The Secret (Not Really) to Maintaining, Building a Social Media Following..

HELLO WORLD! Or the 3 people that check my blog :) How are ya!? Anyhoo.. I wanted to write something on social media because it's left kind of untouched on these blogs I've been doing. It's such a major part to my business and is so beneficial in creating sales.  Recently, I spoke at a high school to some future entrepreneurs and they all had the same question. "How did you get so many followers?" I get stumped when people ask me that and usually say "my charming personality". Although I do believe I'm quite hilarious, that's a damn lie and we know it. Let me start you off from when I first "decided" I wanted a heavy following on Instagram.

THE BEGINNING

When I say "decided", that is EXACTLY what happened. Around 6 years ago, when I first moved to LA, there was this little app called Instagram that everyone seemed to be up on but me. I felt so left out. I was still only posting on Facebook and the world of Instagram was new to me. Most of my friends already had theirs up and running with thousands of followers so I studied how they posted and what they posted. I literally googled. "How to gain a following on Instagram" What I learned online was pretty generic but helpful. They showed me that timing really matters. Back then, there weren't any insights to see when was the best to post for your following so you kind of had to figure it out yourself. They highlighted that in the morning and evenings were the best times so I started with that. Although I post pretty much whenever I want now, I am still aware that time does matter. I find that the morning and noon are best for me because that's when people are scrolling the most. So I suggest to find your own formula and try it! Your side of the world may be asleep or busy when you post, so figure out where they are and post when they are most active. 

MARKET YOURSELF MAN

So let's say you post at the perfect times and you still want more followers. This requires you to really market yourself. You need to think. Do you have followers on other outlets? Tell those people to follow you on your account. For example, I had a small following on Facebook so I just promoted my Instagram on there one day and gained followers. There weren't many, (maybe 50-100) but it helped initially to get the ball going. 

REBLOGGING IS WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT

In addition to using your other outlets, you need to understand that RE-BLOGGING is HUGE. I came from the era of being on Tumblr heavy. Tumblr is all about re-blogging so I naturally used this tactic on Instagram. I thought about things that other people would reblog on their pages and that also included me. If you want to maintain a following on Instagram, being re-shared is important. This is why people are always asking to be tagged on social media. Because it works! You can reach so many people that you never would have just staying in your little bubble. I had a little too much pride to blatantly ask to be featured or tagged so I decided to offer content that people would share and tag on their own. This, for me, was my figure. Not my actual body, but me in different outfits doing different things. I think people initially appealed to me because I am on the thicker side and natural. So it was something different at the time. I honestly feel silly even stating this as a marketing tactic but it kind of is. When someone tagged me I would give them some sort of incentive so they would do it again and spread the message . I would either like, follow or comment on  that persons photo of me to show appreciation. 

INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE THE PEOPLE!

Posting photos of yourself isn't enough. What you have to understand is that people follow things that inspire, motivate or interest them. Make sure your photos are good quality. This doesn't mean a professional camera, this means good lighting and clear, crisp images. Not many  people want to re-share a dim light, blurry photo of you.. Really take time with your images. If you want to motivate or inspire people to follow you when they come across your photos, take them to new places! Share your experiences. Cool photos of food,  museums, art, or places are always great to look at and can be re-shared if the photo is inspiring. Adding yourself into those photos is also great. For example, I love art and museums, so I have photos in plenty of  them.  These are reposted not only for my figure, but because of where I am. People generally love to look at art and its generally re-bloggable so a cool piece of art behind me or a beautiful museum is a nice thing to share. Let's say you like natural hair products. Post about products that I may not know about. Are you into sneakers? Take me to sneaker summits and show me whats new and hot in the sneaker world. The point is to inspire people into following you. 

STAY CONSISTENT DUDE

After you inspire someone to press that follow button, consistency is key. It is so easy to click unfollow so you have to stay relevant to your following. Listen to what they want from you and give it to them as much as you can. By listen, I mean pay attention to your likes and comments. If they like something give them more of that. If you receive a lower response for something else, give them less of that. Its a balance at the end of the day. To  maintain a strong social media presence you have to KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. 

There are so many other ways to gain more followers. I could go on and on.  Do you guys like these kind of topics? Share your opinion below. Let me know if you have any questions. 

xoxo

Ciera