How to use Instagram to make new connections

I don’t know about you, but I spend far too much time on Instagram! It’s actually the only social platform I interact with these days. And my favourite thing to do whilst I’m there? You guessed it – connect with people!

Instagram is a fabulous place to find new people and build relationships, providing you go about it in the right way. This isn’t about sleazy, spammy practices, it’s about building real relationships with people you genuinely would like in your life.

The beauty of Instagram is that every time someone posts a picture, or uploads a story, they’re starting a conversation. This makes it super easy for those of us who are a bit shy or anxious about approaching new people – all you need to do is respond, rather than having to make the first move.

Here’s my method for connecting on the ‘gram

Find your peeps

The first thing to do is to find your peeps. You’re probably already following some of them. I like to browse the accounts that my favourite people are following, and see if any of them set off my kindred spirit radar.

As you’re looking, take the time to have a rummage through their feeds, read their captions and watch a few story highlights, and if you like what you see, go ahead and follow them, So far, so simple, right?

Like and comment on their posts

I usually like and comment on a few of their recent posts – this not only puts you on their radar, but will also help to get them to show up in your feed so you don’t forget about them. Oh, and make sure you use WORDS in your comment – just dropping a few emojis will make you look like a bot.

Slide into their DMs

This is where it starts to get personal. You’re going to channel your inner Labrador, and go and wag your tail at a new potential friend. Send them a quick DM just to say hello. You could mention how you found them, or make a remark or ask a question about something they’ve posted recently. Be genuine and friendly and casual. You’re just saying hello.

Reply to stories

If jumping in cold like that is a bit scary, why not start by replying to one of their stories. This is actually my primary way of maintaining my relationships on Insta. Think about it this way - how do you feel when someone notices your content and leaves you a comment or a DM? Pretty awesome, right? You get to give the gift of that feeling to someone else.

Take it up a notch

If it goes well and you start having a great conversation, why not invite them to jump on a call with you for a virtual coffee date? I wouldn’t recommend doing this straight away, but trust your gut and see how it goes, Every new connection will have its own timeline. And of course, you don’t have to do this, but it’s a lovely way to deepen a connection – there’s so much about people that you can only find out from a real conversation.

If you’re nervous about doing this, just say something like:

“I’ve really been enjoying our conversation here – how would you feel about getting together for a virtual coffee date sometime soon? No worries if you don’t fancy it, but I’d really love to get to know you better.”

Genuine relationships

This is such a fun, easy, no pressure way to meet new people, and it can lead to genuine relationships. As a result of my connection efforts on Instagram I’ve made friends, gotten clients, been invited on podcasts, been interviewed as a guest expert in people’s private membership groups, all sorts of wonderful stuff has happened because I made the effort to reach out and say hello.

A caveat

I’m sure it goes without saying, but just in case. The key to this approach is to be genuine and sincere – don’t go in with the intention to land more clients or get people to buy from you. Approach it as meeting new people and making friends. If you try and pre-judge your interactions you’ll get nowhere.

One last thing

Try not to get hung up on individual responses. Some people love to connect and you can spark up a conversation easily, some people take more time. Bear in mind that if people aren’t following you yet, you’ll end up in their ‘requests’ folder, and they may not see your message, And don’t expect a response from busy or high-profile people. Sometimes they’ll get back to you, and sometimes not. Either way, it’s all good. Move on gracefully and don’t be discouraged.

Wanna practice? Come and slide into my DMs