When you’re a social media influencer who is also a blogger (or vice versa), you want an audience that moves with you. Specifically, readers who will like the Instagram post about your blog post and actually leave the feed to read whatever you’re promoting. Instagram, in particular, can feel like a blog in and of itself. Just when you think you’re ready to see what’s trending on Twitter or being debated on Facebook, you’re sucked into a black hole of scrolling, double-tapping, reading comments, and watching Stories.
If you want more pageviews and loyal readers, how exactly do you grab the attention of Instagram followers with short attention spans? We asked the BlogHer community for answers. Ahead are tried-and-true tips used by business owners and influencers who are constantly faced with the challenge of ensuring their Instagram followers are invested in their content beyond a few likes.
View this post on Instagram
Design Stories Around Blog Posts
If you’re going to use Stories, use them well and with consistency. “I find the best way is to make stories that are based exclusively around my latest blog post,” says Caitlin Boylan of The Country Jumper. “I use templates from Canva. There are lots of bright colors and poofy dresses—be something different and be yourself.”
This is especially helpful if you haven’t garnered a large enough following for the Swipe-Up capability (more info on getting Instagram verified here). But if you do have the Swipe-Up feature, use it every time you publish something new on your site.
Share Older Content
Whether you’re sharing content on your Instagram feed, in Stories, or via DM (all of which are recommended by our community), don’t forget to show your old content love too. “I like to share older content as a reminder of previous projects I made that people may not be aware of,” says Jennifer Refat, founder of Craftic. This tactic is also beneficial to new followers who may have discovered you through a similar account and want a reason to keep following and engage.
As for how to share your content, most creators recommend teasing at least a snippet of your blog post or photos included in your blog post. For example, in between giveaways and personal posts, Carole Jones of My Kitchen Escapades will “list some of the ingredients and give as much information as possible, to make people interested” and a “mouthwatering photo” of one of her recipes.
“People love to see a sample of what I’ve written,” adds Sabika Hassan of Women Health Hub. “I share a few pointers I’ve discussed and how it will benefit my audience.”
Know Your Hashtags
Hashtags shouldn’t be handled casually. There’s a science to using them effectively. If you know your niche, spend some time researching hashtags associated with that topic and include it in your Instagram posts. Once people searching those hashtags discover your account, use your engagement skills to lure them to your site.
View this post on Instagram
Brag About Incentives
Who doesn’t love a freebie? Whether it’s an actual product or your content, don’t be shy about highlighting the incentives tied to your brand or blog. Not only will this drive engagement on your social media account; it will also encourage followers to invest beyond your feed.
“I ask them to leave me their favorite emoji in the caption if they want the recipe, then I DM them the link. I also share a poll in Stories asking if they want the recipe/info and DM those who do,” says Randa Derkson of Randa Nutrition. “I no longer make my IG about me. It’s about my reader. I ask them what they want.”
Jenna Urben of The Urben Life drives more followers to her site through newsletter sign-ups. “I link a landing page in my URL section that directs followers to sign up for my email list. In return, they receive a free ebook + guide.”
Good, Old-Fashioned Engagement
Speaking of engagement, don’t underestimate the power of this straightforward piece of advice. Engage, engage, engage. One more time for the people in the back—engage!
“When I have free time I’m scrolling my feed leaving comments,” says Anna Bruder of Fitpire.
Elizabeth Kate Uva of Viva e Impara | Live and Learn will also reach out to other Instagram users via DM sharing what she has to offer without going into the repetitive spamming territory.
Finding other creators with similar interests is another way to grow your following and stay inspired. “Find other creators who are in the same space as you and engage with their content. By striking up conversations with other content creators you are more likely to gain followers who also actively engage with your content,” says Zianna Weston of The Basic Cinephile.
Don’t Forget Calls to Action
Lastly, remember that you have to be explicit about your goal. If you want your Instagram followers to visit your website, call. it. out. There are plenty of ways to do this on Instagram. Multiple community members emphasize the importance of calling out a link in bio, whether it’s a single link or a landing page within the URL section of your bio.
“Sharing your links on your Stories and in your Instagram bio is great, but I’ve found it’s even more helpful to always include specific call-to-actions in your posts,” says Cara Owens of Kindly Unspoken. “Anytime I share on IG Stories, I include a brief description and say ‘Swipe up to read’ and it works so much better than just sharing a link. I also always include a call to action to visit my bio link in all of my captions.”
If you take time to write thoughtful, authentic comments on your own posts and accounts you follow, new (and loyal) followers are sure to follow.