Recently, I have joined several help groups on Facebook for Etsy shop owners looking to market themselves on various social media platforms, like Instagram and Pinterest.
I joined several of them (based on recommendations from an Etsy Seller group), thinking I would learn some new tips and expand my horizons.
What I found, is that in meeting some great new people, the same questions keep coming up in the feed of the groups, and I find myself drawn to answer... kind of same thing over and over again. It looks like I am not as big a newbie at Instagram as I thought that I was. So, I decided to summarize what I've done, to grow my followers from about 600 in February of this year when I decided to get more serious, to 3074 (as of this writing). Granted, 3000 is not a huge earth shattering number, but I have done this without cheating or buying followers.
First of all, IG (Insta, Instagram) can be a huge time suck. There is no two ways about it.
I "work" my IG every. single. day.
How do you gain followers? By searching hashtags that are relevant to your own product. In my case, I will search, for example: #botanicaljewelry. IG will show you the top posts for that hashtag first. Top is determined by IG internal algorithms, so it's not necessarily the most likes, but also includes other engagement, like comments. So don't get completely hung up on that.
So, once I find a post that is relevant to my business, based on the image, as well as the description the poster gave it, and their hashtags, I decide if the users that "liked" this post would also like my IG feed. Then it's a matter of clicking on the number of likes attached to that post, and clicking "follow" for all those who liked it. In some cases that's 20 profiles, or maybe 400. I might take a break and come back to it later, before IG sends me the dreaded "you've been blocked" message, because my index finger has been on fire.
Then, you can sit back and wait. Because, when individual users find someone followed them, they will follow back. Yep. It's true. I can't tell you what percentage follow me back, it is way less than 10% I am guessing, but I don't dwell on that.
But, now you've followed a gazzillion people. Your profile page stats are out of whack - you've got 210 followers, and you follow 34675? How much more needy can you be?
So do I sit back and wait? Nope. There is more work to be done.
Stay tuned for Part 2. Be sure to follow me on Insta first , though right here: