Want to grow your Instagram following from zero to 1000? Then, this article is for you!
Why you should use Instagram to market your business?
There’s no denying that Instagram offers plenty of opportunities for startups and small businesses.
With a global user base of over 1 billion active users, it’s safe to assume that regardless of what product or service you’re marketing you’ll find your audience on Instagram. And as the platform continues to grow and add new features to keep its users engaged, they’re also creating more opportunities for small businesses. From showcasing your products in an online Instagram shop to providing customer service, and engaging with prospect customers – Instagram is a digital marketing powerhouse.
But there’s a catch!
If you’ve been on the app for a while, you should know that it’s not easy to grow your account following on Instagram. Unless you’re a well-established brand or a popular celebrity you’ll find that it can take months or even years to attract a large number of followers on Instagram.
If you’re starting an account from zero, you need to allocate a lot of time to creating, sharing content, using Instagram analytics tools like Share My Insights as well as researching other Instagram tools, and engaging before you start seeing any organic growth.
And the faster you reach and pass the 1000 followers mark, the better! After this first milestone, your Instagram growth will only be exponential.
What happens when you’re stuck below 1000 followers on Instagram?
- Your content doesn’t rank on the explore page
- Your content ranks only on small and unpopular hashtags
- Your paid ads don’t work as well because Instagram can’t get enough data on your followers
- You can’t get the most accurate insights into your followers
Here’s how to grow your Instagram followers from zero to 1000
Luckily, there is a way to grow faster on Instagram. And no, we’re not talking about followers (which btw you should never do) – this can get you banned from the platform. In this blog post, we’re sharing the best organic growth hacks to help you grow you following to 1000 faster!
Grow your Instagram following hack #1: Start a niche Instagram account
The first thing you should do even before creating your Instagram account is to find a profitable niche. This is because if you have a niche account you can grow your following faster than if you’re serving a generic audience. The Instagram algorithm makes recommendations based on relevancy. So if you consistently share posts around the same topic, use related hashtags and include niche keywords in the name section in your bio Instagram will put you in a defined category that’s searchable.
Take a look at Amanda. She used the words “English” and “coach” in 3 different places:
- Name section
- In her bio
So how do you choose a profitable niche?
Look at your competitors and the successful people in that market. Are they profitable? Do people leave a lot of comments on their posts? Do people show interest to buy from them? If you see that there’s enough demand for content in a niche – it means it’s a profitable niche. And that’s where you should be too.
Grow your Instagram following hack #2: Optimize your profile for discovery & growth
The next thing you should pay attention to is your public profile. Think what do you want people to do when they come across your Instagram profile? You want them to follow you, right? How your profile looks to first-time visitors is important because you want to capture people’s attention and make them click the “follow” button.
Here’s a simple checklist that I developed to audit and optimize Instagram profiles. You can use this as a guide to improve your profile discovery and attract more relevant followers.
Does your Instagram profile have:
- Complete business & contact information (eg. phone, email, website, location)
- Optimized name section that includes industry keywords (eg. “Alice | Social Media Manager”)
- An informative bio that tells people who you are, what you do and gives them a reason to follow you
- A clear call to action that directs people to follow you (eg. “Follow for Vegan Recipes”)
- A custom link in bio (tip: use a linking tool to add multiple links)
- Attractive avatar (a photo of yourself or a company logo)
- At least 8 – 10 high-quality posts on your feed so your visitors have an idea of what content to expect
Grow your Instagram following hack #3: Create or curate VIRAL content
This is a powerful Instagram content strategy and if you can execute it seamlessly, you’ll be able to grow your Instagram following much faster than you think. Natalie, the founder of @bossbabe.inc Instagram page shared that she used to share up to 4 curated posts per day on her page in order to grow her followers to 2.5 million.
How to curate viral content on Instagram:
- Step 1: Start by studying your top 10 competitor accounts in your niche and find their most commented and liked posts.
- Step 2: Take a screenshot of these viral post and save them into a folder on your phone.
- Step 3: Next, go through this folder and select those images that match your branding and content theme and add them into your content scheduler for reposting.
- Step 4: Finally, remember to credit the original author in your caption, and tag them in your image. Most people are happy to have their content reposted and they might even repost your content on their stories, giving you more visibility.
Done! If you can schedule between 1 – 4 curated posts per day, consistently, then you’ll find that you’ll be able to grow your Instagram followers in no time. This is because you already know that this content has the potential to go viral.
Grow your Instagram following hack #4: Create an editorial calendar
If you’re trying to grow your followers on Instagram you need to be consistent with your posting. For that, you’ll need to create a monthly editorial calendar like this one pictured below.
In your calendar you should identify the following:
- Your posting frequency (1x a day? 2x a day? 4x a week?)
- 3 – 4 content pillars (these are your main content topics)
- Post goal (entertain, educate, inspire, convert)
- Post format (image, carousel, meme, GIF, IGTV, video)
- Promotional campaigns (giveaway, contest, promo)
- Holidays and special dates (eg. Valentine’s Day)
Tip: If your goal is to grow your followers to 1000 fast, then I wouldn’t advise you to run any Instagram promotions. If people can sense you’re only posting sales and promotional content, they’re less likely to follow you.
Grow your Instagram following hack #5: Start engaging with people once you have 8 – 10 posts
In the beginning, you won’t have many likes and comments. But you shouldn’t worry. Once you’ve published at least 8 -10 posts, it’s time to start following and engaging with other accounts. You can discover similar accounts to yours by searching for industry hashtags. Leave comments on their posts, reply to their stories and follow them. This will prompt them to visit your profile and engage with your posts too. And if you’ve followed the tips from hack #2 above, accounts that are your target audience will start following you.
How to engage as a small account on Instagram?
- Leave comments, likes and share other people’s content on your page
- Reply to your target audience’s stories
- Send thoughtful DMs to get to know your followers
- Reply to comments on your competitors’ page
- Leave comments on top influential pages your audience follows
How much time should you spend engaging on Instagram?
There’s no right amount of time you need to spend engaging. But the more time you spend engaging with the RIGHT people, the faster you’ll grow. You can start by engaging anywhere between 30 min up to 2 – 3 hours a day, depending on your availability. And also note that the best time to engage is right before you post.
Grow your Instagram following hack #6: Advertise your top posts
After you’ve shared at least 1 month worth of posts (at least 10 – 20 posts) it’s time to check your insights. Use your analytics to find out your top posts by reach and engagement and consider running ads on those posts to reach a wider audience.
How to promote your top posts?
- Step 1: Tap on the “Insights” button underneath your bio
- Step 2: Select “Content Interactions”
- Step 3: Scroll down to “Top Posts” and click to see all
- Step 4: Select the metric you want to rank your top posts (eg. likes, comments or reach)
- Step 5: Tap on a post and click “Promote”
- Step 6: Fill up all the required details to create a promotion
That’s it! It should only take a couple of moments for your promotion to be approved.
Pro tip: Since you don’t have a large number of followers at this post, it’s best to create your own custom audiences (instead of letting Instagram find audiences similar to your followers).
You can also experiment with different targeting factors including locations, interests and demographics just to learn who is interested in your content. This will help you improve your targeting strategy and help you create better content in the future.
Instagram is a great platform to promote your small business. However, it’s not easy to attract many followers unless you already have an established presence and people know you. That’s why you need to be strategic with the content you share and how you set-up your profile from the start. We hope you try the tips we shared in this article and attract your first 1000 followers in no time.
P.S. For another perspective on how to grow your Instagram following, check out this post with 10 Tips on How to Grow Instagram Followers Today