Keeping it authentic when it comes to Instagram growth is super important and is completely a worthwhile investment of time and energy. If you want to create a kick-butt community online here are six ways to keep your gram’ organically growing!
#1 Ditch the comment pods
Don’t get me wrong I LOVE a good support system of like-minded people, and back in the day I participated in a few comment pods. I figured that they for sure were the most authentic way to grow because you were supporting virtual friends BUT I quickly peaced the heck out of them years ago when I realized I was super wrong.
The first thing I realized was that they don’t help your engagement that much. Unless you are flooded by hundreds of comments from HUGE accounts, an extra handful won’t be life changing.
And more importantly number two, perhaps the biggest realization I had was that these comments weren’t authentic at all. It was just a mutually beneficial system.
When you leave the groups or stop commenting on other people photos do you think they will continue on yours…? Spoiler alert: they won’t. Aka, not authentic engagement.
If you leave your pods see how many people from them still comment on your stuff, I am guessing it won’t be many. In the long-term they may just be adding an extra ‘thing to do’ to your day and distracting you from creating organic relationships online!
The goal is authentic comments sprung from individuals who like your content without wanting anything in return.
#2 Stop following and un-following
We have all been there right?! You get a new follow, you go and check out who followed you, their profile looks awesome they seem super cool, you follow back. You are excited to have made this new friend just to wake up the next day and see they have unfollowed you.
Not only does this feel lame, and now you most definitely will unfollow that person but also now that person or blogger who did the unfollow/follow game will forever feel a little icky in your eyes, no matter how much they can try to redeem themselves.
In the end if you are doing this it is cheap thrills, you will get a sudden burst of likes and followers but in time they will most likely un-follow you when they see what has happened. Your chances at engaging with them ever again may be ruined.
Also your feed is going to be jam-packed with random people’s photos that you don’t care about at all making it even harder to engage with the people you do. All around this is a loose/loose.
#3 Say goodbye to third-party companies who post, comment and like on your behalf
Although these companies offer a sweet deal, you are still essentially paying for likes, comments and followers. It automates something that other people think is actually you. This does not create authentic connections but it can create a disconnect between your followers and you.
It will be 100% times harder to understand who your audience is when you aren’t actually interacting with them.
#4 Start replying to every comment
Just like in real life if someone tells you something you will respond, especially if it is related to something you are doing or a compliment. Pay that person the same respect and answer them 🙂 This will help you get to know your community!
One of the biggest ways you can grow your community on Instagram is to be present. This means interacting with your followers and taking time to really engage.
#5 Integrate your personality into your posts
On Instagram authenticity works! Show off what makes you, YOU! Integrate your voice and opinions into your posts and captions. Tell stories, and provide insight to a specific topic or share behind the scenes looks into your life.
I have posted certain things before because I thought people would like it or that it was what people wanted to see, but usually those posts flopped because I wasn’t staying true to me!
#6 Forget about the numbers
I know that this may seem like an impossible task but really really, don’t sweat the numbers. They will fluctuate and they absolutely do not determine your worth online or in real life. It is 100% possible to land jobs, pitch to clients, and provide value online without having thousands of followers.
When you disconnect from the numbers game you can focus on what really matters, which is creating a community online.
If you are interested in growing your Instagram organically and authentically, check out my latest eBook which dives EVEN further in to this!
In Authentic Growth you will learn how to successfully brand Instagram to reflect you and grow it from the ground up.
You can learn more about it here!