Who would have known when they created their Instagram account in 2012 to post random (massively over filtered) pictures of their dog that the platform would become what it is now? I certainly didn’t imagine I’d be wriing about how to get your first 1000 Instagram followers. But here we are.
And that people would be making money from their Instagram account? It’s. Just. Insane. But amazing at the same time and the perfect free tool to promote your brand.
How To Get Your First 1000 Instagram Followers
At the beginning of 2019 I started a (now defunct) home Instagram account to document the work we were carrying out to our listed cottage. Within my first month I had gathered over 1000 followers and before I knew it I hit over 2000 in a little over 3 months.
Compared to some of the accounts I know those figures aren’t even that impressive. But they are a bit, right?
So let’s get to the reason why you’re here, how did I do that and how can I help you get your first 1000 Instagram followers? And then the next 1000, and the next…. you get the idea!
Pssst! Before you follow this guide I recommend you optimise your Instagram profile with my Instagram profile checklist which you can find in my free resources library. This will ensure your profile is sending the right message to people when they find you on IG. So important!
Find your peers
The first thing I did when I started my account was follow everyone’s home accounts that I loved and followed on my personal account.
Most of these accounts had 50k+ followers and their notifications were probably going nuts about 99% of the time, which meant that my comments/likes/follows were going mostly unnoticed. Which is completely understandable for larger accounts and definitely not a reason to unfollow them as they should be your inspiration!
You need to tap into your peers.
Find the other small accounts like yourself, start following and interacting with them. And the best place to find them? The comments section of your favourite accounts.
Scour through those comments and find accounts you think fit well with yours, give them a follow and start liking and commenting on their posts. Reply to their stories. Use social media for it’s intended purpose and get sociable!
Before you know it, you’ll be following and interacting with each other and starting to build a community.
Join a loop
In a nutshell, everyone in the loop shares the same image and caption to their profile.
You follow all of the loop hosts, go to the loop hashtag and work your way through each post commenting, liking and following if you like the look of their account. Which in turn boosts your account’s engagement and ups your exposure to new followers.
Those who take part in the loops are then entered into rotation to host, so depending on the size of the loop you might be hosting the next one or one in a few week’s time, but as a host you will be followed by everyone involved so you’ll see your follower numbers rocket when that happens!
I credit a lot my account’s initial success to loops because they tie in quite nicely with my first tip. As a home account I took part in interior loops which meant I found a lot of my peers this way too.
There’s a downside to loops that some accounts will take part just to gain followers and unfollow you once the loop ends. From my experience this is a really small percentage of those who take part (and loop hosts usually work hard to remove these people from the rotation) and it’s well worth it for what you can gain.
The best way to find loops relevant to your account is through your peers accounts, so it’s important you’ve found some of those first, or you cant try hashtags like #followloop.
Take part in a photo challenge
Some popular ones from my time with a home account were #myhousethismonth and #storyofmyhome but there’s absolutely loads to choose from. It’s likely you’re following accounts who take part in challenges too so check their captions and hashtags for clues.
There’s usually an account and hashtag affiliated with a photo challenge (i.e. #myhousethismonth also has @myhousethismonth) and you should follow both.
The account will share an image with photo prompts for each day of the month and your job is to take a photo for the prompt, upload to your feed and use the challenge hashtag.
The challenge hosts will choose their favourite and feature it on challenge (and possibly their own) account and if it’s you, you’re being promoted to thousands of new people.
Brand your profile
It’s all well and good to follow these tips to gain exposure for your Instagram account, but if your profile isn’t attractive you’re not going to notice as much success.
For a home account this meant ensuring my photos all followed a similar colour scheme/style, so I made sure to use the same filters throughout, that my profile picture was memorable, my bio portrayed the image I was trying to get across and that my username was memorable. All of this is branding.
Whether you’re looking for a logo for your profile, a template for your feed graphics, or a full branding across all of your platforms, I’m here to help!
Join a ‘group’
Off the back of loops I found myself a small selection of accounts who I would message regularly for general chit chat and words of encouragement.
We started to promote each other’s posts on our stories because we genuinely supported each other and it was great. Before long one of us decided to put us all in one big group chat so we could share tips for account growth, promote each other’s posts, take part in loops and just generally chat.
If you’re not invited to a group like this then take some initiative and make your own!
My understanding is there are groups more ‘purpose built’ than this and they expand on to other platforms like Kik, have lots of rules and hundreds of members. And to this I say, to each their own.
If you want to go down a more structured approach then this is probably for you but I didn’t like the idea of sharing people’s content who I didn’t have a connection with. To find a group like this you’ll have to do a bit of digging but generally if you notice an account hosts a lot of loops, or shares lots of other people’s posts on their stories, they could know of a group like this.
Interact, interact and interact some more
I can’t stress this point enough.
If you’re not liking and commenting on everyone’s posts like a crazy person then you’re probably not doing it enough. Why? 1. It’s great to be sociable. 2. In the same way that you’re trawling through comment sections for new accounts to follow, so are other people and this is how they’re going to find your amazing new account.
There you have it! Let’s hope you’re well on your way to your first 1000 Instagram followers after following these tips!
I’d love to connect on Instagram! You can find me here.