Written by Amanda Webb

February 28, 2017 at 12:00 am

How To Manage Your Instagram Followers

One of the best things about Instagram is that it lets us build connections with customers and influencers. But unless you have a plan to manage your Instagram followers you could end up missing out on this important relationship building.

Like Twitter, Instagram lets us reach out and interact with anyone who has an open account. You’ll find your customers, your advocates and the people who influence them there.

Unlike Twitter, it’s not easy to manage your Instagram followers. On Twitter, we have lists, a way to categorise our followers and filter our feed to show content from that specific group. We can’t do this on Instagram.

Instead, we have an Instagram algorithm. This reorders our feed so we see the posts from the people we interact with the most first. That helps but to make it work we need to be interacting with the right people. To make sure we’re spending our time wisely we need to have a plan to manage our Instagram followers.

That’s what we are going to look at In this post. We’ll look at some techniques for finding the right people to engage with and discover some tools you can use to find the right people to follow.

The Big Unfollow

Did you do what I did when you started out on Instagram? Did you get a little follow happy?  If so you might find your feed is becoming cluttered with content from irrelevant people. Like any social network, it’s important to have a purge from time to time. Make that time now.

Start by writing yourself a list of guidelines. What makes someone follow-worthy?

  • What sort of person do you want to follow?
  • What qualities do they have?
  • Where do they live?
  • What sort of content do they share?

Try and match these guidelines as closely as you can to your ideal customer and the people who influence them.

Now you have a checklist in place you’ll find it easier to select the users you want to continue to follow and you’ll be able to make quick decisions about the people you chose to follow and it will make it easier to manage your Instagram followers in the future.

Who is Influential?

Interacting with people on a one-on-one basis is important but by building relationships with influencers

you can reach more of your target market at one time.

Influential people get lots of comments, by engaging with the influencer you are engaging with their community. You’re also building a strong relationship that could lead to shout-outs and collaborations in the future.

You will already know some of these influencers from other social channels but how can you find more?

Start with hashtags…

Make a list of hashtags that are relevant to you.

What hashtags do influencers in your space use? What tags does Instagram suggest to you when you type those in? When you click a hashtag what related tags does Instagram suggest?

Search for hashtags and see what Instagram suggests

Search for hashtags and see what Instagram suggests

Whose posts are appearing in ‘top posts’ for these tags? Is their content conversational? Are they getting real comments from their audience?

Local influencers

If you are looking for local influencers, search Instagram by location.

Start by searching for the broad location, the town or city your business is based in. Then get niche, find people who are tagging themselves at local businesses. And don’t forget stories, who is creating stories tagged in the local area.

Find local Instagram posts and niche local locations

Find Influencers with Agorapulse

Agorapulse can help you monitor Instagram hashtags. This is a timesaving way to manage your Instagram followers and it takes the pain out of having to search Instagram results every day.

To set up monitoring:

  • Navigate to your Instagram account from your dashboard.
  • Click the ‘Listening’ tab.
  • Click ‘Create a new search’.
Set up Instagram monitoring using AgoraPulse

Set up Instagram monitoring using AgoraPulse

  • Give your search a name.
  • Add the hashtags you want to monitor (no need to include the # symbol)
  • Click next to get a preview of the results for that tag
Add the Instagram hashtags you want to monitor

Add the Instagram hashtags you want to monitor

  • Finally, click ‘Create this search’ to complete the process.
Preview the search results

Preview the search results

The results of your search will appear in the listening tab of your Instagram account.

If you have more than one search set up you can filter the results. Click the ‘filter’ button and select ‘search’ from the menu to select the search result you want to view.

Filter your hashtag searches in the listening tab

Filter your hashtag searches in the listening tab

When you click on a search result you have the option to ‘tag’ it, ‘bookmark’ it, or open it in Instagram.

Because of Instagram’s API Agorapulse can’t display the user name for the post or let you comment or like. Click ‘Open in Instagram’ to take these actions.

Open posts in Instagram to like and comment.

Open posts in Instagram to like and comment.

Use HypeAuditor to find influencers

If you are starting out and want to find influencers fast HypeAuditor is a good place to start. They have ranked 3,295,000 bloggers by country and category.

HypeAuditor ranks Instagram influencers by category and location

HypeAuditor ranks Instagram influencers by category and location

The categories are quite broad and not every country in the world is included but as a starting point, it works.

For each user, it recommends you can review a report including their follower growth over time, demographics, account activity and more.

View follower growth and demographics for each Instagram influencer

View follower growth and demographics for each Instagram influencer

Your first report is free and you can buy additional reports in bulk for $19.99 for 20

HypeAuditor claims that it’s AI only considers authentic engagement but it’s worth checking for yourself by visiting the accounts.

You should also look at who is following the influencer to ensure they fall into your target audience.

These statistics will help you find engaged people on Instagram but you’ll need to look at their accounts to ensure these engagements are authentic.

You should also look at who is following the influencer to ensure they fall into your target audience.

Staying In Touch With The People That Matter

So far you’ve cleaned up your feed and found and followed the right people on Instagram. The next step is to make sure you are engaging with the people who matter most to you.

It’s nice to scroll through your Instagram feed liking and commenting on content as you go but there will always be some important people you will miss.

The more you engage with your target market and the people who influence them the more likely you are to get new customers.

How can you do that?

multiple Instagram account

Manage Your Instagram Followers With Instagram Save

Instagram have a ‘save’ function, similar to Facebook. You can use this to keep a list of the people you want to interact with the most.

If you save one post from each influencer or brand advocate you find on Instagram, you will, in essence, make a list of users you want to interact with.

To save a post:

  • Click the ribbon icon underneath it
  • You’ll find your saved posts on your profile page by clicking the hamburger menu on the top right-hand side of the screen.
Save posts from your favourite people so you remember to visit their accounts.

Save posts from your favourite people so you remember to visit their accounts.

Using these hacks and tools will make it easier for you to interact with the people you need to on a regular basis on Instagram.

Now you have identified the right users and have a system for keeping tabs on their posts, you just need to leave good quality comments on their posts and engage with other users who comment.

What Do You Think?

Do you have a system for managing your Instagram followers or are you living with a cluttered feed? Have you any tips to share? I’d love to hear your hacks and ideas.

Amanda Webb

Amanda Webb from Spiderworking works with businesses to help them develop digital marketing strategies that get better results. She's been working iin digital marketing since 2017. She’s a blogger, vlogger, podcaster and self-confessed content addict. Her blog has won awards nationally and internationally (read it here) and she just loves to talk marketing. When she’s not creating she loves watching Dr Who, playing with her cats and going for long cycles in the Irish countryside. Follow her on Twitter here.

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