HOW TO GET YOUR FIRST 1000 FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM
☀ Are you overwhelmed by all the social media platforms out there?
☀ Don’t know where to focus your efforts to get the most out of your internet marketing strategy?
What if I told you that engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter? Not to mention, so much more fun!
HAVE I GOT YOUR ATTENTION?
With 800 million active users and counting, why would you not cut through the chase and focus your marketing on this super powerful platform? (Source: Omnicore)
Want more reasons to join?
HOW ABOUT THIS: 30% of internet users are now on Instagram and 75% of these users take action (such as visiting a website) after looking at an Instagram advertising post. This means you could utilize this platform to make sales directly from your posts.
Considering that out of the top 100 brands in the world, 90% of them are on Instagram, it makes perfect sense to set yourself up with an account of your own right now. Or grow your current one.
By now, I’m sure you must be at least a little excited to get started on Instagram. But before you start planning sales campaigns, you must first get some followers! A good number to have following you is around 1000 before you begin “pitching” or advertising your products or services.
And don’t worry if you’re brand new to this whole thing. It’s really quite easy to get started. In this guide, I’m going to show you exactly how to get your first 1000 followers on Instagram. Just follow my five simple steps below and get growing!
STEP 1: Create a killer bio
It all starts with a solid bio. Your description can make or break your “Insta-success”. Have you ever looked through other accounts, read their bios and thought, “Huh? So what do you do? I don’t get it, never mind. I’m not following.” Or better yet, have you ever looked at someone’s bio and instantly thought, “Wow, this is exactly for me. I must follow this person/brand!”
Your goal is to (of course, duh!) try and cultivate the second reaction. So how do you do that?
Make your bio description SIMPLE + STRATEGIC.
There are three key elements to creating a killer bio. These include:
Your bio description
Your link/contact details
Pick your main image carefully as this is a representation of you and your brand. Choose a clear, professional image that shows your face, so that your audience can instantly feel a connection to you.
Your bio description
You only get 150 characters here, so use them wisely. Make sure to use your authentic personality while describing exactly what it is you do or can help others achieve. Play around with aligning your text vertically in the mobile app or use your favourite emoji. Make it crystal clear what you’re all about and highlight a benefit you can provide for your audience. Something you know will encourage them to stick around.
Your link/contact details
Instagram allows you only one link by default, so make sure to pick the most important one. Normally this can be your website link or a direct Bitly link to your current promotion, such as your latest lead magnet. Also, I highly suggest you switch your account to business so that you can automatically have a contact button. Why not give your potential clients a simple and direct way to contact you for more information on what you offer?
INSTA PRO TIP: Want more than one link in your bio? Use the Linkr app and bam, now you can have multiple links!
STEP 2: Create consistent branding
It’s no secret that the accounts that get the most attention are the ones that continually stick to a theme based on their brand. It’s simply more visually appealing to be looking at an account that has consistent colours, editing and imagery through their feed. Wouldn’t you agree?
So whenever planning out your content, pay attention to how each post fits in with your overall theme as well as your brand. Use the same colours and elements that you’ve used on your website to build brand recognition.
There are also numerous filters that Instagram offers, but keep in mind that statistics show that the most liked images are those without any filter at all. Still, if you want to get creative and you really like a certain filter, go for it. Just remember to stick to that same filter for all your images for consistency.
Need some inspiration? Spend a day just perusing through other accounts and pay attention to which ones really jump out for you and make you want to click on that follow button. What type of feeds do you feel drawn to the most? The ones with soft subdued colours or the bright ones? Then ask yourself, how do you want your audience to feel when they see your feed? Your assignment is to make a decision on what type of theme you will create for yourself and then stick to it!
STEP 3: Tell a compelling story
Whenever you post something new, always keep in mind that the overall purpose of your account is to connect with your ideal audience. Therefore, your Instagram feed should say the following:
Who you are
What you create
What service or product you sell
What your brand stands for
What you believe in
Things you love
The key to building real connections is to be as transparent as possible. Always be your true self and use your own words when writing up post descriptions. Your goal is to educate and inspire your audience, but also to give them a glimpse of who you are behind the scenes.
