To keep your Instagram game strong and grow your follower base, you’ve got to remember that not all followers are created equally—and quantity doesn’t mean quality. To nurture a devoted fan base, small businesses have to adopt habits focused on attracting the right kinds of followers.
With these three daily habits, you can turn a follower who likes, shares, and comments into a repeat customer—and turn that customer into a brand evangelist.
1. Make Real Connections
It might seem obvious that responding to all of your post comments is the right thing to do, but most brands don’t take the time to respond to Instagram comments. According to data from Sprout Social, 64 percent of consumers want brands to connect with them, and responding to comments and messages is the best way to build these connections.
But there’s more: Responding to comments can also boost your visibility on Instagram. How? When people search Instagram hashtags or view the Explore page, they’ll see top posts, which are determined by:
- Number of likes and comments on the post
- Popularity of the hashtag
- Speed of engagement
Getting into the habit of tackling post comments every single day will not only boost your standing in Instagram’s algorithm, but it also shows your followers that you care about their questions, comments, and feedback, which can go a long way in building your brand image. It also means you’ll catch any wayward commenters or spam before it sits on your feed and people start to wonder if anyone’s monitoring the account.
And if you don’t respond to the good, the bad, and the ugly? Well, Sprout Social found that people whose messages and comments went unanswered on Instagram were more likely to post negative feedback and more likely to go to a competitor.
2. Ride the Wave of Trending Topics
A great way to stay relevant is to leverage current events or hot topics, which can help brands and businesses pull in new followers and engage loyal fans. According to Sprout Social, 40 percent of people feel a stronger connection to brands that share content highlighting trends in their industry.
To find trending topics on Instagram, use a site like All-Hashtag, which breaks down the most popular hashtags by day, week, and month. The site also breaks down the most popular hashtags by category, such as food, music, and art.
And, as a bonus, All-Hashtag will also recommend relevant hashtags for you to use based on your industry or line of business.
3. Make Every Day a Holiday
Believe it or not, there’s a holiday (or two or three or more) on every day of the year—and there’s something for everyone. Obviously there are the big ones like Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving, but there’s also fun and obscure days like Sweater Day (February 4th), Pi Day (March 14th), and Haiku Poetry Day (April 17th).
Also, hop on the bandwagon with popular daily hashtags like #MondayMood, #WednesdayWisdom, #ThrowbackThursday, and #FridayFun. Just be careful not to overdo it or to choose trivial holidays that aren’t relevant to your business or customers.
1. Head to Instagram and review post comments on your most recent posts (within the past week).
2. Respond to all of the comments! A simple emoji or “Hey thanks!” will do.
3. Check out what hashtags are trending on All-Hashtag, and see if you can work a relevant hashtag into your next post.
4. Check out which unique holidays are trending for the day and try to create a Story or post—but don’t force it!