In 2018, Instagram’s algorithm changed, so feeds are no longer chronological but engagement-based, which means that you might have noticed a slight decline in your content’s performance. While boosting and doing sponsored posts is one way to improve your performance, you can easily grow your audience for free in five minutes a day.

Step 1: Target Your Ideal Audience Members

We assume that you’re already posting relevant content on your page on a frequent basis and that you consistently use appropriate hashtags. Hopefully you’re also using Instagram stories in addition to the feed. If you’re not doing that, start doing it. If you are, keep it up. While these are the right things for your brand to do, they won’t rapidly grow your audience or boost your profile’s performance.

To see real change, you need to share the Insta love. Every day, log into your Instagram and find posts and brands that seem like the kind of people you want to follow you. Find your ideal audience members by:

·       Using hashtag searches. Type hashtags into the search bar that you typically use. If you’re looking for fit mom bloggers, then use relevant hashtags to find them.

·       Find your perfect ideal audience member—this is the person who loves and comments on every one of your posts. Find that person and look at who their followers are. Typically, their followers will be like-minded people who you’ll want to follow you.

·       Find other profiles similar to yours and interact with their followers on their own profiles.

Step 2: Take Action on Others’ Instagram Posts

Now that you’ve found good prospective audience members, take action on their posts.

·       Like their posts. Don’t like all of their posts. Pick the ones that you genuinely like.

·       Comment on their posts. Lots of people say, “Love this!”, which is fine, but try to say something that will help create a relationship. Ask questions. Do things that prompt engagement.

·       If they seem like a good potential audience member, follow the person’s page. People will typically turn around and follow you back.

Step 3: Interact with Comments on Your Page

Per Instagram’s new algorithm, the more activity on a post, the more visible that post is in the feed, so make sure when someone comments on your page, you comment back as quickly as possible. Prompt engagement is important.

For those people commenting on your posts, in addition to commenting back to them, click on their profiles and find a post or two to engage with. The reciprocity will pay off in terms of their loyalty to liking and to commenting on your content.

Every day, repeat these steps: find new audience members, like and comment on their content, follow ideal audience members, and interact with commenters on your posts. All it takes is five minutes a day. If you’re not sure where to find the time, make it a habit to log into Instagram during “lag time.” Here are some of those times:

·       While you’re watching TV, jump on Instagram during the commercial breaks.

·       If you’re waiting for an appointment, you can make serious headway on growing your audience.

·       When you’re standing around at Starbucks waiting for your venti cold brew, comment back to your posts’ comments.

·       While you’re hanging out on the bench at the playground watching your kids burn off energy, find new audience members and start stoking the fire.

Repeat these steps every day, and in no time, you will see a significant difference in your profile’s audience as well as your posts’ performance.

Do you want to learn more about how to boost your brand and to grow your audience across multiple platforms? If so, contact us, The Storyteller Agency, for hands-on help transforming your business into everything you want it to be, one story at a time.