Growing your following on Instagram is something that most people want answers to whether or not they admit to it. I have been growing my following on Instagram organically for the past 2 years; I had a personal account and my current account and decided that I was going to cancel my personal account to grow and bloom into a business and brand.
My current account and some of the very first people following me, I met through Twitter chats. The same way that a trending topic is discussed on Twitter using a specific hashtag, Twitter chats were another way to connect with people in similar industries. I eventually moved off of Twitter because I really wanted to grow visually and aesthetically and fast forward, here I am now.
I know it’s tempting to want to buy followers and I know it’s important for people to have a ‘k’ behind their numbers, but growing your following organically is better in the long run. These are the people that are going to rock with you even when you take a break from social media for a few days. These are the people that have seen you grow and want to continue on the journey with you. These are the people that are loyal to you and genuinely are happy for you. These are the ones that trust you and know the real you.
I’m not judging you for having bought followers and I’m not judging you if you are considering buying, but in order to grow a LOYAL following, I would suggest you don’t buy any. That said, below I’m sharing 5 Ways to Grow Your Following on Instagram.
*Disclaimer: These are ways that have helped me. These are my suggestions. This is not an end all, be all to you growing your following. These suggestions also won’t grow your following overnight. These are tools implemented daily.
If you are trying to grow your brand and you are not posting consistently you will be forgotten. Don’t freak out though, it’s just how social media works. At the beginning you have to put work into growing and consistency is what will keep people interested.
There are too many other accounts and users who are consistent that are unfortunately beating you to the punch. That doesn’t mean you can’t become consistent but as far as follower growth, consistency is helpful. It builds loyalty and trust with your audience. They can count on you to show up at least once a day for a little bit. You don’t need to post 6 pictures a day, but remember that your actions and how often you post, set the tone for what your audience expects.
I personally post 2x a day; 1x if I want a particular piece of content to be the focus for a bit longer. I post during the daytime and during the evening and as far as specific times, it should always depend on where the majority of your audience is located. Most of my following is in LA so fortunately I can post at pretty “regular” times. If I can’t post or have nothing to post, then I won’t. Never post just for the sake of posting, but once you become consistent, stay consistent. If that means posting 1x a day or 2x a week, start there. The goal should be to do more, if and only if you are trying to grow your following and grow your brand.
Once you get into a mode of consistency, it is easier to take days off when needed because you now have enough content that can continue to live while you take a day for #selfcare or whatever else you made need. I have been doing this a lot more lately.
Engage with Other Accounts
Engaging is liking, viewing, commenting, clicking or any type of action being taken involving another account.
Posting high quality content is not enough to grow your following, unless you’re the Kim K or Beyonce of social media. You are competing with a number of other accounts that are posting the same quality of content. If you are hoping that people will come to your feed just for that, you’ll be disappointed. Who is your target audience? If you know who your audience is, you should be looking to engage with other accounts/individuals that fit that criteria.
Do you engage with your followers? Do you comment and give them some love? If no, well don’t expect it to be reciprocated. When you comment and show them love, make sure it’s genuine; say something you can connect with them on. A lot of my followers and people I follow are Christians, foodies, engaged or married, fashion and makeup lovers and we connect because of that. Did you go to the same college? Are you engaged? Where did you buy those shoes? Whoever you are trying to reach, that audience connects with you in some way. I know it’s hard for us to be vulnerable sometimes, but be confident, spread love, give other people compliments and all of the things you want will come back to you manifold.
Respond to Comments
There are people who have millions of followers and try to or at least manage to respond to a good amount of them. @amrezy is a beautiful example of that and that is what makes her following loyal. She is fabulous and she still connects or just says thank you to most if not all of her comments.
I get it, responding to people is a lot, but most of us aren’t celebrities to the point that it’s impossible to get back to people. Even if it’s a few days late, it’s still good to respond. This is where the connections begin to build, especially if you are an influencer* or business. People are coming to you and putting their trust in you. The least you could do is talk to them. Even if it’s a simple “thank you” people will remember that.
Influencer Hack* responding to comments bumps up your engagement.
Hashtags & Location Tags
Using hashtags during major events is also a major key to growing and/or at least getting your content even more exposed. During the Met Gala I used the #metgala hashtag in my instastories* and that story post ended up being viewed like 640 times. That’s 600+ people that haven’t even seen my profile before.
Instastories Hack* add hashtags to your stories and cover them with stickers or gifs; or don’t it’s not a big deal.
Whew chile, just be yourself. I know that with influencers and social media and all of this stuff going on, it can be hard to see what you have to offer; it can be hard to realize that you bring something valuable to the table, but I promise you do. The best bet is to always be yourself. You don’t have to try to keep up with yourself if that’s who you are being. You don’t have to compare yourself to your competitors if you are being true to you and what you are good at. OWN IT!
Your following will grow when you decide to be yourself AND when you decide that being yourself is enough. You are enough.
Lastly while these tips are helpful, growing your following does not happen overnight; give it time, give yourself time and work on these things a little bit every day.