2016 Instagram Experiment - Growing a Targeted Audience


We are now 12 days into the Instagram Experiment. In Part 1, we talked about how I created an Instagram strategy for Clique, our goals, how we are positioning our profile, and the process of posting. This week, I thought I’d break up specific tactics individually. This post is about growing our Instagram audience.


Instagram Follower Growth

Like I said last week, we started out with 68 followers. I want to grow this following so that our posts show up in more people’s news feed. But I want to do this very strategically.

One of my favorite quotes from Little Women is “You don’t need scores of suitors. You only need one, if he’s the right one.”

This is also true with followings on social media. The numbers don’t really mean anything. You can buy 10k followers on Instagram tomorrow, but you’ll never see a single sale. Instead, we are going to grow our audience slowly and selectively to maximize the chance of forming a relationship with them and having them visit our landing page.

Luckily with Instagram, finding the exact people we want to connect with is easy through hashtags.

I’m looking to grow my audience with people from two different interest groups:

Instagram Experiment - Grow Your Audience1. Entrepreneurs and small business owners. These are the people who I want to go to my landing page and opt-in for my free download. To be more specific, my ideal target would be business owners who know the value of social media, have been using social media for their business, but have seen little success.

Why is this type of business owner my ideal? Because we excel analyzing our clients’ social media, determining how to better show off the brand and grow engagement, and then leading those fans to where they can solve their problems by buying our clients’ products or services. If we can find business owners whose biggest problem is that they can’t get leads or website traffic from their social media, we can solve their problems.

They are our “ideal client”. So, the more of them who we can form a relationship with, the better. To target this group, I’m using hashtags such as #entrepreneur and #smallbusinessowner.

2. Other social media specialists and digital marketers. While social media experts are probably not clamoring to download the lead magnet, my goal for this group is different.

I want to form relationships with colleagues so that we can share ideas and each other’s content. They may be seen as competition, but not really. People want to work with Clique because our message resonates with them. We can help them solve their specific problem. So, mingling with the “competition” actually means forming relationships that can grow both of our businesses.

To target this group, I’m using tags such as #socialmediasuccess and #digitalmarketing.


The process I use to find people to follow is simple:

  1. I search one of those hashtags in Instagram and see what posts look interesting.
  2. When I find one, click on the account profile and see if they have posted other interesting images.
  3. If they have, I follow them and like 2-3 images that I find interesting. I sometimes even throw in a comment.


Why do I not just follow and move on? Because I’m not just looking for numbers. This isn’t a game of following a ton of people to see who will follow me back. I want to find people who are really interesting and start to form a relationship with them. The relationship may not go beyond liking each other’s posts for now, but if they have a social media problem in the future, they may email Clique since they know, like, and trust us.


Taking the time to interact is an investment that will pay off. And as you can see by the numbers below, it has – not only in followers but in engagement numbers.


Instagram Experiment Blueprint


Instagram Experiment - Part 2Instagram Numbers Update


Followers – 210 (+88)

Total likes received – 1,791 (+1441)

Total comments received – 102 (+70)

Average likes per post – 55

New people to opt-in to free offer – 21


You can also use all these tips and set up your own Instagram for sales and leads by downloading the Instagram Experiment Blueprint.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *

CommentLuv badge