5 ways we grew our Instagram community to 45K

Ok, we are far from an influencer status, but we are very proud of the community we've built. And we know how overwhelming it can feel to build something from the ground up, especially when the platform constantly changes.

So we wanted to share some tips that we've learnt on our way that might be helpful to you.


1. Instagram Live Interviews

We love talking to inspiring creative people around the world. And it also helped us to get discovered by new people who are passionate about design, innovation and technology. If you are planning to do IG Live Interviews, a couple of quick tips:

  • Create a ‘Countdown story’ 24 hours beforehand – your followers can then set a reminder that will notify them when the interview starts.

  • Get your guest to promote the Instagram Live on their account – this will get your account noticed by their fans.

  • Post the conversation on your IGTV afterwards – so that people can then watch it in full in their own time.

  • Download the footage from IGTV, in your web browser – you can then repurpose it to create more content such as a podcast or YouTube videos.

2. Sharing quick tips

Everyone enjoys insightful resources to read, listen and watch. But not all useful content is created equal. We experimented a lot with what our community enjoys the most and found that posting quick tips performs 50% better than just sharing design inspiration; e.g Tips get 600+ likes and 1000+ saves vs. Design Inspiration = 200+ likes with 150 saves.

  • Format your post as a carousel – this makes it easier to read and also tricks Instagram algorithms to mark this post as more valuable, as people spend more time reading it.

  • Keep the information concise by using short headlines and sentences. No one is going to read paragraphs after paragraphs on a visual platform like Instagram.

  • Use stickers as friendly call to actions – e.g. ‘save for later’ or ‘comment below’. 

3. Instagram algorithms like weird things

When sharing inspirational and useful content every week, we started to notice patterns in what our community enjoys viewing.

  • For example, branding posts that feature a billboard mockup have double the engagement than any of our other inspirational posts with mockups. Why? We still don't know.

  • Pay attention to the types of imagery you are sharing and see what has good engagement on similar accounts. It's not always about the quality of content, it's sometimes about small things that Instagram cares about.

4. Consistent visual style

If you take only one of these tips away with you, it should be this one. Create a consistent visual style that fits your brand, but also works for the platform.

  • Create flexible templates – it saves a lot of time when preparing content whilst keeping your branding consistent.

  • Try new content and review every two month – evaluate with your team which content ideas/visual styles work and what can be improved.

  • Evaluate which pieces feel right for your brand? Do they fit with your purpose, tone of voice and visual style?

5. Be human

This tip may sound obvious, but you would be surprised by how many brands do not commit to this idea. Use language you would use when chatting to a friend. We are an executive school for creatives, but by no means do we sound stuffy, academic and boring.

  • Identify what your natural tone of voice is in three words and really unpick what they mean. If you sound ‘human’, what kind of human? Thoughtful, energetic?

  • Use emojis 😎 – they make great bullet points, as well as overall, make your copy more playful and visually engaging.

  • Ask your audience questions at the end of a post – whether it’s their opinion on a recent rebrand or design inspiration.

  • Don’t forget to be social on social media – respond to comments and shares from your followers, leave comments on the accounts you follow. Algorithms favour comments more than just likes. Above all else, it’s nice to be nice :)

Want to grow your brand on social even further? Check our new programme, Social Media Strategy ✹ Live ✹. Learn content strategies from industry experts from Twitter, Spotify, Oatly and many more – 👉 sign up now!

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