How to build an audience on Instagram?

How do I build an audience for β€˜This Bag Is Not For Sale’ on Instagram?

In my previous post I created a list of things to do to launch a brand. One of the most important things is having an audience that is interested in your product or service. In my case there is a large audience for bags, but I need them to know about my story (brand) and bags. I want to build my audience on Social Media. Because there are several platforms I asked Google: What is the best social media platform for building a fashion brand?

Reading through the top 5 articles I concluded that the top 4 Social Media platforms for fashion are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Where to start? Because I had already made some pictures of my creations and prepared myself by doing a photoshoot, I started sharing those on Instagram already and will focus on expanding that first. When I started sharing pictures I hoped that many would find my pictures and the followers would come by the hundreds. πŸ™‚ Unfortunately that did not happen. So what is the trick? I opened Google again for guidance: How do I build an audience on Instagram?

Links I found:

Β 7 Ways to Build an Engaged Instagram Following

Which Social Media Platform is the best for your brand?

How to build a massive Following on Instagram

My shortlist from what I have been reading – How to build an audience?

Create likeable and shareable content.

Define what kind of image / target audience you want to appeal to and make sure that comes across with the pictures and text you use. Make sure you stay consistent in the look & feel of what you are sharing to make the collection of your pictures look like one message.

Use relevant Hashtags

People search for content by clicking on hashtags (#…….) so it is good to add relevant hashtags to your post to appear in searches of others. Check other accounts that are sharing similar content for the hashtags they are using. You can also find the most popular hashtags used on Instagram via Webstagram. Make sure to also create your own unique hashtag so you can search and find pictures shared with your hashtag.

Interact with your potential audience

Unless you are very lucky the options above will not give you a huge audience just by posting and tagging. The bigger the active audience is you have, the more likes you will get and the better your posts will be visible to others. To get more followers you can actively make your account visible to others by liking or commenting on pictures from other Instagrammers and you can follow others to make yourself seen. The best effect is achieved by doing all three and really be sincere in your actions. The motto is simple: The more effort you put in the more you get out of it.

Get featured by other accounts

Above options take time and effort to grow an audience. If you want to grow faster you can search for other people on Instagram that make it their business to share stuff related to the business you are in. This Bag Is Not for Sale is all about bags and fits great in any fashion shoot. For me it will be key to find fashion bloggers and see if they want to collaborate in posting pictures with my bags in it. Sometimes people ask money for this and others will do it if you send them your goods for them to test and use in a shoot. The outcome of this is never certain. I will try this soon.

What have I done so far?

The moment I am writing this I have just crossed the 1500 followers mark on Instagram. The first 1000 I have gathered by following 7000 instagrammers that showed interest in leather bags and in fashion. So my success ratio was 1 out of 7. From 1000 followers I have changed my approach. I stopped following and changed to liking pictures with tags relevant to fashion and leather bags. This has led to 100 net new followers per week. I say β€˜net new’ because a lot of instagrammers play the same game and many will unfollow you after a few days or right after you followed them back. I use the app Instafollow to track gained and lost followers.

What will I do next?

Over the next few weeks I will engage with other people on Instagram to see how I can make my brand more visible by getting promoted on accounts with many followers. Come and follow me on Instagram to see how it is working. πŸ™‚

Thanks for your time and love to hear your feedback.

Photo by Erwin Budding Photography / Model: Elselyne