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Growing your Followers and Business on Instagram

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3 Mistakes Institute Make With their Instagram Accont

Setting the Wrong Expectations

A lot of people give up on Instagram because they feel like they’re not growing fast enough on the platform. This is because a lot of institute owners expect their Instagram accounts to generate a lot of traffic for them when the fact is that Instagram may not truly be the best platform for traffic.

Instagram isn’t as SEO-optimized as platforms like YouTube or LinkedIn. On those platforms, if you’re looking for something, you can type it into the search and videos will pop up. You can’t do the same with Instagram, which is why it’s harder to get that traffic. Instagram is, however, a great place to generate quality leads. It’s a matter of quality versus quantity.

Instagram has so many tools that can help you connect with your audience such as voice notes, voice calls, GIFs, polls, live streaming, dual live streaming, and IGTV. There are so many ways to create intimate touchpoints with your audience. If more institutes were able to leverage these tools to their advantage, they would have hotter leads coming into their business. The people who end up connecting on Instagram become a lot warmer and a lot more nurtured when you use the tools at your disposal to connect with them at a deeper level.

Posting Content Instead of Actually Connecting

A lot of institutes have fancy funnels. There’s a link in their bio that leads to a landing page, which leads to a lead magnet, which leads to a 5-day sequence. They’re taking their audience on this long journey before they can even find the final offer.

The intention there is great. The funnel is intended to warm the audience up. But a lot of institutes leave so much money on the table by not directly talking to their one-on-one prospects through DMs. Instead of waiting for these funnels to make magic happen, many institutes could speed up that customer journey by simply talking to their prospects via DM because that’s the perfect place to deliver the best customer experience for those prospects.

If you’re on a DM with your students, you can ask them questions like, “Hey, tell me more about your difficult subjects. What are you struggling with most? … Wow, struggling with not getting good results. Do you know that I might help you?” By having that dialog with your students and then sending them to your class for a demo, your landing page, or wherever it is, that student is more likely to click on that link with an intention to take more advice from you.

Many institute owners focus too much on posting content every single day and neglect all of the DMs in their inbox. Those DMs could be coming from people who just need warming up a little bit. Plus, those people may enter that funnel with the full expectation that they’re probably going to take admission.

There are many ways to get those DM conversations started. Something like is to put a poll in your stories asking something like, “Hey, do you want to learn how to score excellent marks in algebra? Yes or no?” Later, you can DM all of those people who tapped Yes on the poll and say, “Hey, Mukesh, I noticed that you voted on my poll and you said that you’re struggling with algebra. Can you tell me more about that?”

Instead of just sending them directly to a link, have that one-on-one conversation first. Understand why these students may not be score marks and what they’re doing that isn’t working so you have all of the information you need to pitch your offer or send them to your class. When they do end up going to your class or your main lead magnet, they’re much more likely to convert than someone who went in cold.

Focusing on Likes Instead of Shareability

Instagram has already removed visible likes from many accounts. This is a really great opportunity for institute marketers to focus on an entirely different key performance indicator: shareability.

Likes and comments are obviously great ways to gauge whether people enjoy content but focus on creating content so people want to share on their own stories. Someone liking your post so much that they’re willing to tap that arrow button and share it directly to their own stories is going to get many more eyeballs on your content.

Now that follower’s followers can see your content and can click on that post, which will increase the number of profile visits you get on your account.

When someone is just liking or commenting, they’re often scrolling through the feed mindlessly, and then they move on with their lives. But when someone actually goes the extra step to share or even to save your piece of content—because now you can save posts to collections—that’s going to increase the content’s longevity.

That post is now not only just on that person’s feed, but it’s also on that person’s 24-hour story and potentially living on in their collections that they can refer back to.

3-Step Strategy for Valuable, Organic Instagram Growth

Send Traffic to Instagram From Other Platforms

It takes a platform to grow a platform. A lot of her traffic must come through other platforms like youtube or website and send this traffic to your Instagram.

As stated earlier, Instagram isn’t the best platform for getting traffic natively. The key is to piggyback off of other platforms that have really great SEO capabilities such as YouTube, LinkedIn, even a blog/website or WhatsApp. Mention on those platforms that you also have an Instagram account and the extras your audience might get if they follow you there.

If you are doing a YouTube video about any course, for example, throw in footage from her Instagram story where you showed people around. Then people watching on YouTube can see that if they follow you on Instagram, they’ll see more behind the scenes of those courses

You’ll also say in the video, “By the way, follow me over on Instagram if you want the behind-the-scenes peek at what my new class looks like.” That gives your YouTube subscribers more incentive to follow her on Instagram because they’re getting more backstage access to your life and business.

Involve the Audience

Starts involving your audience. They came to your Instagram for a reason. They really want to be involved with your business and get to know you better.

