5 Easy Ways to Grow Your Instagram Following
…Plus a 60 Day Instagram Challenge!
Earlier this month, I had a chance to attend the Type-A Parent Conference here in Atlanta. Here’s the thing…I’ve been blogging for over 6 years and being around all of these amazing influencers makes me feel like a newbie again. When I started blogging, the internet landscape was completely different and much easier. Facebook was the go-to social media channel. Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest were up-and-coming, but didn’t feel like that big of a necessity. There was no talk of Snapchat, Periscope, or all of these other trendy channels I have yet to understand.
Then there’s Instagram – my latest obsession. My Instagram account sat for about a year and a half with 160 followers just anxiously awaiting my first Instagram post. Ok, maybe not that anxiously, but it’s true that I didn’t post a single thing after first setting up my account. I didn’t care much about growing my Instagram following because I was never on it anyway. In fact, my very first Instagram post was actually uploaded by my little brother who was insistent that I start doing something with my Instagram account. So THIS was my first Instagram pic – a poorly lit, unfiltered, un-staged, but sweet image of my little brother, our nephews, Leila, and I. That was my only Instagram post for another year plus. I gained about 40 more followers to anxiously await my next update.
So back to the Type-A Conference. Fully aware of my Instagram handicap, one of my most eagerly awaited breakout sessions was exactly on the topic of how to grow your Instagram following. It was taught by Tauni Everett who shared her success story of going from 100 to 10K followers in just 1 year (on more than one account)! Of course, that only triggered me to obsess a little more about how much thought I actually put into my Instagram account. I can’t go through the entire session, but here were some of her top tips, along with some other tips I’ve gotten since.
According to the pros, here are 5 “easy” ways to grow your Instagram following:
1. Quality photos
Gone are the days of just snapping a pic and posting it. Tauni advised us of how important it was to have quality photos in your Instagram account if you’re looking to grow your Instagram following. She recommended bright white backgrounds wherever possible and even shared some apps such as Pictapgo and Facetune to help accomplish this.
I, along with several other bloggers, kinda dispute this white background idea however. It’s a lot more feasible with DIY projects and perfectly staged photos, but a lot more difficult for parenting and lifestyle bloggers like myself who can sometimes be more concerned with getting both kids to look in the camera at the same time. Nonetheless, I have promised to at least attempt brighter, more vibrant photos and even posted a few black and whites which I love. What do you think? (be gentle)
2. Posting frequency
Imagine my relief when she said that posting 50 times a day is not necessary to grow your Instagram following! She recommends 2-3 times a day with quality photos and engaging content will do the trick.
3. Relevant hashtags
Oddly enough, having 300 hashtags on an Instagram post isn’t the biggest turnoff. However, a tip I’ve learned is to be fairly strategic with the hashtags you use. You want to make sure you are engaging “your people” through the hashtags you use. This way, in the event that they do end up following you, you’ll want to make sure these are the people who are even remotely interested in your content and will be more likely to engage with your posts.
Having a hard time finding hashtags? Another great tip is to check out some similar, but more popular folks on Instagram and see what hashtags they are using. Keep in mind that in some cases, certain hashtags part of specific branding campaign, but it doesn’t hurt to explore.
4. Engage others
Once you’re able to find “your people” on Instagram, either through hashtags or events for whatever, go ahead and start liking their photos, commenting, and even following those you love. Seems like a no brainer, but it wasn’t the first thing I’d thought of either and several of the pros strongly recommend this as a way to grow your Instagram following.
5. Be consistent and keep your followers happy
As you continue to grow your Instagram following, try to be as consistent as possible with your posts. Your followers are getting to know you and your voice, so don’t drastically change it at this point. Tauni did warn that you lose a few followers with every sponsored post and shared a story about how she lost 200 followers in 2 hours with her single less than glamorous post. Sounds hilarious, but not so much if your goal is to grow your Instagram following and you can’t afford to take such a hit to your following.
So now to my 60 day “Grow your Instagram following” Challenge…
While I’ve already started implementing a few of these tips, I’m going all in. Right now I’m planning and organizing and starting in November, I plan on going full force with this plan. Better photos, greater frequency, hashtags and more engagement.
Why now? I figure this would be a great time to do this because with the holidays coming up, we’ll probably have the most to share – upcoming holiday events, recipes, DIY crafts, holiday gift guides, etc.
Are you up for the challenge too? If so, be sure to follow me on Instagram and I’ll follow you back. Tag your photos with the hashtag #LovePeaceGrow so we can all find each other and engage. Record your stats before the challenge and be sure to keep us all posted on your final growth by the end of the year.