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Why you’re losing Instagram followers and how to win them instead

Why you’re losing followers

We all know the feeling. We log into Instagram, check our accounts, and find followers have mysteriously abandoned us overnight. The big question in our minds is why?! We’re instantly frustrated and confused, and may even feel insecure and defeated, especially if it’s a client account because Instagram is becoming an increasingly essential tool for digital PR agencies.

When we first started working on an Instagram account for Cicero & Bernay, we experienced this. We could have despaired when we saw our follower growth in the negative, but instead we crafted an effective social media strategy to help us achieve our goals.

This was a real challenge, but it started with simple questions: Are we sharing too little or too much? Do we have a theme? Are we engaging with our followers?

Increasing our Instagram followers was and still is a must, and we’ve learnt a lot along the way. I’d like to share some tips with you and take you through five important metrics that you need to take into consideration when building your Instagram strategy:

  1. High quality imagery: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” It’s extremely important that your feed includes high quality images. If your feed is filled with mismatched, low quality images your chances of gaining and attracting followers are really low.
  2. Consistency: Whether you’re posting daily or twice weekly, try to stick to the schedule. Consistency also relates to your Instagram theme and captions, so ensure your photos have a similar style and your captions are written in one voice.
  3. Hashtags: If you aren’t using hashtags at all, you’re making a big mistake. Hashtags are really important when it comes to building your Instagram strategy as they put your content in front of your target audience and increase your visibility on the platform.
  4. Engagement: Engaging with your audience on a daily basis increases the likelihood of attracting new followers to visit your profile. So, don’t forget to consider the rule of three if you want to interact more with your followers: Tag, like and comment.
  5. Interesting captions: Good images can keep your followers interested, but great captions are triggers to action. If you want to get more engagement on your posts and reach out new to audiences, writing compelling Instagram captions is an essential strategy.

How did we gain 200 followers within a month?

C&B gained almost 200 followers within just one month! People visited our profile and noticed us, and we also started to appear on the explore page.

How did we achieve this?

  • Making a great first impression: We followed a concise visual style, sticking to a specific look and feel that uses our brand colours and has immediate visual impact.
  • Capturing our context: By creating more posts that are linked to local, national and international occasions and initiatives, we have given our news context and relevance.
  • Winning words: We’ve created rich, engaging captions that include clear calls to action and speak to our audience, keeping them interested in our page.
  • Beyond images: Photos are great, but there is so much more we have done with this platform, including introducing new-age PR methods such as infographics and videos.
  • Creative hashtagging: We’ve harnessed the power of the hashtag by generating creative examples that relate to us and to our industry, which has boosted our exposure.
  • Have fun: There’s nothing wrong with having fun and it can really enhance engagement. In fact, our riddle questions have resulted in some of our highest engagement rates.
  • Checking in: We’ve grown closer to our audience by posting on a daily basis in a consistent matter, so they know what we’re up to.

If you work for a public relations agency, Instagram is a vital platform to master and I hope these tips will help. Remember, your Instagram following is not going to magically grow overnight, but if you have patience and a clear strategy to follow, it will come! I promise.

Joyce Mourad is Account Manager of Cicero & Bernay Public Relations. An independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai and offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA. |