Good question, right? I get asked this all the time. Usually, I look at them with a very blank look and say "umm I have no clue (this week anyway), no magic pill or click sorry, except maybe you could ask people to follow you - or is that too old school?"
Instagram is so fickle, with NO rhyme or reason. There are times when I glance over a 60K account with thousands of likes and a whole heap of comments BUT I have to keep asking myself - what do people like here and how exactly does this person add value to lives? Why do people follow this account? And why is this unclear to me?
Then sometimes I'll see accounts with over 100K followers and they're getting 100 likes and 2 comments to a post and again, to me, this doesn't make sense? Shouldn't they be getting more?
All I know is that I'm beginning to feel that Instagram is becoming VERY inauthentic. Inauthentic accounts, photos, people, make-believe lives, numbers, comments, follower counts - all of which I pay little attention to these days.
Because, honestly, the proof is in the pudding. Or the bank account.
So how do you find A GENUINE TRIBE that is authentic on Instagram?
Here are my top suggestions:
1. YOU NEED TO GO LOOKING FOR THEM.
It's a big job and very time consuming but it works slowly but solidly.
My suggestion here would be either YOU or an employee sits down each day for at least an hour and follow, like and comment, follow, like and comment as many times as possible on accounts that you feel would BENEFIT from what you offer.
This could be done by finding your competition and touching their followers?
I know businesses that have employees do this as their main gig so if you can afford this, hire someone, if not, allow yourself time each day to do this.
Find an Insta buddy within the same realm as you, say for children's clothing or jewellery and create a beautiful stand-alone product by clashing your talents. Market it well and HARD and with any hope, your followers become her followers and vice versa.
3. YOU COULD ASK THE QUESTION?
If you're store owner this is a goodie for you and if you're virtual this is good for your self-confidence! Okay, so back to basics, business card ready and genuinely asking people to find you on social media and follow you. Sounds, a little too simple but asking such simple questions to someone's face actually feels like a thing of the past! Not to mention awkward. BUT if you want to grow you're going to have to work hard for it and if getting uncomfortable each day helps, then that's what you need to do.
4. CAN YOU GIFT?
I have such a beautiful tribe around me who love and support ME endlessly, my girlfriends literally shout from their rooftops all about me and my business. So, whenever I release a new product or range I make sure they all have their stash. My girlfriends constantly wear, talk about and gift my goods and business comes back to me tenfold. WORD of mouth is so not dead. This is a beautiful way to create trust and culture.
I want to note as well, I'm approached often by influencers or influencers managers in regards to promoting my product, for sometimes up to $20,000. To me, this is the height of inauthenticity and doesn't feel right. But there is that option too. However, looking around to those who love you the most may be a sweeter way to go.
Similar to number one and it involves lots of time and effort but genuinely connecting with others on Instagram, not just commenting once or twice but consciously making an effort to build relationships, friendships even on both platforms.
One last thing that I feel is SO important to remember is having 1000 followers that engage, trust and BUY from you is enormously more valuable than 100k that don't.
So, get back to basics and nurture the ones you have and hunt and gather new ones.
Love, Sandra-Lea. xx