(And how being a low-key creep can fast track your audience growth on Insta)

 Odette Barry is the founder and director of publicity and social media agency Odette & Co based in tropical Byron BayRead on as she shares her tips for sliding into the DMs.

Despite popular belief, the world of Instagram DM’s is not reserved for slyly sending a message to that babe you saw behind the coffee machine (and never worked up the courage to speak to in person).

As organic reach falls by the wayside, it’s up to us to get out there on the digital footpath and pound the pavement. It’s up to us to find the people that matter to us, and start the conversation.

The DM is probably one of the MOST under-utilized tools on one of the MOST heavily populated social media networks, and if you’re not using it, let’s talk about why you should. All superlatives aside, it holds immense power when you’re on that tribe-building, reach-expanding, connection-developing train.

Spending time in DMs is absolute ~fire~ for your social media strategy and one of the fastest ways to expand your reach, grow your audience and let the algorithm know that you’re a busy, highly-engaged, community member.

Here are four tips that are working right now to supercharge your Insta game:

OCD lists…for new friends

I’m going to be honest, while the algorithm is busy doing its thing, it’s not amazing for helping you to forge new connections outside of those you’re already talking to. So don’t rely on the newsfeed to be the place where you connect with your current and future peeps.

So as not to drive yourself completely bonkers trying to talk to everyone, you’ll want to develop an a bit of an outreach strategy that helps you siphon your time and energy into the right places.

Aim to build lists of people who will be influential in your business growth and seek to establish a relationship with them through your outreach – this means you aren’t relying on the newsfeed to dictate who you’re speaking to.

It’s about being authentic. And, bonus, taking the reins with who you interact with online means saying goodbye to the passive, infinite scroll and populating your feed with things that resonate with you.

My go-to strategy: build 3 (or more) lists of people with 10 people on each list, and rotate through that list every day, reaching out to each of them in succession. If you’re a Virgo (like me), you’ll want to categorise and colour code your list, but you can start with grouping them into categories like referrers, current customers, potential customers, journalists/influencers, and like-minded businesses.

I save a list of the handles that I want to include in my outreach strategy in the notes section of my phone and I ensure that I spend 30 minutes per day, actively seeking out conversations on their accounts and letting them know that they’re on my radar. From here, a beautiful friendship emerges.