Instagram Tips

Organic Instagram Growth and The Law of Reciprocity

What is the Law of Reciprocity?

Have you ever noticed that you feel moved to do something for people who have done something to help you – even if they haven’t asked you to?

Social psychologists call this compelling feeling the Law of Reciprocity.

The law of reciprocity essentially states that when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return.  As a matter of fact, you may even reciprocate with a gesture far more generous than the original good deed.

Though this law applies to every aspect of our lives, it is especially important to understand how it can really make a powerful impact on your business or brand.  More specifically, through your marketing and social media.

By social media’s very nature, the law of reciprocity is an absolute pillar to having and maintaining social media success.

Here are a few examples:

Engagement starts with you

  • Engagement is often referred to as the “currency of social media”.  To truly understand and utilize this currency however, you have to become an active engager and be one who instigates interaction more often than not.
  • Engage with others on all topics related to your field, this will help you significantly with building good rapport, reputation, and obtaining a greater understanding of your audience and target market.  Be sure to set up alerts on your mobile device to receive notifications and keep your conversations going.

Listen more than you speak

  • Let us not forget that we’re utilizing social media, and you have to show other people you care about them for other people to show they care about you.  Take an active interest in other people, organizations, and businesses aligned with your brand in the local community and reach out to them whenever possible.
  • Instagram is an excellent way to network and proliferate the rewards of the Law of Reciprocity as long as you’re keeping up your end of the deal.  Repost other people’s posts, answer/ask questions, view other people’s profiles, and leave comments on their social platforms and blogs.

    Comments on blogs are indexed in Google search so any comments you leave with links to your website create a backlink and can improve your own site’s SEO.  How’s that for reciprocity!?

    Remember: When you leave comments on other’s blogs, make sure you don’t forget the next point.

Be Genuine

  • This point can’t be expressed enough.  Lack of sincerity, authenticity, and a selfish attitude can easily be seen from a mile away.  Lazy attempts to seem interested in others are a waste of time, people can read you like a book.
  • Much like “listening more than you speak”, an important note is to ensure you are sending out a positive, caring vibe and not mindlessly selling.  People want to know they’re talking to an actual person who considers their interests. Otherwise, they’re likely to stop talking to you, stop following you, and possibly even block you altogether.

Be Generous

  • A best practice in respect to the Law of Reciprocity is to give away some of your best content and knowledge for free.  This will immediately begin to attract people within your target market and build relationships with them that create excitement while building your brand in the process.
  • Use the search bar and explore pages to find other people talking about your industry, brand, or service and answer any questions you find.  Always be happy to help, share valuable content and ask only in return that others share it.

10 Ways to Share the Love

  1. Reposts (Instagram)
  2. Share someone’s blog and mention them
  3. Tag @users when relevant (Instagram)
  4. Tagging or mentioning others in a post (Facebook)
  5. Comment on and “like” posts
  6. Share a post on your wall (Facebook)
  7. Comment on blog posts
  8. Subscribe to a channel and comment on videos (YouTube)
  9. Invite friends to “like” a page (Facebook)
  10. Direct message people following your brand



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