Hey folks, this might be a long post but it'll be worth it to see how I grew an instagram account from 0-20,000 Real followers in 7 months. Seriously! How I get up to 50 comments on every photo and how I get free shoutouts from big accounts in my niche and how to Hashtag the correcct way!
So last year around about this time, I tried to start an online tshirt business. I was working off the Straight outta compton theme, creating tshirts with 'staight outta (insert your location here). I baught a domain, created designs, got beutiful mockups made. The works! I was ready to get rich! But guess what? Nobody bought any!
My 'Build it and they will come' mentality had proven to be extrremely flawed. This is where I realised that the signel most important thing for any store is traffic!
I looked on google and researched some of the traffic generating methds out there. (There's loads, I cant even begin to scratch the surface in this post). But on thing i found was that most required an upfront investment to essentially 'Buy' the traffic. Facebook & google adwords all required money to start. Money was something I didnt have! But time, I had loads of!
At the same time as all of this I would be flicking through my instagram looking at all the mens style pages and seeing what they were doing. It didnt take a genius to work out that what they were doing was quite simple. I knew I could do it too. I realsied that if I could built up a loyal fan base on instagram I could then market a product to them for free!!
So I set to work. I created @mensstylesociety in November of 2015, and it is now sitting at 20,000 followers,And here's how it did it.
Nobody wants to tell you this because its boring and its not a 'secret formula' but its what needs to be done to get the ball rolling. When i started th page and I had zero followers the first thing i did was load up 8/9 photos so that the account didnt look so bare. I got photos from other pages within the same niche, Always making sure to credit the owner in the caption! They're always happy to get extra promotion. The next thing was to get my name in front of other people. The simplest way to do this is to engage! Instagram is a SOCIAL network. If you jus constantly post and do not engage with anybody you're account will never grow. So I set about comenting, liking and folllowing all the big pages within my niche. I would go into their followers and follow as many of them as I could aswel. Every so often I would unfollow those who didnt follow me back. And this is how it started.
Engaging with other people is the only way to start but it should be continued all the time, even if your account grows into the millions of followers you should always enage!
Once your account grows to any respectable number you should then start looking for other accounts within your niche with a similar follower size. Find these accounts and aks for a shout out in return for a shout out. Basically what this means is that ou post on your own account and mention them and they do the same. You cross promote each others accounts to your followers. instagram is massive! So no account has two identical sets of followers.This is probably the single best strategy for grwing your account fast! Important! Do not bother asking accounts that are far larger than yours asking for a shout out unless you have something else to offer them. Focus on finding accounts similar to your own size.
The next insider trick I have for you is comment groups! Nobody else will admit this but all influencers on instagram are invloved in comment groups. These are groups where everybody goes onto each others accounts and comments on the image to boost enagement. I am personally invloved in about 5/6 of these groups. You simply message the group when you have posted and all the other members come and comment on your image. You can get anything from 5-50 comments on every photo this way.
Hashtag the right way:
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags. USE THEM ALL! But nobody wants a big mess of hashtags under every photo they post. The solution? Post them in the comments. As soon as you post an image, post the hashtags in the comments under it. The still work the same but as soon as somebody comments the hashtags become hidden, leavinf you with a beautiful image without a mess of hashtags under it.
Influence the Influencers
Once you have an account of this size you are able to barter with influencers. You can offer them promotion on your account n return for them promoting your product. Most new or small influencers are more than happy to promote a product in return for promtion themselves. You can even use your network of similar pages and comment groups to promote them if you like. This way you can get influencers which you would not have been able to on your own.
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