HOW TO GROW ON INSTAGRAM 2018
One of my first ever blogs was called ‘how to grow your Instagram’, and yes, this is almost entirely the same thing. But Instagram has changed. Therefore so have the methods you must use to succeed. Instagram is by far one of the most popular platforms around, and therefore it is becoming flooded. Flooded with competition ready to take your followers. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you must know how to best utilise the platform’s abilities, and grow faster than your competitors.
Controversial method. Good for gaining followers, not great for gaining AUTHENTIC followers (People who genuinely enjoy your content, and will often visit your page.) This method involves finding similar pages to yours and following many of the people that have liked pictures posted by these pages. Whilst this can be effective for smaller pages (up to 4/5k followers), and i praised this method in my last blog, I actually wouldn’t recommend this method so much any more. You need to remember that Instagram is run by GENIUSES. They’ve realised that many accounts are doing this, and they don’t like it. If you appear to be following lots of accounts, your account will receive a ‘shadowban’. This is essentially when Instagram deems your account a spam account and therefore stops your content from reaching all of your followers (I will go into more detail about the dreaded shadowban in a future blog). So up to 4/5k, I’d recommend this tactic, but use it carefully (don’t follow more than 100 accounts or so a day). After 5k, stop follow/ unfollowing, and use the following methods:
2. Instagram promotions
Many people turn their noses up at Instagram promotions. ‘Why would I want to spend money on a free platform?’ This is great. Less competition for those smart enough to use them. Ever been scrolling through your feed and an image has popped up from an account that you’re not following, with the word ‘sponsored’ underneath? That’s an instagram promotion. In order to use them, you must have a business account (this can be activated by clicking on settings then ‘switch to business account’). When you post a picture, you’ll be offered to promote the image. Click on the promote button, then choose what you want your promotion to do. You can choose options such as ‘gain more profile visits’ or ‘gain more website visits’. It isn’t free, but it’s MASSIVELY underpriced. It won’t be underpriced forever, so don’t wait around. For £4 you can reach up to 5,000 people. You can choose to spend more and reach a wider audience. The best part is that you can customise the audience that your post reaches. You’ll be offered the option to select the interests of people you want to reach. Customise this to fit your page’s niche and you will have a larger chance of gaining organic followers.
3. Gary Vee’s £1.80 method
This is my favourite method. It’s free, but takes some time, probably between 30-40 minutes. But if you’re truly committed to growing your account, this is time very well spent. ‘2 cents’ is another way of saying for opinion. Gary’s method involves searching 10 hashtags relevant to your page – for my page this would be #entrepreneur, #youngentrepreneur, #business, #millionairemindset etc. The top 9 posts will pop up for each hashtag. For each of the 9 posts, drop your ‘2 cents’ (leave a thoughtful comment.) None of the ‘great shot!’ spam bullshit. Take a minute to actually write a comment about that specific post which will stand out against the rest. Repeat this for 10 different hashtags. You won’t see results overnight, but if you stick at this, you’ll become a familiar account in your niche’s community. If you keep popping up with thoughtful comments, people will start to check out your account more and more. I use this technique as much as I can and I promise you it brings you good and REAL followers. You just have to be patient and consistent.
4. Reach out
Use other accounts. Whilst in my last blog I encouraged the use of engagement groups, I’d now advise against them. They’ll get you comments and likes, but no authentic followers. You won’t be bringing value to anyone. And on instagram, that’s the ultimate aim. There are much better ways of engaging with other accounts to grow your page. Shoutout for shoutout’s are good, but everyone does them. They’re becoming so common that it’s much harder to gain followers from them. So you need to do something different. Find an account similar to yours, but with a bigger following. Spend 5 minutes on that page, making sure the followers are authentic, and the content is good. Once you’ve done this, send them a direct message. So many people are afraid of reaching out. Again, good, because if less people are doing it, there’s less competition.
Send accounts thoughtful messages, and offer them value. DO NOT CUT AND PASTE. The message needs to be specific to that account, or they’ll most likely just ignore it. If cutting and pasting is the best you can do, you’ve already lost. For example, say something like ‘I love your account because; you post the funniest memes; your pictures make my feed look beautiful; you were one of the first accounts I followed’. Then offer them value. DO NOT EXPECT TO RECEIVE VALUE WITHOUT OFFERING IT FIRST. So many accounts DM me asking for shoutouts. It baffles me. Is that the best you can do? Offer me some value and I’ll consider it. (By value I don’t mean money, this is a free tactic.) E.g. say ‘I’d love to invite you to appear on my podcast; im writing a blog and I’d love to interview you for it; I’ve just opened a shoe store, I’d love to send you a free pair of shoes every month.’ Write something which will make the owner of the account think ‘actually, yeah, okay!’ Eventually you’ll gain recognition. Accounts will start tagging you in pictures and stories, and people will realise you actually care. It’s a long process, but eventually the followers will roll in, and you’ll be the one people are reaching out to.
The most important pillar of your Instagram success is your content. All of the other methods will cause people to click on your account – great content will make them press the follow button. I can’t tell you how to create content, because everyone’s has to be different. Don’t post shit. Spend time creating and choosing your content. Only post the best you have to offer. If you consistently post great content, and use the other tactics I’ve just shared with you, you’re guaranteed to grow on Instagram.
Thanks for reading. I know I do not have the biggest account on the planet, but I have been doing extensive research. I know how to manipulate social media. I’m currently travelling the world which pretty much limits my productivity to the 30 mins before I go to sleep and plane journeys (I’m actually sat on a plane to Rio as I’m writing this), but when I return home in July I’m going to take huge action. Just watch me. Feel free to reach out to me, I reply to all genuine DMs.