Why Authenticity is the Key to Longevity on Instagram
Due to the visually-stimulating and glitz-centered nature of Instagram, there has been a discourse and discord on the type of content that flies here.
Should a brand go as far as cooking up content outside its tenets, just to appear in a certain way? Or go about this the other way, sticking to authentic content?
The preferred choice is obvious, and this in-depth guide will comprehensively address why the latter will aid longevity and growth on the social network.
Why is authenticity germane on Instagram?
The power of authenticity is massive in any endeavor. Being authentic can be the fuel to develop your Instagram page into a community of patronizing customers and clients.
If you're tired of just having followers looking for follow-backs or hardly ever engaging with your content, authenticity might be that missing ingredient.
Whether the number is 500 or 200K, staying true to your core values is the only way to get the right kinds of followers—i.e., dedicated and repeat fans of your brand, content, and products/services.
The combination of authenticity and engaged followers is like water to plants and could grow your Instagram presence exponentially.
A careful case study is of Sarah Nicole Laundry, who grew her Instagram community from 70k to 1.7 million followers in less than 24 months.
And these are not just domicile followers but dedicated fans who will engage with her posts, whether it's a swimming pic or she's chilling on vacation.
This organic approach is the only way to remain relevant in the Instagram space for long. And if you can maintain this level of authenticity, you're on your way to hitting better ROIs.
How to be more authentic on the Gram
Ensuring authenticity, originality, and relevance is at the least a deliberate effort. Here are some techniques to increase these in your Instagram game:
1. Engage with your community
To captivate your followers and draw them in, the first step is to understand your target markets. Knowing what they want helps build a deep, better connection since you'll pour more time into the content you create.
Still, nothing beats expressing your brand voice openly and honestly.
Moving on, engagement rates include replying to DMs and comments alongside likes, saves, and shares.
How often should your business interact with other accounts?
How often should one reply to other Instagram Stories?
For many brands that have successfully and consistently record exponential growth, it's vital that followers interact via DMs and comments. And you need to actively engage with posts from similar brands, opening you to potential buyers.
But to ascertain longevity, brands should look at rewarding and engaging followers. You can dedicate some time to do this daily or employ online schedulers.
2. Let your brand voice speak your story
Your story is a potent instrument in social media, so use every opportunity to share narratives with Instagrammers.
And since most users can sense a true story from a fake one, you need to be original and different. You might highlight the struggles of starting not just any business, but your particular brand—say, via a morning routine.
When a brand is friendly enough to the audience, followers feel like a part of its existence. They feel more comfortable sharing your content.
And they can share your post via Stories or DMs, or to other social media channels. This is one of the surest ways to achieve impressive growth on Instagram.
So, every brand should focus on shareable content since the new algorithm pushes posts with more engagements up users' feeds.
Plus, if the engagement level is great enough, your post can win a spot on the Explore tab, which provides access to wider markets.
Your brand also has to carry out the due diligence of monitoring your followers' activities. Look out for the content that your followers are sharing and the ones that resonate with them the most.
3. Your story is not enough
Your story will resonate more if it's similar to your followers' but more importantly, you should share their narratives.
For instance, if you run a make-up brand, you can share and address some of the bottlenecks your followers face in their skincare routine.
Obviously, addressing such a story should lead to solutions or add some value in one way or the other.
4. Raise your pen game
Though Instagram is mainly about visuals and glamor, (text-based) captions give the spark—initiating better context and authenticity.
Whether it's 10 or 50 words, authentic and captivating Instagram captions can easily stimulate more engagements.
Don't be one of those brands that would include trends and hashtags even when they have no relation to the content or audience.
And if you're going for extended captions, you might want to keep the first sentences highly captivating so readers can read it all.
5. Develop a deep understanding of what resonates with you
Your content should not be all about impressing the audience.
Brands that take this route find it hard to continue for long, especially when they stray away from what appeals to them. Your interests has a lot of influence on the authenticity of your content.
Your posts should take your social media behaviors and habits into consideration. What type of images would you like or comment on?
Understanding these Instagram tendencies is the best way to know how your followers operate. Be integral in your content strategy, and let it be a meeting point between what appeals to you and what attracts your followers.
Maintain your core ethics and set boundaries
Staying true to your brand voice and values can be very challenging since there's a tendency to compare yours with others.
Longevity comes at the price of staying true to your core ethics and not operating outside your set boundaries. The boundaries can be set as routine breaks from the app, quick replies, content scheduling, staying up to date with certain ranking factors, etc.