This how to guide will show you exactly how I got 20k Instagram followers in a year.
My Instagram account went from 9k to over 30.k.
Before we start I would like you to forget about everything you have read in the past about your Instagram account. I have seen so many classes courses and workshops out there that claim to make your social media account the next big thing. Yet the advice does not yield real results. How do I know? Because I tried them.
Being a marketing professional I thought I would take a step back from all of the noisy advice from “experts” and really strip my social media strategy down. I applied basic marketing principals to my personal account Jadore.Vanessa. The result yielded a huge increase of 2.7k followers a month.
Let’s establish some Instagram account credibility:
Let’s be frank, I don’t want to waste your time reading another post of advice that does not work. I don’t want to waste my time writing for no apparent reason. So I am going to give you full transparency of my analytics so that you can see my followers are real, organically driven, targeted and engaged.
Instagram started killing ghost followers aka vanity followers earlier in 2017, I wanted to show you that not only is my following growing rapidly, it is also growing in my target audience and that these followers are engaged with my content.
Instagram’s insights show that my followers are predominantly women accounting for 65% of my following, I have over 11k impressions in the last 7 days, reached 3.5k users and my profile has been viewed 2.5k times. Pretty good for 7 days and on a following of 29k. Being an account that is focused on aerial fitness, yoga and family life having an audience predominately women in the ages of 25-35 is in my exact target audience.
Social blade shows I had 12k followers in February 2017 and now I have 29.1k so in 10 months my account has grown over 17k followers. This free site will show you the tracking of anyones account at any time.
There are six strategies that I used to get me to where I am now. Each of these six Instagram growth strategies resulted in higher acceleration on my Instagram account.
Strategy #1 Brand Identity and Purpose:
Ok so this one you have heard before so I am going to keep it brief. Develop your online brand identity. Now you don’t have to be perfect, in fact half the time my photo gallery coloring is all off BUT it has one thing in common. I am always talking about aerial arts, yoga or healthy happy family life.
My users are interested in this content and the theme of the content that I am posting always stays the same. If you change from a fashion themed account to food you will find your engagement will drop and so may your followers. If you want to take a step in another direction on your social media account, open a second account and focus on the new niche. This way your Instagram engagement won’t dilute across having different audiences following one account.
Strategy #2 Target your Market:
Now that we know what we are going to post about we now need to think about who would want to know about your content? Who would like it? For instance if you are a local thrift store than you would be looking at marketing based on your geographic location. If you are a bridal store you are looking at women that have just got engaged. Ensure that you are honing down as much detail into your market segmentation. This will allow your results to outperform previous attempts. There is no use in promoting meat to a vegan. Its simply a lost opportunity.
I challenge you to write down 5 profiles of your current clients, notice if there is anything they have in common. Are they online shoppers? Are they male and female? Where do they live? Cross reference each consumers demographics, I am positive you will find links that you may had not even realised.
Strategy #3 Populate your social media account with social foot traffic:
No matter how good your content is, if the right people are not seeing it your not going to yield results. Think of an account that is similar to yours. For instance people who are interested in my Jadore Vanessa account may also be interested in other aerial accounts, yoga accounts or family accounts. I don’t need to limit myself geographically because I am not selling physical goods in a fixed location.
Once you have found an account head on over. Have a look at their profile, who is following them? Who is engaging with their posts? What are they saying?
We decided to head on over to Mind Body Green, one of the largest and highly dominate health and wellness websites. By clicking on the following button it takes us to the next image. Here we can see all of Mind Body Greens latest followers. By analysing their followers it shows me that it is not the right target audience for me. So I head on over to Instagram’s suggested accounts. This is easily found by hitting the top right arrow shown in the image below.
Click the arrow below their account and it will show you similar account suggestions. This is great for getting an idea of competitors or brands you may want to align with. I decided to look at the account Well + Good. By looking at the followers it shows a higher female audience that hits my target market segmentation.
Exercise: Go through their feed of fans and add 50 or if your really eager 100 accounts. Notice how quickly you start to get an engagement response on your own account. I can promise you that you will get users following you and interacting with your account in return. This is the application of social media foot traffic.
Obviously this method can only be employed for as much time you have in the day to sit there tapping away or you can have us do it for you for $1 a day. We also employ viewing Instagram stories or saving Insatgram posts to create more attention to your account. You can get this service here.
Strategy #4 Cross promotion and collaboration on social media:
Collaboration with complimentary accounts allows a cross pollination of followers and social media traffic. My first collaboration yielded nearly 2k followers in a week. I approached a lot of accounts and only got a few reply’s but our team was perfect we all grew together and achieved great results.
Exercise: Find some complimentary non competing accounts that you could potentially collaborate with. Send them a PM or an Email. Aim to send out at least 10 messages to 10 accounts.
For instance if your brand is about well being then maybe you want to collaborate with health food products, self help books or life coaches.
As you grow this becomes easier and you will find that you will be approached by other accounts for collaboration! Just remember Rome wasn’t built in a day an neither was anyone’s social media account.
Strategy #5 Build community and give users a reason to return:
What is bringing your users back to your page? Is it the latest fashion they want to see? Advice? Inspiration?
I have hosted a couple of 30 day aerial challenges with great prizes this was a great way of getting users to return every day for 30 days. This helps you build community, trust and most importantly a relationship with your audience. No one is going to follow you and worship you for no reason. Give them a reason to return and build that relationship, then your audience will turn into your greatest ambassadors.
Strategy #6 Hold key virtual real estate:
Instagram’s top posts is great place to sit for a brand. Hashtags are communities build around an interest and movement, being able to place your brand in the top posts of these highly targeted communities that are readily pre made is gold. There is a two step strategy to achieving this.
Choosing the right hashtags. Most people go for the large and most popular hashtags but that is a no no! Especially if you are a start up account. Your hashtag will go to waste as you are going to get lost in the feed of millions of users who are trying to catch the attention of the audience. You want to be able to out rank other accounts. To do that you need to go niche and small.
I like to spice up my hashtag recipe with 2:3 smaller hashtags being 50k and under and 1:3 popular or trending hashtags. To help you decide on how small to go, look at how many likes the top posts have on them. That will give you an indicator on whether you need to move to a smaller hashtag to gain that precious real-estate.
The second step is to get those likes! Wait a minute isn’t that why we are here? Yes, so you need to boost your engagement quickly when you release a new post on Instagram. The faster the growth rate the more your post will be featured in your followers news feed. Instagram’s algorithm will deemed the activity as high ranking content. We also know we need to get a certain number of likes for top posts.
You can achieve this by joining an engagement pod where users comment or like each others content. You need to remember that the purpose of the pod is not for vanity likes but to rank your content so that you are holding your best position in top posts. Of course there is always pod leechers and sometimes it takes a while to find a good pod. We have a pod service that is executed for you by our account managers so you can skip the leechers, research and sit back and enjoy the results. You can get it here.
I hope you enjoyed this post and I can’t wait to see your results. This is everything I did to grow my account with 20k real organic Instagram followers in 2017. If it is all to much and you would rather have an account manager handle it all for you we have Instagram growth plans starting from $13 a week.
Make sure you check out 5 ways to use social media for your business . We discuss the 5 c’s of social media marketing and how you can apply them to your business today.
Feel free to drop any questions below or suggestions on what you would like me to write about next.
The Socialite xoxo
Get your free template!
It's time to implement your social media strategy.