Instagram Guide – Tips and Methods
The Crucial Ingredient To Instagram Success – Getting Followers
Since Instagram is one of the most visual social networks, it’s all about getting attention and engagement. Without followers, you’ll have no one paying attention to your posts. If you resort to buying fake followers, you’ll get little to no engagement.
If you’re not getting the right people following you, you won’t be able to monetize well. Attention and engagement are key factors to getting the most out of Instagram.
Here are three tactics you can use to build up your following:
A lot of people turn their nose up at this method, citing it as something for people who don’t know what they’re doing. The reality is following and unfollowing is still one of the most practical ways to build an account with targeted followers.
Instagram is one of the best social networks for the follow and unfollow method. Most people are excited to follow back, especially if you have a quality looking profile.
Don’t expect a high follow back ratio if all you have is a default avatar and a cpa link in your bio! Put some effort into your profile to see the benefits of the follow/unfollow method.
Who Should You Follow?
If you’re going to spend time doing the follow/unfollow method, then you need to make sure the people you’re attracting are targeted. Following people who follow large accounts in your niche is an excellent strategy to build up a targeted audience.
Another set of people you should follow are individuals who like posts from large accounts in your niche. Since they already like similar content, there’s a good chance they’ll follow you back when they see your profile.
This is another reason why having a visually enticing profile is so important. Give people a reason to follow your account!
How Often Should You Follow?
How often you should follow and how many people is a classic point of debate. If you’re into Instagram for the long-term benefits, then slow and steady is your best option. However, you can also set up a few short-term accounts that you can use to test your limits and different strategies.
Building up a new account
When starting with a new account, keep your following ratios conservative. The first few days you should follow between 5 – 15 people at the max. The more spread out your following schedule is, the more natural your account will look.
The first few days of having an account is also a good time to post some pictures, fill out your bio and put a niche related profile picture.
As your account begins to age, you can follow more and more people. It’s safe for a new account to slowly increase to following 20, 30, 40 and eventually more than 50 a day.
Once you can safely do this, you can move to higher following amounts.
Establishing an account
After warming up your account for a week or two, you can speed up the process. You want to make sure you maintain a steady amount of posting, liking and commenting on other pictures to make your account appear as natural as possible.
Any changes you make to your account behavior should be done gradually. Don’t suddenly jump from following 20 people a day to 100 a day just because your account has a little age to it now. Gradual increases in follows with random numbers are your best bet for staying under the radar.
With an account that’s 1- 2 weeks old, it should be safe to move up to following more than 50 a day. You should slowly increase the number of people you follow by 5 – 10 people each day.
In my experience, you can safely follow 60 people an hour with a truly aged account. Once you get to this point, your account will be at least a few months old, and you should already have a few thousand followers.
When should I start unfollowing?
Unfollowing can be a tricky task but has immense value when done right. People are more likely to follow your account when you have a higher follower ratio to you the people you follow. Following fewer people establishes your account as an authority and makes it easier to leverage your reputation.
Unfollowing too early is where most new marketers mess up. You should wait until you’re following at least 5000 ~ 7500 people before you start unfollowing. You also need to adjust your following schedule, so you’re not following people and unfollowing them the same day.
You can control this best if you follow/unfollow manually, or by using software that has scheduling features.
Instagram allows you to follow a maximum of 7500 people in total. Pending requests from accounts on private also count towards you total follower number.
You may want to consider ignoring private accounts since pending requests can add up quickly.
Can I follow and unfollow at the same time?
This is another mistake you need to stay far away from. Remember your goal is to make your account look as natural as possible, following and unfollow at the same time definitely isn’t normal behavior for an account.
You can try things like keeping following and unfollowing for separate days or doing it manually, so you only unfollow certain people.
Another Way To Gain Followers – Shoutouts Trading (S4S)
Shoutoutpost is a useful website for building up your new accounts. Shoutoutpost connects you with other Instagram users to exchange shoutouts.
The best part is this service is free; you just need to invest your time looking for people to exchange with. If done right, you can even find partners willing to work together in the long term.
Before using this site, you should have at minimum 2000 followers. You want to make it enticing for people to exchange with you, if you only have a couple of hundred followers, it’ll be hard to grow your account on Shoutoutpost.
Shoutoutpost works by curating a list of all their users for you to browse through. You get basic stats such as the number of followers, and most recent posts. You can execute searches by niche to save time.
Once you find an account you like, you send them a Trade Request. Your request should include an enticing blurb (one or two sentences) that will make people want to check out your account. Take the time to write an enticing description that will make people go out of their way to follow you.
After you send in your Trade Request, you have 48 hours for the other account to accept or deny. If accepted, you’ll get a request for the other person looking for a shoutout as well. Shoutoutpost is of mutual benefit to both parties and is a great way to supplement your following/unfollowing strategy.
