The Secret To Growing Your Instagram Following


I am so happy to have Rachel Daley the self-proclaimed content fairy from MadeFreshly on the blog today. She has turned MadeFreshly's Instagram account around and it's seeing incredible growth. Her secret weapon is Iconosquare! Hint: It can be yours too.  


Don’t understand why you don’t have the Instagram followers you want or need?

The secret you need to know to grow your Instagram following.

Do you feel like you’re just tossing posts into that ocean of photos and getting the occasional “like” from your crafty friends, hoping for more? 

It’s frustrating, I know.

At MadeFreshly we were stuck at a plateau of 1,200 followers for a good 5 months. And despite our posts being hilarious to us, they weren’t getting the likes or comments we needed.

We’re talking crickets here.

Then all of a sudden, our followers grew by 583 in one week and our likes by 169% in one month!

How did we do it?

We turned to Iconosquare to track our Instagram statistics to know exactly how to post for our specific audience. 

You can grow your Instagram at this rate too by taking advantage of the information Iconosquare makes available. 

It’s time to stop guessing, and start knowing exactly what and when to post to get more likes, more comments, and more followers. 

Why Do You Need to Use Iconosquare to Grow Your Followers? 

Iconosquare helps you put your brand where the right people will see it.

Your business has a unique target audience – those special, specific people who are really going to love and respond to your brand. So where are they? Believe me, they’re on Instagram.

Putting content out there on Instagram is not just a question of whether your brand is out there to be “liked,” It’s all about whether you’re putting it out there at the right time, with the right content for the audience that matters. 

How do you maximize your possibilities to reach these special Instagrammers? By learning more about them. That’s where Iconosquare comes in.

Here’s How Iconosquare Works:

This free site tracks everything about your Instagram, from what time your posts get the most likes to who is following you and which posts they like the best.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Iconosquare:

1.    Visit www.iconosquare.com

2.    Log in using your brand’s Instagram username and password

3.    Click “statistics” at the top of the page to score the information gold mine.

Which Iconosquare Metrics Should You Pay Attention To?

Iconosquare tracks so many different stats, but don’t get overwhelmed. Focus on these useful metrics to grow your following:

·       Reciprocity – Identify who is interacting with your business the most over Instagram. This will help you better identify your target audience to make your content more relatable (and likeable) to them. This is the key to growth.

·       Density – Find out what days and times your followers most interact with your account. Schedule your posts to match those times - this way you will reach your followers when they are actually on Instagram.

 ·       New Followers – See the demographic of your new followers, find suggested followers and understand whom you’re appealing to.

·       Your Most-Liked Media – Studying your most successful posts will help you understand what your followers like so you can post more of the content that works!

 ·       Hashtags – See which popular #hashtags are relevant to your brand, and your audience. This helps you remain consistent for discoverability, and also which hashtags are used the most by your followers so they can find you through your hashtags. 

Use Iconosquare to Build an Instagram Campaign That Works in 2 Easy Steps:

 Step #1: Find the Best Times and Types of Content to Post for Your Audience

Best Time to Post:

Remember the optimal time to post for your account will depend on your unique group of followers.

Best Content to Post:

Analyzing your most-liked posts helps you recognize what your followers want to see. Do your followers prefer to see product photos, behind-the-scenes shots, or inspirational quotes?

Deciding between a funny inspirational quote, and a candid shot of the graphic designer bringing his pet pug Dudley into the office? Take a look at your stats – what does the data suggest will be more popular with your audience, and therefore future followers?

Best Hashtags to Use:

So you want to post a product photo? Great! Before you include the hashtag #myfavedress, do some quick research in Iconosquare’s hashtag search bar.

When you search a hashtag, it will give you similar, relevant hashtags in order of popularity. This will give you better ideas of which hashtags to use.

So you’ll find that #myfavedress is a bit too general - and won’t get your post in front of your audience.

Think about which hashtags they would use, or search for. Maybe #bohodress is more relevant to your target audience. Use the relevant ones, and use them consistently!

Step #2: Scale Your Growth and Get Your Improved Content Seen by More Followers!

Now that you know what and when to post for the followers you already have, you need to work on getting some more!

If you post using the proven strategies you find with your stats, using the right hashtags alone will help new followers find you. But to really boost your growth, you need to find your potential followers for them to find you.

That means:

1.     Do some hashtag research (look at the hashtags your followers are using on Instagram)

2.     Search those hashtags on Instagram - the posts that show up should be from the people in your target audience

3.     Like, and comment on these posts!

This way your potential followers will feel the love from you, and will be more inclined to follow you because you are engaging with them first.

For example, MadeFreshly uses #handmade as one of our main hashtags because our target audience uses it! If we search #handmade, we’ll get tons of posts from people that would potentially follow us. If we show them some love by genuinely liking and commenting on them, they show us love back. 

Here is a recap on the checklist for optimizing your Instagram strategy:

1.    Sign up for Iconosquare (if you haven’t already)

2.    Look at the statistics that tell you the most about your audience

3.    Use those stats to test your audience and discover their preferences

4.  Schedule posts around the times when your audience is most active on Instagram.

5.  Share photos and videos that are relevant and popular with your followers.

6.   Incorporate consistent hashtags, as well as utilizing new, popular tags so new followers can find you.

7.  Engage with your target audience and turn them into new followers! 

Learning the most you can about your customers and target market is always the most valuable tool for gaining followers – and in turn, boosting business.

Do you know when and what to post for your target audience? If you use Iconosquare, you can skip the guessing, and get to the growth part now! It worked for us and it will work for you. 

 


Rachel is the resident Content Fairy at MadeFreshly, the online store platform that actually helps you succeed.