A few weeks ago I did a survey on my social media to find out what platforms people are using to grow their business. Not so surprisingly, Instagram won by a long shot. For wedding businesses, it’s a visual platform that helps dream clients get an idea of the type of weddings you work with and whether or not you’re a good fit.
With frequent algorithm changes, it can often feel like we’re one step behind when it comes to Instagram. Pages that were started a few years back were able to grow a lot faster. Before we get started on how to increase your Instagram following, I want to be clear about something. Your follower count does not define your success as a business. Your target audience follower count does. To build a quality audience it takes time! If you’re looking for a fast track solution, this is not the blog for you.
Here are 5 ways to increase your Instagram following.
1. Be strategic to increase your Instagram following
It can be easy to treat a business Instagram account the same way we treat our personal Instagram accounts. When it comes to your business Instagram, have a strategy so that you can have a plan and stick to it. This will make a big difference to increase your Instagram following.
Know your target audience
If you know who you are trying to reach on Instagram, it helps decide on the content that you put out there and the types of people to engage with. The types of couples you want to target are important so those are your primary audience. The other types of people I want you to focus on are vendors in your area that work with similar clients. This is a fantastic networking opportunity and oftentimes if couples are commenting on posts that you are, they will be able to find you easier as Instagram will recommend similar accounts. This will increase your Instagram following with relevant people.
Decide how frequently you’re going to post
Being consistent with how often you’re going to post is key. This helps make Instagram a habit and will make sure that your content is being seen more regularly. The biggest question I get asked is ‘how often should I post?’. My answer… it depends. You need to decide how often you are able to post consistently without it being a detriment to other types of marketing. If you want to post every day but you can’t keep up with inquiries & a monthly blog, you are not likely going to see positive effects in your business. Aim for at least twice per week but get on Instagram stories a little more frequently.
Plan out your content
This was a game-changer for many of my clients. If you want to make Instagram a habit, make it a monthly task, not a daily one. If you want to post 3 times a week, set time aside at the beginning of the month to decide on the topics, captions & images you are going to post. You can use a scheduling tool such as Planoly to schedule your posts ahead of time.
Read this blog: 5 Tips for Planning your Social Media Content
2. Encourage Engagement to increase your Instagram following
When posting on your account, you need to be focusing on how others can interact with your post. Engagement is the biggest driver for the Instagram algorithm and so will naturally increase your Instagram following. If people are liking, saving, commenting, & DMing you after you’ve posted, Instagram is going to recognize that people love your content. So, they will show your content more frequently to those people!
The first way to encourage engagement is to include what we call a ‘call to action’ at the end of a post. This can be asking someone to like/comment on your post but we recommend getting even more specific than that. Asking questions related to them personally i.e. ‘What month did you get engaged?’ will get engagement. Another type is asking them to help you decide on something i.e. ‘do you prefer pastel floral arrangements or bright colours?’.
The second way to encourage engagement is through your Instagram Stories. Instagram has added a number of features to boost engagement such as polls, quizzes, DM buttons so make sure you’re using them.
3. Quality over quantity
I’m going to let you in on the BIGGEST Instagram follower growth secret. One that I have used to grow Instagram accounts in the past but I would never use it again. You can pay for software that will automatically comment & like posts within your target audience. They can automatically DM people for you, like posts with certain hashtags and comment on those posts too. They will also follow users who follow other users that you’d consider the competition. Does this work to grow your following? Yep!
So why do I not use this in my business and never use this again? The first reason is that it does not genuinely build a connection with your followers. Having a huge amount of followers that do not engage with your posts means that barely anyone will see your posts anymore. So you could have 10,000 silent followers which result in very little business. The second reason is that this can risk having your account shut down. This is not a strategy that Instagram supports and can lead to your page being blacklisted by Instagram.
4. Engage with Others to Increase your Instagram following
Remember in tip 2 when we said engagement is the driver of the Instagram algorithm? Well, it’s not just one-sided. You should be engaging with other accounts within your Industry. It may be challenging to identify recently engaged couples, so the best approach is to instead engage with other industry professionals. Be sure to be following other vendors in your area and engage with their posts. This way you’re more visible to couples who may have found these profiles before yours. Plus, networking helps build relationships with other people in the industry who will then be able to refer you.
I would also recommend following with your already booked couples and past clients. This will help show Instagram the types of people who are connected with you and this can help similar people find you. This is also a great way to learn about your couples and make them feel more comfortable on their wedding day.
5. Show Your Face
Social media is called social media for a reason. It’s supposed to be social! Be sure that people know who you are and what you look like. If a couple is going to be hiring you for their day, they’re going to feel better knowing the type of person you are. Instagram stories are a perfect place for this as they can be informal. Let people into the behind the scenes of your business & personal life. If you’re designing a floral arrangement, show off the process that goes into designing that perfect bouquet. If you’re planning the wedding, explain how you plan the timeline. All these things showcase how you make the couple’s wedding incredible and will make them more likely to book you!
For more tips visit the blog post: 9 Instagram Tips for Wedding Photographers, Florists & Planners
If you’re looking for a wedding business coach to guide you through how you should be marketing your business, look no further! Our wedding coaching packages are tailored to take you through step by step on how to grow your wedding business.