Well, well, well just three months after publishing, How I Got 1,000 Real Instagram followers in 30 days, here I am with 5,000 followers! (I actually hit it yesterday, but didn’t want to jinx it because I gain/lose so many followers in a day!). I uploaded my first photo to @naptimenation exactly 16 weeks ago (here it is!) and 185 posts later here I am..with a fun feed & a whole gaggle of new Instabesties! I thought it might be a good idea to expand on the strategies I used to get to 1,000 because I did a few things differently on my way to 5k and I also want to share with you some of the lessons I had to learn the hard way.
Quick recap of my Instagram strategies so far:
Likestagram: This program automatically likes photos that are hashtagged with hashtags that you designate. For example, my target market is mommy bloggers. So I have Likestagram set up to like photos tagged with #momblogger or #mommyblogger. It doesn’t leave any spammy comments or anything like that, just a very passive ‘like’ on the photo. This has been an AMAZING tool to find people in my exact niche.
Followed everyone who followed me: I followed this strategy until I got to 3,000 followers and then realized I was following a lot of people that I wasn’t interested in following. While I do recommend this strategy when you first start, you will eventually hit a point, just like I did, where you are gonna say to yourself, “Why the eff am I following all of these people”. PLUS, Instagram has a 7,500 follow limit, which means you cannot endlessly follow-for-follow people to 100k.
Used Crowdfire to manage unfollows & copy competitors followers: In order to keep my follower to followee ratio pretty close, I used the Crowdfire app to find people who had recently unfollowed me and then I unfollowed them. Yes, it’s a shitty game, but it is what it is!
The other way I used Crowdfire was to find out who was following my ‘competitors’ (aka people in my same niche) and then I was able to follow them in the hopes that they would follow back. This worked out quite nicely, because once again I was targeting the right kind of followers.
Follow for Follow Threads in FB Groups: There are several FB groups that do follow-for-follow threads on a weekly basis. Essentially, you drop a link to your Instagram profile in the thread and proceed to follow everyone else in the thread and they reciprocate. This was also VERY good for starting my Instagram account and building it to 5k in 4 months.
I posted 3x per day: Most days I posted 3x a day (morning, noon & night). I also tried to only post high quality photos (colorful & bright white) that went along with my theme of “blogging life & mom life”. Motivational quotes also did well. I basically just tried to upload anything that I thought was cool, inspiring & looked pretty
I deleted photos that did not look good in the feed: There were many, many, many times that I posted something that I loved and knew would be popular with my followers, but didn’t necessarily look good in my feed. So I would post it and get interaction, and then a day or several days later I would delete it from my feed..which kept my feed looking on point! 😉
Authenticity is key: Showing your personality is a MUST-DO when trying to build your Instagram following. People want to connect with real people. I did my best to be funny, happy & motivating in my Instagram profile because that is who I am in real life. I even posted a ridiculously goofy video of me just to prove to my followers that I don’t take myself to seriously. (P.S. It has since been deleted on Insta, because it didn’t look good in my feed)
Instagram lessons learned the hard way
Following everyone sucks. Remember that follow-for-follow system I used to get to 1,000 followers? Yeah..well here’s what happens when you follow everyone who follows you…you end up following a shit ton of people you don’t want to follow (yes, I’m talking about the It Works spammers). I cannot tell you the amount of private messages I got asking me to ‘join their team’ or ‘become a mom boss’. Sooooooo annoying!
BUT…with that said, I think in the beginning it’s still a good strategy, because you need to build social proof and even though you may be building social proof with the ItWorks girls, you can quickly unfollow them once you get to a certain point. Which brings me to….
Unfollowing by the Masses…
I got to a point somewhere around the 4,000 follower & 3000 followee point where I was annoyed with the fact that I was missing my favorite people’s Insta photos because I was following so many damn people. It was at this point, that I began the purge. I first started unfollowing any of the MLM Instagrammers. YES, I’m all about boss moms doing their thing and making money for their family, but the DM spam was too much!
Unfollowing a lot of people lead to losing a lot of followers on a daily basis…I was losing about 25-50 followers a day. BUT the good news is that I was also gaining, so while the climb from 4k-5k was slower my feed was friendlier and I actually enjoyed Instagram more.
What I will do to get to 10k Followers on Instagram?
Honestly, 5k followers in 6 months was my ultimate goal and now that I’ve achieved it and met so many awesome bloggers & Instagrammers, I’m going to take the time to enjoy Instagram and not worry about getting to 10k on a deadline. But there are a few things I will do to make Instagram more enjoyable while I climb to 10k:
- Unfollow Instagrammers I don’t interact with (If you have never liked or commented on one of my photos and I’ve never done the same on yours…do we even have a relationship? I think not.) P.S. I use the InstaGhost app to find out who I’ve never interacted with.
- I’m going to continue to use Likestagram This is such a great tool to find my target audience that I am not willing to give this one up!
- I’m no longer going to participate in the Follow for Follow threads in Facebook groups. Once again, while it was great for building up my followers, it left me with a lot of people that I wasn’t interested in following.
- Set up notifications for the people that I do love to follow so they don’t get lost in the feed. You can do this by visiting their profile and clicking on the 3 dots by their username. Then click on Turn of Post Notifications.
Alright, you beautiful people! That’s all I got for you! Is there a strategy that you are using that I didn’t mention in this blog post? If so, leave me a comment and let me know what’s working for you!