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Some people will try to grow their Instagram accounts by misrepresenting their reach and influence; however, purchasing followers and likes from black market sites only appears to help an Instagram account–it does not actually add value to your platform.

While building a following is about the numbers, fake followers are typically bots that detract from the type of user engagement you want on your Instagram channel. If you are looking to appeal to brands for affiliate marketing purposes, you are going to want to develop an organic following rather than utilize spambots who can’t really “like” your brand, give you feedback, impact your business, or spend real money. Developing organic engagement from users used to be much easier, but with the increasing number of individuals using social media and the growing number of businesses wrestling for consumer attention, it is best to have a well-developed plan for getting real followers on your Instagram channel.

Determine Your Overall Goal

If you’re interested in tying your efforts to a business or marketing goal, you need to decide what the overall purpose of your account is. If you hold yourself accountable to a specific outcome, you can measure your results, track your progress, and determine your return on investment. Goals should be specific, and when possible, measurable. Examples of goals might include increasing your product sales or website traffic. Perhaps you want to convert more people to your email list or improve audience engagement, or maybe you’re looking to connect with influencers in your industry or build momentum for a new product launch. Whatever you want to do, include numbers so that you can determine the effectiveness of your plan in meeting that goal.

Create a Content Strategy That Aligns With Your Goal

Content is anything you express through text, graphics, and whatever other mediums Instagram allows. Creating shareable content and utilizing branded content is important; whether it’s a blog, a link, or content you’ve curated from other sources, it’s crucial that the content you share is aligned with your goal.

If you create random content, you will attract random followers who do not really care to get to know your brand. Followers who aren’t invested in you won’t take action and therefore won’t promote the growth of your business. That is why strategic content is designed to attract your target follower. Your target or ideal follower will care about your blog posts, videos, and other content because they care about the brand you are building. Your ideal follower will engage with your calls to action and add value to your site and your business. This is why creating an effective content strategy is crucial–mapping your content strategy into the company’s goals to ensure that the content you create will be impactful and contextualized is vital to audience building.

Create (or EditYour Profile to Maximize Engagement

Designing an Instagram profile and bio that people will be interested in matters. Your picture, name, your profile, and bio are your digital billboard.

There are a few simple ways to maximize your engagement–even if you’ve just created your profile. You can promote your new account via email or include a link to the account in the email signature of your personal or business email addresses. Or you could announce the new account to your followers on other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and invite them to connect with you on Instagram.

And make sure you include social media badges on your business website and add your account handle(s) on business cards,  brand memorabilia, and merchandise!

Pin Your TopPerforming Post

If you have a social media post that has performed well, pin it at the top of your page! This strategy showcases the audience that has already chosen to engage with you and encourages others–especially new followers–to do the same. Never forget the viral mindset, “If others shared it, it must be good.”

That is why you should read up on and use the best practices for pinning a Tweet or Facebook post and should remember that when the pinned post stops performing, you should replace it with a newer or more relevant one.

 

Run a Contest That Involves Tagging and Sharing

It won’t cost you more than a little time and effort to do a promotional giveaway. Followers that you wish to convert into consumers are likely to engage if they have opportunities to participate in meaningful ways. Have “Weekly Deals” that include a ‘sales’ section where customers can score the best deals or can benefit from tagging members like in a referral program. Giveaways can generate a great deal of interest in your business. Even a poll that allows users to vote will drive traffic to your site and create entries; the ease of participation and excitement of winning encourages users to come to your site to vote.

What are some ways you have built a following around your company? Share your ideas down below!Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.