You never want to get an idea and just start building a full-scale product without much thought;
It takes time and money to do this and often you have no proof that others would use what you want to make…
To get around this, Instagram is a great platform for testing ideas. If people care about what you have to offer, they will engage with you and let you know.
But in order to grow your followers on Instagram, you need to answer these questions first:
1. Why Will People LOVE Your Account?
The key to running an excellent Instagram account is thinking about the end customer.
The profiles that stand out on Instagram don’t have a bunch of people that just like their pictures. Save the likes for Facebook. To build a strong brand on Instagram, you need them to love you.
You must consistently produce content that creates emotions. Emotions generate comments. The most powerful of emotions make someone tag a friend so that they can experience the same feeling.
From the early conception of our profile, we saw friends tagging their friends that they knew were injured or needed help. Seeing this natural viral action take place when we had much less than 1000 followers was a sign that we were on the right path.
2. Why Should I Come Back to Your Account?
With FIXT this was an easy question to answer. I realized from my experiences as an athlete that injuries are more rampant than most people are willing to accept. No one likes to be hurt or in pain so this was going to be an easy problem to solve.
I simply started posting many of the tips and tricks I used as an athlete to keep myself healthy. When Athletes felt they had nowhere to go to get help, they would come to our account because they didn’t know what else to do.
The crazy part with FIXT is that we never had a product. Our product to many people was being your Instagram helper. Find a pain point that you can solve and consistently solve it. If no one is following or interested to learn more this could be a sign.
3. How Will You Be Human?
Social media is social; it is people connecting with other people.
The reason most business social media accounts are garbage is because they don’t seem like real humans run them. People want to be perfect, and they are scared to make mistakes and be real, but that does not feel human.
Combine that with it being your job to run a social media account where you feel like you can’t do anything wrong and you have a disaster in the making.
Think about it for a second, though. When you run your personal social media accounts, the voice you use to speak is natural. The view of many companies makes you feel like you just finished reading a school essay.
Think of the difference between a 12-page paper and a 1500 word blog post. The 1500 word blog post is much more informal.
Make sure that other followers KNOW that a person runs that account. If they feel like a robot runs the account, it will be much harder to grow. Don’t take yourself or your company too dangerous.
4. Do Pictures or Videos Make More Sense?
Anything sports related is pretty much a guaranteed video content strategy. FIXT did much better with engagement when videos were posted. Pictures become a waste of time, but this is not always the case.
Photographs can tell a much better story for fashion brands, travel brands, and many other industries. You just have to be willing and ready to adjust based on what your followers engage with more.
Usually, if people are wanting to learn something videos are going to be much better for them whereas if people just like seeing a lifestyle or a unique product, then pictures usually fit well. If you don’t know please just test it out and see.
5. Who Can You Partner With?
Since FIXT was a brand new account, it had no reputation, no name backing it, no product to talk about yet. It was indeed starting from nothing so I developed many partners along the way.
At first, the partners were just other small accounts like us looking to attract athletes and grow their following. The key here is to find accounts around your size and ask them if they want to do a shout out for a shout out.
They will post one of your pictures, and you will do the same for them both sending love and followers to each other.
As the account grew larger, it became easier to find people who wanted to work with us and grow with us. People love when posted their stuff because we got followers, so they started re-posting our material to return the love.
Overall, here’s what I learnt from growing my followers on Instagram to over 20,000, in order to test my idea.
1. Save the Money
I had an idea that athletes needed a place to go when they were injured.
I did not know if this would work or how it would work. Instagram gave me all of the answers I needed. We had 1000’s of athletes reach out to us, and the information they gave us was unreal.
People would not believe me if I told them what some of them sent us and it did not cost us money. We were able to figure out if spending money on the product was going to be worth it before ever doing it.
2. Let Them Build It
We never had to create the product. We let the customers do it for us. We listened to their feedback. We listened to their questions and concerns, and we just took action. We built something we knew people would use.
We are getting close to launching, but we are not launching this and crossing our fingers. We know exactly what we will be getting when the app does launch because we took the time to learn from our customer.
3. Let Them Ask For It
The result has been months of athletes asking us when the app will drop because they could use it. That is poetry in motion for us. Everything we have done and all the success we will have once we release this app will stem from Instagram.
We used Instagram to test our idea out and see if it was viable to put more resources into it.
By following the simple principles of posting information people would love, being human, partnering up and sticking with more video, we were able to grow to also grow raving fans before our product ever released.
Do you market your products on Instagram? Leave a comment below.