Another way to increase your followers is to buy shoutouts. If done properly, this can be a very lucrative way to get engagement on your posts and new followers.
If you don’t take the time to plan and research your shoutouts, you can very easily waste your investment.
Thoroughly research shoutout sellers
It’s imperative you double and triple check that you’re only buying shoutouts from high-quality accounts.
You should always go through an accounts followers, check out their previous posts and see the type of comments people have made. You’re looking for accounts with real pictures, real user interaction such as tagging friends in interesting posts and an overall sense of a real community from the page.
You should also study the potential accounts in real time. Check how many likes they get per post or views per video. If an account has 80k followers, but they’re only getting 100 – 200 likes per post, there’s a good chance they have a lot of fake or inactive followers. Stay away!
How Do I Manage My Instagram activity?
Instagram isn’t like other social networks where the amount of posts you make is directly related to the amount of traffic you receive. On Instagram, quality is probably the most crucial factor in bringing attention to your account.
Instagram is an incredibly visual network, so you want to use that to your advantage by focusing on capturing attention.
A few well thought out posts a day would get you a lot farther than putting out as much content as possible.
Where Do I find pictures to post?
Finding high-quality material to post is key to your success on Instagram. Ideal content to post on Instagram are videos and images that you’ve made for yourself.
Graphic design skills are infinitely valuable on an Instagram journey.
If you have the budget or skills, it’s worth investing time in creating your own content. You can recreate popular pictures with your own concepts added, or you can create completely new images for your niche.
It’s always a good idea to watermark or put your logo on the photos.
Should I repost pictures?
Reposting pictures is another way to get quality content on your page, and you already know people will appreciate it. When re-posting, make sure you give credit to the original source in the description.
Not crediting the source can make your page look bad and may bring unwanted attention from the owner or Instagram themselves.
How many posts should I do?
As mentioned earlier, always think quality over quantity on Instagram. If you’re doing something like ten posts a day, it’s likely you’ll clog your follower’s feed, which in turn can cause you to lose followers.
Posting 3 – 4 related and engaging videos and images a day is a good way to run your account. Depending on your niche, you may be able to get away with more posts.
However, it’s best to stay on the lower end and focus on quality.
How Do I know When to Post?
Your posting schedule is dependent the location of your audience. Wherever the largest portion is your audience is from, you should focus on posting during their primetime. Posts get more engagement and hashtags are more efficient during prime time.
A quick Google search will help you narrow down the best times depending on which country you’re targeting.
Should I use hashtags?
ABSOLUTELY! Hashtags are completely essential to generating engagement on Instagram. Hashtags will bring you followers and get you likes on your pictures.
Because of how powerful Instagram hashtags are, it’s well worth it to spend time thoroughly researching which hashtags work best. Look at the top accounts in your niche and take note of which hashtags they use and how they use them.
It’s usually safe to use around 10 – 15 hashtags per post. Any more than that Will make it harder to get to TOP Hashtags. You also want to keep your hashtag use standard for your niche. Some people may be turned off if you use tons of hashtags but don’t write a full description.
Another important reason to analyze the Hashtags you use is to find the ones appropriate for your size account. A lot of people make the mistake of using competitive tags with over 10 million posts right off the bat.
This will get you a few likes in the first couple minutes after posting, however, after that, your post will be quickly pushed down by the mass amount of other people posting with that hashtag.
Try looking for hashtags that have between 200k and 2 million posts. Your posts will be visible for a longer time, and you’ll get more interaction throughout the day. Experiment with the number of hashtag searches and see what works best for you.
Leveraging Engagement Groups
Engagement groups are also perfect for enhancing your other Instagram tactics. If you find a quality group, you can get more of your posts on the explore page with less effort.
Make sure you’re only using recent posts (posted within 5 or 10 minutes) to be promoted in the engagement group. You’ll find this works much better than trying to get an old post on the explore page.
Try and join as many engagement groups as possible, but you still want to filter for quality. If a group is focused on a different country, or full of people with low-quality accounts, then it’s no good to you.
Another key part of getting the most out of engagement groups is switching your content and hashtags until you find what works best for you. Posting the same type of content over and over will get you nowhere fast. Always be testing new types of content and look for ways to capture attention. If you’re getting exposure from the engagement groups but no revenue or followers, chances are something is wrong with your posts or your profile.
The worst thing you can do in an engagement group is to take without giving back. Don’t be that guy who always submits his posts but doesn’t reciprocate by helping others out!
Making Money- Selling Shoutouts
Selling shoutouts is an easy way to monetize your aged accounts that you’ve worked hard to build up. Here are a few key things to keep in mind about using your account to sell shoutouts.
You should only start promoting that you sell shoutouts once you get to 10 – 20k followers. The more followers you have, the more money you’ll be able to ask for each shoutout you do. Make sure you spread out your shoutouts so your account doesn’t become cluttered. Filling your follower’s feed with shoutouts can cause your engagement to drop and annoy your followers.