Share your obsessions! If you love to travel, include photos of your travels. If you love healthy eating, talk about that once in a while. Of course, your message should always have a clear focus, so don’t overdo it. For example, if you’re a business coach, I want to learn about business from you, but I also want to get to know you a little more personally. That doesn’t mean that I want to see you post a bunch of photos of what you had for dinner because cooking is your hobby. Get it? Use your obsessions sparingly. With practice, you’ll find your right balance.
Something to keep in mind is that photos get more engagement than videos on Instagram. So while you can post videos there, make most of your posts as images.
STEP 4: Do your hashtag research
The thing with hashtags is this: YOU GOTTA USE THEM!
Instagram currently allows a max of 30 hashtags and I strongly suggest you use them all. Posts with at least one hashtags gain 12.6% more engagement. That’s just with one. When you use 30 hashtags, I guarantee that you’ll get a ton more likes, comments and follows than without them.
But don’t just use any hashtags just because they’re popular. Pick ones that will help your target audience find you easily. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about here (because these can be very confusing to a beginner, I get it), there is an easy way to find out what hashtags you could be using.
Find a few of your direct competitors. I’m talking about those who already do what you do (or something very similar) and are successful on Instagram. So you want to be looking at those who have well over 1000 followers and get a least 100 likes per post (on average). Now look at the hashtags that they’re using. Click on each one to see where they take you. Do you like them? Great, use them. Start writing down your favourite hashtags and make a list of your top 30. There, now you have your own perfect hashtags!
Another trick is to create a balance of very popular and slightly less popular hashtags. The very popular ones are great for exposure, but your post will drown in the millions of other posts associated with that hashtag. Meaning, your post will not stay up in the hashtag feed for very long, it will quickly move to the bottom. On the other hand, the less popular ones will actually let your post stay at the top of the hashtag feed for longer. I highly recommend having a mix of both for maximum exposure.
INSTA PRO TIP: When you have your list of 30 hashtags, create a note in an app like Evernote called “Instagram Hashtags” and save your list there. That way each time you post something new, all you have to do is copy and paste your hashtags into the comments section. By the way, that’s the best place to put them. Not the post description, but the comments section. That way when others make comments on your post, the hashtags are no longer visible (but are still working in the background).
INSTA PRO TIP: Once you create your post and write a blurb in the description, make sure to add your hashtags in the comments immediately after publishing. In the past, you were able to go into old posts and add a bunch of hashtags to gain new exposure, but Instagram changed things. Now they only work when you use them as you post!
STEP 5: Connect with other users
Social media is all about being social, duh. Once you have your basics set up, it’s time to work, work, work! Yes, building a followship anywhere takes some work. I’m not going to lie to you and say that once you set it all up, followers will magically appear daily. Yes, some will, but if you want to take this seriously, you gotta put in some work.
The good news is that it doesn’t take a lot of work. In fact, as little as 15 minutes a day can drastically improve your audience growth on Instagram. Gaining followers is really much faster and easier than any other social media.
So commit to spending about 15 minutes a day to building your Instagram followers. All you really have to do is scroll through the feeds and like photos (double tap), comment on them and follow others.
Sometimes you can just scroll and keep liking a bunch of posts. But if you want a little more engagement, leave comments on other people’s posts. Often a simple emoji or “I love this” will do, but better yet, read the capture and actually say something relevant. If someone’s asking a question, answer it. Show others that you’ve taken the time to look at their post properly. They’ll appreciate it and will be more likely to come check out your profile, give you some likes and maybe a follow.
Don’t forget to follow other users; it’s the fastest way get followers back. My suggestion is to follow people in your industry, potential clients (people who you think could potentially use your service or product) or simply accounts you adore.
INSTA PRO TIP: Mention other users in your posts. When you share someone else’s post, always give them credit by mentioning their handle. It’s very rude not to. Plus, posts that include another handle gain 56% more engagement!
Oh and one more thing. Posts with a location receive 79% more engagement. So add a location whenever possible because those who are in your location will naturally feel an instant connection to you.
That’s it! There’s a lot more to Instagram, but if you follow these five simple steps, you’ll discover how easy and fun it is to build an audience. If you really do all this and put some work for just 15 minutes a day, you should be able to get your first 1000 followers in as little as one month.
So enjoy the process and reap the rewards!