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Instagram is a big part of my business and for many new coaches, along with Facebook, it makes sense to be there. Every week I have time scheduled for engaging with people in my Instagram community as well as connecting with new people. Being a business serving other businesses, I inherently interact with other accounts and people who are businesses (and of course predominately coaches) and I’ve noticed that often the simplest things aren’t being done by these businesses. These are four basic tactics that help build relationships with the people who are right there in front of you, already in your community.

I know often it comes down to people not being aware, so I’ve written this piece to cover the foundations to connect with and grow a thriving community on Instagram

Four simple tactics you can implement to build connection on Instagram

Here they are, the four tactics you can implement that help build connection on Instagram.

1. Reply to everyone who leaves a comment on your posts.

If someone takes the time to comment on your content, always acknowledge them and write back. I’m surprised at the number of times, I leave thoughtful and conversation provoking comments on other people’s content and they either a) like it and don’t respond or b) they drop an emoji. It does wonders for your engagement if you write back thoughtfully (remember the people who follow you are obviously interested in you, your message and are possibly a potential client). It also leaves a positive experience for this person where they feel seen, heard and acknowledged. If someone leaves a genuine comment always right back.

2. Reply to all your Direct Messages (DM’s)

Same with DM’s reply to them all. Even if someone has reacted to your story, they have opened the gate to their inbox and this is the best place to start getting to know people better and share more about who you are. Why you would simply like this, or often, not even acknowledge it is so confusing to me. If you’re a business inbox is the place most people want to be, so respond. Ask a question, thank them for stopping by, introduce yourself. Anything to spark a genuine conversation.

I’ve noticed, both with myself on other people’s work and people following me and my work, once you’ve chatted in DM’s, the relationship has deepened and these beautiful people become even more active in your community (hello engagement!).

3. Go and engage on other people’s content.

Instagram has moved on from simply posting your content and most people seeing it or finding you that way. Engagement has become a key driver for ‘reach’, as well as new people discovering your account. I’m always talking to my clients about regularly engaging with other people’s content as a way to increase your own engagement, stand out as a leader and cultivate new relationships.

When you comment or like someone else’s post, they will usually click across to your profile to check you out (and often they’ll like or comment on your content in return – it’s subconscious that when you give, people want to give back to you) and if they like what they see, it only makes sense for them to hit ‘follow’ and join your community. I set aside time to regularly engage with new people, leaving genuine comments and starting conversations.

As for the time factor, lots of people tell me they don’t have the time BUT if you’re not booked out in your business you must have the time, right? I often compare spending an hour or so across the week connecting with new people versus going to an in-person networking event each week and hands down, this takes way less time.

4. Send DM’s to people who are active in your community

Personal outreach is working really well at the moment, probably because most people don’t do it very well, so feel free to send Direct Messages (DM’s) to people who are active in your community. You could simply say hi via DM and thank them for being there, or watch a couple of their stories and reply. Again, you get to build a deeper connection with people in your community. On the flip side, it must be genuine (never copy and paste, people can feel it and it doesn’t feel good!).  I once got a DM saying “Hi Success” because my headline said Success Coach – do not be that person – be genuine, natural, think about how you chat with people in real life.

These are basic etiquette and maybe a new tactic or two that have been working well for myself and my clients recently. As we increasingly move into micro-influence and people craving genuine connection on social media, if you do this well, you will stand out and have a community of people who want to be there. Just to reiterate, spend the extra minute to be genuine and watch your engagement, connection and enquiries skyrocket.

Have you been using any of these? Have you noticed how much more fun and as a bi-product how much more engagement (and enquiries) happen as a result?