It seems a little backwards, I know. You can actually use other social media platforms to drive people to your Instagram Feed, and then if they connect with your content and love your vibe, they will hit that follow button. Ah, the magic of social media. I joined Jenna Kutcher’s Instagram Challenge in June, and gained around 700 new followers in just a couple of weeks from HER efforts. She created the group, did the emails, managed the questions and content, and did the live broadcasts. I just made sure I was visible in the group, participated in the prompts, and made sure I engaged, engaged, engaged. Here’s a breakdown of what I did to make it happen

Facebook Groups To Grow Following

Find a Group

It just so happened that Jenna Kutcher’s Group landed in my lap one Sunday afternoon in the form of an Instagram Ad. The image was gorgeous, I clicked over to her Instagram Account, and saw I already followed her- but she had a link to her free Instagram Challenge. I signed up with my email, and was immediately sent a link to a free Facebook Group for the challenge. BRILLIANT, I thought. I immediately requested to join the group and already had a little plan in my head.

I have been a part of many different Facebook Groups for business ladies, and while they are a wealth of information- I had never seen being in a Facebook Group translate into an actual growth in my following. I decided that afternoon that I would try and really focus my efforts for the next week on engaging in the group – what really drew me to this was the fact that the challenge lasted just 7 days. I wouldn’t fizzle out- I could easily commit to giving the challenge my full attention and best effort to test out ideas and see if it actually worked.

The most recent group I found was also a part of a free challenge held my Jasmine Star for HER Instagram Challenge (which is also her marketing strategy for her course, just as Jenna’s was). I found out about Jasmine’s by being a part of her email subscribers- so I would recommend starting there first. Find influencers on Instagram, and sign up for EVERYTHING they have. Follow them on every social platform and join their email lists, because even if THEY are not starting a FB Group, they will probably know who will.

While I LOVE the fact that these FB Groups were specifically geared towards one short term goal (and I truly think that’s what makes it most effective, if you narrow down the “point” of the group instead of just being about business), this doesn’t mean that you can’t see similar results in a more large and broad topic group. You can still just commit to engaging more consistently and contributing more value to the group as a whole. Some of the more broad, female entrepreneurship groups I’m a part of are:

For Love + Money hosted by Cailtlin Bacher

Savvy Business Owners hosted by Heather Crabtree

Heart Centered Biz Bosses hosted by Reina Pomeroy

Biz Tech Collective hosted by Jessica Stansberry

All Up In Your Lady Business hosted by Jessica Stansberry & Jaclyn Mellone

and Blog + Biz BFFs hosted by Melyssa Griffin

There are literally HUNDREDS of other Facebook Groups for business that you can be a part of- and truly, if you can’t find the perfect fit- you can create one yourself! Really keep an eye out on Instagram for those short term challenges and check the hashtag #instagramchallenge frequently to see if you might find a good short- term group to start.

Set Yourself Apart

So once you’ve actually nailed down the group you want to spend some time & effort on, the FIRST thing to do is get a feel for what other people are doing in the group. I scoped out Jenna Kutcher’s 7 Days To Cracking The Instagram Code group and noticed that everyone was doing really generic introductions. “Hi I’m ________ and I’m a ________ from _______ and I’m really excited about this group!”

Hmmmm. Well, that’s nice and all, but literally NO ONE stood out to me and certainly didn’t make me want to jump over to Instagram and search for their first and last name in an effort to hunt them down. Too too too much work.

So I thought to myself, “How can I make the BEST first impression and then make it easy peasy hot & cheesy for someone to follow me? How can i make that journey as short and simple as possible? What I decided was to screenshot my very favorite part of my Instagram feed, upload it onto the Facebook group in a post, and then give myself a nice long, friendly introduction that made me as “real” as I possibly could be to someone in the group.

FB Post

Make Your Feed Easily Findable

But the MOST important part of the post was that I added the actual link to my Instagram account in the post http://instagram.com/rosemarywatson so it became a clickable link in my post. Super savvy, right? Well, turns out it paid off, because in a matter of minutes I started getting trickles of new followers on my Instagram Page, and FB notifications of likes and comments on my post. Another great bonus which wasn’t expected,was since I linked directly to my Facebook Business Page, I had some new followers on there too! In case you don’t know- you cannot participate in Facebook groups as your business account, you have to use your personal account. Be sure to make it very clear on your personal Facebook page that you have a Facebook Business Page, and if you can make an easy link to your Instagram feed there as well.

Engage in Conversations

Since I was watching a movie at the time (it was Sunday evening, remember?) and I decided to commit to the strategy, I stayed in the FB group and replied to anyone that had left a comment on my post. What I realized was that every time someone liked or commented on my post, it was bumping it higher and higher on the “Discussion” Tab on the Group Timeline, so people that were hopping on to the group real-time, kept seeing my post higher on the list as more people commented, which then resulted in even more engagement. I made sure to get conversations going, and ask questions of the people who commented on my post; as well as ask them for the link to their Instagram feed so I could follow along with them.

I also tried doing somethings differently in the groups by adding images to some of the comments I was leaving on other people’s posts, and if there was someone I really liked on the FB Group, I would go over and engage with their content directly on Instagram. There were SO many talented people in the group that it was so easy to connect with people I genuinely wanted to be a part of my tribe and I wanted to be in theirs.

Find Ways To Add Value

In the Facebook Group, I committed to being active on the platform, so I tried to be as helpful as possible. I sent notifications that my Challenge email of the day had shown up in my inbox, I answered questions, and I posted about the Facebook Group & Challenge on my own Instagram and even did some live broadcasting on Periscope & FB Live to try and get even more people in the group to participate. There’s so many ways you can be of service, especially to the most likely stressed-out hosts of the group who probably feel overwhelmed with ALL the questions that come with running a group of THOUSANDS of people.

All in all, I gained around 700 new followers in the 10 days from when I joined the free Facebook group to when the group closed with the launch of her course which was AMAZING to me. It really boiled down to be representing my feed as best as I could, and making sure it was super simple to find me, see if you connect with my content, and then click follow because you fell in love. That’s truly what every entrepreneur should be shooting for when they use Facebook Groups as a method of growing their Instagram following.

Download the Checklist

Want to be ready for the next time someone hosts an Instagram Challenge? Download this free checklist about growing your Instagram Challenge with a Facebook Group that you can easily reference and make sure your first and every impression you make in the group makes you stand out and look like you know what’ up in these groups.

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