Updated: Feb 1
Step 1: Planning
The first step to social media growth is having a plan. This is first on the list because, in my opinion, this is the most important step. Just like a business, you must have a plan and direction to where you want to go. Although you can see short term growth or growth in spurts without a plan, it is just not sustainable over the long run. It is inefficient to operate without a plan or target and each day you will waste time trying to generate new ideas. Without a plan, you have no clear goal or direction to go.
If you do not have a plan yet, then you need to create and discover your brand if you have not already. This will make the planning process easier for you. For example, if you are a real estate agent, and you want to target the luxury market; then maybe you shouldn’t post a picture of yourself showing a $50k investment property.
If you know the audience you are trying to reach, then you can start generating ideas on how to reach them. Once you have ideas, you can start creating that content and putting it out there for your audience. Do not try to appeal to everyone because by doing that, your content will appeal to no one.
Create your brand, and then start planning what and when you will post. It would be beneficial to get software like Hootsuite or Buffer that allows you to schedule your posts in advance. They also recommend the best times to post, and they also provide you with important analytics to see what posts are performing well, what times have been best to post, and tracking your growth.
Step 2: Research
You are not the first real estate agent, small business owner, or influencer that is on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or any other social media platform that you are trying to grow on. Check out similar accounts and see what is working for them and what is not. Reach out to accounts you aspire to be like and ask for tips. You would be surprised how many would actually respond and give you advice.
It is important for you to do your research because most likely, you are not reinventing the wheel. You do not need to reinvent the wheel. Look at content that is working for others and replicate it, but also find a way to make it your own.
Research your own content. Each social media platform provides you with insights on how your content has performed in the past. Do some research, check out what content is performing well and what isn’t. You will probably see a pattern pretty quickly at does well and what doesn’t.
Step 3: Consistency
Another thing you have probably heard a thousand times, but so important, is consistency. It is said that it takes the average person at least 7-10 times of seeing a product or service before they decide to buy. The same goes for you on social media. Maybe you put out a great reel that gets a ton of engagement and views on Instagram, but when people check out your profile, is that your only reel or recent post? When you watch a funny reel, is your first step to follow that account? Or do you go on their account to see what other content they have? I believe the goal of a reel is to get people clicking on your profile, then have great content that keeps them on your profile. That is how you create true followers. Think of a follower as a fan. Followers on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook only follow accounts that they are entertained by. If your followers do not stay fans, they will unfollow quickly.
In conclusion, posting great content only once a month is not going to create any traction for you. Yes, you may get some followers here and there. But why not be consistent and be consistently acquiring more followers?
Step 4: Quality Over Quantity
I felt this was the best way to follow up with consistency. Consistency is imperative to your success, but you cannot allow consistency to take away from the quality of the content you’re putting out. Always put quality over quantity. There will always be those people that tell you, “You just need to put out lots and lots of content,” or “Just post it already.” To me it sounds a lot like they are saying, “Throw it against the wall and see what sticks.” Although there will be trial and error, be sure that the content is quality content. What is quality? Something that entertains, informs, or inspires your audience. To perform well, you will also need quality photos and quality videos. Say you do not have a fancy camera? No worries. You most likely are reading this on your iPhone or other smartphone. Use that. Look up a YouTube video of how to take professional pictures with “your model phone here” and you will get a ton of great information. Secret: you will find a lot of it is lighting, experimenting taking pictures at different angles, and editing apps you can usually use for free. What else will help you produce quality content? Planning. Planning out your content helps you take time and know that steps you need for a quality post.
Step 5: Stay Up to Date With Updates & Algorithm Changes
A popular question right now is: Why aren’t my hashtags working on Instagram anymore? Well, there was an update and an algorithm change. It appears hashtags are now used more as a tool for the algorithm to figure out what your post is about, and with this information, it puts you on the explore page of accounts that engage with similar content to yours.
It seems the algorithm is constantly changing (it is) and that is going to affect how you effectively grow on social media. What is the best way to grow with the current algorithm on Instagram? You guessed it… Reels! There may come a time where that changes, but I do not see that happening anytime in the near future. Start now while it is not too late. Also, if you want to stay up to date with updates and algorithm changes, you can read different statements and watch videos when Instagram puts them out, or you can subscribe to our blog and we will keep you up to date!
Step 6: Collaboration
Collaborating is a great way to get in front of an audience outside of your own and to get more exposure. I feel like collaboration is often overlooked, but a great way to boost your reach and engagement. On Instagram specifically there is the collaboration feature. When using it, the other person / account is tagged and it will also go on their timeline. When collaborating, you want to target someone that has a similar audience as you. If you’re a videographer, it might be a good idea to collaborate with a local photographer who does not do videography. Their audience obviously enjoys photography or are interested in the service if they are following that particular photographer. Also, collaborating with you is also beneficial to the photographer. That is why collaboration is great because both accounts benefit from each other. If you are a small business owner, collaborate with other businesses in your town! It gives both accounts more exposure to the local market!
Step 7: Video (Last but Certainly Not Least)
You have probably heard this a thousand times. If so, hopefully the one thousandth and one time will convince you… You need to do videos if you want to grow on social media. It does not matter what platform. Reels and videos are the wave, so do it.
Again, it will be essential to have a plan. It will make the process easier. If you are that person who has heard this a thousand times and has yet to do it, I can almost guarantee that on top of being camera shy, you do not know what to make a video of. You try to come up with ideas, but can never seem to come up with a good enough idea to actually do it. That’s because you have no plan, no goal, and you don’t know who you are targeting.
If you are serious about social media growth, make a plan and make a schedule. Put time aside to brainstorm. If you do not have any ideas, ask friends and family or look at what other people are posting. Maybe even consider hiring a company like ours to alleviate the stress and pressure. Social Media companies stay up-to-date on trends, algorithms, and posting times. I guarantee you with just a little bit of planning and brainstorming, you will come up with some great video / reel ideas.
Also, do not let “not having the right equipment” hinder you. If you have a smartphone, you have good enough equipment. If you want to make an upgrade, I would suggest first starting with improving the audio. If you only have a small budget, even buying a $20 microphone from Amazon will greatly improve your audio.
There’s no secret to gaining a million followers overnight, but by implementing these steps and truly sticking to a plan and schedule, you will start to see growth! These are the basics to grow your social media presence, yet the most important (and hardest) steps to follow.
Bonus Information: If you made it this far, here is your reward! A bit of additional helpful information for you: Do not spam follow accounts, do not buy followers, and you do not need to boost posts for growth. Spam following and unfollowing, along with buying followers, will help you gain more “followers,” but it will not give you followers that actually engage with your posts. What is the point of having thousands of followers if your posts get an average of 20 likes and no comments other than the occasional spam comment? How do you grow organically then? Follow the steps above and subscribe to our blog to receive weekly information to help you grow your online presence!