On June the 1st i started a Instagram page for a new project i am working on and decided to document my growth and write about my experiences with Instagram. My plan is to grow the page as fast and steady as possible without using any automation software / bots or buying followers / likes. I also don’t use methods like “follow / unfollow”. I will briefly go over my game plan on how to gain followers down below, but i will write detailed blog posts about my strategies as well, so make sure to subscribe to my blog to follow my journey.
The niche (i hate that word)
I won’t go too much into detail here, but my page will be living in the videogame niche. But since i really don’t like that word “niche”, because it sounds so “marketing”, i will call it “topic”. Now people might ask: How & why did you choose your specific topic? I chose it because of 4 factors that are really important to me when working on something i need to invest a lot of time in.
Criteria 1: I have a passion for it
Since my early childhood i love videogames and nerdy stuff. So i know i could spend my whole day with these things.
Criteria 2: I have knowledge about it
Since i have a passion for my topic. i can talk shop about it the whole night at a party (if there aren’t any hot girls of course) & so i can also write entertaining and informational stuff about it and create content nonstop around that topic.
Criteria 3: There are a bazillion people who can relate
Many people love videogames. That gives me the opportunity to speak to a wide range of people, even if they only like to play videogames occasionally.
Criteria 4: The topic has depth
What i mean by that is that my topic holds numerous subtopics i could specialize on, and start to create sidewhow pages about. Also, i have a lot of things to talk about. I don’t have to worry about ever going out of “material” to make content out of.
So these are my four criteria that need to be met. Overall it just needs to feel really good to think about working for days on end for that specific topic. If that thought alone gives you concern, even just a little bit, then keep thinking about a better topic. Now over to my goals. I like to set myself small but achievable goals that are measurable and keep me motivated.
Goal 1: Reach 1000 followers
It’s obvious that i want to gain as many followers as possible. But one does need tangible goals in his life so there you go. Also, many say the first k is the hardest, and that organic growth will be easier after that. I want to find out if that is true.
Goal 2: Super targeted followers
I care a lot about quality over quantity. Also i don’t want to waste my own time by creating content for people who don’t care. The only way i can make sure to have a following that really cares is by handpicking my hashtags very carefully just as the people i follow.
Goal 3: Outstanding engagement
This get’s affected much by the second goal. The more targeted my followers are the better my engagement. This will result in not only more traffic in the end, but also in a great reputation on the platform itself. Never forget, the algorithm is watching you.
Okay, let’s head over to my tactics to get followers.
Strategy 1: Great content
In Instagram everything evolves around images. So if i say “great content” i mean great images of course. I see tons of images on Instagram each day that are total crap. If you are running a business or you plan to grow an audience a.k.a. community on Instagram you need to post images that are really good, and not just OK. Here’s an example.
These are two pictures of the same product. On the left you see a 1985 Jellyfish Swatch with relatively poor lighting, angle and resolution. The photo is OK. On the right you see the exact same watch, but with great lighting, angle and resolution. This photo looks great. If you can’t see why the right one is the better image, then i can’t help you. See, it’s about having an eye for those things. If you don’t have the ability to make or find good images then maybe Instagram isn’t your platform, and you should head over to Twitter.
Strategy 2: Build Trust
It’s the biggest asset you can have as a leader, as a salesman or an authoritative entity in the online world: People who trust you. And not only that, but also the algorithm needs to “trust” you. It might sound weird but we need to get used to the fact that algorithms (like the ones behind Instagram) are evaluating our online behaviour all the time and assigning rankings in order to estimate how trustworthy our accounts are. If you appear too spammy you will lose trust which will result in a throttled exposure. Also building trust with your followers by consistently posting & using stories every day, answering messages & comments and writing genuine and positve comments yourself is a must.
Strategy 3: Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags..
Hashtags are a science in itself, so i’ll try to keep this one short. You are allowed to use up to 30 hashtags in your post, each one has the potential to get your content exposed to a lot more people by getting into the “top posts” section. Some hashtags are small and easy to hit top posts for and others are really big and harder to do. But if you manage to choose hashtags wisely and strategically you can swing yourself up into the big ones by crushing the small ones first. You really need to DOMINATE your niche in order to get seen. I may will go deeper into this in another post so comment down below if you would like to know more about this.
My first 2 weeks of growth in a picture:
So there you go. This was after two weeks of spending at least 5 hours a day on Instagram being as active as possible without coming off too spammy.
I really hope you can take something away from this so far and are looking forward to read more of my Instagram journey. I will share all my experiences and lessons that i get from this project with you so make sure to subscribe!