Instagram Quickstart – Your Guide to 1000 Followers
When I first started digital marketing, things were extremely different than they are now. Social media was barely a thing and it was super easy to grow your profile or channel when everything – Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram (for example) – was in it’s beginning stages.
Back then, the formula for success was
Basic Content + Followers = Sales
All you had to do was throw up cool images, offer discounts, follow as many people as you could each day and wait for them to follow you back. It didn’t even matter if the followers were real. What mattered then was how many followers you had, real or not. The more you had, the more popular you were. The more popular you were, the more money you made.
It was an easy process that got great results.
Since then, the landscape for social media and Instagram specifically has changed dramatically and with it, so has the formula for success. To be successful, popularity is no longer based simply on how many followers you have. Today, the formula for Instagram success is
Relevant Content + Followers + Engagement = Sales
Moving forward, we’ll be working together to create an entire, long-term strategy on relevant content and how to engage your followers across multiple social platforms. This guide, however, is dedicated to help you start and grow the followers you need through Instagram.
Instagram Quickstart – Your Guide to 1000 Followers
I. Getting Started
This is the exact same strategy that I have used to grow a number of successful Instagram profiles and currently use to help my sons JrBonner and Cpt Caustic (feel free to follow their gaming channels). My 6 year old daughter, Grape Savage, has her own Instagram account too but we are doing hers for fun mainly.
To get started, the first 2 things you should understand is that
- I don’t like to waste time. There will be ADDED INFORMATION in this guide just to make it last longer. It’s called a quickstart guide because the plan is to get you from point A to point B, C and so on as quickly as possible. As always, however, if you ever have questions, please feel free to message me at email@example.com.
- No matter how much you learn or how effective this guide can be, the strategy won’t work unless you do. You need to COMMIT and you need to be CONSISTENT.
This isn’t a long read. I created this guide with the assumption that you already have an Instagram account. However, no matter how familiar you are with Instagram already, I highly recommend that you push through and read the entire guide first and then use it as a resource or checklist to make sure that everything gets done. With that said, let’s get started.
What You Need:
- Time – be patient
- Dedication – commitment and consistency
- Passion – for your gaming niche
Followers vs Engagement
Always remember that it won’t matter how many followers you have if you can’t get them to engage with you. Your connection with your audience needs to be genuine. People are quick to read through the superficial nonsense so work to build actual value and believe in what you do.
Engagement is content that gets likes, saves, shares and comments.
People Do Not Come to You in the Beginning
The exposure you need will come in time. To get followers, you have to look for them. Send DMs (Direct Messages) and comment on their posts. Do it every day. Schedule it if you have to – with Facebook Creator Studio – but be genuine and build relationships.
Activate Your Business Profile
Instagram Business Profiles give you access to Insights, a powerful tool to help you identify your niche and target audience, analyze important stats and make informed decisions on how to improve your efforts.
To activate your business profile:
- Go to Settings >> Account >> Switch to Business Account
- Follow the Instagram instructions and you’re done.
II. Step-by-Step to 1K Followers
In this process, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We learn to succeed through our failures and in the beginning is where most of our mistakes are made.
Choose Your Topic
What do you want to talk about and share the most? Is it videogame reviews? Are you a competitive game player? Do you stream on Twitch or Mixer? The answer is really up to you. Just make sure that you are genuinely interested in the topic you choose.
DO NOT build your profile around a hot or trendy topic either. Build it around something you are passionate about. Creating content around something you love is much easier than something you know nothing about.
Do the Research
Collect as much information on your topic as you can and make sure it’s updated. A great source for doing research is the News tab on Google Search. This will give you the most relevant and updated material to work with.
Have a max of 4 consistent colors in your posts. That doesn’t mean you can’t use other colors but using a set of consistent colors in the majority of your posts can help to establish an overall theme for your brand. Use good fonts too. Galano, Champion Gothic and Avenir are great examples.
It is also highly recommended that you find a photo editing software that you can afford and use on a regular basis. Photoshop is amazing but there are more affordable options that are just as effective. I personally use and prefer Affinity Photo but Canva is a nice online alternative with a cheaper monthly price than Photoshop.
When creating posts, your initial goal is to try out different types – quotes, tips, latest news, gameplay clips – and evaluate which content works best for you through Insights. You will soon get a feel for what type of content gives you the most engagement and save time by eliminating posts that your audience isn’t responding to.
Before you reach 1k followers, upload as many stories as you can.
At least 3x daily
Use all the stickers that you can, especially the newer ones, to better engage with your audience. Stories are great for this purpose and will help you build relationships with your followers faster.
You also need to be just as active – legwork – with Instagram feeds when you start.
Post at least 4x daily
Pay attention to your followers. How they react to your posting frequency will be a positive indicator on whether you should be posting more or less in the future. However, on your way to 1k followers, you need to put as much legwork in as possible.
III. That’s How You Grow
If the average post gets 100 impressions…
1 Post = 500 Impressions per Month
4 Posts per Day = 2000 Impressions per Month
4 Posts per Day x 30 days per Month = 60,000 Impressions per Month
60,000 impressions per month, combined with hashtags – more on that later – will reach different people at different times and maximize the exposure you need to get more followers. And as long as you put in the legwork, do the research and post content on a daily basis, your success is guaranteed.
People show up and follow your account for a reason. They want to see your content and you need to make sure you give it to them. It’s about constant exposure with consistent and quality content. Use stories extensively (you can even share content from related accounts that are bigger than yours), post content regularly and keep the message relevant.
Your Instagram Business account provides you with important stats, like impressions count for every post in the analytics section. You should check back on a weekly basis to test your content and see how well it’s performing.
The more posts you have, the more impressions you will get. More impressions mean more times in a day that your content gets noticed and, with hashtags, you get more engagement and more REAL followers in a shorter amount of time.
People use the hashtag symbol (#) before a relevant keyword or phrase on Instagram to categorize posts and help them get noticed more easily in Instagram search. A common misconception is that the bigger and more popular hashtags will get your posts noticed faster. THIS IS WRONG.
You don’t us the most popular tags in the gaming industry because you think they are the ones that get seen the most. THE RIGHT APPROACH is to use hashtags based on the number of followers you have. Yes, hashtags actually have a size.
Hashtag size is based on:
- How many times the hashtag is used.
- How many people follow the hashtag.
Your priority, until you grow, is to follow the much smaller hashtags, preferably no larger than 30K posts, for now. Why?
The smaller the hashtag is, the less competition it will have to rank for and the more exposure your post will get for that hashtag. The more followers you have, the bigger your hashtags can be.
- 1k Followers – use hashtags with 5k – 30k posts.
- 5k – 10k Followers – use hashtags with 30k – 70k posts.
- 10k – 50k Followers – use hashtags with 100k – 500k posts.
With everything else you do, however, don’t be afraid to experiment and test your results until you find a formula that specifically works for you.
There is no magic formula for instant followers or success. You have to put in the legwork, do the research and post relevant content on a consistent basis. You also need to understand how to use hashtags and adjust the hashtag size to fit the number of followers you have.
Share posts and stories daily and extensively. Vary your contest and test the results each and every single week. Do this and I a promise that you will reach your goal and get to 1000 followers on Instagram.
If you have any questions, please feel free to message me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for trusting me with your success!