It feels weird to be writing this post ” How I gained Instagram followers“. Because to me, they are not followers, they are friends and family – who even though I have never met, know more about me than people I see on a regular basis, who have already helped me through tough times and know exactly how to make me smile. To me Instagram isn’t about how many followers you have, but the connections you have made and the amazing people you have “met”.
When I started my Instagram account 7 weeks ago – my main goal was to find amazing people to follow and connect with, I wanted so badly to be a part of this amazing community and have a support system built right into my phone.
I’m not going to lie – its been extremely hard at times. Which sounds so weird to say. How can Instagram be hard? If you want engagement on you’re account – you have to engage with other people. Which takes time. I spend hours a day liking and commenting on pictures.
3,000 FOLLOWERS IN 7 WEEKS!
So with all that being said, it has been a long 7 weeks, but every long night and early morning has been completely worth it because I just hit 3000 followers and couldn’t be more thankful or grateful for all the amazing people I have made connections with.
7 TIPS TO GAINING FOLLOWERS:
Focus on Quality not Quantity – There’s much speculation to how many times a day you should be uploading pictures – for me I find twice a day is perfect. I upload in the morning, and after supper. That’s when my audience is most present online – and its what works best with my schedule!
With that being said, there are posts stating that the more you upload – the more interaction you will receive. I don’t necessarily believe this to be true. If you are uploading 10 times a day, but every picture is blurry or out of focus – people are not going to be drawn in. Instead of focusing on quantity, spend your time taking better quality pictures, and editing them correctly.
Use similar ways of editing all of your photos so they are cohesive. Come up with a general theme you would like to stick with – besides my kids, my theme is nature. I normally have a tree lined background, or a succulent along side. Simple, but someone could easily pick out my theme.
Upload when People are Online – Going with what I said previously – I upload my pictures when my audience is online. My main audience being bloggers, more specifically mom bloggers. It was pretty easy for me to realize that I would get most of my engagement early in the morning – when us mombies are getting ready for the day, and after supper when the kids have gone to bed.
Experiment with different uploading times, until you find some that get the most engagement – but also work in your schedule! And once you have a schedule – stick to it! People love consistency.
Use Relevant Hashtags – Hashtags are how you get seen by people who are not following you yet, its how you get your pictures seen. Have a look around and see what other people are using for hashtags. Don’t go for hashtags with over 100,000 pictures on them. Go for smaller ones where you will get seen. Yes, it’ll be to a smaller audience, but it’ll be your audience.
Once I have uploaded, I browse through the hashtags I used, making sure to like and comment on pictures. Like I said before, if you want engagement on your pictures, you have to give engagement!
Comment, Like, Comment – This is a technique I use when interacting with people – whether it be people I am following, or people who have uploaded in the hashtags I use. I comment on a picture, like a picture, then comment on another, repeat. Whenever I have some down time from the kids, I hop online and do this for ten minutes! If you want engagement, you have to give engagement.
To most people its surprising to find out that comments are actually more important than likes. The more time you spend commenting on photos, and having meaningful conversations, the more people want to connect with you. Find people who have similar interests as you (using the same hashtags), and just start commenting and liking their photos. Most likely once you have been commenting on their photos, they will follow you back, and once their followers notice you commenting on their photos – they to will follow and engage!
Follow Everyone who Engages with you – This one should just be common sense. If someone is spending their time commenting and liking all of your pictures. The least you could be doing is following them back. People are so obsessed with this idea that your “following” number has to be significantly less than your “followers” number. To be honest – the numbers shouldn’t really matter, what matters is level of engagement.
Instagram Pods – I highly recommend joining Instagram pods – groups of people who like and comment on each others photos. When I first started my account, someone reached out to me and asked if I would be in their “new bloggers” pod, although the people in the group and I barely had anything in common, it made me feel amazing to have a support group and have people engaging on my pictures!
Now I am a little more picky about the pods I join – I like to make sure everyone is active regularly, and that people are leaving meaningful comments. I recommend joining as many pods as you are capable of handling. Each pod is aloud to hold 15 people, if you join 2 pods, you are responsible for commenting and liking 28 other peoples pictures.
Unfollowers – Everyone has different motives to being on Instagram – and like I said before, some people are obsessed with the number of people they are following. So after you have followed them back they may unfollow. Every couple of days I log into my app and click on Recent Unfollowers, this gives me a list of the people who recently unfollowed me. Now don’t take the unfollow personally, some Instagrammers just do this to boost their own numbers.
But I do unfollow anyone who has recently unfollowed me. I would rather spend my time commenting and liking pictures of people who are going to engage back.