I’ve had an Instagram account for years. Nothing special, just documenting day-to-day life and throwing in the occasional selfie for that all needed boost of self-esteem. When I started it, and up until recently it was for my friends and family, as well as getting away from the drivel on my Facebook news feed.
We all like pictures. Once you’re using the platform regularly, you start to notice just how much business and advertising play their roles within the images of larger accounts. This is a little about my experience of Instagram growth, and what I’ve learnt so far.
Going from an occasional user to someone who works in the industry, I help others with their own Instagram growth, increasing their following massively; creating influencers and turning companies with small social media presence to empires on the Instagram platform.
I’ve seen the power of influencers, gaining endorsements being thrown at them by companies looking to get their brand seen by all the right people. Free clothes, protein shakes, holidays, global appreciation. Sure, there are accounts out there who use professional photographers and the best lighting possible, but there are also people sitting in their bedrooms with an iPhone in their hand. This accompanied by a quippy caption or emoji and getting 1,000 likes and comments minimum.
What’s the difference?
If approached in the right way, very little. Sure, the professionally shot accounts look amazing, but everyone appreciates a different aesthetic. There are millions of people using Instagram every single day, many of whom will find your life, your business, or your brand interesting. They want to see you! Make it personal, open yourself up to the world, or at least the ‘you’ that you want everyone to see. That’s the key to strong Instagram growth.
This brings me to today.
I’m a Digital Growth Hacker. I blow people’s social media up and get them seen. A few months ago, I thought to myself “If I’m doing this for other people, surely I should build myself a following so I can show people I get shit done”. I took my tiny little Instagram account and decided to do for myself what I’m doing for my clients.
I started with just over 230 followers (tiny in comparison to those I usually start with for my clients). My content was pretty standard, but there are some good pictures on there and my life isn’t exactly boring. However, there are no beaches, no fancy workouts and no expensive clothes.
I upload pictures of me training (Krav Maga and Kickboxing), scenery, too many selfies, and my dog. Everyone loves dogs. As a starting point this is all good – it’s an aged account as I’ve had it for years, with a fair amount on there and it’s varied. I knew I needed to become consistent with my posting, so this was the next step as well as making sure I had some go-to hashtags.
Time to blow my own account up and get some real Instagram growth going on. In the first 6 weeks I’d been running my account the way I do for clients, I went from 230 odd followers to 7500. The targeting was pretty relaxed and I wasn’t overly worried about my niche at the start, which meant I was able to grow quickly and concentrate on numbers. After this, I decided to refine things down and make sure I was reaching the kind of crowd I wanted to attract, meaning slower growth but still a decent following. I’m currently on 12.5K and continuing to grow. When it comes to running account this way, there’s a lot to take in – niche, followers, content, hastags etc. It can be a bit of a daunting experience unless you’ve been in the game a while.
What this has taught me is that in a lot of cases, it’s definitely a great idea to get experts involved if you wanted to grow your account the right way. They know how to target, which whitelists and blacklists to use, along with all of the other little things that will give your growing account the edge. If you’re not in the industry there are certain aspects of Instagram growth you might miss out on, or just tweaks that can turn your growth from ‘good’ to ‘viral’. There’s a whole manner of packages offered – some giving you a helping hand with growth while you carry on managing your content, to fully managed services where pictures and hashtags are already scheduled in and someone else nurtures the lot for you.
One More Thing…
Another great thing I’ve learnt along the way about the way Instagram works, is the use of communities and private chat pods. Likes and comments don’t just ‘drop’ en masse for an account 10K or less followers – sure you’re going to get a some engagement and a decent amount of likes, but you’ll always do better being part of a group. There are private groups on Instagram itself, as well as apps like Telegram that allow you to work with others to like and comment on each other’s posts and increase your footprint and speed up the rate of Instagram growth. A decent amount of likes in a short amount of time are going to help you hit your hashtags, and hopefully appear on the explore page. But more about that at a later date.
I think what I’m trying to say is that you should never focus on one aspect of your account, but see it as a whole picture. Don’t do it on your own; become part of a community and help others who are going to help you too. It really does make a difference and gives you a reliable and consistent approach to growth, alongside the other background work you’re putting in. Plus you’re going to meet some interesting people. If you haven’t got a ton of time yourself to do all of this, get someone else to! Here’s a link to the Influencer Swap service, to give you an idea – https://influencerswap.co/pricing/
That’s the beauty of the social media industry – there’s someone out there who will blow your account up for you! You just have to sit back and decide how involved in the process you want to be.
Another great place to check out for tips and tricks is – http://bit.ly/dreamteamsecrets