You account should look professional as possible in order to entice people to order from you. Most people are looking for posts with good engagement from your followers and a profile that looks well maintained and professional.
If every 5 photos your account has a photo that advertises your shoutouts, it might turn some people away from using your service. If you post pictures advertising your shoutout service, you should delete it within a few hours. Accounts with lots of shoutout pictures appear spammy and don’t look appealing to potential buyers.
Having a dedicated email that comes from your own domain will help your account look professional. At minimum, use a gmail account when selling shoutouts. You can also promote your services on Fiverr and various Internet Marketing forums.
A few thing key things to know that potential buyers may ask you:
What hours is your audience most active
How many likes/views do you get in the first hour
Do your posts get on the explore page
The prices you’ll be able to charge will depend on the client and your account activity. People that do their research will be willing to pay an amount the reflects the number of likes you get for each post. Other people will be quicker to buy and more impulsive. Just make sure you know the strengths of your account such as how fast you get likes and positive attributes about your following, to make your job negotiating a price easier.
How to Avoid A Ban
Make an effort to warm up your accounts
Dedicating time to warming up your accounts is going to be key to your long-term success on Instagram. The more aged accounts you have, the more opportunities open up to you. Aged accounts are more flexible in what you can safely do with them. It might seem tedious, but you’ll be rewarded with accounts that can stay under the radar.
If you’re using a bot, take the time to set it up correctly
Uncontrolled botting is a common reason new, or even aged accounts get flagged. If you’re going to use software to manage your accounts, make an effort to schedule your account behavior to mimic that of a human as much as possible.
When you get your software, it’s tempting to want to test its limits and see how far you can go with an account. This approach is convenient for testing or quickly building up an account but there not sustainable for making money on Instagram consistently. Find a few throwaway accounts to test what your software can do.
Don’t overdo it with comments
Commenting is also something that gets people in trouble. If you’re going to use commenting as part of your strategy, it’s important you only make high-quality comments and spread them out over a reasonable amount of time.
Leaving the same comment over and over or using spin text for your comments will get you caught eventually if you don’t vary your tactics. Remember with every action you make, try and make it look as human as possible, even if you’re scheduling it.
Keep your following/unfollowing under the radar
Controlling your following/unfollowing method is key to staying low-key on Instagram. As mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t do things like unfollow and follow at the same time, and you shouldn’t excessively follow if your account is new.
Another important thing to remember is to spread out your following/unfollowing throughout the day. Your account may be aged enough to following 100 people a day, however, if you follow all 100 within a half an hour or an hour, Instagram will get suspicious.
During my time on Instagram, I’ve noticed that following 60 users an hour is the safest max with an aged account. Again, it’s worth it to have a few throwaway accounts of your own that you can do some testing on to find out accurate follow limits.
Using software to grow your account
Software is an important part of maximizing your earnings while on Instagram. Once you find what hashtags, following systems and content works best for you, you can scale up your ability to make money.
Two of the most popular software’s for Instagram right now are FollowLiker and MassPlanner ( Discontinued ) . We’ll give you some poignant points to consider about both these programs.
MassPlanner is one of the most useful softwares for managing any social media accounts. It’s pretty inexpensive and the user interface is easy to get started with. You can also reach out to their support because they’re really helpful!
MassPlanner makes it easy to manage multiple accounts from behind proxies. Make sure you use a maximum of two accounts per proxy in order to best stay under the radar. You can also use the browser inside MassPlanner so you don’t need to always remember which proxy to use.
For your follow/unfollow settings, do your best to emulate a human. Would a human be following 60 people within an hour at the same time every day? Probably not. Spread out your actions thruohgout the day!
As we mentioned earlier, your following sources should be people who already interact with accounts in your niche. You can also set MassPlanner to scrape from specific keywords, which makes finding targeted people easier.
You probably want to create a volume campaign, which allows you to set the amount of posts and post location for each account. Volume campaigns also allow you to control the times and days that each account posts. As you can see, MassPlanner has a ton of options that help you make your account look as human as possible.
FollowLike is another great software for managing your Instagram accounts. FollowLiker can basically do everything MassPlanner can, but it has some more in-depth features since it’s focused solely on Instagram.
One feature is that FollowLiker can add emojis into your scheduled posts. Emojis help your accounts appear more human and people tend to engage with them more. You can copy and paste the emoji codes from this Wikipedia page – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoji
Instagram is an incredibly powerful network that can be a long-term source of income when used properly. This guide will help you avoid basic mistakes that most people fall victim to, so keep it on hand.
You’ll have more trouble trying to spam on Instagram than you will be executing a long-term strategy using the tips in this guide.
Working with any social network can be a tedious process to set up all your accounts, scheduling posts and finding a process that works for you. Keep in mind it’s well worth it to take the extra time to run your accounts in a way where they’ll last. Thanks for reading this guide!
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