How Chris Preston builds Instagram audiences from all corners of the globe

Chris Preston builds Instagram audiences from all corners of the globe
Chris Preston, the founder and CEO of Preston Media. Photo: Supplied

A few of the world’s most successful brands have one thing in common – they crush it on Instagram. Generally, there are a few masterminds behind this type of success, but from time to time, one individual stands out amongst the rest… one such person is Chris Preston.

He’s been able to grow over a million followers across his accounts with a few simple tactics. Here’s what he has to say about his greatest successes:

If you dont mind, tell me a bit about who you are and what you do for a living.

“I own a social media marketing company called Preston Media, and I help individuals and businesses get seen on social media. One of my favorite companies that I’m working with right now is ShipChain, a blockchain startup.

I particularly love working with companies and people who want to make a positive impact on the world.”

You mentioned ShipChain. What are your honest, professional opinions of blockchain?

“I think it’s going to improve the way a lot of businesses operate and change a lot of the outdated ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ processes.

Blockchain technology is accelerating the speed at which business is done. It solves many of the inefficiencies businesses have faced for years. It’s transparent, fast and reduces human error.

We haven’t even scratched the surface of the potential it has and the great impact it could have on the world. I’m excited to see how the technology will be adopted by the masses over the next several years.”

This niche doesnt seem visual. How have you quickly grown ShipChains Instagram presence?

 “No matter what niche you’re in on Instagram, it’s all about how you brand your page. A lot of people wanted to know what we were all about, so I tackled educating people through our posts.

Since the logistics industry isn’t as visually appealing as others, I had to get creative in how I could attract people to the page. I took pictures related to the industry and put a statement on them that gives an intriguing preview into the post.

Then, in the caption, I used the space to educate people on the ShipChain platform and what it can do to solve so many of the hurdles shipping companies face every day.

I’m also actively responding to people on the ShipChain page. Staying engaged with your audience is not only a key to growth on Instagram but also to building a deeply engaged audience.

A lot of people will send direct messages asking about the company or leave a comment on the page, and I try to never let a comment or question go unanswered. This builds a loyal Instagram following that will be more likely to continually engage with and share your content on a daily basis.”

For those in Australia wanting to build global Instagram audiences, what tips can you offer?

 “Most people tend to post when they are awake or when it’s most convenient for them.

If you want to build a global audience, start posting at good, engaging times in other countries. In the United States, for example, great engagement times are between 8:00 and 9:00 am EST, 11:00 am and 1:00 pm EST and 11:00 pm and 12:00 am EST.

These times are when people in America are most active on Instagram. Targeting specific areas of the world during the best post times with relevant hashtags is always helpful.

In short, don’t limit your posts to when you are awake. If you want to build a global Instagram audience, you need to be posting at all times throughout the day, even if that means waking up in the middle of the night to get a post up.”
Conversely, no matter the industry, what mistakes should Instagram marketers avoid?

“One mistake I see many pages doing is following too many people or trying the ‘follow for follow’ technique. I’ve never seen this technique work in the long run, and it can hurt your brand image.

Instagram has a max limit of around 7,500 people you can follow at a time. It doesn’t look good if you have 3,000 followers, but you are following 7,000. Also, if the only followers you are gaining are through the ‘follow for follow’ technique, you aren’t building a deep, connected audience for your brand. You want to attract people who follow your Instagram page because they are actually interested in what you have to offer.

Along those lines, avoid posting ‘spammy’ hashtags. Instagram hashtags like #followme, #followforfollow and #likeforlike don’t build a genuine following for your page, and they can get your account banned if you post them too many times.”

How can Instagram marketers like yourself prove ROI to their employers or clients?

 “It depends on what will be considered an ROI to the employer or client. Some clients strictly want to build brand awareness where a large, engaged following is enough ROI, other clients want to build an email list with leads and others that are selling a product will want to track sales.

A simple way to do this is by setting up a trackable link that measures traffic and/or sales driven from the Instagram page.”

Lastly, for readers wanting to grow their brands Instagram account, what should be done first?

“First, you need to decide what your main objective is with having an Instagram page. It sounds basic, but a lot of people start a page and just want to gain a bunch of followers without ever sitting down to plan out what their main objective is.

Once you decide what your objective is, you need to build your entire account’s brand around that. When people see one of your posts or look at your page for the first time, they should know exactly what your brand is about.

Your focus on every post and the entire Instagram page’s image should reflect what you want people to know about your brand. It does not do any good to throw up random pictures on your Instagram page; this will leave people confused, and they will most likely unfollow you. Every post should be pointing to the general theme of your page with the main objective in mind.

Take an objective look at your Instagram page and ask yourself if you would follow it. If not, change it up.

Also, one of the biggest things is that you have to be consistent with Instagram. If you want to build a solid page quickly, you need to be consistently posting every day. Instagram is all about the compound effect, small efforts done repeatedly every day until eventually, momentum kicks in.”

Key takeaways for readers like you

It would be naive to think that by implementing the techniques above, your Instagram will experience the success of Chris Preston’s clients. That being said, these are solid strategies that will improve your Instagram success. Even if they only increase your following by 10 percent, they’ll make you more effective than you were before.

With practice, and in conjunction with a more robust plan, you can start to apply these principles and become a master of the art of Instagram.