow your tribe and increase engagement without spending all day commenting on other peoples' posts!
1. Partner up for an "Instagram Story S4S"
I LOVE Instagram Stories! Apart from allowing your fans and followers a glimpse into your “real” life, and sharing a little bit of your “not so perfectly styled life”, one strategy I’ve seen and been using myself with great success is using Instagram Stories to partner up with another account and do a "shoutout for shoutout" or "s4s" on your Instagram Stories. This can be super effective, especially if you do this on a regular basis!
Here's how it works:
- Find an account with a similar target audience (and preferably with a larger following than yours).
- Send them a DM and explain them why you’d like to collaborate - they might not know how a “s4s” works, so make sure you can explain it if they ask!
- Both of you agree on a date to give each other a shoutout on their Stories, introducing the other account to your audiences & encouraging them to follow them.
- Screenshot a post from your partner's account and upload it to your stories.
- Introduce them to your followers: Write a few words about why you love their posts/account - talk them up to encourage your audience to follow them!
- Make sure you @mention your partner's account so that your followers can click straight through and that way your partner will also get notified (they’ll receive a DM saying that you mentioned them in your Story).
Bonus tip: Take things one step further and do a "s4s" on each other's profiles! It's definitely a bigger commitment, as someone else's content will be permanently featured on your feed, but it's also more effective than a "Story s4s" as it's a) permanent, and b) seen by more people.
My tip is to approach someone and do a "Story s4s" first. See how that goes and if you like collaborating with that account and then decide if you want to do a "Post s4s"!
2. Run a challenge
Running free challenges is one of my favourite strategies that I’ve used to grow my audience! They’re really engaging and allow you to position yourself as an expert which again grows your know, like, and trust factor.
Running a successful challenge really comes down to knowing your audience and creating content that they WANT!
Think about what struggles your audience has and how YOU can help them solve them!
What's something you can teach them? Something that solves a problem they have and gets them RESULTS?
- Choose a topic that’s easy & quick for you to put together. You don't want to over-complicate things - keep it simple, make sure it's easy to digest and to implement. What's something you're AWESOME at (it's sometimes difficult to see the things we're great at as skills - but they are! What do people come to you for advice?)
- Create actionable steps that get your audience RESULTS. For example if you know that your followers are busy professionals who don’t have a lot of time to cook but want to have a healthy diet, why don’t you put together a 5-day challenge where each day you share a different breakfast recipe they can create the evening before, saving them time in the morning!
- Create a hashtag for your challenge (make sure it’s one that isn’t taken already).
- Promote it on Instagram, on your other social media platforms, and to your email list. Start promoting it a couple of weeks before to create a buzz around it and tell your followers to spread the news!
3. Run a shoutout contest
This is one of my favourite strategies to create a buzz around my account and to collaborate with other awesome Instagramers! The best news is that if you do it right your account can be introduced to thousands of other users and you can rapidly grow your following and engagement - I’ve even seen shoutout contest go mini-viral!
As with anything, there are certain steps you need to follow and implement if you want to do this the right way and actually see results.
Because it’s one of my favourite Instagram strategies and because I really believe that it is one of the EASIEST ways to grow your following and engagement I even created a FREE training on this topic!
Ready to learn the steps and secrets to running your own successful shoutout contest?
Sign up here to get access to the free training:
So, tell me: Which one of the strategies will you use to grow your tribe and create a buzz around your account? Comment Below: