The last several months since I started The Home Loving Wife have been a crazy, big, wild, unexpectedly incredible ride.
I set out with a desire to use my gifts, passions and voice to bring hope, inspiration and encouragement to wives and moms everywhere. I never imagined that things would grow as quickly as they have, and if I’m being honest, it’s been a scramble at times to keep up!
When I was just starting out, I knew that I wanted Instagram to be my primary social media platform. I’m a design-loving, creative gal and love having the ability to build a community and curate a feed on Instagram that really reflects the heart of why I do what I do. Lately I’ve been told repeatedly by people in my “real life” that I’m now “Instagram famous” and had them wondering what exactly I’ve done to grow my following to where it is.
Now, I wouldn’t consider myself “famous” by any stretch of the imagination! But, through careful, attentive learning and strategizing, I have been able to create steady growth on Instagram.
In the last 3 months alone I have gained nearly 1,000 followers every. single. month. I won’t lie friends, that is pretty darn exciting!!I by no means have it all figured out, but here are my 10 best tips for upping your Instagram game and building a community of followers who are really connected with who you are and what you’re doing.Check out these 10 tips for gaining 1K Instagram followers every month! Click To Tweet
#1: Have a Point & Know Your Niche
When it comes to having success with Instagram growth, it’s super important that you know what exactly you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Asking yourself a few questions can help you narrow down your niche and focus on whatever your end goal is.
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What do they want/need?
- What do they like and respond to?
- What action do you want them to take?
- Who are they already following? What are those people doing?
You have to have a point behind what you’re doing on Instagram, otherwise you’ll never gain any solid traction.
#2: Craft Your Brand & Be Consistent
Having good, solid branding is essential to growth on Instagram. You need to be recognizable and everything you post needs to fit within a cohesive brand. This can include everything from your color scheme, to the information you share in your bio, to the verbiage you use in your captions, to the editing process you use with each photo. Consistency is key – find what you like and what your tribe responds to, then keep in line with the brand you’ve created every. single. time. you post.
#3: Make a Good First Impression
Properly utilizing the space provided for your bio is something that can really set you apart from others in your niche or industry. Think of it like speed dating. You get a very small window of time within which to make a killer first impression. You need to be well prepared in advance, having put thought and foresight into what exactly your audience wants and needs to hear to fall in love with you! Here is what my bio looks like right now:
You’ll notice that I share my purpose right out the gate: “Inspiring and equipping wives, moms & homemakers to flourish.” This lets people know exactly what they can expect by following me.
Then, I give a bit of basic identifying information: I’m a Christian wife and mom to four living in Charlotte, NC. This helps potential followers understand a little more fully who I am and what I’m about.
I have also included my Snapchat username because oftentimes, people who want to follow you on Instagram will also be interested in following you on Snapchat. Even if you’re not a big believer in Snapchat (I hated it at first!) it’s totally going to be the next BIG thing, just like Facebook and Instagram have been in the past, so make sure you’re on the train (and come say hi to me!!)
Lastly, I make a point to effectively utilize the one spot I can share a website link by not just sharing my website, but rather directing followers to take some sort of specific action. In this particular screenshot you can see that I’m running a collaborative giveaway and want my readers to click the link to enter the giveaway. At other times I will direct readers to go sign up for my email list, read my latest blog post or visit me on another social media platform. Make sure you use this prime piece of real estate well!
#4: Connect in Your Captions
Aside from all the pretty pictures, captions are one of the things I love about Instagram. It’s a chance for people to share a bit more of themselves with every post. I have found that people are way more likely to like, comment and follow when you consistently share either quality information, candid and authentic conversation or inspiration and moving reflections in the captions attached to each photo.
Here’s one such example of how I used the caption in this photo to both inspire and connect with my audience, as well as direct them to take action by signing up for a webinar I was hosting.
