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Contrary to popular belief, being an influencer isn’t easy, and nowadays it seems like Instagram has made it even harder for content creators to grow their platform. With the ever-changing algorithm seemingly out to get content creators, the goal for many on the app is to increase their visibility, engagement and, by extension, following.
One way to go is to buy your followers… We would never condone this and it’s very easy to spot an account with bots and fake followers, so we feel that micro-influencers should aspire to create an audience made of real people that value their content and want to engage with their content and brand.
Read more: The power of nano and micro influencers
Want to know how to authentically grow your audience? Here are 5 key tips to gaining more followers on Instagram.
Define your target audience and analyse your current audience.
Do both align? Ideally, your followers will love the content that you put out, and the content you put out will be true to your brand. If this isn’t the case, then it’s time to re-evaluate your audience. There’s no point in having a large following if you don’t like the content you’re having to produce.
Consistency is king. If you’re not a full time influencer, content creation and scheduling can be difficult. There are various resources available that can help you with ideation and posting regularly.
Download our Influencer Toolkit for access to influencer essentials.
Make use of Instagram’s features.
In order to gain visibility, you have to play by Instagram’s rules. That means using all of their functions, be it Lives, Reels, highlights, interactive story stickers, etc. Short snappy videos will always do well so Reels in particular are a great way to end up on somebody’s explore page and potentially go viral (over 100,000 views). Reels are also a key focus at Instagram HQ right now, so give them what they want!
This may be controversial to some, but trends are where it’s at! The great thing about them is that you don’t have to follow them to a tee- all you have to do is incorporate elements of a trend into your content that followers can easily pick up on, e.g. music, voiceovers, filters and tailor it to your niche. If using TikTok or the Reels feature on Instagram, be sure to look up the trending songs or sounds that week, and either use them in your video following the challenge or have them playing under your video sound so the video can be found under that song/challenge/hashtag.
Be careful not to overdo it- online behaviour and browsing habits frequently change, so make sure to find the right balance between trend-led and organic (for lack of a better word) content.
Support your peers.
Get involved with your online community by engaging with other content creators that you like and admire. This could mean sharing their content or commenting on their posts, but always make sure you’re genuine. Supporting others will increase your visibility as people see your comments and check out your profile, or your peers reciprocate the love and share your content on their platforms.
Special tip: you could take supporting your peers a step further and become accountability partners.
With these changes, you should see an increase in active, engaged followers over time. Good luck!