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I seriously love love love (did I mention, love?) Instagram. Instagram is so addicting. I sometimes have to remind myself to put my phone down and not get sucked into the awesomeness that is Instagram. Now, I am no expert at getting followers, I’m probably a complete noob. But, I have been taking some notes for the past couple of months on when I get the most followers. Also, if you’re new to Instagram, sincere followers can sometimes be hard to come by. I want to discuss my approach to Instagram and what has worked for me. As well as advise against certain things. So, if you’re ready, let’s get started.
And bonus! There’s a freebie at the end. 🙂
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what I mean by sincere followers
Ok, so there’s this thing called an Insta-bot or something along those lines. DO NOT fall into the trap of these bots. They get you likes, yes, but they are not sincere! What I mean by sincere is people who are actually excited about what you post. I have quite a few of sincere followers, and I will take one of them over 10,000 likes from those bots. Seriously, my sincere followers make my day everyday. They are the ones who comment and like every single one of my posts. Yes, that’s right. I have followers like that who love me. And you should, too!
So, when I say sincere followers, I really mean people who actually care about what you’re posting, and people who follow you for you, and not for another like.
Alright, now that that’s off my chest, let’s get down to business!!
If you’re interested in having a nice long read about Instagram, this book, Instagram Marketing: Social Media Marketing Guide is a great source of information. It also has excellent exercises for you to do to help grow your following and also how to market your brand on Instagram. I highly recommend it.
Read from the experts: I am no expert, so if you’re really serious about growing your Instagram, please check out this great post by Neil Patel Instagram Marketing 101 – psssst! It’s free. I’ll walk you through how I’ve been able to grow my Instagram following slowly but surely. These tips do work, but they take time and patience. Let’s get started.
my 5 ways to get sincere followers on instagram
1. post regularly
You don’t have to post everyday, but make it a goal to post every week. Set up a schedule and stick to it. Your followers will start to get used to how often you post and anticipate it. So, if you’re all over the map and posting whenever, weeks apart, it might be hard for people to want to follow you. Pick a schedule that works for you. Test out different things. Say one week, post everyday and see how it affects your following. Post 3 times a week and see how it affects your following. Play around with it. For me, I decided that daily works best for me and my followers. Sometimes I skip a day, but for the most part, I try very hard to post daily.
2. be consistent
I cannot stress this enough. Consistency is very hard, though. You have to work really hard at it. What I mean by consistency is your images look the same. If you like the moody pictures, try to always post moody pictures. If you tend to like the light and airy pictures, post light and airy. You could even go so far as to only post one genre of photography. For example, you could only post macro images. I tend to go with my style being consistent. I am a moody picture type of gal, so I try to make sure all the pictures I post to my Instagram are moody. That doesn’t mean all of my pictures are moody, per se, but all the ones I post to Instagram are!
The worst thing ever is seeing an image that you absolutely adore and then clicking to go to that person’s account and none of their images look like that. That doesn’t get you followers. I typically don’t follow someone if their work is all over the place. I am looking for consistency in the people I follow.
3. like and comment
This is hugely important. If you post an image, you should be comment and liking at least 100 other posts. Yes, that’s right. You can’t just expect people to see your account from posting one image a day. And posting more than once in a day can turn people off (I’d say that should be part of your experimenting, how many times a day should you post?).
When I post an image, I always put hashtags on that image. After I post, I go to one of those hashtags and just stroll and like and comment. Here’s the catch, don’t just like and comment on every image you can possibly see. Be a sincere follower! Comment on images that make you stop in your tracks! Like those images that you enjoyed. If you didn’t enjoy the image, don’t like it. And then if you find an image that is absolutely amazing, go to that person’s account and see if you like their account. If they have images you’d like to see on the daily, give them a follow.
As well as going in and looking at images from a certain hashtag, also make sure you like/comment on the people you follow. Be a sincere follower to them, and they might just return the favor!
I can’t stress this tip enough!
Pro tip: When you stumble upon an Instagram loop, like and comment on the whole loop! The beauty of loops is that they tag an artist in their image. By doing this, your name will show up a lot in everyone’s notification from that one loop. If I can, I always go through loops!
4. reply to comments
So I did a little experiment this past week. I’ll get to that in just a second … before I started getting serious about building up my followers, I wasn’t very consistent (oh! There’s that word again!) with replying to the comments I received. I didn’t like replying right away, so I thought, oh I’ll just wait a day or two before I comment again.
Ok, fast forward to now. I did an experiment where I replied to a comment as soon as I saw it pop up. And you know what? I actually got more comments/likes on the image where I replied right away versus an image I didn’t reply right away. Perhaps that image was just better, I’ll never know for sure. But it definitely got me hooked to replying as soon as I can.
Here’s the deal, when you reply to a comment, it shows that you really do care about your sincere followers. And if you have sincere followers, you better care about them! They make Instagram fun. 🙂 Trust me.
5. use hashtags
But don’t just use any old hashtags. You really need to do your research on this. Luckily for you … I already did the research! If you’d like the Hashtag Guide, then click here! It’s just a little bonus for you because I love my readers. 🙂
Remember, one post can only have 30 hashtags, so you want these hashtags to be as relevant as possible.
By following these tips, I’ve been able to grow my following by 400+ followers in just under 2 months. That might not seem like a lot, but trust me, for Instagram, it is! If you following these tips religiously, I can promise you sincere followers.
*Since these pictures were taken, my IG has gone from around 895 followers to 1160 followers! It’s been under a month. THANK YOU! And if you don’t follow me already, head on over to Instagram and give me a follow. I post my lifestyle pictures there and often times tips and tricks.
**Since the above statement, I have grown my following to 2000 followers the beginning of 2020! But I have a bigger success statement for you: I have gained 700 new followers in just 4 months. How? By doing the exact steps I’ve mentioned above. I am now at 2,700 followers and my goal for the YEAR was 3000! I’m definitely going to hit that goal and then some!
What is something you’ve done to see lots of Instagram growth? I’d love to know in the comments below!
Thanks for stopping by.
Alyssa (sometimes going by Aly) is a hobbyist photographer who loves to teach. Her love of photography started before she ever had any kids. Now a mom of two, she loves to photograph her kids, flowers, and landscape. She specializes in capturing her everyday life. She loves to teach fellow beginner photographers how to take control of their cameras and get the images they dream about getting.