My Instagram Growth Strategy for 2017

I have always been super into in social media, and as a photographer, Instagram has always been near the top of my list of fav platforms. 

This year, I set out a list of strategies for myself for Instagram.  I could care less about vanity metrics such as follower number, but what I care about is engagement. Follower count shouldn't matter quite as much when engagement is the sweet spot. That being said, there is a large group of folks that believe having a large following means having more influence. In this case, I do want to grow my following but because of engagement, not bots, not automation, just being 1to1 with people. Helping you, encouraging you, and spending time to stop and talk with you. 

I wanted to break down specifically how I am going about this. 

1. Respond to every single person who comments on my posts.
This is an easy one to look past. So many folks will just give a thumbs up emoji, or "nice" - or some will flat out ask questions. I am truly appreciative of every comment made, every heart given. I'm going to try to answer every comment with a sense of recognition.

2. Engage in users content.
When I see something awesome, or someone likes a post, or comments on one of my posts, or mentions me in a post I want to be there. This is going a step further and taking a second to care about the person and the conversation taking place. Who are you? What do you do? What's good? I am truly interested & want to connect. The best way I've found to do this is by being a part of the conversation all along the way.

3. Engage with other thought leaders and their communities. 
So many times people are just looking for help, or pointers on how to grow their website traffic, or just an overhead view of what they can do better.  I am just reaching out to these folks who are asking questions be it to the community or to the thought leader, and answering questions as best as I can. Not because I'm trying to steal readership, but because you guys have real things you are going through, and I want to help if I can.

4. Post quality content. 
This is a no brainer obviously, and one of the main reasons I love Instagram as that there is such a wide variety of post types such as video, music in a video, photos, text on photos, all of it. I'm striving to up my quality of posts for myself, and for all of you watching.

I will say, I've started heavily practicing this with @entersquare and @itszachford seeing a growth in traffic not just to the post, but to my website and other outlets, and most importantly, I really feel like I'm making solid lasting connections.

My heart is to help as many people as possible understand how to connect better and

Happy Instagramming in 2017!