I’ve been getting quite a few messages on Instagram or seeing accounts that promise tremendous follower growth. One of the DM’s that is flowing around Instagram is the mega follow-loop that promises 280 new followers for everyone that participates. I never see that working, for more than couple of reasons but as I was getting more and more of those messages, I thought why not I try something that may actually work? And then write about it?
YouTube advice on growing your Instagram following
If you’ve ever been on Instagram growth side of YouTube you know that there are hundreds of videos on how to grow Instagram fast and organically. Strategies vary from following everyone who has liked a picture by popular account in your niche to downloading various apps (that will most likely give you a few days long block on Instagram).
I watched a bunch of those videos last Tuesday and not only chose the experiment I should run but also listened to bunch of advice on growing Instagram, which are the following:
- Be consistent with posting
- Try to get your content re-posted on big Instagram accounts and organize Instagram takeovers with other accounts.
- Post stories, “sharable” posts (info-graphics, quotes, templates) and videos
- “Niche down” and provide value
- Use location on your posts and do not use same hashtags with every post
- Engage with other accounts daily
- Write 4+ word replies
It depends on a video, but that’s mostly the advice you can get when you are trying to find tricks and tips on how to grow your Instagram account. Lots of people say that it is not enough to have good content. Which is totally true. Even if you are exceptional writer, artist or provide some really good advice to people, it’s very much possible that your content will not get noticed, simply because it gets lost in hundreds of other posts.
If you want to be seen on Instagram, you really need to get out there. And there is no shame in that. You are not any less of an extraordinary creator or star Influencer if you answer people’s comments under your posts and comment under other creators’ pictures.
So what was the experiment?
Since engagement is my favorite trick so far to get in touch with others, I also chose to do an experiment involving an engagement tactic. It was discussed in this video and called a 502 strategy – basically one needs to find 50 posts either using hashtags or explore page that have little to no engagement. Then it’s simple. You like the post and comment.
I decided to run this for one week starting Tuesday.
1. I found some really nice accounts
It’s always nice to appreciate other people! It felt good to engage with that many creators and give them tiny bit of the attention they deserve. I also followed/followed back some accounts that I appreciated. Really excited that I found them and I’m excited to see more of their work.
2. I did gain some followers as the video has promised.
I gained 54 new followers, which is more than I’d normally gain in a week, given that I’m not a very consistent poster and I do not have a very niched content (about that later).
Obviously, some accounts have unfollowed me if they didn’t get a follow back.
3. Engagement has increased
I engage with other accounts daily. I engage with content posted by people I follow but I also go to other accounts and appreciate their work, too. Naturally, some days I do it more and some days I’m just don’t feel like spending a lot of time on Instagram. I don’t think I engage anywhere close to 50 new people a day, as I’m also trying to support people that I already follow.
Commenting under 50 posts a day, it really helped my account to be found! I got more interaction on my latest post as well as some other posts. Here are some stats:
Screenshot from my Instagram profile @toma_ruh
4. Not having a very clear niche, might not be very helpful
As I don’t have a very concrete niche (working on that) I engaged with a lot of different content. Which from one point of view is good – more variability in people that check my account. However, it means that some of the people that have clicked on my account do not really care about what I’m doing, for instance if they run a traveling blog. I mostly engaged with hashtags like #newblogpost #newblogger #blogger #bloggerscommunity, etc.
Needless to say, there was a great variability of content under these hashtags. Some of it where in foreign languages and some of it just spam. I had to be really selective about what content I engage with.
5. It took quite a bit of time out of my day
It was a little bit tiring. Especially when I had to scroll through content and really find something I can comment under.
Also, as most of the people I found were bloggers naturally there were a lot of check out my new blog post! kind of posts which one cannot respond to without actually reading the blog post. That took additional time. However, I really enjoyed reading some of the blog posts and found new people to follow!
As I spent most of my time writing my 50 comments, I didn’t have so much time to engage with people I already follow and read blogs I follow. There is only so much time you can spend on Instagram. On top of that, I had quite a week. But I’ll try to catch up to everybody’s content! Blogs too!
I’ll for sure continue to engage more using hashtags. However, I may not write fifty comments a day.
It was a fun way to find new content and exploring whether it actually helps to increase followers and engagement.
I encourage you to try this and share your thoughts. As well as I advice you to engage! Appreciate other people’s work just because they are worth it and you’ll for sure find your own audience that loves what you do.
I believe this strategy is one the best ones if you want to increase your Instagram following as well as get more engagement on your posts. It is way more effective than spamming other people with follow-loop messages or following people until Instagram puts you on a time-out.
Do you actively work on growing your Instagram? Is there any Instagram growth hack that’s been on your mind for a while? Have you tried any and did they work?
Let’s connect on Instagram!