It is a well-known fact that networking events are highly regarded within the media and communications industry, and perhaps you’ve heard of or even attended networking events for your own business sector.
These events are considered to be a useful tool that will assist the introduction and meeting of like-minded individuals within the selected industry, in order to grow your network of professional colleagues. The hope is that this could in turn lead to further opportunities down the track. As the saying goes, it’s about who you know, not what you know! (I personally think a bit of both goes a long way.)
The social media platform LinkedIn based its foundations on this concept, but have you ever considered how important networking on Instagram is for your own brand’s overall engagement and potential sales? You might have a follower for three years before they actually decide to purchase anything from you so engaging with your followers might speed up the process as you will gain a mutual trust and rapport.
Networking on Instagram isn’t as hard you might think. Here’s how I do it not only for my clients, but also for Content Savvy.
Interact with likeminded brands:
Like, comment, answer polls, show your support, encouragement and offer genuine compliments. Do you like a particular product or service that they offer? Think something is a great idea? Do you love seeing their images pop up on your feed? Tell them!
Answer their poll questions on their Instagram stories. Make suggestions when asked. Direct message them about something you’ve seen on their social media or website. These tools will help you build a strong affinity with the other brand in which a mutual trust is formed. This ongoing relationship could translate to direct sales for both parties and recommendations to others. You may also decide to collaborate one day in the future in the form of an Instagram giveaway.
Of course, approach competitors with caution, but at the end of the day, we should be building likeminded brands up so the industry can thrive as a whole. You may choose a select a few key competitors to engage with as you can keep up to date with news from within your industry and inform each other on relevant updates. It’s also a great source of inspiration. For example, I engage with a few copywriters and social media marketers as everyone shares their expertise and this helps me become a better marketer and writer in the long run. Some marketers who are great at social media may not have my skillset in journalism and writing and so they will learn tips from me via our mutual engagement.
If you’re a makeup artist or hairdresser, you may interact with others in hair and beauty to build your network.
Interact with your customers:
If you’re only beginning your brand’s journey then this is important in order to grow an organic and engaged following from the get-go. If people comment on your images, leave a reply for them and then visit their profile and like a few of their images! If they have posted an image of your product and if it aligns with your branding, repost it on your profile and credit them.
If you are a business who has thousands of followers, then all the more reason to keep interacting with them. If you have 22k followers, this can deter some people from engaging with you, in fear that you are using bots to generate inauthentic comments. Bigger brands hire community managers which are different to social media managers to solely interact with consumers. In this way, they can reply to many comments left on their social media pages, as well as interact with new pages in an authentic way in order to gain new followers and potentially new clients.
Need help with your Instagram interactions? Drop me an email and get in touch!