Articles

DOUBLING MY INSTAGRAM GROWTH (2019)


Sunny Lenarduzzi: So I have doubled my growth
on Instagram and I have learned so many ninja tricks along the way. And I’ve been waiting to make this video for
you guys because as you can tell, I’m geeking out and I’m so excited to share these because
I know they actually have been proven and tested on my account to make a big difference. Let’s talk about Instagram and I know I talk
a lot about youtube on this channel obviously, and that’s pretty much where you guys know
me for. But I’m really active on Instagram and I am
a huge marketing nerd and I love studying all the platforms. You know, I have the podcast as well and that’s
been really fun to figure out and to really start growing, which has been great. But Instagram itself in the last six months,
I started to take it really seriously, kind of as a test to figure out what works, what
doesn’t, what’s BS advice out there and what is actually really, really good advice and
work. About six months ago, I was growing between
like 25 to 50 new followers a day. I’ve been on it for a while, I was using it
pretty consistently, but now I’m growing at about a hundred new followers a day, which
is pretty cool to see. So at the end of this video, you’re going
to know all these ninja little secrets and tricks to start applying to your account. And what’s really cool is you can actually
start playing around with them pretty much immediately. If you haven’t subscribed to this channel,
if you are new here and you’re just checking this out, make sure you hit that subscribe
button. If you’re not following me on Instagram and
you’re not seeing the little tricks and things that I’m doing over there, make sure you follow
over @sunnylenarduzzi will put the handle somewhere on the video for you guys to checkout
and I’ll put my link below as well. When I’m talking about Instagram and all the
little things I’ve started implementing, yes, over the years I’ve learned a lot, but particularly
like I said in the last six months, there’s been a couple things that I’ve done that have
made a huge difference to my engagement, to my growth, to the momentum. And another part of why I wanted to make this
video is because Instagram is a huge traffic source for my YouTube videos. I share every new video that I put out on
YouTube, on Instagram, on my stories and on my feed and it drives a ton of traffic and
targeted traffic to my new videos. So it’s a really great tool for you to be
using it as well. And to be totally, totally honest and let
me know if you agree or disagree in the comments below, I really think in 2019 that YouTube
and Instagram are the most amazing platforms to be using to really start to grow your brand
and your business so that’s why I wanted to do this. Let’s dive into the first step. The first ninja trick or little secret that
I’ve started using is all about timing. And I use this app, it’s like my little secret
weapon. It’s called the WhenToPost app and it basically
takes all of your information, all of your data on Instagram and it tells you the three
times of day, for everyday of the week that are your most highly engaged times. I’ve been following this down to the minute
to figure out when to post my content and I’m telling you, I’ve tested it posting right
at the time that it says and posting like a couple minutes later or a half an hour later,
and the difference is huge. First things first, get this App, I’ll put
a link to it below so you can check it out, it’s called WhenToPost. And again, it’s super simple to use and I
use it as a guideline of when to post all my content. Timing on Instagram matters. It matters when your audience is active, it
matters when your audience is going to be actually seeing your content and when there’ll
be engaged with your feed, so this app takes out all the guesswork for you and tells you
exactly when to post for the most engagement. The more engagement you get, the faster your
account will grow. The second thing that I started doing, which
has made also a really big difference for me is basically going on my story every time
I do a new post. It pretty much just drives a ton of traffic. You guys have probably heard me talk about
my method on YouTube, which is a really four part method. That methodology, which we call, “The Sunny
System.” Works on every single platform, Instagram
included. On Instagram you do the research for figuring
out what your audience wants to see, what time you should be posting, that’s really
phase one. The second part of it is how you structure
your posts, what kind of caption you’re going to put there, what kind of picture you’re
going to post, and then you do your uploading with your hashtags and your optimization and
all that stuff that you would do on YouTube as well. But the biggest key that a lot of people forget,
which has made the biggest difference for me with YouTube growth and with Instagram
growth is this, distribution. And that’s why stories are so important. When I post a new photo on Instagram or a
text graphic or whatever it might be, the first thing I do is I share it directly to
my story. And say new post and get people to go click
on it from my story because reality is, I get a lot of eyeballs on my story and those
