Welcome! Before you begin reading this blog post about how I gained 2,000 Instagram followers fast, I highly recommend reading the first post in this series, How I Gained 1,000 Instagram Followers Fast. In my first blog post I explain in great detail how I was able to go from 0 followers to 1,049 followers in less than one month.
First of all, I want to thank each and every person who read the first post of this series. I was truly blown away by all the positive feedback I received. I’m so happy you found the post helpful and it was so encouraging to know that my advice on how to gain Instagram followers fast resonated with so many people. I said it before, and I’ll say it again now: I am not a Social Media or Instagram expert. Everything I’ve learned so far has been through trial and error, and I only write these blog posts in hopes to help others learn from my mistakes.
Before I jump into what did and did not work for me this month, I want to reiterate that it is extremely difficult to gain organic and authentic Instagram followers without any effort. If you are looking for a get quick rich solution, this is not the article for you. I was only able to gain 2,000+ followers by putting in hours of hard work and dedication.
Finally, I feel like I have to explicitly state that no, I did not buy any Instagram followers and I did not have any help from a third-party service.
I published my first blog post on September 23rd, 2018 and as of post time I had 1,049 Instagram followers. As of today, October 21th, 2018, I have 2,156 Instagram followers and an engagement rate of 20.50%.
Tip #1: I stopped following everyone back.
If you read my first post, you know that I was following 95% of accounts who followed me. This was working at the time, but I found it was hard to keep up with the herds of Instagram followers coming in (100% JOKING). In all seriousness, this month I tried to only follow back accounts when I truly loved their content. Has this made me lose Instagram followers? Absolutely. Some people will unfollow me if I don’t follow them back, however– if they were only using me for their personal gain, and they don’t love my content enough to stick around, then I don’t want them to follow me anyways.
I have also noticed that most influencers with a large following (100k) only follow around 1,000 accounts. To be honest, I’m not sure why that is (maybe brands prefer a 90/10 followers to following ratio) but I was thinking that I needed to “trim the fat”, so to speak.
Here comes the tricky and brutally honest part, and I hope I don’t catch flack for this. I started to go through my Instagram followers and unfollow those ONLY who were not within the fashion or lifestyle niche. For example, I was following a golf shop (I don’t golf) and I knew they were not engaging with my content. I’m assuming we were only following each other via an engagement group on Facebook (more on this later), so I winced and clicked the follow button. I’m way too nice and I honestly felt bad for doing this haha. I did this a few more times and went to bed. Low and behold, when I woke up the next morning everyone who I unfollowed had unfollowed me back, as expected.
The moral of the story is this: 9 out of 10 people use a follower-tracking app. If you follow someone, and then unfollow them, EXPECT that they will unfollow you back. If you want to avoid this all together, don’t follow them in the first place. Your true followers will come around and stick around regardless.
For all the haters who will say I’m going against the advice in my last post, let me say this: I do not and will never recommend playing the follow/unfollow game. I did not follow any of these accounts intending to unfollow them. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’m learning as I go and sharing what has worked, and what hasn’t worked for me.
Tip #2: I replied to every single comment.
It is imperative to engage with your Instagram followers. I like to think of my comment section as an ongoing group message with my girlfriends– I always respond, even if it’s a simple, quick and polite “thank you!”. Being successful on Instagram boils down to one thing: cultivating relationships with other influencers and brands. Take 10 minutes per day to respond to comments and I promise you those followers will stick around.
The method I use for replying to comments is this: as soon as I post a new photo, I respond to all comments within the first 10 minutes. Supposedly this boosts your chances of Instagram bumping your new post to the top of your Instagram followers feeds. For the rest of the comments, I will reply the next day immediately after I post my new photo. I’m doing this in hopes that my Insta-friends will receive a notification that I replied to their comment, and then they will hopefully click on my profile and see that I posted a new photo. No, this doesn’t always work, but I find that it overall helps my engagement rates.
Tip #3: I joined Facebook engagement groups.
What is a Facebook engagement group? It’s a group on Facebook where thousands of influencers support each other. There are daily like and follow threads, where we all engage with each other’s posts. The groups are extremely helpful and supportive, and in addition to boosting my engagement, people often post helpful tips that I wouldn’t have known about or learned from otherwise. I prefer using these groups as opposed to engagement groups via Instagram or Telegram because you don’t feel like you HAVE to participate. You can join in when you want to, and if you don’t participate for a couple of days, it’s no big deal. If you’re interested in knowing what Facebook engagement groups I am a part of, please send me a DM on Instagram!
Tip #4: I upped my hashtag game.
Guys– hashtags are more important than ever to use right now. Instagram has 1 BILLION users world-wide, which means you are much more likely to be found when you use discoverable hashtags. When I first started Instagram, one of my biggest mistakes was using hashtags such as #ootd, #fashionblogger, etc. I’ve learned that it is extremely hard to make it to the top posts section of these hashtags unless you have hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers. So how do I figure out which hashtags to use? I’d like to introduce you to my new BFF, the Tailwind Hashtag Finder tool. I have been using Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling for almost a year now, so when I found out they also offered Instagram services I jumped on the opportunity right away. Here’s how it works: I upload my edited photo directly to the Tailwind mobile app. I type my caption in, and Tailwind begins to auto-generate hashtags that pertain to my photo and that will help potential Instagram followers find me.
The hashtags are color coded based on how competitive they are. The red hashtags, such as #fashionblogger, are much more difficult to get discovered by, whereas the green hashtag, such as #affordablefashion, is less competitive, meaning you have a higher chance of being discovered by using this one.Once you finish choosing the hashtags you want to use, you can add the photo to your queue and Tailwind will upload your photo directly to Instagram for you, at a time when your Instagram followers are most likely browsing their feed. As someone who works full-time, this has been a GOD-SEND. I never have to worry about my meeting spilling over into my lunch break, which is when I like to post in order to receive the highest engagement.
I tested the Tailwind Hashtag Finder tool on this post a couple of weeks ago and it was my best performing photo to date. I received over 500 likes, over 100 comments, and 55 people who were not following me visited my profile and followed me. That’s pretty good if you ask me!These are my personal results, but Tailwind also publishes the Typical Results of Tailwind for Instagram members every year, so you can see exactly what the average growth rate looks like their members.
If you would like to sign up for a free trial of Tailwind and the Tailwind Hashtag Finder tool, you can click on the banner below. It has seriously been a game changer for me!
Tip # 5: Like the photos of your target audience
This is a really simple tip that I am able to do during commercial breaks while watching TV. I will choose an Instagram account within my niche that has a large following. I always try to choose a girl who has similar content as me (affordable and petite fashion with a light and bright feed). I will then go through her Instagram followers and like the photos of those who have public accounts. One third of the time these accounts will return likes, one third of the time they will follow me back (both wins in my book), and one third of the time nothing will happen (no harm done!).
I will say be very careful when using this technique, though. You definitely do not want to come across as spammy. I never like more than two photos and if I already have liked some of their photos, I will not go back and like more photos at a later date. My target audience are non-bloggers, and this method helps women discover me who don’t use hashtags or the discover page.
My next milestone will be to hit 3,000 Instagram followers by November 20th, 2018. In next month’s post I will talk about a recent giveaway loop I was a part of, and if it was effective in gaining authentic Instagram followers or not.
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As always, feel free to reach out with any comments or questions and thank you so much for reading!