[MUSIC PLAYING] Let's start with the basics. We need to make sure people are aware of your Instagram presence. This includes users already on Instagram and your existing customers. To get found by strangers, it takes some work. The absolute best case scenario is that one of your followers loves you so much that they actually tell their friends in person about your account. That's the North Star we'll always strive toward. Here's a quick list of ways you can get found on Instagram.
Use relevant hashtags when you're posting, like you learned in Module 2. Take the time to research and see which hashtags are being used in your niche market. Remember, you've got your target audience, and you can see their posts, and see which hashtags they're using. Beyond using hashtags when you post, use the tried and true method of following and unfollowing accounts. When you follow another user, they're notified.
Your hope is that when they see that you're following them, they'll follow you back. This is actually how I grew SkinnyMe Tea from the ground up. I established my niche, identified my target customer, and started following everyone in that market. Within days, I was generating hundreds and then thousands of brand new followers. Next, ask your first few followers to tag a friend that might be interested in this account as well, or encourage your follower to direct message or post to a friend.
Not sure they'd be open to tagging? Then it may be time to create a contest. The next content strategy is another giveaway method. It's called the tag to win method, where you ask followers to tag a friend on your post in order to enter to win. With this, you can see an increase in followers, organic reach, and engagement. This is how we started growing our account at The 5th Watches. Overnight, we had 80,000 tagged friends, and of those 80,000 people, 20,000 of those started following us.
I'm not saying that every contest is going to have that sort of success, but you'll definitely see results. I've shared my tag to win method in a step-by-step guide in the Resources section below as well. A more intricate give away that generates even better results is the loop giveaway. With this method, you actually partner with a few different accounts and send followers on a small scavenger hunt across your profiles. You can work with brands in the same niche as you, or even incorporate an influencer too.
In the resources below, I give you a step-by-step guide to creating a loop giveaway. Between the tag to win method and the loop giveaways, you'll have two really solid ways to build awareness and increase your follower count with minimal spend. Aside from generating awareness on Instagram, you also want to get exposure in areas potential visitors are already engaging with your brand. Start with your Shopify store. Most Shopify themes include the option to include social channels, where visitors can click an Instagram icon and get sent to your Instagram account.
This is easy to implement, and I encourage you to enable this on your shop. Aside from your main website, also include your social links, and your email signature. Whether you're using something simple like the traditional Gmail account, or you're using a proper email marketing platform, customize the default template so that your Instagram account handle is included in every email. Another strategy is to send an email to your subscribers, asking them to follow you on Instagram.
This often works well, when you're running a contest or giveaway on Instagram. Of course, don't regularly ask your email subscribers to follow your Instagram account. Make it a special occasion. As long as you include it passively in each email, most people will recognize the logo and understand that you have an Instagram account. And lastly, use your other social channels. You may want to encourage people on your Pinterest or Twitter accounts to follow you Instagram.
It's just a good way to start building that following with people you already know are interested in your business. This method of building relationships with future customers is called nurturing. You deliver value and remain top of mind for the customer. The more places you engage with them, the more they'll think of you. If you implement these tips, potential customers will definitely start taking notice of your account. Next up, activating those followers.