How I Gained 6000 Instagram Followers in One Month For Free
Instagram is arguably the most popular social media platform today. It has grown from being popular amongst teens and young adults into a platform used by all ages. For business owners, there is a strong chance that their customers (or potential customers) are currently users of Instagram. As of June 2016, Instagram had over 500 million active users.
A large number of followers can help a business look credible, however simply having lots of followers that are not in your target demographic will not be beneficial to converting sales. Having followers that are within your target market however will pay dividends to your business and expose your products/services to the people that are interested in them. This article was written to help your business gain relevant followers for free. These nine steps are how I gained 6000 followers for my business in one month without spending a penny!
Step 1: Develop a Social Media Strategy
For further clarification on this, check out my previous article.
Step 2: Search Instagram for Relevant Accounts
Unless your business is completely unique and you are the first in the industry, chances are there are businesses similar to you that are already using Instagram. Ideally, you will find accounts that have a high follower count, and offer similar products or services to your business. Find these accounts, write them down, you will need them later.
Step 3: Start Developing Content
Before you start throwing content onto your account, you will want to create a bank of images or at least a plan as to what you want to post. It is important to keep in mind the overall layout of your channel, and ensure that your photos are coordinated in a visually appealing way. Instagram photos are laid out a grid 3 photos wide, so sorting photos in groups of three is often useful. An example of this would be to plan three photos in a row that all feature the color red.
Step 4: Update Your Profile Photo
I recommend that this is the logo for your business. You need to have a profile photo to appear credible to your followers (or potential followers).
Step 5: Build up your Profile
People will want to see what your account is all about before they follow you. A good idea to start your account before you have any followers is to post three photos showcasing what your business is about and what you are trying to sell. By having a few posts before you begin trying to attract followers, it will allow your first impression with your followers to be a good one. The likelihood of gaining followers on an account with zero posts is a lot less likely than one with posts on it.
Step 6: Let the Following Begin
Once you have your profile photo and initial posts set up, it is time to begin following. You will want to go to the relevant accounts identified in step 2, and start following the users that are following their account. Instagram has rules as to the maximum number of accounts you are allowed to follow per hour (I believe it is 160 per hour), but you will know once it quits allowing you to follow accounts. By following these specific accounts, it will ensure that your followers will be interested in what your business is offering.
NOTE: I was banned once for 24 hours for excessive following, but one way to combat this is to have a verified phone number and email associated with your account. In the event you do become banned though, do not try and follow any accounts for at least 24 hours. If you are still not allowed to follow, wait another day.
Step 7: Continue Posting Content
As you are following accounts, it is important to continue to post content for your business. I recommend posting at least one post per day, with a maximum of three posts per day. This will allow you to continue to interact with your growing follower base, while not annoying any followers to the point of unfollowing you. Finding the best number of posts will take some trial and error, but make sure you pay attention to the amount of likes on your photos. If the number of likes are dropping, consider switching your content or posting less frequently.
Step 8: Begin Unfollowing Accounts
I have found that Instagram will not allow you to follow more than 7000 accounts at one time. This may be because my account is fairly new, however it poses a problem with this strategy. Out of the accounts that you have followed, there is a strong chance that at least half of these accounts wont follow you back. For these accounts, you will want to unfollow them, as they wont be viewing the content you are posting, making them a wasted follow for your account. There are apps to aid in the unfollowing of these accounts, so search around the app store. I recommend not unfollowing the accounts that are following you, as this could result in the loss of their follow. By only unfollowing selected accounts, this can be a slow and tedious process, however I think in the end it’s worth it.
Step 9: Continue this Process
Continue posting content regularly, following users on relevant accounts, and unfollowing those accounts that choose not to follow you back. Repeat this process over and over again, and as you have more followers and more content, you will begin gaining followers organically. This is the stage my account is currently in.
I created my account on November 18th, and by December 18th I had over 6000 followers on my account. Since then, I have slowed down following other accounts and have been organically gaining followers. As of today, my account has 6,636 followers, and I am following 6,012 users. If this method worked for me, I am confident that it can also work for you!
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