As a ‘social media influencer’ I am constantly trying new ways to grow. There are a plethora of courses, videos and posts on how to grow your following. Unfortunately, a lot of them wasted tons of my time and even money for no return! However, I have also found many ways through courses and my own exploration that DO work. Here are the things I have done to grow my following to over 65,000 Instagram followers.
- VARYING locations! For my feed post, my location is always where I was at IN the photo or where I am while posting. I do change it up to vary the area, though. For example, I will do Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, specific areas of LA, the entire state of California, specific stores/shops I am currently at! FOR STORIES: i can put my location wherever I want. I have been sitting on my couch in LA, but put my location as Seattle, NYC, or Portland! This has brought me new followers almost every time. Now, you can say this is scammy, but I’m not forcing anyone to follow me. I’m just finding a way to get my content in front of new people! I personally find this way more ethical and strategic than most other methods. Also, you can hide where it says your location so no one sees it! In your stories: drag the location icon, after you add where you’re at out of screen. You will still show up in locations, but it’s not visible in your story.
- Commenting on LARGE accounts posts! I follow quite a few large instagram accounts that would have *possibly* similar audiences to me. Such as, similar self help influencers, self portrait accounts, photographers, quote pages, motivational speakers and even accounts such as Buzzfeed and Refinery29! I will spend about 15 minutes a day commenting on their posts. Now, it cannot just be ‘LOVE’ or ‘Great Post’ – It needs to be meaningful, engaging comments! Whenever I do this, I find my comments get a lot of likes/hearts, the poster OFTEN responds and their audience is more likely to see my name in the comments. I do not ever ask people to follow me (thats a bit spammy), just leaving my thoughts or advice on a post which A) helps THEIR engagement and B) gives me exposure.
- Using STRATEGIC hashtags in STORIES. When it comes to your FEED posts (you probably already know this), you want your hashtags to be specific with LESS traffic: that way you have a higher chance of being seen. However, in your story you want VERY BROAD hashtags to reach a broad audience. While a small hashtag can help you get traffic on your feed, on stories: it is the LARGE hashtags. I frequently use tags such as #Motivation, #Fashion, #Photography on my stories: whereas on my feed, I would use #lifetranformation, #thehappynow, #revolveme
- Adding my photos to OTHER sites! I upload all of my instagram photos to photo sharing sites such as PINTEREST and WeHeartIt! My Pinterest currently has 3.3 MILLION monthly viewers and WeHeartIt has 20K followers. I found it easier to grow those pages, so why not bring that traffic to my Instagram! I have had photos RANDOMLY go viral on Pinterest that didn’t even do well on Instagram! A christmas coffee cup photo of mine got over 500K repins and a selfie got around 300k and it was sheer luck. Please LET ME KNOW if you would like a follow up on how I grow my PINTEREST, too.
- Speaking about RELEVANT topics and issues. For me, this is one I am TRULY passionate about, so it’s easy for me. I often talk about women’s rights, equality, mental health and current issues. There are tons of accounts looking to repost that type of content and hashtags for these issues. I brought in lots of new viewers in May for #mentalhealthawarenessmonth. If you aren’t comfortable talking about some topics, think of things you ARE comfortable sharing (that are relevant). For example: along with things going on in society, there are national _ days ALL the time (like national dog appreciation day, national donut day, national best friend day). I ALWAYS post for these events, if relevant to me. It’s easy, fun and people are looking it up! For local events, concerts, festivals you attend: make sure you find all possible hashtags people are using. I attended a women’s rights event. They made a location tag for the event and their were many hashtags. Due to this, I was noticed by many people, including large accounts. A few bigger instagram pages reposted my photo and over 300 people looking up the event followed me that day. This is a win/win because I was ALREADY attending the event, so why not attract a SIMILAR AUDIENCE who would have liked to attend or were already there.
Feel free to check out my Instagram account! My page is filled with self portrait photography, self help and REAL life. Make sure to keep up with me, there will be a part two & three coming soon! Also, let me know if you want a post on what growth methods DID NOT work for me? And I have a FREE course coming soon on how to take your own self portrait photos for Instagram. Stay Tuned!