people are then being driven to go and like the post. So that’s a little secret of how you can get
more eyeballs and more engagement on that post. Which brings me to my next point, which is
all about the comments. Utilizing the comments is a huge secret to
building more momentum on Instagram because the algorithm has changed so much and how
I’ve figured out how to beat the algorithm is really by commenting for conversation. And this is something that my friend Amanda
Bucci, who has I think close to 600,000 followers on Instagram talks about a lot. And it’s all about responding with questions
and comments and thoughtful comments because did you know that the first hour that your
posts goes live on Instagram is the most important? On YouTube, it’s the first 24 hours, on Instagram
… God, sometimes I hear myself talking and I’m like, “You’re such a nerd.” Anyways, I know way too much about this stuff,
but on Instagram it makes me very happy. On Instagram, the first hour that you post
goes live is the most important when it comes to engagement. The more engagement you get in that first
hour, the first 60 minutes, the more your post will get pushed in the algorithm and
be seen by more and more people, which is why that first hour, it’s so important to
distribute it on your story. Like I said, to push more eyeballs there and
to comment back. As soon as people start commenting on your
photo or whatever you’re posting, you want to be responding with thoughtful comments
because another little secret there is that you need to have a four word response. It’s a rich response. Just writing an emoji or one word back to
what people say on your posts isn’t really good enough if you’re really trying to gain
traction. Of course acknowledging people with something
is better than nothing, but if you really want to be triggering the algorithm to say,
“Wow, there’s good, deep, meaningful conversation happening on this post, that’s not just spam.” Because Instagram’s gotten smarter and understands
that people will just write crappy comments just to get comments. You want to have rich comments, so what you
can do is lead the charge on that and ask full questions to people, respond with a four
word minimum response and make sure that you’re really activating that conversation to get
even more comments. Now the next thing is again, just really paying
attention to what is working and something that works really well is to go back to your
analytics, which I talk about on YouTube, but paying attention to your analytics and
I’m not talking, you have to go like super deep dive into this. It’s strictly just seeing what content is
getting the most comments and the most likes, that’s your metric of success on Instagram. When you see that one post has gotten a lot
more engagement than another one, that’s a good clue for you to be like, “Okay well,
that kind of content work best.” And it could be as simple as selfies seem
to get a lot of engagement okay, I’m going to post more of those.For my account, I noticed
that when I posted these text graphics, they got skyrocketed engagement, so of course I’m
going to double down on what works and that brings me to the next step, which is consistency. I was posting about three times a week, I
think about six months ago now I’m posting at least five days a week and upping the amount
that I’m posting has really helped my account grow. The more active you are, the more that the
algorithm is going to favor you. I’m posting five days a week using the WhenToPost
app to figure out what time of day I should be posting at. And that’s helping the account grow naturally
by a hundred plus new followers on a daily basis, which has been crazy, crazy growth
compared to where I was just six months ago by implementing this. So, consistency is really, really key on every
platform and how I stay so consistent on Instagram is a tool called Planoly. I love Planoly, it’s an easy way to see what
your grid and your feed is going to look like. You can plan out your posts ahead of time
and actually put in placeholders even if you’re not sure what you’re going to post that day,
but you know the caption you want to do. I sit down about once a week and I’ll plan
out my feed and I’ll plan out some captions so I know I have content set to go. And I also just have a bank of content sitting
there in case I have a day where I’m not really feeling it, I don’t have inspiration but I
still want to remain active because as you guys know, and I have a whole video about
content hacks and content planning tricks that you can do, which we’ll link in this
video, but one of them is to plan ahead. Even if you think you’ll be doing your posts
on the fly some days you’re just not going to have an idea for it and having things in
the bank to post sitting in your Planoly, is really helpful way for you to stay consistent. Next step is being active in your niche. I will look at a ton of accounts on a daily
basis that have a very similar audience to the audience I’m trying to attract, and I’ll
start engaging with those comments on those pages by again, answering questions, adding
value, making sure that I’m not spamming just to spam. But to actually add some sort of value to
