Last month, I started an Instagram account for a personal project. I am writing a poetry book in my spare time and was seeking a marketing channel for when the book publishes. Luckily, this was a great opportunity to learn more about how the Instagram app works, and how to best position yourself to quickly attract organic followers.
Here’s how I took my account from 0 to 500 followers in just 30 days.
7 Tips for Gaining Instagram Followers Fast
1. I Focused on Aesthetic
Since I am creating an artistic brand and sharing poetry, it was important to consider the aesthetic I wanted for my Instagram feed before I began posting. I decided to use a consistent, flowery font and a watercolor background image. I went floral-heavy with my content and made sure the way the posts looked really went with my vibe and desired brand. Making sure to keep all feed posts consistent is a huge factor in attracting and retaining organic followers. Your aesthetic should resonate with your target audience and feel authentic to you.
It’s important to keep this aesthetic consistent everywhere you post – on your feed, in stories, and in advertisements (if you decide to advertise. I didn’t – yet). Keep the same colors, font, and theme. Canva is an excellent resource for image creation and offers simple templates if you aren’t sure where to start.
2. I Posted Often to Build Momentum
When I first started my account, I began from nothing. No one knew my name or that I was even writing a book. Since my page was empty and my follower count was zero, my page didn’t look very compelling. While a great way to start a following is to find your existing friends and build from there, I preferred to wait until my account was built up with an organic following before telling my friends about my venture.
To fill out my feed and make it look more attractive to potential followers, I posted a lot in the first few weeks, up to 5 times per day, a few hours apart. This strategy served to fill out my feed quickly and increase my post count, making my account look much more established rather than just a few weeks old.
3. I Posted Stories – Up to 10 Times Per Day
IGTV is here to stay, and Instagram users are flocking to the app to share their daily stories. The best part about Stories is when they are tagged correctly, they are visible on the Discovery page, so you can be found by people outside of your follower list. By posting to your Stories often, you keep your account top-of-mind, and at the top of the newsfeed.
I shared short Stories up to 10 times per day and included things like random happenings in my daily life, new poems I posted, and art I loved by other people (and tagging their IG handle). When it comes to Stories, the more the merrier!
4. I Curated My Highlighted Stories
Once I had a flood of posted Stories, I wanted to curate them into themes for the Highlights section of my page. Your Highlights serve as a snapshot of the content you post and is a more interactive way for users to get to know your brand. I separated my noteworthy stories into different themes and gave the Highlights consistent names and images that matched my brand aesthetic.
These Highlights are a great way to keep people informed about your new projects and products, get a snapshot into your brand, or tell them how to contact you.
5. I Interacted With Accounts in My Target Demographic
There’s a clear difference between spam and legitimate user posts on Instagram, and each time I was tagged in a real post by another user in my network, I interacted with it. I felt honored they tagged me to participate in the conversation and used it as a valuable opportunity to gain visibility.
6. I Used Strategic Hashtags and Location Tags
Half the battle on Instagram is getting your content tagged so it can be found by others. One valuable place to do this is in your Instagram stories. You can add hashtags to your story posts and hide them with a sticker, or add a location tag to increase local visibility.
These tags and locations didn’t mesh well with my aesthetic, so I decreased the size of them so they are hardly visible in my stories, leaving my brand aesthetic intact. I also made sure to include several top hashtags in my bio, which allowed my profile to be more searchable.
7. I Interacted With Strategic “Top Accounts” and Took Part in Conversations
From bestselling authors to influencers, I identified my favorite accounts in the space and began interacting with them on a regular basis. I weighed in on writing tips, commented on the artistic work of others, and shared advice. By entering these conversations, I raised my visibility to not only the top users but their fans and followers as well. This increased my likelihood of being seen in the newsfeeds of users in my target demographic.
Following a formula like this isn’t inauthentic, it’s strategic. Instagram has complex algorithms and even the most well-meaning user may have trouble getting their posts seen to stand out above the noise. By keeping your content authentic to yourself and your brand, while strategically using the app to promote your message, you’ll find success on Instagram. As always, the most important strategy is consistency, so get posting!
NisonCo’s experienced team of social media marketers can help your brand grow – contact us today for more information!