We started working on our Instagram page during our trip to Bali, which was in October 2018. At that moment we just reached 4.000 followers. Exactly one year later, we had 145.000 followers on Instagram. We have never bought any followers, nor have we participated in any loop giveaways or any sorts of shady stuff.
Want to know how we did it? Keep reading!
While we won’t promise that by doing what we say you’ll also gain 140.000 followers in a year, we will give you some tips about how to make sure you gain as much new followers as possible the quickest way possible.
1. Post regularly
When you look at our statistics from last year, we have posted exactly 350 pictures. That means we didn’t post 15 days of the year, mainly due to having no internet connection while traveling. Consistency is key, and you should always try to post once per day. When we don’t post for 1 or 2 days, we notice a big drop in new followers.
2. Post at the best possible time
If you have a business account on Instagram (which we would highly recommend having to everyone who takes it seriously), you can see your statistics. Understanding these statistics is crucial if you want to build a large following. From the very beginning, our followers have been most active between 3pm and 9pm Western European time as you can see in the screenshot below. Makes sense when you know most of our followers are from the United States and Europe.
So from the beginning, our goal was to post at around 3pm Western European time, no matter where we were in the world. That also meant we posted in the middle of the night when we were in Australia, or that we posted at 6am when we were on the West Coast of the USA. So especially if you travel a lot you might have to make sacrifices to post at your optimal time, but if you take the growth of your Instagram page seriously, it will be worth it in the end.
3. Content is key
No matter how many tips and tricks you use to grow your Instagram and gain more followers, if your content is bad, your page won’t grow. Try to analyse which content works best with your followers and build on that. If you notice videos work much better than pictures, try and post more videos. Or if you notice that pictures of your dog get half the likes and comments your selfies get, you might want to post less dog pictures and more selfies. It can be as easy as that to analyse what works best.
4. Build a consistent feed
When people see your feed, they will decide in less than a second if they’ll hit that follow button or not. Therefore it’s very important that your feed is pleasing to the eye. There are multiple ways of creating an aesthetically pleasing feed, but one always returning aspect of a beautiful feed is matching tones. By editing all your pictures in a similar way with the same split-toning, your feed will will look much more attractive. We manage to do so by using our self-made photo filters which all have the same split-tones. With just one click of a button, you change the tone of your pictures and you’ll make more people click that follow button! Our photo filters (or presets as we call them) can be purchased here and they’re 50% off for Black Friday!
5. Have accounts share your content
A great way to attract new followers and have other people than those who are already following you see your content is by having other pages share your work. There are thousands of Instagram accounts that share other people’s best pictures and videos and have gained a huge following doing that. Let’s call them inspirational accounts. Those inspirational accounts are constantly browsing the web looking for the best pictures and videos to share which their followers will like. Try and find some of these accounts that repost similar pictures to what you post and contact them. Send them a couple of the pictures you think would work best on their page and maybe they’ll share it and tag you in the picture and in the caption, generating more traffic to your own account!
When an account like @wonderful_places with over 13 million followers shares your picture, you know you hit the jackpot and will get a few hundred new followers!
6. Use the best hashtags
Having a good hashtag strategy can be hard. We feel it’s probably the aspect of our Instagram that we have most difficulties with, so we’ll keep this short. Try out different strategies and see what works best for you by looking at your statistics later. We have tried to use all 30 hashtags, only 10 hashtags, used them in the caption, used them in the comments, used different ones every day, used the same ones over and over, but haven’t really found something that works every single time. We have had pictures that reached over 10.000 new accounts only with hashtags and pictures that had trouble reaching 5 new accounts with hashtags. So if you have a good strategy for us, definitely share the love and let us know in the comments what works best for you!
7. Engage with other people
To attract new followers, you have to make people come to your profile first. A great way to have people click on your name is by having your name out there, a lot! A trick we used a lot in the past when we had periods with less new followers was to engage with other people. Go to your explore page and scroll. When you see a cool picture, like it and leave a (funny) comment. Maybe the owner of the picture will have a look at your profile to see who the account that left that funny comment belongs to, maybe he or she will like your beautiful looking feed and decide to follow you. It’s a time intensive method, and if your comments are lame or spammy it won’t work, but if done correctly, it can definitely gain some extra followers.
8. Optimize your Instagram bio
Having a great bio is almost just as important as having a beautiful feed. It’s the first thing people will see who visit your profile, and if they like what they see, they’ll smash that follow button. A good Instagram bio should tell who you are, what you do and what people can expect from you in a few words and emoji’s. Also make sure your email address can be found in your bio, not only for receiving fanmail, but also for brands who want to work with you.
9. Put some effort in those Instagram stories
Nowadays Instagram is more than having a pretty feed. People start following you for who you are just as much as for the beautiful content you publish and what better way to show your true self than through Instagram stories? Try to upload stories regularly (5 per day is a good start) and don’t be afraid to show your face and let people hear your voice. It will create a stronger relationship between you and your followers and they will be more engaging, which in the end will always result in new followers. You should also use text (most people don’t have their sound on when watching stories), use stickers, ask questions, and every other tool Instagram gives you to be more engaging with your followers.
10. Enjoy the ride
Instagram can be a tough place, and sometimes you’ll hit a plateau and stop growing. In those moments you should remember to enjoy the ride and don’t focus on numbers too much. Look at the new followers you already gathered who follow you for who YOU are and what YOU do! Isn’t that amazing?