Reach your first 1k on Instagram!
Hello, my lovelies! You may have noticed that my little site has had a bit of a makeover recently? Since starting my blog it was always my aim to update it with a more suitable theme, and what better time than a new year to start achieving my goals.
I’m going to own up to the fact that I’m pretty new to blogging, not to websites or writing, by day I’m a marketeer so this stuff is old hat to me, but the whole blogging thing – yep, a new playing field! With this in mind, when I decided to start a blog I knew I would need a platform to promote it and increase engagement. Social media is a great tool for this and the trend shift from Facebook to Instagram made Instagram the obvious choice.
Starting up any form of social media or blog site where you are going to need to self-promote can seem a daunting task and you will read so many different strategies on how to grow your followers and engagement that you can get so lost in detail, I know I did when I first started. There are also lots of groups and blogs that really specialise in Instagram strategy and whilst I am sure all very beneficial, they are costly!
So truth #2, I only started my Instagram page properly at the end of October 2017, seriously by the end of November 2017 and making my photography better early in December. By the end of December, I had reached my goal of 1k followers! I’m currently sitting at around 1.5k and whilst I am still a pretty small account, my engagement and follower numbers have been increasing steadily and consistently and I am on target to reach nearly 10k in a year. To some people, this may seem like very small numbers, but for a new blogger, this is huge!
So how can you achieve this without the dreaded follow-unfollow technique (yes, this seriously p**ses me off when people do this to me), and without buying costly guides or signing up with companies that promise to increase your engagement? Well, I’m going to share with you how I reached my 1k target in two months – keep reading!
So this is going to be your mantra over the coming months,
DEFINE.POSITION.PROMOTE, say it again, Define, – who are you, Position – find your people, Promote – engage and advertise yourself as someone people will want to follow.
So let’s get started.
So who are you?
Simple question right – hmm, not always! When you are starting a new Instagram account which isn’t just pictures of you and your friends getting drunk on a Saturday night, the first thing you have to do is define who you are and what your grid is about, define your niche, to use myself as an example, my niche is Beauty. If you want to branch out into a different niche at a later date great, but remain focused to start.
So the first thing you will need to do is actually open your account. Pick a username that is going to be relevant to your niche. Personal v Business account. There is much debate over this but personally, since I made the switch to a business account I have seen my following increase. A business account allows you to view insights on your posts, such as where your engagement has come from, hashtags being an important one. It also allows you to add a contact email and one URL (set up aLinktree account, it allows you to post multiple URLs to your profile). You’ll also need to ensure you make the most of your bio, define who you are by choosing a relevant a category to sit in, a name that is what you would like to be found for and make the most of the character count you are given to introduce your account. Tips on what to include in your bio are, your tagline (what is it you do), your location and the hashtags you would most like to be found for. Take a look at my bio HERE as an example.
So you have an account and you’re ready to upload your first image. Trust me, you don’t need any fancy photography equipment, a smartphone, good lighting and a photo editor app (lightroom cc is my preferred) is all you need at first. You MUST ensure every image you post is relevant to your niche. You need to position yourself in your insta tribe, and to do this you must remain consistent and on topic. Keep those boozy night photos to your personal account.
Find your people.
To grow engagement of your account, you have to find like-minded people, the people that are going to help you grow and ultimately have similar goals to yourself. I don’t need to explain that searching on Instagram is by hashtags, we all get this by now, but you must make them relevant. A good place to start is to define 10 keywords, the words that you feel are most relevant to your account and ultimately what you would like your account to be found for. Once you have these 10 defined start with a bit of hashtag research, different variations of your keywords may return better hashtag results to use. Once you have these, this is your starting point, you will, of course, need to mix them up for each post but defining the first 10 should be your starting strategy. TAKE NOTE: DO NOT use the same hashtags in each post, you must mix it up to avoid the dreaded shadowban you can receive for activity like this. I won’t go into further detail here but you can Google shadowban for further details.
Engage with others content.
Once you have found your people and you start to see your numbers grow, don’t see them as just that, a number, engage with their content, make friends, suggest collabs, talk, like, share, feature. It’s a sure fire way to present yourself as someone people will want to follow. Follow anyone back that you feel has a genuine interest in your niche and has content you feel you would like to engage with.
Take inspiration from larger accounts.
So your goal is to reach 10k followers? Go find an account that has already achieved this and let them inspire you, learn from them, notice how they engage with their following, what techniques they deploy to keep their content fresh, they all started where you are now.
Find regram pages.
Whats a regram page? So a regram page is a page that will have a specific hashtag that you can use when posting up images. Accounts of this sort repost users images on their own and usually have a big following. Make sure you find some that are relevant to your niche and tag away, you’d be surprised how often you get a mention. Again, engage with them, learn, talk to them, suggest a collab, you’ll be surprised how many accounts are open to this.
Stay out of engagement groups.
It can be tempting at first to find engagement groups that are going to put two-word comments on and like every picture you post up, but this isn’t going to grow your account organically or give you any sense of your true engagement. I would say engage with Insta and Blogging chat groups on Facebook as these can be great and there are many that are tailored to a specific niche, they can be great for sharing ideas and tips and can also help you grow true engagement.
Stay away from the follow-unfollow tactic.
Ok, before I get shot down by the millions of people that deploy this tactic, let me just say, its not nice and it p**ses people off, do it if you must, but I know I would be much happier knowing I managed to grow my account by being me and just spending time actually engaging and taking an interest in others content.
And lastly, link your Insta content to your blog.
Posting a new blog post? Use Insta to promote it, link it in your bio, add a relevant picture and drive traffic to your new blog post.
You will come across many a different Instagram strategy when you start out and its totally your choice which direction you choose to follow. But please remember not to get disheartened, this game takes time, it’s not an overnight win and on those days you feel like giving up, remember why you started.
I hope this post has been helpful and this is genuinely how I have grown my engagement organically. Don’t forget to subscribe and follow me over on Insta (shameless self-promotion).
Have a great day.
If you have any thoughts you would like to share with me on this post, please leave a comment in the comments section, or contact me via my contact page HERE.