More than a year ago, I shared how I grew my Instagram account from 1,000 to 10,000 followers in 6 months. That account now has over 30,000 Instagram followers.
However, there’s something to be said for starting a brand-new account to see what Instagram growth strategies work best. For that reason, I’m chronicling the journey of 2 smaller Instagram accounts, plus my main account. How long will it take for each account to reach 5,000 followers?
Every week I’ll post an Instagram-only version of my Monthly Goals blog posts. (My new Monthly Goals post will be up Monday!) Each post will look at what I did over the past week, my Instagram wins (and fails), and my goals for the next week.
Which Instagram accounts am I growing?
I currently manage 3 Instagram accounts, plus a private account where I follow my friends and family. These accounts will all be included in the weekly Instagram review.
My Belle Brita account, @belle_brita, has about 32,000 Instagram followers. Even though I obviously have more than 5,000 Instagram followers, I’ll still include this account’s progress as it gains 5,000 new followers.
My test account, @ihavethisthingwithpinkflowers, has about 1,300 Instagram followers. I started this in May 2016, and I kept it mostly a secret until I reached 1,000 followers in July 2017.
My newest account, @muddlingagain, has about 630 followers. I started it on July 13, 2017–the same day I launched my new website. Out of my 3 Instagram accounts, it’s the only one set up as a Business Account.
Note: This post contains affiliate links for the Social Media Posse. I’ve been a member of this group for 2 years now, and it’s been the absolute best decision I’ve ever made for my Instagram account. I earn a commission each time a reader buys a set of guides from me–guides I’ve purchased myself! I would never promote something I don’t support.
Which Instagram growth strategies will I use to grow my accounts?
Each account will utilize slightly different Instagram growth strategies. However, overall I plan to follow the information presented in Instagram Decoded, the guides I bought over a year ago to grow my Instagram account.
Early in 2016, I started buying the guides almost as soon as they were published. Eventually I ended up buying the whole bundle: Instagram Decoded Course: Guides 1-8 eBooks + Bonus: Schedule + Checklist. Now Guides 1-8 are only sold as a bundle for $199.99. What are the guides?
- Setting up your Instagram Profile
- 10 Steps to the Perfect Instagram Post
- Defining your Instagram Account
- Hashtag Strategy – Research & Implementation
- Instagram Follow / Unfollow Revealed
- Increasing your Instagram Engagement
- Understanding the Instagram Algorithm
- The Goodness Score (new in June 2017)
- BONUS: Schedule
When you buy the guides, you also get access to the VIP group and to Bubble Nets (a targeted follow/unfollow group strategy).
Guide 01 is free if you want to get a feel for the guides before buying the bundle.
I’ve also purchased Instagram Monetization Guide for Influencers, but I haven’t done as much with it, other than using the strategies to successfully pitch Experience Columbus last year.
It’s available for $249.99. The same code MAKETHATMONEYONINSTATHXTOBRITA1 works to get 10% off this guide!
Now that I have two highly-niche accounts, I look forward to leveraging them for sponsored opportunities, even with less Instagram followers. I should have monetized my Belle Brita account much sooner than I did. Now I know better, and can do more with my niche accounts!
Instagram Growth Strategies: Week One
All starting numbers were accurate for when I finished this post on 09/01/2017. Since this post is going live on a Saturday, new posts noted below are from Saturday to Friday of this past week.
Hypetap is a website that analyzes your influence and your engagement rate.
@muddlingagain has extra data because it’s a business account. Those numbers come from Instagram.
Instagram Followers and Engagement Rates
I posted 3 times this week: Sunday, Monday, and Thursday.
