Are you a newbie blogger just like me? Or stuck in a rut with your Instagram? If so, keep reading!
So like I said, I’m a complete newb to the current blog world. I used to dabble in a personal journal type blog back in the day that I shared with friends and family, but that’s about it. I started this blog on April 14th and quickly realized that I needed social media. Because, duh, everything is powered by social media. So a couple of days later, I set up different social media accounts for my blog.
I have a personal Instagram that I’ve used the last few years and it’s my favorite app, so I decided to focus on growing that following. I mean I had 0 followers, I only had one direction to go at that point, right? On the real though, I work full-time and have two kids, so I wasn’t glued to my phone all day, every day. And weekends were pretty much ‘hands-off’ social media days too. I didn’t have any one strategy and honestly it changed as I learned new things. But it totally worked and I saved my notes!
So here I am to share with you how I gained 1,000+ REAL & FUN Instagram followers in just ONE MONTH!
Know your Niche
When I first set up the account, I started to follow lifestyle & mom bloggers and browsed their followers as well. I continued to follow the accounts that I enjoyed viewing and also tried to pick up tips on types of pictures that get a lot of ‘likes’ and engagement and good posting times for my niche.
Join Facebook Groups
The power of social media is, of course, in numbers. Literally. And combining the use of different social media outlets is a huge way to gain exposure and more followers. I came across several Blog and Instagram related groups on Facebook. I stuck to the private ones specific to my niche that are moderately sized (50 to 2,000 members). I avoided the public or large groups because there were so many spam accounts and I was focused on real, engaged followers and accounts I could also follow back. My top two resources were Chrystie at Living for Naptime and Teri & Liz at Instarevealed. I found them via special Facebook groups. They provide great information that actually works and works well for both increasing followers, as well as engagement.
Share 1-3 Photos a Day
I try to share at least one picture a day, some days I post 2-3 spaced out throughout the day and at times that are friendly to my niche. I don’t have much content built up, but I am looking for quality over quantity as I try to manage an overall theme to my Instagram. I think the 1-3 posts keeps followers engaged and interested for the long haul!
Use Pic Editors/Filters
I mostly use my iPhone 6 for my Instagram photos. I don’t have an Instagram husband or a professional photog friend. I do have a DSLR so sometimes I use that for my outfit posts or pictures of the kids. But, I’m a complete and total amateur. I use VSCO and the manual editor on Instagram (not the preset filters) to brighten up my photos most of the time. But I’m still learning as I go. I mostly take pictures throughout my day and post what I think other moms and lifestyle bloggers can relate to; pictures of my kids, food, flowers, and coffee have been well received for obvious reasons.
Use Hashtags, All the Hashtags
I read a couple of articles that said don’t use too many hashtags, but in my experience when you’re trying to grow, it’s one of the most effective ways to cast a wider net of exposure across the Instagram platform.
I was able to save them in my Notes app on Instagram and format them so that they wouldn’t clutter up my comments section for followers. Using hashtags and the right hashtags has helped me get featured on some bigger accounts like UnitedinMotherhood & Mamaswithstyle.
Engage, Engage, Engage!
This has been the biggest aid in gaining real followers that interact with me and are interested in my feed and blog! I try to follow my favorite accounts and comment on their posts regularly as well as reaching out to them via Direct Message for collaborations like Follow Fridays, Chat Loops, etc. I’ve met so many sweet, sweet women! They engage with you and helps cast visibility to your Instagram too. I aim for good engagement and that combined with using the right hash tags has landed me in the Top Posts section a few times, which is like free advertising from Instagram to your feed!
Honestly though the best part is the friendship! I’ve already had a coffee date with a local IG friend and she is the best!
There’s tons of free apps these days to help automate some of the tasks related to growing your Instagram audience. In the beginning I was using InstaTrack to see my Follower and Unfollower activity. I downloaded CrowdFire the last week at Chrystie’s recommendation.
I also used Likestagram, which is a web-based app, for a few weeks. It automates likes by your settings (accounts, hashtags, etc.). It saves times for accounts you want to give likes to outside of your feed. And then sometimes you get those users to check out your account and if they like what they see, they’ll follow you!
And that’s it! Those are the different ways I grew my brand new Instagram to over 1,000+ Real & Fun Instagram followers since starting my Instagram April 16th . If you’ve picked up anything from my tips, try it, and let me know how it works out for you! And follow me if you’d like over at Simply Every on Instagram! Thanks for reading!