I’ve been blogging for a while now, and for awhile I wondered how I was supposed to grow my social media – especially my Instagram! I began looking at all of the bloggers who I admire who have high numbers on their Instagram account and wondered: “When will my numbers start to grow?” Everything else in my blogging world was gaining traction slowly and I saw growth in my numbers on my other social media accounts, but not Instagram. I researched articles, looked into webinars, and decided that I needed to find a way to grow my Instagram without paying hundreds of dollars for someone to tell me how to do it or pay an outrageous fee for another account to give me a ‘shout out’. I wanted to do it myself. I wanted to gain followers at a steady rate through my own methods without paying an absurd amount of money.
More importantly – I wanted to gain followers who were actually going to be interested and engaged in my Instagram account so that it would also help my blog and other social media channels grow as well.
It took me a few months of research and trial and error before I found my method. And because, I want to help other bloggers be successful as well, I’m going to outline my methods below which have been providing an increase in my stats over the past month.
Let me start off by saying that my Instagram account started off below 1,000 followers only three weeks ago, and now I am on my way to over 2,000 followers in the next few weeks. To me, that is amazing growth. And the followers that I have gained are all engaged – they leave comments, like my pictures, and click on links that I leave for them.
I’ll stop going on and on about my success, and start giving you the tools that you need for yours.
Let’s Start With THE ACCOUNT PAGE
Spruce Up Your Bio
You want people to come to your Instagram page. And when they come to your Instagram page you want them to know about your blog or brand/business. So tell them about it! Let them know who you are and what you offer, because it’s important. When I first began, my profile didn’t even have my name on it. No one knew the name behind the person running LivingLesh.com! I wasn’t connecting with my followers and I wasn’t connecting with the brands who wanted to connect with me. If you don’t have your name then who will they address in their emails? So make sure to state who you are. Once you’ve stated who you are then go on and tell people what you do and what you can offer them. State your niche (if you’re a blogger), what you offer on your site/blog, and if have any freebies that you’re willing to give. Lastly, state how people can contact you. I get so many emails from brands who state that they have found me on Instagram and love my feed and want to work with me.
And since we are talking about feed, let’s…
Determine a Theme
You’ll see many Instagram profiles that have high numbers with an established theme or a ‘look’. Many have an obvious one where they put a colored filter over their pictures on only post in black & white. And if you’re are interested in that, then go for it, but it is not necessary. Establishing a theme can be pretty simple – just make sure that you are posting pictures within your niche and with a certain look. For example, when I post my fashion posts I usually make sure that my colors looks exceptionally warm by increasing the temperature during the editing mode, and then for beauty or other product posts, I make sure to have a white or plain background. This provides followers with a idea of whose photo they are looking at when scrolling through their feed without having to look at the photo. Additionally, it makes your personal feed on your profile look cohesive and balanced. Thus, causing people to want to contact you because you have such great photos and an established look.
Now On To POSTING
I will say that this is a must, because you want to stay active and present on Instagram. I try to make sure to post at least 1-2 times a day with pictures from current posts, previous posts, or pictures that I am taking throughout my day. You will see that other bloggers or Instagrammers say to post 3-5 photos a day, but I haven’t found that to be an absolute must. I have actually found that I have lost followers from posting too frequently because it comes across as spammy. So just figure out how your followers respond and find a number that you can stick with. By posting at least once a day, you are staying relevant and making your presence known. Typically, my post brings in new followers depending on what I’m posting. When I post beauty products, I’ll get followers who love all things beauty. And when I post outfit photos, I get followers who love fashion!
Use the Right Hashtags
I can’t say enough about how important hashtags are on Instagram. When I post, I make sure to use at least 7 hashtags on the actually content of the photo and then I comment with additional hashtags. But be warned, that you cannot use a large number of hashtags on the photos because Instagram will block it and think you are trying to spam users. Typically, I use hashtags relevant to me and what I am posting about. So for example, on almost all of my post I use – #PhillyBlogger – because that is where I am from and it connects me to other bloggers and brands who are in the area. For fashion posts, I use hashtags such as – #fashion blogger, #fblogger, #ootd – and for beauty posts I use – #beautyblogger, #bblogger, #productname.
Recently, I found a post by Sarah on Venus Trapped in Mars that lists the best hashtags relative to your niche that will gain you followers and a surplus of likes – check it out here!
Resources and Tools TO GET FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM WITHOUT FOLLOWING
I will admit that I swear by these two resources. Ever since I have began using them, my way of using Instagram has drastically changed and improved.
To give you a basic rundown, Likegrowers is an automated system that keeps you engaged even when you are not on Instagram. Let’s face it, we all don’t have the time to sit on Instagram all day, but we have to stay involved and engaged on Instagram. So that’s when Likegrowers comes in.
What this system does is it likes posts for you as dictated by the hashtags that you typically follow or are involved in. You adjust how many posts are liked per hour and you are all set. The system goes through and likes the pictures that it finds appropriate for those hashtags and you are constantly engaged on Instagram throughout the day.
Are you a part of any networks that do the ‘follow for follow’ or have you just been in contact with another blogger who indicated they would follow you back? A lot of people have, which brings me to the next situation where the person that follows you actually ends up unfollowing you, but keeps you as a follower. Don’t worry, a lot of people do this as a method to gain followers, but I am not one of those bloggers who likes to play that game.
I use Crowdfire to balance my Instagram followers with who I am following. Through Crowdfire, I can see who I am following that doesn’t follow me back and it also shows me who has recently unfollowed me so that I am also able to unfollow them if I choose to. With Crowdfire, I have been able to find out the culprits who follow me with the intentions to unfollow me days later, and just like all the rest, I unfollow them right back.
My intention is to keep a balance between my fans as well as those who are also in the blogging community, and Crowdfire has helped me do so.
Most Essentially STAY ENGAGED
The best advice that I can give for a person who doesn’t want to do all the things as mentioned above is to just stay engaged. Get on Instagram and like photos that you are interested in. Follow certain hashtags to stay relevant within that niche, and make sure to comment on photos that you feel passionate about. I’ve gotten followers from other bloggers and those interested in the same things I am by just commenting. I will admit that I don’t comment as frequently as I would like to, but when I do comment, I see the difference that it makes.
Let’s Start Gaining Instagram Followers!
I hope that you take most, if not all, of these options into consideration and note that it is always best to change up methods to fit your schedule. I am constantly changing my methods and finding out new ways to grow my blog, and I’m doing a lot of it on my own. So the one thing that I can offer you is the help that you are looking for.