One question I certainly get quite often is, “how did you get so many followers?”, or I have people message me saying, “hi I’m new to Instagram and I wanted to know if you have any tips to getting followers and growing my account?”
This question makes me sad because I think about what our world has come to. Where people care more about Facebook friends and Instagram likes than they do their own reality. I’m making this post to address this issue because I feel social media shouldn’t be about fame and attention; it should be doing and posting what you love and are passionate about.
I first heard of Instagram in 2011, so I created an account. Although I didn’t know it was a public sphere; instead, I thought it was just an app to edit photos. So I would post the same photo 5 times with a different filter and save it to my phone. It wasn’t until someone started following me that I realized people could see what I was doing.
I created my “food” Instagram in 2013. I originally created it for inspiration to get in shape for summer, and would just add fitspo photos off the internet. I’ve always been a photographer, so I began adding my own food and fitness photos. Of course I’d do the odd hashtag for fun, but soon I noticed my following had begin to grow. I never created my Instagram with the sole purpose of getting followers or becoming insta “famous.” I did it for me. And even when I had 500 followers, or 2000 followers, I still posted what I did because I was passionate about it and it’s what made me happy.
When I had less followers than I did now, I would do shoutout contests, SFS with other similar accounts, and continue using hashtags for people to be able to see my content. But after a while, I realized that Instagram wasn’t about the followers, and I no longer cared about the number on my profile. So once and for all, I stopped doing SFS and shoutout contests for good. Personally I find that people do them just to get followers and I don’t like that. Like I stated above, Instagram should not be about that. If you create an account for yourself and you happen to get followers, that’s great. But you can’t go out there with the sole purpose of getting famous and expect it to happen, cause chances are, with that mindset, it’s pretty slim.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the people who follow me, but I don’t like to consider them as ‘followers’, but rather friends in a community where we can all take and share things about our lives. I’ve met so many people through Instagram that I have become great friends with. I wouldn’t be where I am today with my blog and Instagram if it wasn’t for all the amazing people out there all over the world who follow and support me. So shoutout to all of you, thank you so much, it means the world and more to me <3
I don’t promote creating a social media just to get followers, however since SO many people ask me how to grow their blog or Instagram account, here are some tips:
1. Post stuff that you know targets a specific demographic. If you know that you like food, and other people like food, post about food. If you like fashion, and other people like fashion, post about fashion.
2. Post stuff that you’re passionate about. I could never run an account about something that I don’t care about. It has to be something I love and am serious about that I can commit to and enjoy.
3. Post for yourself – not other people. Or else you’ll find yourself 50k followers later and scared to post a selfie with the thought that people might unfollow you. So start posting whatever you want right from the beginning.
4. If you do post stuff such as food, ensure you have good photos, especially if you’re on Instagram. Good lighting, good colour, good content. People don’t want to see dark, blurry photos. Take your time and do things wisely. And if you’re not good at photography, perhaps reconsider to a Twitter account.
5. Use hashtags. This allows a bunch of people to see your content.
6. If you really want followers, do ‘shoutouts’ with other mutual accounts that have the same stuff as you. That way other people will be able to find you, and you can connect with some great, like-minded people. In the early stages of my Instagram account, I met some of my good friends through doing shout outs with them. However I don’t like “shoutout contests” because I feel as though it’s just a way for the person of superiority to use their followers to share their content to gain more followers, without a definite guarantee of something in return.
Best of luck, and always remember to stay true to yourself. xo