I have FINALLY reached a personal goal of mine – hitting 10k followers on Instagram. It hasn’t been easy to get there, and it’s definitely been a long road full of trial and error. If you feel like your struggling at the moment to get your account to the next level, then hopefully I can provide some advice. I’m here to share some strategies that have helped me get through those rough spots of no growth and even negative growth. These three tips won’t necessarily get you to 10k followers easily, but they will help get you back on the path to growing an active and engaged following.
Networking has been key for me in helping to build an engaged audience. Networking events and Instagram’s direct message feature are awesome ways to do this. I’ve recently really gotten into networking events, so much so that I have begun to host my own events. Events like these are great because you can meet many people in your specific niche in a short amount of time, get to know each other, and talk about what you do. You can form new relationships, catch up with old friends/acquaintances, and learn more about your particular craft. The people you meet at these events are crucial to building your own audience and can even become some of your best friends. Since I began to attend networking events I’ve even gone on trips with people that I met through them.
Instagram’s direct messaging feature is also a great tool for connecting with new people. It took me a while to get it into my own head that messaging random people you’ve never met before is okay. Initially I felt awkward doing it and didn’t want to come off as weird or creepy. I’ve come to find out though, that most people are craving mutual connections on Instagram. They like to be told you like their posts, or that the song that they shared in their story is awesome. They’re choosing to publicly share content on a platform made to connect people. Don’t be afraid to engage with them and make a new connection. I have friends now across the United States that I made by just sending them a message through Instagram.
- Sharing Consistently to Instagram
Once you start to establish a more engaged audience, you need to make sure you’re regularly sharing content with them. Begin to curate your content on your phone, so that you are able to post daily or almost everyday. Develop a posting schedule that works for you. Before work, when you’re done with class, or even while you’re waiting for dinner to cook. Pick a time that you’re available everyday and use that time to post to Instagram and try to engage with your audience. This builds a habit bigger than just a habit for yourself. It begins to build an unconscious habit for your followers as well. They’ll begin to expect to see your content near the same time everyday. It also shows them you’re constantly up to things, creating new content, and hopefully offering value, to them. People want to see quality images and value on their feed, if you are consistently providing that to your following then more people will begin to look forward to your posts.
Think about your favorite person to follow on Instagram. What is it that draws you to them? Do you notice when they haven’t posted recently? Do you look forward to their content coming across your feed? Other people feel the same way, try and become that for your audience and build on it.
- Effectively Using Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to get your posts in front of new users. I was really resistant to using hashtags for a long time. I thought they were eye sores on posts, didn’t see the value to them, and I just generally didn’t understand them. Instagram allows users to use hashtags to their own advantage. Getting to know hashtags and understanding which hashtags are best for you specific niche is really important to growing your account. You should be using hashtags that are relevant to your post and the type of profile you have. Some of you might be wondering, where do I find effective hashtags? Good question. What I recommend is to look at what people in your niche are already using. Look at your favorite photographer, model, influencer, blogger, or whatever your niche is and check out what they’re using as hashtags. Look through them and gauge how effective they would be for you. By effective, I mean, find hashtags that give you the opportunity to have a presence in. Choosing general hashtags like #photography, #modeling (this is an often banned hashtag anyway), #followme, are bad hashtags to pick. There are millions and millions of people who have used these hashtags and there are multiple thousands of people using these hashtags daily. The chances of you ranking for a hashtag with that much content in it are extremely low, and your post will likely get push out of the recent section very quickly. You should be using hashtags with a goal of getting into the top posts section of the hashtag. Instead look for hashtags that are niche specific but don’t have thousands of people using the hashtag a day. You’ll be more likely to remain higher in the recent section and you’ll also have a much higher chance for ranking in the top posts section if your content perform wells.
Now, I’m not saying that these three things will ensure that your account grows to 10k followers. But you will definitely not reach 10k followers without doing these three things. There isn’t one cookie cutter way to get your account to where you want it to be, there are many, many strategies you can use to help you get there. I have found these three strategies to be absolutely key in terms of growing my own account. I hope you can effectively use these to begin moving your own account forward!