How to Create a Captivated Audience on Instagram

December 28, 2018

Creating a captivated audience on Instagram will be the number one business push you’ll need in 2019.

I realized in the earlier part of this year that if I wanted to take things to the next level without being sucked under the tide of social media, I needed to find a new way of doing things.

I started looking for ways to increase my engagement but I quickly realized one thing:

Instagram comments didn’t always make that true connection.

Some of the most important connections I’ve ever made have been through direct messaging. It allows me to get to know my followers on a much more intimate & connected level, having a true conversation without feeling limited to one or two replies (and not to mention, it gets a little confusing at times trying to keep up with comments and I feel absolutely guilty forgetting to respond or missing one.)

You’ve heard me mention a million times that the way to get the attention of your followers in 2019 is to make true connections with them, right? This means stop the spammy selling – stop pushing it and trying too hard.

Whatever you’re selling or attempting to share, I want you to stop forcing it. I know that sounds entirely counter-intuitive but it works 100% of the time.

And as difficult and strange as it feels at first to stop selling and start showing up, it becomes second nature once you get used to it.

Instead of pushing the sale, I want you to do these things:

get your followers into your dms

If you’re someone who has turned off the ability to accept direct messages, please do yourself a favor and turn that right back on. What if you’re a boutique and someone is wanting to message you about a product or an issue they had at your store? What if you’re a designer and someone is inquiring about your services? You need to leave that window of communication open.

start sharing your story

You have a story. Everyone has a story. Your story is what makes you stand out amongst the noise of your competition and I think one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to step back and think you don’t have a compelling story to tell – you’ll get pushed under the wave quickly. You don’t have to get too personal, but ensure you’re making yourself approachable and relatable. You don’t want someone to meet you in public and think “wow, I never would have recognized who that person was.” I’ve met tons of followers at lunch, at the coffee shop, and the gym and what I love about being approachable online is that people still see me as approachable in person. I would never want my followers to think I didn’t want to actually speak to them in public.

start sharing fun behind the scenes aspects

No matter how boring you may consider your days to be, I promise you there is something you can share. ANYTHING. My days consist of 4am wake up calls, work, a really hyper four year old, a lot of Moana + Elsa (cue Let It Go), gym time, consulting calls, laundry, dishes, and more work. To me, there isn’t anything exciting going on – but to my followers, they appreciate the realness of it. There aren’t curated instagram stories, they are real time in my day and life. Some days I have my makeup on and some days I literally just left the gym and I look like a hot mess. Embrace the imperfection and show the realness.

start responding with videos instead of emojis

THIS IS GOLDEN. I listened to Chalene Johnson’s podcast earlier this year on a run and just fell in love with this mommy / son power house. Her son, Brock, mentioned how he responds to direct messages, when he can, with a video and I loved that idea. I began implementing this as much as I reasonably could in the end of this year and it really went over well. My followers felt important and heard and I love that. This is something I’m really going to push in 2019.

create a community, not a shop

Your customers and followers want to know you have a community and you believe in cultivating more than just your products. A few business owners whom I love do this: Chalene Johnson, Emily Ley, Jessie James Decker, Jordan Dooley (see how we just redid her shop pages!), and Jasmine Star. Instead of constantly pushing products, they want to build a community of connected followers who value their own values and feel appreciated and heard. In 2019, people don’t want to be sold to, they want to be heard. They want value, human connection, appreciation, and support.

refer back to your analytics

If you aren’t sure of what your readers are enjoying, refer back to your analytics always. Know that switching from a business account to a personal and then back to business will, in turn, clear out those old analytics. So be aware of that before doing so! If you’re wondering why people aren’t responding to the images you’re posting, try running a few test images.

Remember that with any test, you’ll need to give it time to yield results. If you switch things up and find nothing is working, just give it time. Don’t give up! With all of the tests I run, I try to give them atleast three weeks to see what works and what doesn’t.

You’ll need to test days, times of the day, different graphic layouts, types of quotes, types of captions, lengths of captions, images, and even filters and styles of images.

create compelling captions with a clear CTA

You should always begin a caption with a clear CTA. The first line should be your CTA and the second should follow up with what your entire point is. Here is an example:

Tag a friend whose starting a business in 2019!

I love to work with business owners to create compelling & captivate websites.

find what your followers respond to

Do you followers respond to quotes? Do they like handwritten quotes or more creative ones? Do they like seeing your face or do they prefer flatlays? Its really important to ensure you’re sharing content your followers not only want to see, but engage with to cultivate a captivated audience on Instagram. This entirely relates back to checking in on your analytics to see how posts are performing.

So tell me how you cultivate a captivated audience with your business! I’d love to hear if you’re seeing anything exciting and new. Share this post with a friend and come find me on instagram @kaitlinfontenot.

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