Hey girl hey! One of my biggest frustrations with Instagram is how hard it is to grow. It can take months to get to your next goal, which leads to more frustration and setbacks. Throughout the past few weeks, I have been able to gain over 2000 followers, all organically by implementing a few new practices. If you are interested to learn about how I did it, keep on scrolling!
Just as a disclaimer: We all know numbers and followers aren’t the most important thing in the world. How many followers you have or don’t have SHOULDN’T be a major focus. Engagement (likes and comments) should be. With these tips, my engagement has also gone up exponentially as well.
Just a reminder: You are not a number.
Alright, moving right along. There are some new practices that I have started adding into my growth technique since January. These things have helped boost my follower count from 2960 followers to 5100 followers in just 4 SHORT WEEKS. No, these tips are not gaining me spammy or fake followers. I’m gaining a real and engaged audience of people who enjoy what I post.
1. Targeting new followers
Targeting sounds a little stalker-ish, and that’s because it kind of is. To begin the targeting process, I wrote down exactly who my ideal follower is. And I got CRAZY specific. How old is she? Where does she live? What is her education level? Is she even a she? I asked myself who I would want reading my posts and commenting on my blog. Then I searched for her. I went to accounts that had a similar vibe to mine. These accounts were people that I felt already HAD the ideal follower that I was looking for.
Then I began to engage with the people who engaged with their posts. This part is important. I wasn’t scrolling through endless lists of their followers. That’s NOT where the engagement comes from. I was scrolling through their likes and comments and liking and commenting on their posts. Once I would engage with 10-15 of their posts, I would go ahead and give them a follow. This may sound creepy, but it works. Oh, and I only did this with people that I genuinely felt would enjoy my content, and that I would enjoy theirs in return.
Now, it’s important to note that I wasn’t just picking and choosing accounts all willy nilly. No, there was a strategy to who I picked. For example, if I did this practice with someone who has 50K followers, thousands of likes, and hundreds of comments, what do you think will happen? That’s right, I’ll get lost in their notifications. Instead, I chose accounts that had a similar following to me. I tried to keep it anywhere from 1-10K followers. I would follow anywhere from 50-100 people a day as well, with a few days of breaks in between following sessions.
If they didn’t follow me back after 2-4 days, I would then make the decision if I still wanted to follow them. If it was someone that I felt super inspired by their content, of course I would keep following. If it was someone that didn’t post to often, I would go ahead and unfollow. However, most of the time, I remained following. And…about 80-90% of the time, they followed back!
2. Tactful Giveaways
Emphasis on the TACTFUL! I was asked to join 2 different giveaways in the month of February. The other accounts that I joined with had a combination of over 100K followers. This was huge for me, and a major part of why I was able to gain at least 1000 followers. Now, you have to be careful with giveaways for a few reasons, and I’m going outline those reasons down below!
- Make sure the giveaway is something that would appeal to your followers. I think this is pretty much a given, but you would be surprised how many people do giveaways that have nothing to do with the content they post. For example, I gave away a Sephora gift card and a set of palettes with other bloggers because that is what my account is centered around. If your followers follow you specifically for your fashion posts, consider giving away jewelry or a gift card to a popular clothing store.
- Make sure the giveaway is with other accounts that are similar to yours. This was a big one for me, especially with the Sephora gift card (Organized by Nicole from @beautyandtheleast_!). I felt like all of us in that giveaway were unique enough to stand out from each other, but similar enough to where our followers would all appreciate the others. If you do giveaways with accounts that have nothing to do with your account, it looks spammy.
- Research the person who is organizing the giveaway before going on with it. THIS IS HUGE. I just recently read a story about a girl who has been doing giveaways in which she charges everyone an extreme amount and then doesn’t end up sending the prize to the winner. Oh, and she also created a fake account so she could be the winner. Yeah, research is important! For the last giveaway I did, I actually reached out to other people who had done giveaways with the organizer before to make sure it was legit.
Once I decided that these giveaways were mutually beneficial for all, I jumped in. I think the biggest thing is to make sure that your giveaway is being shared. Do not be embarrassed to ask your blogging friends to share the giveaway you’re doing. Every single person I reached out to to share my giveaways was completely willing to share!
3. Engaging with Followers
Part of me gets a little sad when I see that people don’t do this. Whenever someone comments on my posts, I always make sure to respond to that comment. Not only does it help with your engagement, but it builds a community. Building a community SHOULD be your biggest goal if it isn’t already. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but just simply “liking” a comment is truly not enough. Ask questions back to your followers when they comment, go and comment on their stuff, give them a shoutout on your stories.
The biggest part of engaging with others is to go through and like and comment on their things. Remember the first tip I gave above about targeting followers? Yeah, other people are doing that too. So it’s important to make yourself known on other people’s posts in order to get the love back. Be a friend that you would want to follow, not just someone that people admire.
4. Posting Consistently Good Content
Do you have to post every single day? No. Should you? Yes. This makes you more visible on other people’s timelines, and gives you a better chance of being put on the explore page when other people are seeking out people to follow. Just to give you an idea of this, I follow someone who hasn’t posted in literally 3 months. She wanted to take a little break, which I totally get, but when she came back, all she could talk about was how many followers she lost. It’s true, people won’t stick around if you aren’t consistent. I get it, we all need time to sit back and focus on other things in life, but if you want to consistently go up instead of down, it’s important to post as regularly as you can.
If you’re struggling with consistency, a huge tip I have is to “batch” your content. Batching is spending an hour or two a week to take all of your pictures at once so that you have something to post throughout the week. I try to do this as much as I can, because I’m a full time student and have other priorities as well. It makes posting stress-free.
One of the best things I could have done for my account to make it worthy of people wanting to follow me was purchasing a Lightroom preset! I, of course, love the millennial pink vibes, so I wanted to purchase a preset that reflected that. I ended up going with The Girl Crush Collective’s Princess Diaries Preset. She has a few other awesome ones as well, but presets truly are so easy to find. I believe that having a Lightroom preset that you use consistently is the best way to create a cohesive Instagram theme that makes people want to follow you!
Those are the 4 practices I implemented to grow my account from 2960 followers to 5100 followers in just 4 short weeks! What are some tips and tricks you have for growth? What has been the easiest way for you to grow?