Hypetap score: 3,126
Hypetap engagement rate: 2.1%
Are you ready for a PRAYER CHALLENGE?! On my new website @muddlingagain, I've put together 31 prayer prompts for your spouse. And because I'm a Christian feminist, the prompts are completely gender-neutral 💕 I'm also hosting a prayer challenge for anyone working to improve their daily prayer life. You can sign up on the blog, at the end of the post. Link in bio! Oh, and if you want to post to social media about it, the hashtag is #MuddlingPrayers 💜 Photo credit @trinity_photo
I posted 2 times this week: Tuesday and Friday.
Hypetap score: 1,350
Hypetape engagement rate: 35.1%
I posted 5 times this week: daily, Monday to Friday.
Hypetap score: 28
Hypetap engagement rate: 10.9%
Impressions: 2,759 in the last 7 days (+1,919)
Reach: 728 in the last 7 days (+332)
Profile views: 1,004 in the last 7 days (-40)
Website clicks: 30 in the last 7 days (+21)
Email clicks: 1 in the last 7 days (0 change)
I heard you, ladies! Like me, you struggle to find time daily to pray with intention. This prayer challenge should help with that.⠀ ⠀ The inaugural prayer challenge is for wives, although I've written it as gender-neutral so all married people can take the challenge.⠀ ⠀ When you sign up for the challenge, you'll receive 8 emails over the course of the month encouraging you in prayer. Each email will contain the latest prayer prompts, relevant scripture verses, helpful articles, and a few extra tips to prioritize prayer.⠀ ⠀ Want to share your prayer progress on social media? Use the hashtag #MuddlingPrayers! I'll share a few of my favorites here.⠀ ⠀ Are you ready to start praying daily? Take the prayer challenge! Link in bio! #MuddlingMovement
After many months of hard work, I can't believe this day is finally here. Today you can purchase my mom's book of prayers on Amazon! The Kindle version is just $2.99, or you can wait to order a paperback copy for $9.99 in a few weeks. I need to order a print proof first to make sure it's perfect!⠀ ⠀ I feel so many mixed feelings about today. Great joy at sharing my mother's faith with the world. Great sadness that she's not here to see her book available to the world.⠀ ⠀ At least I can take comfort in her words and in our shared faith.⠀ ⠀ If you'd like to purchase Muddling Through Again, click on the link in my bio. My website links to Amazon.⠀ ⠀ I pray that my mother's prayers inspire you as much as they've inspired me. ⠀ ⠀ #MuddlingMovement
Your day of #MuddlingPrayers depends on when you sign up for the challenge. I signed up myself when Monday's blog post went live, so today I'm working on the first prompt: faith. I even journaled a prayer for the first time! It's not to late to join the prayer challenge. Follow the link in my bio and select the blog post 31 Days of Prayer for Your Spouse. The sign-up form is at the bottom of the page. P.S. Where did I get this journal? Watch my stories to learn more! #MuddlingMovement
This is part of the prayer I wrote last night. Join me in lifting up this prayer to God. #MuddlingPrayers ⠀ ⠀ –⠀ ⠀ Lord, I pray for everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey. I lift up to you the citizens of Texas and surrounding states, first responders, government officials, nonprofits, and the families of the victims who died.⠀ ⠀ Jesus calmed the storm once. You can calm the storm again. Stop the rain in Texas. Let everyone proclaim in wonder the greatness of Your name. There is already enough devastation–I pray that you stop it from getting worse.⠀ ⠀ Finally, help me to trust Your will. My mom's death makes no sense. Natural disasters make no sense. I know You have a plan, but I don't always feel like You do. When there's so much grief and sadness, how does that bring glory to Your name? Open my heart to trust You completely. ⠀ ⠀ In Your name I pray,⠀ Amen⠀ ⠀ #MuddlingMovement
One of our blog writers has a great post up on her own blog yesterday about praying for Houston. @charlenemaugeri writes:⠀ ⠀ "My point is, yes prayer is important. Go pray in your room with the door shut. And then go to Houston and help if you can. Send money and supplies. Do something tangible that will help immediately. Love your neighbor. Oh, and you don't have to tell the world that you're doing that either."⠀ ⠀ She also includes a vetted list of ways to donate to the victims in Houston.⠀ ⠀ You can find the link in her bio.⠀ ⠀ If you know of a reliable charity helping the victims of Hurricane Harvey, please leave a comment below. Sadly there are a lot of scams out there right now taking advantage of people's generosity. Be discerning in your kindness!⠀ ⠀ #MuddlingMovement
Instagram Growth Strategies Used
Normally this section will be pointing out which goals I did (or did not) accomplish to grow my Instagram accounts. For the starting week, this is an overview of what I did. I will not go into great detail here or with my goals if I’ve only learned the growth strategies from Instagram Decoded. If the guides have Instagram growth strategies that I’ve seen elsewhere on the Internet, I’ll share them.
