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Trying to grow your instagram account can be tricky for some. When I first joined IG, I had no idea what I was doing. I actually boycotted it for a while, but then I finally cracked. I always posted by custom jewelry and photos from the boutique I used to have. When I started gifting products to my friends with influence, they would always shout my page out. Each time someone did that my page would always gain anywhere from 500-1500 followers. So imagine how it grew after a few shoutouts. When I had my daughter in 2016, I was at around 30,000 followers and now I am over 100K. Cute baby photos always go viral and get circulated on numerous pages. So many of my photos were posted on pages such as @frobabies, @munamommy and a ton of other motherhood pages. After having my daughter, I gained a whole new demographic – moms and people that love cute babies!
I learned a lot of tricks along the way while growing my following and I wanted to share them. Check them out below and if you know of any others, let me know in the comments.
Like photos in your niche
I heard how the CEO of Freshly Picked talked about how she grew her instagram page to have almost 400,000. Today she has almost 900,000. She said that in the early days, she would spend hours liking other people’s photos each night. Her suggestion? Go through and like 5-10 photos on someone’s account. It would also help to leave a genuine comment and give them a follow. This helps to get your name out there and allows other users to discover you. I’d also suggest doing this primarily to users in your niche. How do ya find users in your niche? Check hashtags, or view the followers of your favorite Instagrammers. Overall, be authentic.
Create a theme for your photos
I am not into the editing apps that alter yours kin or body, but I do like giving your photos the same aesthetic. There is a page I love that is centered around food and babies and you can guarantee that every post will have a cute baby staring at food that looks delicious. That is their theme and they stick to it. Write down a few words that you want people to associate with your account.
It’s not called social media for nothing. Respond to the comments you receive and leave comments of your own on others’ work. Rather than something stale like, “cute dress,” try to leave genuine comments and questions that encourage them to post more photos.
Create a hashtag and encourage others to use it
This is a great way to build community and gain new content for your account. First of all, create a unique hashtag (make sure it’s not already being used!) and ask others to use it. It works best if the hashtag has a specific purpose. For example, A Beautiful Mess encourages followers to use #ABMLifeIsColorful on all of their colorful, happy photos. Once people start using your hashtag (and YOU use it, too!), then you can repost images from your followers (giving them proper credit, of course!). Not only does this build community by showing your followers that you appreciate their photos, but it also gives you content for your own account.
Run a contest
I have done this a lot and I also team up with people to do giveaways. If you have something you’d like to give away, try running a contest. Some ideas? Have users repost a specific image and tag you in the caption. Ask them to follow you. Or invite them to use your hashtag on their own images. You could even try a loop giveaway, if you want to collaborate with other Instagrammers.
Use Instagram stories
Believe it or not, Instagram Stories are rapidly growing in popularity, to over 400 million daily users. Many users even report they love watching Stories more than the endless “scroll” of their feed Get creative with your Stories. Take your followers behind the scenes and show them the most interesting parts of your day. Ask questions. Use polls, quirky GIFs, and music. Play with filters and Boomerangs. This is an amazing way to start getting comfortable on video and connect with your followers in an even deeper way.
Use call to actions
As simple as it may sound, people are more likely to do something if you ask them to do it. Sharing a quote? Ask them to “like” your photo if they agree with it! Sharing something funny or relatable? Ask your followers to tag a friend! Ask open-ended questions! If you put the idea out there, it will encourage your followers to act accordingly.
Geotag your photos
I know that when I am interested in going somewhere specific, I look at the geotag. There have even been times where I will reach out to someone and ask a specific question about the place if I thought their pic was cool. Posting a photo of that cool restaurant or city you recently visited? Geotag it! That way, other people who used the same geotag can see your photo and potentially follow you since you now have so much in common (like that french toast you both had last weekend).
Post good content & figure out what your audience likes
Do a little research, yo. Go back through your photos and see which ones got the most likes and comments — and of course, the least. What clicks with your audience and why? How can you incorporate more photos like that into your feed? Analytics are key here, too, you can use your IG analytics to help analyze results, track conversions, and discover new content if you don’t have another app that does it.
Link your IG to other networks
If you have a blog, Twitter, or Facebook, then you might assume your people are already following you on every platform. Hint: they probably aren’t! Share a quick tweet or Facebook post encouraging them to follow you on Instagram…it will reel in more followers than you think. This will help your followers on other networks discover your Instagram account — and proceed to follow you there, too!
Ask popular uses to collaborate / shoutouts
Think outside the box! Ask another Instagrammer in your niche if you can “take over their account” for the day as a guest contributor. Instagram Story takeovers are a blast and can dramatically grow your following fast. Or start an Instagram challenge with daily prompts. Ultimately, think of fun, creative ways to collaborate with other users. I have had a few people in the past ask me if I wanted to do S4S (shoutout for shoutout). They got a group of people together and everyone posted a grid pic with everyones pic and shouted them all out. It was a cool way to meet new people.
If you try these suggestions, I hope they help 😉