Last week I launched a new blog series on Instagram. I’m chronicling the growth of 3 Instagram accounts. Let’s see how fast each account can gain 5,000 new followers! Along the way, I’m also tracking engagement rates.
Which Instagram accounts am I growing?
I currently manage 3 Instagram accounts, plus a private account where I follow my friends and family. These main accounts will all be included in the weekly Instagram review.
- Belle Brita account, @belle_brita
- Test account, @ihavethisthingwithpinkflowers
- Newest account, @muddlingagain
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?
I plan to utilize slightly different Instagram growth strategies for each account. Overall, I intend to follow 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.
Instagram Growth Strategies
All starting numbers were accurate for when I finished this post on 09/08/2017. 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: Week One Recap
I posted 3 times this week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Followers: 32,468 to 32,596
Hypetap score: 3,126 to 2,084
Hypetap engagement rate: 2.1% to 1.9%
Notes: Instagram has been wonky this past week, and it’s affected my main account the most. I might have been hacked last Saturday, or possibly Instagram was having issues. Luckily I recovered my account, but it completely disappeared for a few hours. Multiple times when I tried to login, Instagram told me my account didn’t exist!
My engagement has really struggled this week, no matter how many times I like or comment on other posts. I did have a sponsored post, which can negatively impact engagement, but it was waaaaay lower than usual. My Hypetap score has been above 3,000 for a looooong time, and I can’t believe it dropped this quickly. From what I’ve seen online, I’m not the only one dealing with unusually low engagement levels this past week.
AD Living in Georgia means my fall wardrobe is fairly lightweight. Sweater weather might appear around November–maybe. Until then, I'm pretty excited about these fun transitional pieces I picked up at @saksoff5th!⠀ ⠀ This bold top by Nanette Lepore was marked down 75%, to just $54.99. These floral shorts by BCBGeneration were only $14.99. Not pictured are a dusty rose pink top and a multi-colored skirt that mix and match beautifully with these pieces!⠀ ⠀ How do you transition your wardrobe for fall? #Off5thFinds #LaBelleBlog
I'm worried about these pink flamingos in Tampa Bay, not to mention all the other animals in the path of Hurricane Irma.⠀ ⠀ I've been praying pretty hard these last few weeks for the victims and survivors of natural disasters. First Hurricane Harvey, now Hurricane Irma, and next Hurricane Jose. ⠀ ⠀ Over on my new blog, @muddlingagain, I've blogged about ways we can all help–besides praying. Please consider donating your money and your time to those in need. ⠀ #LaBelleBlog⠀ ⠀ P.S. This gray flamingo is basically a teenager, which is why it's not as vivid pink as the others! I know the photo is a little blurry, but you try getting a good shot of a flamingo in constant motion.
I posted 2 times this week: Monday and Thursday.
Followers: 1,378 to 1,434
Hypetap score: 1,350 (unchanged)
Hypetape engagement rate: 35.1% to 35.8%
Digging through my photo archives of literally thousands of pink flowers to find a photo I haven't shared here or on @belle_brita yet… My biggest problem is trying to remember what I've posted and what I haven't! Would you rather see more bouquets of mixed flowers or more garden flowers like this one? #ihavethisthingwithpinkflowers
I posted 1 time this week: Monday.
Followers: 686 to 817
Hypetap score: 28 to 29
Hypetap engagement rate: 10.9% to 10.8%
Impressions: 1,744 in the last 7 days (-1,015)
Reach: 710 in the last 7 days (-18)
Profile views: 858 in the last 7 days (-146)
Website clicks: 12 in the last 7 days (-18)
Email clicks: 1 in the last 7 days (0 change)
Today is my husband's birthday! All weekend, I've asked myself how I can best serve him. In every little decision we've made, from food to festivities, I've asked him what he wants to do. After all, he's the birthday boy!⠀ ⠀ But this love and consideration shouldn't be limited to birthday weekends. ⠀ ⠀ Last night I wrote this prayer in my journal.⠀ ⠀ "Fill our marriage with kindness for each other and for others. Allow us to demonstrate the love and sacrifice of Jesus through our interactions with other people."⠀ ⠀ I should always strive to act this way, both in my marriage and with other people.⠀ ⠀ How will you demonstrate the love and sacrifice of Jesus this week?⠀ ⠀ #MuddlingPrayers #MuddlingMovement
Instagram Growth Strategies Used: Week One Recap
Looking over my goals for this past week, I mostly didn’t meet any of them.
For all of my accounts, I couldn’t work on many Instagram growth strategies because I was experiencing Crohn’s pain this week. Tuesday and Wednesday were especially bad, and thus unproductive.
For my Christian account, I’m not happy with the aesthetics that I spent such a long time establishing. I have a new idea to implement, but the initial work to create new posts is a lot.
For all 3 accounts, general strategies stayed the same, except with less daily actions taken on Saturday (Dragon Con + hacking issue), Tuesday, and Wednesday. See my initial post for details.
- I gained 128 new followers, nowhere near my goal of 250.
- I did post 3 times, including my sponsored post. However, I didn’t use Later at all.
- I’m pretty sure I posted to my Instagram Stories daily, but since I didn’t write that down, I can’t be 100% positive.
- Other: My friends and I did another set of shoutouts yesterdaday, with everyone recommending someone different this week.
- I gained 56 new followers, falling short of my goal for 100.
- I haven’t even looked at my hashtags to update them.
- Instead of posting 4 times, I only posted 2 times.
- I think I posted to my Instagram Stories 2 times, not meeting my goal of 4 times. Clearly I need to start writing this down!
- I gained 131 new followers, not quite meeting my goal of 200.
- Alas, I haven’t finished my hashtag research.
- Due to my desire to change the visual look of my feed, I only posted once instead of 5 times.
- I only posted to my Instagram Stories 2 times. This I know for sure because with a Business account, I can look up the numbers.
Instagram Growth Goals
I need to be more realistic in the time I have each week. These goals will be more doable than last week’s goals!
Goals include number growth and strategies to try. Unless otherwise noted, liking, commenting, following, and unfollowing will happen in similar numbers each week.
Keep in mind that if you’re working on just one account, you can grow much faster. Since I divide my time among 3 accounts, none of them receives an ideal amount of attention.
- Gain 200 new Instagram followers
- Post at least 3 times–try to schedule posts using Later
- Post to my Instagram Stories at least once daily
- Gain 75 new Instagram followers
- Update 10 of my hashtags
- Post at least 3 times
- Post to my Instagram Stories at least 4 times
- Gain 200 new Instagram followers
- Choose at least 10 new hashtags
- Post at least 4 times–try to schedule all posts using Later
- Post to my Instagram Stories at least 4 times
Obviously this past week was rough. However, I still learned something! As important as Instagram is to growing both Belle Brita and Muddling Through Together, it’s still less important than my actual life.
I was sick this week. I made the right choice to rest. And even though I was fine over the holiday weekend, I wanted to celebrate Dan’s birthday instead of working the whole time.
If you’re ready to join my Instagram journey, 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. A profile makeover 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]