I tried one new thing this week. Several of the women in the Pink Comment Pod and I teamed up to give each other shoutouts in our Instagram Stories yesterday. However, it’s too soon to tell how much this contributed to new Instagram followers.
In general, I like 1,000 to 2,000 Instagram posts daily, depending on how much time I have. I target a mix of my followers, people I follow, influencers, and posts using relevant hashtags.
Not counting my 2 Comment Pods, I also comment on 15-30 posts daily. On the days I post a new photo, I comment on 30-50 posts.
In general, I follow 800-1,000 accounts daily and roughly unfollow the same amount, 2 days after I follow an account. I unfollow most accounts, unless I stumble upon a really pretty and relevant account. This happens a few times per week.
I recently started my first Comment Pod for this account! It’s small, though, with just 3 members. Still, we’re having great conversations, and I love their accounts. If you have a floral/plants/gardening account, hit me up!
In general, I like 1,000 to 1,300 Instagram posts daily. I also comment on 5-10 posts daily, not counting the 2 other people in my Comment Pod! On the days I post a new photo, I comment on 15-20 posts.
I do not use any form of follow/unfollow on this account, and I never have.
I tried 3 new things this week. I posted almost daily, I did a Boomerang video, and I started posting regularly to my Instagram Stories.
In general, I like 450-500 Instagram posts daily. I also comment on 15-25 posts when I post a new photo, which was almost daily this past week.
I follow 100-200 accounts daily. For now I’m trying not to follow more than 1,000 people total, so that limits how much following I do. After roughly 4 days, I unfollow accounts who don’t follow me back.
Instagram Growth Goals
Each week I’ll set 2 types of goals for each account: number growth and strategies to try. Unless otherwise noted, liking, commenting, following, and unfollowing will happen in similar numbers each week.
This section also indicates the limitations of my Instagram growth strategies. There is always more that I could do, but since I’m trying to grow 3 accounts at once, all of them suffer to an extent.
- Gain 250 new Instagram followers
- Post at least 3 times, including latest sponsored post–try to schedule posts using Later
- Post to my Instagram Stories at least once daily
- Gain 100 new Instagram followers
- Update my hashtags (I haven’t updated them in over a year–yikes!)
- Post at least 4 times
- Post to my Instagram Stories at least 4 times
- Gain 200 new Instagram followers
- Finish and refine my hashtag research
- Post at least 5 times–try to schedule all posts using Later
- Post to my Instagram Stories at least once daily
I’m pretty excited to start tracking my Instagram growth on all 3 accounts. I hope that you will learn something from me each week as you figure out how to grow your own Instagram account!
If you’re ready to jump-start your Instagram growth, buy Instagram Decoded! If you use my affiliate link, I’ll even give you a profile makeover for FREE! Normally I charge $50 for this service. This includes:
- initial email consultation regarding your Instagram goals
- 3 bio options, complete with relevant emojis
- tailored suggestions to improve your overall Instagram feed
- Bonus for 2017 only: detailed feedback on the image quality and captions in your 3 most recent posts
To get the bonus, just forward me a copy of your receipt when you buy Instagram Decoded! [email protected]