Loves to involve your audience in your business decisions. That’s what differentiates your Instagram from all of your rivals. Once your student follows your Instagram account, you can DM her and check out your stories. They’ll actually listen to what you have to say about things like content ideas for the future events. Sometimes you’ll even post an Instagram story and say, “Hey, guys, I’m redesigning my algebra course. What topics do you like best? Do you like Quadratic equations or Trigonometry? Vote now.”

Doing that inspires a lot of loyalty from your audience because they genuinely feel like they’re living vicariously and that they’re stakeholders in your business. There’s no other platform that allows that deep of a connection with the audience.

Leverages your Instagram audience is to do market research. Instagram is always adding new features, especially in Stories. The quiz, poll, question, and chat features are really great ways to ask your audience what they want to see more of in your business or what their biggest struggles are when it comes to understanding algebra

Takes an inventory of responses that come through DMs from those questions and polls. Not only leverage those for future content pieces but also keep them to refer to every time you do a demo lecture so you can use the exact language that your audience has used on Instagram.

When someone sees your web page, your lecture, or whatever content material they think, “Oh my gosh, you’re reading my mind. How did you know that I was going through these problems?” The answer is simple: They told you on Instagram.

Loves to show appreciation by giving your audience members shout-outs. When you sees someone who’s following you who has really great content, takes a moment to give them a shout-out on their stories, and it makes her audience feel seen. It’s such a nice little touchpoint and it only takes 5 seconds to do.

Also shares their content to your own stories. You don’t even have to be following them to share their content; just takes a moment to see who’s recently followed her on Instagram and checks out their profiles. If you like what you see, you’ll share some of it. You’ll notice that when you share content, they’ll actually share the fact that you shared their content on their own Instagram story, which is a win for both parties.

Create Shareable Content

You must love creating content that people willingly share on their stories and to their own audiences. The moment they share it, their audience then gets access to her content and they’ll click over to her profile. That increases the likelihood of someone connecting with her without her really having to do much.

Instagram is a student’s favorite place to put repurposed content because they find it the most versatile for a variety of content types. Create rich, long-form, value-packed content pieces on YouTube, Facebook Live, and on blog; monitor which content is performing best on these other platforms; and then break that larger content down into micro-pieces of content.

If you do a series of Facebook lives, you’ll look at which live stream performed best, send that video to an editor, add captions to it, add a title on top, and turn it into an IGTV piece. She doesn’t have to create a new video; just repurposing an old piece of content that performed really well, optimizing it a bit for Instagram, and then posting it directly on IGTV. A lot of people end up saving and sharing that type of content from her Instagram.

If you give five tips in a video and that video performs well on YouTube, she’ll take the five tips, turn them into graphics with text, and create a carousel on her feed. Image one might be saying, “Five tips on crack IIT JEE,” then the next image is, “Tip number one: …” and so on. That allows people to read the content in a more visually appealing way, versus reading a really long caption.

The best part is that you don’t have to double your work to think about a new content piece. Instead, you are taking a proven content piece that performed well on another platform and just optimizing it for Instagram so more people can share and enjoy it.

The idea is to create content pieces that are visually appealing that people will want to share. A lot of people put the real value in a long caption accompanied by a picture of themselves. The problem is that people don’t really want to share a photo of you.

If you post a photo of yourself and the caption has all of the value and someone then shares that on their stories, they’re essentially just sharing a photo of you—and that’s not as appealing. Their audience wonders, “Who the heck is this? Why are you sharing that on your story?”

Instead of putting all of that value in the captions, turn them into graphics, which is more incentive for someone to share it on their own story. No one wants to share a photo of you sitting on a park bench on your laptop, even if you delivered a lot of value in the caption. They want to share a visual piece of content that their followers immediately get a lot of value from.

You can see insights on how many people saved or shared any post. That also allows you to optimize your strategies. You didn’t really start doing this until you looked at your analytics and realized that posts where you shared something like an infographic didn’t necessarily get a lot of likes but did get a lot of shares.

You’d rather have shares than likes because that drives more traffic to your business. It also increases the chances that other people who found your content through someone else will DM you, which leads back to having those one-on-one conversations.

If you see someone sharing your content, you could also easily DM them and say, “Hey, Mukesh. I noticed that you shared my post. What did you like about it? … I’m so glad that you liked my content piece. You know, I noticed that you actually have a doubt in algebra. Tell me more about that weakness. … Okay, good, I will help you with your doubt.?”

That conversation opens up more dialog with your audience so you can warm them up before they even enter your funnel.

Also sees Instagram as a great way to create and nurture your own brand promoters. Because you create content with the intention of other people sharing it instead of constantly doing community engagement—which she also does—and spending all your time trying to attract new people, you get your followers to share your stuff with their audiences.

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