Instagram is one of the most popular social networks today, with a 40 percent usage reach among the adult population in the US. This makes it a platform worth investing your time and efforts in, but growing an audience can be tough. Here are 10 tips on how to get your first 1000 followers on Instagram.
Instagram continues to be one of the best platforms for growing an audience. Today, Instagram has 1.074 billion users worldwide and 71% of US businesses use Instagram. And did you know that Instagram can generate more than 4 times the number of interactions compared to Facebook? It goes without saying: Instagram is the place to be for aspiring entrepreneurs and content creators.
It’s easy to come across tips when googling how to grow an Instagram account. However, many of the tricks mainly work with bigger accounts and will have lesser luck when it comes to accounts with only a couple hundred followers. Reaching those first thousand followers on any social media platform is usually the hardest part since people are generally not paying much attention to small accounts.
We’ve collected 10 tips on how to reach the magic number of 1000 followers on Instagram. Let’s get into it!
1. Make your Instagram bio count
Your bio will be the first introduction to new followers, and if you fine-tune it, you can target your ideal audience. If they like what they see, they’ll likely hit that follow button. What are§ the main things you want to highlight here? Make it count! Think of it as your 150 character pitch. And remember: your username and name are searchable, but not the rest.
Here are some bio elements that will most likely attract followers:
- A sleek, high-quality profile image
- A call-to-action (a #hashtag to click and share, a link to follow, or contact info)
- Snappy copy that feels like it was written by a real person (not a robot)
2. Connect with your network
As mentioned earlier, reaching those first few hundred followers is often the trickiest part of growing a social media audience. Therefore, why not start off by following friends, family, coworkers, and basically everyone you know! They will most likely follow you back, and hopefully, even recommend you to their friends. Go through your Facebook and contact list to make sure you’ve utilized all of your connections.
3. Look for your audience
When you first start off with your account: try to describe your ideal audience for yourself. Create an avatar. Then, look for other accounts that direct themselves to your audience. If you are a travel vlogger, then look for traveling accounts and travel vloggers that may fit your audience criteria. Look for the accounts and creators that post on a regular basis and get good engagement with their content.
Now, the idea is for you to utilize their profiles and audiences. Comment on their posts. Follow their followers and interact with them. Engage! You need to get their attention and get connected before they will be willing to follow you and engage with your content.
4. Post engaging content (and write good captions!)
Being able to write a catchy caption is an art form. From questions to humor to fun facts; using captions effectively is a great way to encourage activity on your posts and let your followers get to know you. It goes without saying that you not only need to write good captions, but the content itself is equally important. Here are some more ideas of the types of content and captions that could be useful:
- Question-based posts
- Recommendation requests or tips
- Personal or funny stories
- Tag-a-friend posts
- AMA posts (ask me anything)
- Jump on a trend
- Post a before and after
- Share behind the scenes material
- Host a contest
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5. Post consistently
A common theme among successful content creators and social media jedis is that they tend to post frequently. And not to forget: at the right time. Use your Instagram Insights to determine when your customers are most likely to be active.
By posting the right content at the right time, you grow your chances of it being engaged with by your audience. By making a point to publish something every day, you send a signal saying it’s worth coming back for more. It’s also a great way to let your audience know you better. The more people engage with your post, the higher it appears in their feed. This helps to expand your reach, helping you gain more followers.
By scheduling your content in advance, you can pinpoint holidays and generate buzz for upcoming events. A structured and planned out content calendar will also bring you peace of mind since you don’t have to stress-post something random on inspiration-lacking days.
The Instagram algorithm dictates the order of the posts that users see when they're scrolling through their feed. This is based on specific signals and it prioritizes the best performing posts, pushing the most relevant ones toward the top and giving them the most visibility, while other content ends up being placed further down. So the more people interact with your content, the higher it will end up.
6. Experiment, test and analyze your content
To determine what works among your audience - and what isn’t - it’s crucial to experiment with the content you post and analyze the results. If you don’t test your content, how will you know what works best?
It’s a good idea to set up a content strategy for as many of these five Instagram features as possible:
Your chances of getting discovered and engaged with increase remarkably if you make a habit out of using all of these features. It’s also important you not only utilize all of them, but also make sure you test the content. Take a look at the metrics and find out which your top 3 posts are. Your audience will tell you what type of content you should continue to create.
On top of this, try to track weekly profile visits, assess follows from individual posts (analyzing this information will help you create content not for likes but for earning followers), and track bio link clicks. Any information you can get is useful to find out what content to invest in creating. Instagram Insights is a great tool to use to track important metrics.
7. Engage with your audience
Engaging with your followers is the alpha and omega of growing an audience. Write a simple open-ended question in the post, ask them about something. In your stories, you can use a poll or a question sticker to ask a question. And remember: every comment is an opportunity to gain a new follower (or keep a current one), so make sure you respond to every comment you receive. Make your followers your friends, it’ll be worth your while.
8. Get to the top search results
One place you’d really want to revisit for more exposure is the Instagram top search results. While the ins and outs of Instagram’s algorithm is a bit of a well-kept secret, there are a few ways to increase your possibilities of ending up there.
- Post at the time when most of your followers are online. If you have a business account, check your statistics to see when that is. If you don’t have a business account, look at your posts to see which ones got the most engagement and make note of the time you posted them. Notice a trend? If so, that’s likely when most of your followers are online.
- Always create high-quality images that fit your niche.
- Use hashtags relevant to your niche. They shouldn’t be too popular. The more popular they are, the harder it is to get to the top of the discover page.
- If your images include other people or brands, tag them. They then get the notification about your post, and there is a possibility that they will engage with or reshare it, too.
- It’s always good to have relationships with the bigger accounts within your niche. If you don’t have that, start interacting with them. When the accounts with a large number of followers engage with your content, then you get more chances to get to the top.
To further wrap your head around how the Instagram algorithm works, here’s a quick rundown of the different factors:
- Interest: how much Instagram thinks a person will like the post based on previous activity.
- Timeliness: how recent the post is.
- Relationship: accounts a person engages with on a regular basis.
- Frequency: how often a person uses the Instagram app.
- Following: posts from the accounts a person follows.
- Usage: how much time a person spends on Instagram.
9. Use video content
First off: video content generally gets 34% more interactions than static image content. That tells us that video content is something you’d want to at least include in your content strategy.
These days, you’ve got plenty of video options to choose from on Instagram. They include:
- Instagram Reels. This is the most recent addition to Instagram videos. Reels are short snippets of content, sort of like TikTok videos. They are a great way for creators to engage their audience.
- IGTV. IGTV is a great tool to grow your Instagram with, because it gives you access to another section of the Insta app. Here, you can post longer format videos.
- Instagram Live. The best time to use Instagram Live is when you want to be human and personal. It’s a great way to show your audience what’s happening behind the scenes.
10. Don’t waste your time
To grow your audience, it’s crucial your followers actually engage with you and your content. Not only does that show they’re into what you’re posting, but it also bumps your posts higher up in the feed for more exposure. Therefore, fake accounts are worthless to you. If these accounts follow you, take time out perhaps each week or month to give your following a cleanse. Simply remove the fake accounts and bots that are following you. These accounts signal to the algorithm that your content isn’t valuable and hence your content won’t get shown to people. Fake accounts are usually pretty obvious to discover based on the usernames and you can also take a look at their feed. Fake accounts often don’t have more than a couple of posts that are usually pretty spammy.
Another thing not to waste your time on is the follow-unfollow game. Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t focus too much on following and unfollowing other accounts just for the sake of it.
Now, go get those first 1000 followers – you can do it!
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