(updated from 500 followers a month later)
Anyone who’s launched a profile on Instagram will know how demoralising it is when you make a huge effort to gain less followers than most teenagers have without trying. So with the hope that I can save others time and research, here’s what I’ve found successful in my journey to 1000 followers.

Find real followers

The key to my strategy has been to find real followers. Don’t be tempted with companies that offer to gain you thousands of followers. Followers who don’t care, or aren’t real (in many cases) won’t engage in your posts and that will stop you from growing. For the same reason, I also made a choice to try and organically pick up followers who are interested in my work rather than targeting my friends on Facebook. This strategy can be slow at the start but means that my engagement on instagram is good, and when lots of people like my posts it helps me find new followers.

Use #Hashtags

Popular hashtags are used so frequently that your post will disappear in a flood of new posts almost immediately. Once I noticed this, I stopped using them and went on a hunt for less popular and more relevant tags. My most successful hashtags have been

#under1k #under3kyo #ukphotographer #whyweshoot #creativesontherise #em5markii #45mmf18 #microfourthirds

These hashtags help me connect with other photographers who are either UK based or shooting with similar equipment.

Like similar posts

Now you know how to find people who make similar stuff to you, this leads me on to hands down the most effective part of my strategy has been to like other posts to hashtags that I am using. I don’t follow other accounts in the hope that they will follow me, and then unfollow them, and I don’t often comment on posts either. All I do is like similar posts- hundreds of them! And since I started doing that I’ve been gaining 10-20 followers a day.

Post at the right time

IMG_6349.PNGAs img_6340-2As any quick google search of how to gain Instagram followers will tell you, one of the most important factors is the time you post. This will vary a great deal depending on your target follower but, once you have made your Instagram account a business you can use the insights to discover when the best times are.

You can access your insights by clicking on the graph symbol on your page, then scroll down to the followers graph. This shows which hours (along the bottom) that your followers are most active on. I always aim to post slightly before the peak times, so that my post is at the top of the feed when they first open the app.

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