How I Gained Over 3,000 Instagram Followers in 30 Days

I’m sure by now you may have all read various blog posts, articles and even taken some online training on how to grow your Instagram following organically. Most often you get pretty much the same responses. There’s not really a difference to what many Instagram influencers are doing. The formula is all the same, but the true value comes when you focus on your target market, your audience and most importantly, your content. 

Now right away, you may be thinking aren’t audience and target market the same? In my opinion, they aren’t. Think of it this way, if I’m a music video director, I’m going to have people that my videos appeal to and entertain, but I’m also going to have people that want to book me in order to shoot their music video; hence, the difference. 

Target Market = Potential Clients vs Target Audience = Viewers/Listeners

So based on this scenario you are creating visually pleasing content that will get interaction, which in this case, the focus is on the audience. You also want to create content that will attract potential clients and invite business inquiries. When you post, you want to make sure your videos and photos attract both with a combination of the actual media itself and also with the caption.

The caption of your post is very important. You want your caption to invite a conversation or to invite interaction. This is why the use of a call-to-action is very important. So let’s say for instance you post a preview for a music video, you may want to choose a short 30 second clip that makes someone want to watch the video, and then in the caption your call to action can be one of the following:

Example 1: Click the link in the bio to continue watching and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Example 2: Now booking! Music video slots available now. DM for inquiries.

Having a caption that creates a conversation invites people to comment on your post, which in turn adds more interaction and that can rank you higher on Instagram. As we all know, Instagram rewards accounts with high interaction on their posts. This is also why hashtags are important. Hashtags increase visibility to your post. Instagram currently allows up to 30 hashtags but the goal is to have at least 10-15 relevant hashtags that relate to your audience and Instagram community. One common mistake that most people make is that they attach the most popular hashtags to their post, which doesn’t give them much visibility.

 
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In this example, you’ll notice #musicvideo has over 7 million posts, while #musicvideos has a little over 600 thousand. You are more like to have your post seen with a hashtag that has fewer posts, especially as a smaller account looking to grow.

Another important thing to remember with content is that you should focus on quality and how often you’re posting. Depending on who you’re targeting and what type of account you have, you want to make sure you are presenting quality posts to your followers that will invite them to interact with your content. 

Look at this collage below. On the left, you have two “photography” photos and on the right you have two “music video” photos. You’ll notice that in both comparisons, there is an image that has no relevance to the context of the page and/or the hashtag. It’s almost like spamming your account. Be mindful and critical of what you post. Although, quality can be subjective, you really want to post the best for your audience. This is extremely important.

 
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Now that you’ve got the quality of the content down, you want to post at least once a day. This may vary depending on the type of account you have and how much interaction you are looking for. 1-3 posts per day is most likely the best as a growing account. You want to post when at the most optimal time for your post to get its highest degree of engagement. There are various tools that allow you to figure out the best time, but you can also do this by trial and error. One of my favorite ways to really learn my followers is through the built in insights feature. This feature is only available to “business” instagram accounts. If your account is setup as just a standard account, you do not get access to your insights. 

If you take a look at the following image, you’ll notice that you get access to what days and hours your followers are most active. You can decide to post during these times for the best engagement. It’s fairly simple to understand, but most people don’t do the work to figure this stuff out. With the insights feature along with 3rd party applications, I can get my best engagement by posting at the right time. There are tons of apps that allow you to auto schedule your posts and one of the most popular platforms is Hootsuite. With Hootsuite, you can schedule and post photos directly to Instagram. You can also post videos, but currently the platform sends you a push notification as a reminder.

 
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This eliminates the hassle of having to remember each day what time to post and what content to post. You can take a day or two out of your week and just schedule your content intentionally and strategically so that you get your best results. One of my favorite apps that goes a bit further into analytics is Plann. With Plann, you can schedule posts, get insight on your best performing media, see your top hashtags, get color palettes for your feed's theme, etc. 

Here are my most used Plann features:

  • Best Perfoming Media
  • Best Daily Time to Post
  • # of Followers (7 days, 30 days, 3 months, 1 Year)
  • Best Performing Hashtag Sets

Below are a few screenshots of the features mentioned and how useful they can be in growing your Instagram following. 

 Best Performing Media

Best Performing Media

 Best Daily Time to Post

Best Daily Time to Post

 Followers over the last 30 days

Followers over the last 30 days

 Best Performing Hashtags

Best Performing Hashtags

Now with all that being said, one of the most important things is interaction. As an Instagram influencer, you have to interact with other accounts in your community. Follow other accounts, comment on posts, like posts and feel free to have conversations through direct messages and stories. There is nothing more important than that. You can have the greatest formula, but its just like being at an event or mixer, you have to get out and talk to people. The cool thing is, you can learn so much form other people by just reaching out and starting a conversation. It's sounds scary at first and at times the internet can be an overwhelming place, but social media is a great platform that has allowed so many of us to meet and connect with great people. 

I hope this was helpful for some of you as again, many of these things aren't new to people, but the most you learn about these strategies and the more you put them into practice, the better equipped you are to help take your Instagram account to the next level. Feel free to comment, shoot us an email, and provide feedback on this post! Thanks for reading.

Jineen Williams
Creative Director