One of the most asked about topics at Flick isn’t just how to grow followers on Instagram, but how to retain them. Once someone follows you, how do you make them stick around and really look forward to your content? How do you convince them that your feed, Stories, Reels, and more are always going to be providing them with value? In this article, we are going to take you through the best practices when it comes to ensuring that the followers you work so hard to obtain, don’t disappear.
How to Retain Followers on Instagram
Reaching the right people 👭
The fundamental thing – and we can’t stress this enough – is that in order to retain followers on Instagram, they have to actually be interested in your content. This is why in the long run, follower bots often do more harm than good because the followers you gain, have no commitment to you, your posts, or your content. This makes them less likely to engage, but also more likely to unfollow later down the line, so it’s important that you focus on reaching people who have a keen interest in your messaging, from the very beginning.
There are a number of ways that you can reach people that are likely to be interested in your content. Hashtags are one of them, as you can essentially tailor who your posts appear to. If you want to reach people that are looking for a new workout routine, you can do that, based on the different types of hashtags you use. They then may follow your account, as they are interested in fitness and are on the lookout for more tips and tricks on how to stay healthy. Reaching people that have specific interests that correlate to your content is a key factor in obtaining followers that are more likely to stick around.
The first thing you should arm yourself with is a solid hashtag strategy, which you can read about building here. Another way that you can reach people that will be truly interested in your content is by looking at your competitors or accounts in a similar space to you that are already seeing success. Start to understand what formats, styles, and ideas really resonate with your target audience by doing some research on the types of posts that tend to garner the most engagement. Once you have done that, you can think about how you can incorporate some of these techniques, in your own posting strategy.
Another way to reach more people organically, is by starting conversations directly on Instagram, on posts that are within your niche. If you drop a comment, it humanizes your account and might make the person behind the post or the people in the comments section take a second look, and see what you’re all about.
It’s inevitable that your Instagram content may change, and that some followers will drop off, so you should still focus on continuing to obtain followers whilst you also retain them, through the above methods.
Consistency is essential 📈
Consistency of posting on Instagram is what really cultivates your community. It’s not necessarily about posting 10 times a day, but more about posting on a frequent basis in a frequent pattern. If you have a surge of posts one week, but then the next week go radio silent, it’s likely that your engagement will actually drop. This is because Instagram favors accounts that are consistent, and the more you post, the more people your content is shown to. We would suggest posting around once per day, or once every other day (whilst you want to post frequently, you don’t want to spam your followers as this could push them away).
And, it isn’t just Instagram that is looking for consistency. Your followers are more likely to hit that unfollow button if your content isn’t that reliable. If you post infrequently or sometimes disappear, they are less likely to stay interested. Planning is important and can help you ensure that your schedule stays on track. Just because you record a bunch of content in one week, doesn’t mean you have to post it all at once (even though it’s hard not to). Plan each piece of content for specific days, and you’ll be amazed at how much better your account performs.
Don’t be repetitive ❗️
Unfortunately, metrics can only tell you that you’ve lost followers, but not why. So, you have to make guesses as to why people might choose to unfollow your account. One of the most common reasons is that an account’s content is too repetitive – in other words, they are saying the same message or idea, over and over again. If your account is all about giving advice, and you continue to give the same advice each time, no one is really learning anything new. When you plan, and before you post, ask yourself – have I already posted something similar to this recently? Is this piece of content teaching my audience anything new? Is there anything that they can gain from this?
Whilst it can be hard to not be repetitive, especially if you are in an extremely specific niche, you can also spice things up with your content formats. If you are always posting carousels, you might want to give Reels or IGTV a go, so that you can tell your story in a different way.
Tip 💡 Video formats also tend to be a lot more personal, and people are more likely to stay if they feel a connection to you and really know who you are.
Predict your followers’ needs 🤳
One of the best ways to ensure that your followers stay with you is by putting yourself in their shoes. A great way of doing this is thinking about the types of questions or issues they might come across that you can help them with. Frame your content around this, and troubleshoot their questions and potential problems before they come up so that you are always offering something they see as ‘invaluable’.
Retain your voice to retain your followers 🗣
A lot of people hit that unfollow button if they think a creator or brand has ‘sold out’ or does something that goes against their messaging or voice. Being authentic is the key to anyone’s success on social, so it’s important that you practice what you preach. If something changes, be honest with your followers, rather than letting them hit the unfollow button when it’s too late. Promote content that matches with your messaging, stay consistent even whilst you grow, and it’s more likely that they will follow through with you for the whole journey.
We hope these 5 tips for retaining followers help you build that dedicated community on Instagram. If you want to learn more about hashtag strategy, and how we can help you reach your target audience, just click on the banner below!