the comment section and build the sense of community on pages with a larger following
than me, but if following that’s totally relevant to who I’m trying to attract. And another really, really simple way of doing
this and something that I started doing which works really well is hearting comments. If I go to an entrepreneur account and there’s
a ton of comments in the most recent post, what I will do, is I will go and I will heart
all of the comments on that post that I feel are actually good comments and are from people
who would be great for my community. Because that sort of pings them and notifies
them to be like, “Oh, Sunny liked my comment, who is this girl?” They go to my account and they’re more likely
to follow. Now, the final tip is really fun for me to
do and this is like the not cute stuff that you do to grow accounts on Instagram. The stuff that’s behind the scenes that some
of the bigger people have been doing for years and is the grunt work that you might not think
about, which is all about the dms. One of my favorite features on Instagram,
is the voice memo. I love that you can send voice notes to people
so what I’ve started doing is every single day I’ll pick at least five people who have
recently followed me. I’ll go check out their account and I will
send them a voice note. I could be walking down the street, I could
be coming home from the gym, I could be going to a meeting, it takes two seconds. And I’ll just send them a voice note and say,
“Hey, I’m so grateful that you followed me, I loved your picture of X” or “I love that
you also live in Vancouver.” or “That you live in some far off place that
I’ve never been to but when I go, let me know what you want to see on my page or on my account
and what kind of content you’re interested in.” And the conversations you start are so amazing
and the fact that you do this and blows people’s minds, they’re like, “Are you actually voiced
noting me? And I am. And the other technical side of this is that
the more active you are in your dms with people, the more likely you are to show up in their
feed and to beat the algorithm to show up more prominently. So twofold, I love having conversations and
building real relationships with people that’s awesome. And then the other thing is it puts me in
their feed. It puts me in the top of the algorithm when
I do that so I also try to respond to comments and questions on Instagram as much as I can
with a voice note or with the video because that’s rich text and that are rich content
that is also more weighted in the algorithm versus just responding with a quick text back. Sometimes I will obviously if I’m tight on
time, but I do try and respond as personally as possible so people know it’s really me
behind this account. Now my last bonus tip has to do with a comments
section as well. When you post a new piece of content, like
I said, you want to do everything possible to get eyeballs on that new piece of content. One little trick that I started doing that
made a big difference in the amount of engagement I was getting on my brand new posts is that
on my last post before, like my most recent post before that new post that I just put
out, I’ll go back into the comment section and I will go in like every comment on that
post. Because it notifies the people who commented
on that post that I’m active and it’s like more likely they’re going to go check my account
to see this new post that I just put up. So it’s a little trick to get their attention
to sort of ping them and say, “Thanks for commenting on my post yesterday I happened
to also have a new post today as well.” I hope this is as fun for you as it was for
this little nerd right here. I love talking about this, I love doing tutorials
for you, we’re doing all different styles of videos on my channel now, but if you want
tutorials and you have ideas for them, I love doing them. Put them in the comments below and I’ll check
them right after we finish this video and make sure that I see some of your ideas and
hopefully start making videos around those as well. And if you liked this video, make sure you
hit the like button below, share it because the more people see this channel and the content
on here, the more we can grow this amazing community of entrepreneurs and amazing humans
that we have in this subscriber base, and this comment section, and it’s just so much
fun to see it grow and grow and grow so please be sure to share it and be sure to subscribe
for new videos every single week. Plus, if you don’t know, we also have a podcast,
The Sunny Show. It’s doing so well and I’m having the most
amazing guests on, and one of my guests, Rachel Bell is truly an Instagram wizard and she
shared some amazing bonus tips on top of everything that we just talked about here today about
your profile, and how to set it up in the best way. She actually did an entire revamp of my Instagram
profile, and it’s part of the reason that my Instagram account has started growing really
rapidly. So check out that episode, she’s got so many
good tips outside of everything I just shared, will link to it below in the description.

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