You will probably wonder why someone with only 5.2k Instagram followers would create a post on Five Hacks to Grow Your Instagram Account. Like everyone else, i am struggling with the new Algorithm and i have started doing a bit of research on what are the best ways to get my posts noticed. Recently i started following the Fohr Card founder – James Nord – besides being a very well dressed man, he has a great insight and knowledge in the whole blogging area. I was watching one of his YouTube videos on how to grow your following and it was so interesting that i actually had to grab a pen and paper and take some notes. There is a lot of fluff on how to grow a following online, so i am hoping this mini guide will be helpful and insightful.
We all know that we need to use hashtags to make our posts more visible – you can use up to 30 hashtags per post, more than this your comment wont be visible. What James is advising on doing, is after you posted your photo and appropriate hashtags, go into a couple of the hashtags used and start interacting with the posts that are in that category. Like, comment and so on. It will change the way the algorithm prioritizes your account.
A big eye opener for me was the Growth Rate focus. I am like everyone else bogged down that my account is growing so slowly, lots of follow and unfollow games and lots of lurkers. Even when you have a small following, work out the procentage rate your account is growing monthly. You can use websites like SocialBlade.com that will show you on a daily and monthly basis the amount of gained and lost followers. For example currently my Instagram Account (here) is growing by an average of 90 followers per month with a daily average of 3 a day, which gives me a Grow Rate of 1.73% . Ideally the growth rate should be in the 5%-6% for a more noticeable follower gain.
What James said is to focus on the bigger picture: if you know your growth rate, you can project a graph and estimate what your following will look in a year, two years time etc. Like with everything else in life, it takes time to grow and succeed – he used the analogy of a 9 to 5 job: it takes time and skill to get promoted, not to mention years. Not everyone will be an Instagram star overnight and that’s ok.
Also something interesting, he asked his audience how many new accounts are they following on a monthly basis and the answer was not that many. So if us don’t engage and follow new accounts, we just stay in our own feed bubble because we are bombarded enough, we cant expect anybody else to do differently.
I haven’t even considered an Instagram Content Calendar before, but it makes so much sense. Have you ever had a great photo that you were so excited about, just took that perfect shot and uploaded it onto Instagram expecting thousands of likes and that performed less than your average post? It sure happened to me. Doesn’t matter how great a post is if you decide to publish it on a random Tuesday at 11 am when there is nobody online.
Timing is crucial: turn you Instagram account into a Business one to gain access to analytics and work out what are the best times and days to publish your content. Wait for a good day and an appropriate time of day.
Create your Content Calendar with a daily focus, for example on Monday is a Full Outfit, Tuesday Food, Wednesday a detail shot, Thursday a selfie, Friday a drink, Saturday Fitness and Sunday a lazy, relaxing one. Obviously this is just an example, so just make it relevant to your content and try to stick to it for a month.
By training you followers, James means gaining their trust. Don’t change your pattern or your theme too often, if you usually post once a day don’t suddenly post three times a day just because you are on holiday and you have lots of pretty scenery. Also is best to post only once a day for accounts with a following of less than 100k, more photos posted daily don’t mean a bigger growth rate. If you gain 25 followers a day and loosing 20 after you posted, you aren’t capturing. You need to build trust and not abuse your followers trust in you.
The content calendar ties very well into this, consistency is key and an account theme is recommended. To do so just look at accounts you like and check on a daily basis: do you like lots of stories and just a photo posted a day? Mimic that.
You are the best brand ambassador of your own brand so promote it everywhere. Include lots of links of your account in your Blog, Twitter, Facebook or even your email tag line. Make it visible and fun and just talk about it to anyone who would listen. I actually made my blog cards to mimic an Instagram post – they are square and have some of my favorite posts on them.
By the way, my Instagram account is here.
Hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful, i am planning to stick to these tips for a month and see if there are any positive changes to my Instagram account. I would love some feedback and practical tips if you have on how to grow your following organically!