In this crazy world of Social Media Influencers, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hype and discouraged when you aren’t growing your following as quickly as you had once hoped. When I first started my new Instagram account, I used a couple of strategies to go from 0 to 1,000 ORGANIC Instagram followers in just 29 days (post to come very soon!). But after about 2,500 followers, things began to slow down a bit! It was a constant game of users following me only to unfollow later (whether look for a follow back or to grow their following list from mine, who knows). Whether or not this is related to my profile no longer showing up as new after one month, I’m unsure, but I do know that I was able to get over the slump fairly quickly!
Trying all three of the listed strategies below (although I decided against the first and have explained why below), I managed to jump from 2,500 to 6,000 followers in about 4 months and now, after about a year and a half on Instagram with my new account, I have over 13,000 followers! Excited? Thought you would be, so let’s dive right in!
1. Download a “Followers” App
While I will start by saying that I am personally NOT a fan of this method, this is the FASTEST and most basic “smoke and mirrors” approach to growing your following. By simply downloading an app like Followers or Social Rocket, users can “explode” their following almost instantaneously.
How? Most of these apps are “coin” based and users can either “earn coins” by liking others’ photos and following other Instagram users OR by making an in app purchase and spending REAL money to buy coins. If utilizing the FREE coin earning methods, of course, following users will earn you more coins than liking photos (normally double, however, keep in mind, that you must continue to follow all users for at least one week or you will be charged what you earned in coins PLUS a penalty for breaking the rules; i.e. earn 4 coins for follow, 2 coins for like, lose 6 coins for an unfollow).
This method of gaining followers is incredibly popular across Instagram and you’ll find that even major accounts are guilty of it! The easiest way to spot a Follower App user is to check their following for (1) accounts with no picture, and usually no posts, (2) repeated use of non-sensical digits and letters in the usernames of their followers, and (3) upon clicking on that user, a disproportionately high ratio of users followed to following! Why do these signs indicate a followers app user, you ask? Because some users of the app create FAKE Instagram accounts to follow and like other users so they don’t affect their own numbers! Yes, David11111, David2222, and David3333 were in fact probably created by the same app user.
However, while some users intentionally inflate their followers number with apps like this, bots still do often creep into the mix, so this can’t be said for everyone (I find this is normally a common occurrence when posting during Instagram’s peak busy hours; if posting during these times, you’ll probably see a lot of nonsensical comments or emojis posted on your photo and receive up to 100 new followers within the hour).
Another easy way to spot an account using a followers app is to check their posts; does the photo only have 100 likes and the user has 80k followers? Doesn’t seem right, does it? That’s because it’s smoke and mirrors! How did this user lack 79,900 impressions? Check out your favourite fashion lines, that’s where I first made this discovery!
2. Join a Follow Loop
You’ve probably seen a couple of these images posted during your time on Instagram. So, I’ll give you the skinny! Basically, there are “Follow Friday Loops”, “Weekend Follow Loops”, or others with a similar cutesy name that moms and lifestyle bloggers participate in by either posting the affiliated image for that week’s loop or by simply following and responding to others who have posted the same image on their profile.
Users are instructed to follow the loop hosts, tap on the loops hashtag, follow the hashtag, and follow everyone who has posted the affiliated image. Upon completion, users are to post an emoji (i.e. the sunflower emoji) or the words “done” or “followed” to let those they have followed know that they have done so in order to guarantee a follow back. Do keep in mind though, that you should wait AT LEAST 24 hours before sending someone a Direct Message to inform them that they have not yet followed you back!
If you are interested in co-hosting a follow loop, simply contact the host listed in the caption and ask for details. Most of these ladies are very friendly and are thrilled to help other moms, bloggers, etc grow their following. Speaking from experience, the Instagram Moms and Mommy Bloggers communities are both very wonderful, supportive, and welcoming of other users. Just remember to always be respectful and follow the rules outlined in the caption.
Follow for Follow Groups and Loops are also available through Facebook and can be found by simply searching a combination of the words “Instagram” and “Follow” to display relevant results.
3. Participate in a Loop Giveaway
That image packed with great mom swag, fitness goodies, or a $500 Target gift card. You’ve probably seen at least one of these giveaways! And I’m here to tell you that they are NOT top secret nor is that first line in the caption necessarily true; you know the one, “I’ve teamed up with some of my favourite accounts to do a gift one lucky follower a mega prize pack”.
I only found this out by actually messaging another Instagram user who was kind enough to tell me about @classyloops, an account ENTIRELY devoted to joined user giveaways. However, there are a TON of different options as far as actual hosts go but personally, @lcbgiveaway is my other favourite host. If you are looking to discover more giveaway host accounts, simply search your favourite Instagram users “following” lists for “loop” or “giveaway” and I guarantee, you’ll probably find one or two of these there 😉
Now, keep in mind in order to participate in the giveaway, there is a cost. Generally the price is between $15-$40 US per giveaway, depending on the prize being awarded. My personal favourite prizes are the ones that feature Hunter Boots and Strollers! In my experience, I’ve found that these have the BEST new follower turn out. On average, I’ve gained between 500-1,200 followers per giveaway.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that there are a couple of different styles of giveaways. The first is the traditional loop: users participate by liking a photo on the Instagram account they are already following’s page and then click the username listed in the caption to continue repeating the process; like, follow, like, follow, until they return to the original user’s Instagram page.
The other typical of giveaway is the 30 second giveaway. Each user posts the giveaway photo on their page and followers are instructed to go to the main host’s page where they like that same photo and follow everyone that account is following. Due to the simplicity, this style of giveaway also appears to be favoured by many hosts these days. However, I’m personally a fan of the traditional loop as followers get to have a look at your feed while completing the loop rather than just generically clicking follow on your account. Hence, it’s also CRUCIAL to post high quality content after posting a giveaway on your page!
Buyer beware though, after the giveaway ends, you may or may not experience a large loss in your follower count. Upon the giveaway’s completion, hosts and co-hosts MUST announce the winner on the original image HOWEVER, within a day or so, I’ve found that most users will delete that image or at least detag other users from the post in order to break the loop (in hopes that followers don’t unfollow them immediately after the giveaway has wrapped).
There is no guarantee that users continue to follow you after the giveaway ends as it is not mandatory at this point. In my personal experience though, after an incredible outcome of 1,200+ new followers, I only lost about 150 the first week after the giveaway ended! Not bad at all! I’ve found that a lot of these new followers have also ended up being repeat customers on the next giveaway 🙂 They know that you host them, so many will wait in anticipation of the next one.
– – – Been stuck with the same number of followers for a while now? Give the above suggestions a try and let me know how it went! Wishing you incredible success in growing your personal brand or business Instagram account!