Guest Posted: Alex G.
Last Updated: 19th January, 2020
Instagram quickly outgrew its first impression as a fun app for kids and has become a serious content marketing, selling, networking and audience building tool for individuals and brands. It’s one of the most popular social networking sites on the planet, with over 200 million active monthly members sharing 60 million images and 1.6 billion likes per day.
My journey is a lot different than most and I have been working on this project since 2012. While you can totally make a lot of money and make it pretty fast using the power social of media that IS NOT my goal. I am wanting to make this Long-Term if not my entire life’s mission. This page is about something I truly believe in and support. If you are looking to find a product or business to start simply because you want to make money then you are in for a real struggle. (Not to say you shouldn’t follow the money… This is just from my life experience and what I want, everyone’s on a different path)
So let’s jump straight into what helps me grow a Social Media Page. I want to focus on 3 topics that I believe are very important. There is no ultimate truth to growing your page or secret tricks. It will take lot’s of hard work, smart thinking and timing, A LOT of money in some cases (Not mine and I will explain), and sometimes pure luck. In fact I will go ahead and save you all some money and tell you to never buy a course that claims to get you X amount of followers per day. I will explain better ways to spend your money below (And it’s not on a course, I have nothing to sell)
Creating unique engaging content
Fighting the algorithms
This is by far the most important factor not only on Social Media but Business and Life in my opinion. There seems to be too much of this Dog eat Dog mentality when there more than enough wealth to go around and no reason to fight. Instead of learning how I can stay one step ahead of all my competition I reached out and became friends with them. They already had hundreds of thousands of followers and money flowing so why would I want them against me? I was completely honest with everyone I reached out to. I sometimes even explained hey I am thinking about doing the exact same thing you are doing… How did you find success? You can’t be fake about your relationships and be reaching out with your self gain as the only goal. I would support these influencers when they post.. Get involved in the comments… Buy their product (If I actually support it). Some people it took years of messaging to finally get noticed. But 8 years later I now have a network throughout my entire niche of people showing nothing but love. Influencers charging $100+ for people to make a post will constantly be giving me free shoutouts because of all the support I showed.
Of course not everyone has time to spend doing all of this. So how do you speed up the process? You have to provide value in order to get something of value back. And you should never be providing value expecting to receive something in return. So the simple solution is to pay influencers to work with you. Building relationships still applies and will be just as important. Even if you are paying someone to share your work you are still creating a relationship between Business and Influencer. And to add to that these people get hundreds of offer so even if you have the $$$ they still may have no interest in working you or your product due to the lack of a relationship. For the pages I do pay to post we still share a happy relationship and overtime I am ready for a paid post I have a huge list of people I have worked with and how to contact them directly. They already know me and what I am about so their is no hesitation or delay in getting a paid post.
I could write an entire book on examples of relationships I have built to further the growth of my page but to avoid rambling I will end it on this.. Be more conscious of every interaction you are having and understand each person you talk to knows something that we don’t. Approach new people as a way to learn new things and understand they can become a crucial role in your business later down the road. You never know… That person you were talking crap to could be Elon Musk lurking through reddit about to invest in your idea.. But you didn’t give him the time of day because you only see a person with no use to you.
Creating unique and engaging content
This should be obvious but people seem to drop the ball on this one often… Including myself. Every time someone comes to your social media they are essential walking into your physical store, just the digital version. They will be making a decision based on what is surrounding them inside this virtual shop. Are you providing anything of value? If you are providing value why should they come to you and not the guy across the street? Maybe you are selling the exact product they need but your store is completely empty except for the item sitting on the shelf. But the guy across the street selling the exact same thing has a store filled with information about his product, complimentary drinks, he greets everyone with a smile that walks in and gets to know them. Both places might have a great product and the customer left feeling happy. But who is more likely to get the business next time? Or maybe there was never a reason to do business again, you needed the product this one time and you’re out. But you had such a great experience you now are shopping for other items. Or you love it so much you just wanted to stop by and say hi or bring a friend in looking for the thing.
Whenever you create something to post really think about what experience you are creating. Every restaurant is posting pictures of all their dishes and while they may be unique and amazing tasting, having a page filled with food pictures is not unique. Think outside the box no matter how crazy. This might not be a practical solution but imagine a page that held a monthly food fight and recorded the whole thing to post on social media.. I’d be way more inclined to check out their page to see what all that was about and probably stick around to see the next one.
Fighting the algorithm
Everyone probably already knows this but on Instagram at least, your post is going to only be shown to a portion of your followers and is determined within the first hour how well it will do most of the time. I find that my post get the most engagement when I limit it to 1 post per day. It doesn’t mean I get the most growth and sometimes 1-3 post with less engagement per post equals a higher total following. I honestly have no real secret to beating this algorithm other than you need to know and study your audience. By following the first step and building relationships you will learn what does and doesn’t work and learn what people really like and using step 2 you will have the correct content to gain their attention.
The algorithm likes to pay tricks on you by making a funny cat meme the most liked picture yet it provide no value to my following. So I would say the real solution is DON’T fight the algorithm. Many times I get caught chasing the most likes and follows while missing out on the entire purpose of the page and the reasons I got so many followers in the first place. You obviously want to use the right hashtags and get your page on the explore page so you can be discovered. But really be mindful of what you are posting and make sure it’s to serve your audience and not to combat the algorithms. This will naturally lead to you winning against it.
Something to also think about. If you are having a hard time getting ranked higher look into the influencers that are doing well and study their post.. Or just reach out to them and have them post your content for $$$ or something of value you can offer…
I am not an expert on typing up case studies like this so I do apologize if I was rambling and didn’t dig deep enough as to how I grow my page. I am still learning myself and have a long way to go. The main takeaway of this post is that my page did not grow magically and I have put years of dedication into this and I also truly believe in myself and the value I am providing to others. I do not make 6 figures from social media at all but getting messages from people saying how much they appreciate what I am doing and how their lives are impacted is much more rewarding. And I suspect that as long as I stay on this path I will continue to grow and build my foundation stronger everyday. Remember even Rome fell.. You social media page can be taken away from you in a night but the relationships you built will be inside of everyones mind and follow them through their entire life.
Like I said at the top I don’t have course to sell or offer. I used to make at least 5k+ a month from social media but currently am not monetizing my instagram page just because I am not really for the drop shipping business model and want to invest into providing a quality product that isn’t just merch from china (Shopify stores make tons of money and still work so I do recommend it if you are trying to monetize.. I used to do this but I stopped..I am after something else).
I do Social Media Marketing to pay the bills but have a hard time finding clients who really understand how social media works and the power it has, so I tend to focus on my pages instead. As much as I need the money I don’t want to sell out on my page and keep it true to why I started it. I went to huge debt starting my first business that worked really well at first but I learned the hard way you need to keep reinvesting your money back into the business. I wouldn’t want to be in any other position and I am only more confident that the experiences I learned were necessary in order to achieve true success.