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If you want to build your following on Instagram quickly and efficiently, there are two brilliant tactics you can use that has a proven track record of success.
Here’s how you do it:
Neil Patel calls it the Piggy Back Method. It consists of three variations.
Now let’s go over each of the three methods.
Spend at least 10 minutes each day going through your notifications and take a look at new followers, new likes, and comments on your account. Now as you go through the list of notifications, go to accounts that have engaged with you. Ideally, the accounts each have at least 2 posts worth liking, and that means either that it is relevant or meaningful to you in some way.
The important action here is reciprocity: It shows that you are responsive to those who are engaging with you. This is one way to build a loyal following, and it requires nothing less.
Find popular accounts, brands, or companies in your industry or key influencers in that particular industry.
Identify users who follow these targeted brands.
Go to each user, and utilize a 3-pronged strategy that with three variations:
For best results, combine both methods, and don’t stick only to one. It’s not desirable to follow everyone who likes your posts or started following you without considering the merits of following back.
As long as you continue to have great content and the user has similar interests, you can expect a significant follow-back rate.
One study even found a follow-back rate of up to 34% while using this strategy.
A word about commenting on posts:
Don’t just say anything or include generic stock phrases. Think of how you would do this in ordinary conversation. The comment should be genuine, and spontaneous more or less. Don’t sound unnatural because it alerts Instagram that you might be a “bot”. Instagram actually flags users who fit the profile of an actual bot, and this is one of them. Comments should be meaningful and genuine, and also relevant to the post. The key here is – comments that add value to the conversation.
Here’s another one:
The purpose of this method is to find content from other Instagram accounts that are worth reposting (sharing) on your feed. Sharing user-generated content or reposting other great content is one strategy that shouldn’t be overlooked. I call it the rule of 3rds. Out of every 3 posts, ideally one should be a re-post from another Instagrammer. This is a great way to ride off the success of other posts from other people and garner engagement as a result.
Find accounts, brands, or organizations that are relevant to what you do.
Whenever you come across something that is re-postable (shareable on your Instagram account), use a 3-pronged strategy here as well:
Phrases to avoid:
You get the idea, right?
You can mention something specific about the comment, or something about the topic at hand. Show the user that you didn’t just double-tap the post to get attention, but you’ve actually taken the time to notice and dig through the message – a thoughtful comment requires nothing less.
The bottoms line: Be thoughtful, be genuine, and conversational in tone.
Avoid getting on the Instagram ‘police’ radar.
Avoid commenting on too many posts at once. Also, you shouldn’t follow more than 100 people an hour. Instagram does place a limit on how many people can be followed in a day. Keep in mind that if you tag people excessively in your posts, you can also get red-flagged. Stay off the radar, so you won’t be penalized. The same applies to liking posts or sending direct messages. The key rule is: do it in moderation, and not all at once.
Sometime I’ll take a out a sheet of paper and write down all the ideas that come to mind prior to sitting down at my computer. I might wait until I get enough ideas down on the paper before I start writing. I hope this helps!
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This post is excellent, thank you – and I’ve got a lot of respect for Neil Patel, who you reference. I appreciate the fact that the focus is on authentic interactions. I personally like to gain as many insights as possible, but I honestly find it hard to implement any specific strategies. At the same time, I absorb all the information, and it definitely helps. I feel that it’s difficult to go all in on all my social media networks, and give each the attention it needs. I hear people say that you can build a solid following on Instagram without being on there every day, but I really don’t know. There are so many conflicting views. Your blog, as a whole, is awesome, and I often refer to the posts.