What are the unwritten rules of Instagram

Community building on Instagram - this is how you create long-term engagement

The great product, the great service or an initiative with added value - these are all examples of projects that you would like to present to the broadest possible audience on Instagram. In order to achieve the desired success, your Instagram followers are the first port of call. But followers don't come by themselves and the mistake many beginners make on Instagram is: They ignore the fact that a social network like Instagram thrives on interaction. The Instagram community rewards itself for successful posts with likes, friendly comments and mutual subscriptions to individual profiles.

Like your own Community building on Instagram drive forward and gain followers, we explain to you in this post as well as the discussion about bought followers.

Change your perspective to attract your first followers on Instagram

The first steps have been taken and your new Instagram account has been set up. Perfect! Now that everything has been prepared, you are probably wondering how you should actually start and how your new community will come to life.

You're new to Instagram and that means: You go to a public online party where you pretty much don't know anyone. So it's up to you to make new friends and make friends. The snowball effect quickly emerges from this circle: You will be introduced and recommended, your profile on Instagram increases its reach.

But Instagram is not Facebook, which focuses on friends from the real world. Instagram lives from interaction. People who have common interests and preferences network on the platform. Applied to the comparison with a party, it follows for you: Search specifically for similarities and start talking about them. Is someone wearing the sneakers that you like too? Does someone there bob their head to the same favorite music as you do? And even if you are reluctant: Is there anyone who is relatively alone in the corner and is therefore doubly happy when he or she is spoken to?

When building a community on Instagram, the following applies: Overcome any shyness and get active. A simple plan for doing this goes like this:

  • Look for hashtags that you use yourself.
  • Give likes aka hearts to the posts found that you like.
  • Comment with compliments.
  • Show your appreciation and become a follower of profiles that fit your project.

You will be amazed how quickly your commitment will be appreciated and how quickly your Instagram account will generate the first followers - provided, of course, that attractive content also exists on your profile.

Engagement is the key factor in building a community on Instagram

If you have followed the Instagram story, you will know that although the network is now part of the Facebook group, there are very different (unwritten) rules for togetherness there. The users of Instagram do not care whether you are there privately or with a business account. It is predominantly younger people up to 35 years of age who make Instagram their favorite social media channel. The unwritten rules on Instagram include friendly, positive togetherness, expressed in interaction.

That's where you start, it's about organic reach when building the community. Because the other Instagramers also watch exactly what reactions their posts get. The so-called engagement rate on Instagram is much more informative than the pure number of followers. Instagram's format makes it really easy to show commitment. On the other hand, there are relatively simple methods that you can use to inspire engagement for your posts.

Try these tricks:

  • Ask questions in the text of your posts: How do you like my new project? What are you missing in my division? A question - no matter how absurd it may seem - stimulates answers, interaction has begun.
  • Include a call-to-action in your posts. Encourage your post viewers to use the link in your bio to learn more about you. This makes the interaction more sustainable.
  • Take comments on your posts seriously and answer them, one at a time and not with copy-paste. Again, as soon as the other person feels flattered and understood, the chances are good that you will gain a follower.

Calculate engagement rate on Instagram

It's time for a little digression into the world of statistics in the context of Instagram. Experts calculate the engagement rate using a formula that you can apply to your own account as well as to the profiles of competitors. To do this, do the following to get a realistic average:

  1. You count the number of interactions (hearts and comments) on the last ten posts on an Instagram account.
  2. You divide this sum by the number of followers on the Instagram profile.
  3. Now multiply by a hundred and you have the engagement rate.

The example calculation is: 77 actions during the last ten posts with 1000 followers: 77 through 1000 equals 0.077. This 0.077 times 100 equals 7.7 and therefore a decent engagement rate.

In principle, the smaller the number of followers, the higher the engagement rate. Among other things, this has to do with the fact that accounts with many followers have long since ceased to be active. If you manage to initially keep the engagement rate above five percent on Instagram, you are on the right track. The internal analysis tools help you to keep an overview.

A second formula that Instagram professionals like to quote is 5-3-1. Behind this is the experience that a new follower on Instagram happens when you have liked their posts five times and commented three times. This remains an approximation - but it clearly documents that you should show interaction yourself in order to build a community.

Turbo start through budget for community building

If you are willing and able to raise funds to build your Instagram community, you have several options. You can:

  • Place advertising on Instagram yourself and promote posts.
  • Hire Instagram influencers who will bring you new followers with their reach.
  • Think cross-media and make paid advertising for your Instagram account on other social media channels.
  • Hire a consultant or subscribe to additional tools to delve deeper into the analysis.

Of course, you can also reserve a budget for the creation of high-quality content. This makes sense for product photos that you use over a long period of time. For your daily Instagram post, however, engagement is even more important and that brings us to the hotly debated topic of bought followers.

Buying followers on Instagram: are there any arguments for it?

A simple search on Google for "Buy Instagram Follower" yields 1.5 million results in German and "Instagram Follower Buy" in English provides almost five million hits. 100 Instagram followers currently cost around 3 US dollars on the relevant platforms and generous discounts are available for larger quantities. Likes and comments usually have to be purchased separately. You have to leave one thing to these dealers: they deliver. The promises to deliver new followers quickly and reliably are usually kept.

But, and this time it's BUT really capitalized: What do you get from followers that can be traced back to hacked or artificially created Instagram profiles? They don't buy anything from you, they don't interact naturally, they often even come with embarrassing photos. At the latest, when a competitor or Instagram's algorithm finds out about bought followers, the supposedly good idea has turned into the opposite, i.e. anti-advertising, reversed. In the worst case, your business account will be blocked or publicly ridiculed by other Instagramers.

On Instagram, you only score points in the medium and long term through organic reach with real followers. Everything else is humbug. You want to reach your target audience and they are probably not based in China or India. The engagement rate is the guide for you and it is of no use to deal with fake followers. Instagram doesn't believe in showing off, Instagram is based on a certain honesty, just think of the popular hashtag #nofilter. With bought followers, your credibility is at stake and that is a valuable asset on Instagram.

Every beginning is difficult - but it will pay off for your community building on Instagram

Let's keep it short: Community is king on Instagram and the netiquette on this social network has its own unwritten rules. The door to organic, sustainable growth in your reach opens through a smart combination of attractive content and your willingness to engage in both directions. This is how sustainable community building works on Instagram. How you define and perfect your individual Instagram formula will soon be a topic here in the blog.

Stay tuned!

Melchior Neumann
As the founder and managing director of PERGENZ Community Building, Melchior lives for digital communities. As a strategic thought leader, he is constantly concerned with new forms and possibilities of social organizations. In addition, he is a board member of the Federal Association of Community Management - for digital communication and social media.