#5: Post Regularly
Back when I was starting out, I would literally post 3-5 times a day. Some people were shocked when they found out how much time I was putting into posting so often, but it’s clearly paid off. This was back in the days before the new algorithm changed how feed timelines are displayed, so this bit isn’t quite as relevant now. But still, maintaining frequent and consistent posting habits will keep you top of mind with your followers and ensure they continue loving you! Now I usually try to post at least once per day, though admittedly there are times I will let a few days go by without posting. That tells me that I’ve grown to a point where my tribe is committed enough to me that they are hanging around to see what I will post next!
#6: Research the Best Hashtags for Your Niche
Everyone knows that hashtags are where it’s at when talking about Instagram visibility and growth. What many people don’t talk about though is the importance of using the right hashtags. The whole point is to tag your posts so that they will show up in searches. Think of it as SEO for Instagram posts!
You need to go back to my first tip about knowing your niche and figure out who they are following, what pictures they are liking and commenting on, and even what hashtags they are using themselves!
Jaclyn Mellone, one of my mentors and an incredible Instagram Strategist, has this awesome (and free!) hashtag strategy guide that is a fabulous resource for determining the ideal hashtags to use within your unique niche!
Another handy little tip for finding new hashtags that are similar to ones you’re already using and loving is to plug the hashtag into the search box and then scroll through the related tag suggestions at the top of your screen.
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post, and you’ll hear lots of different opinions on this, but I personally like to use them all! Once you’ve determined some good hashtags that will get your content in front of the right people, save them into a note on your phone so that with each post you can just copy and past the hashtags directly into a comment on your photo when you post.
This reminds me – you need to make sure not to include your list of hashtags in the post caption, but rather as a comment directly below your post. This will keep things looking more streamlined and less cluttered (plus, the hashtags gets buried once other comments start rolling in!)
#7: Authentically Engage
At the end of the day, building a tribe is all about connecting with people. You can curate and position all day long, but real growth happens when people fall in love with YOU. This doesn’t just happen by itself. People need to get to know you and your brand, which means it’s so important for you to be conversational in your captions – and then respond to people’s comments! This can take a long time, especially as you grow, but it’s really, really important.
I like to take things a step further and actually go like and comment on my active followers feeds, as well as search relevant hashtags and like and comment on posts I find there. These strategies help to create that sense of community we’re looking for.
#8: Join FB Promo Groups
A large part of the overall growth of The Home Loving Wife brand has been networking with other people who are doing similar things to me. As a mommy blogger, I’ve made a point to get outside my comfort zone and connect with other incredible women bloggers to help support each other so we all grow.
There are many groups you can find on Facebook that post daily or weekly “share for share, “follow for follow,” “like for like,” or “comment for comment” threads. What this means is that everyone posts one of their blog posts, Instagram posts, or even social media profiles in the threads, and then everyone goes and supports each other by liking, commenting, following or sharing.
A few of my personal favorite collaboration promo groups are:
This strategy can be really time intensive, but the payout is HUGE in terms of the growth you will see.
#9: Use Likestagram
My blogging mentor Chrystie over at Living for Naptime is the one who introduced me to Likestagram and it has been an incredible tool for organically growing my following over the last several months that I’ve used it.
In simple terms, it is a service that you pay for and set up to automatically “like” a certain number of posts that are tagged with hashtags of your choosing. So, instead of you having to spend time each day liking a bunch of posts under certain hashtags to gain visibility, this service does it for you!
You can see the hashtags I’ve set up on my account here:
You can also set it up to auto-like posts in your feed from people you follow. This helps you stay engaged with who you’re already following without actually having to be the one doing it all the time. Genius!
#10: Collaborate (engagement groups, Follow Friday, chat loops, giveaways)
Again, I’m taking it back to the importance of networking and collaborating with others if you want to see real growth. Magic happens when like-minded people get together to collaborate on something awesome!
For Instagram growth, I’ve participated in the following types of collaborations with great results:
- Engagement “pods” – a group of IG users who all like and comment on each other’s posts to boost engagement stats). These are usually organized and operating via Instagram DM.
- Follow Friday loops – a group of IG users who share a collage of each other’s photos, tagging each other in the post and encouraging followers to go check each person out. These are usually organized and operating via Instagram DM.
- Weekly chat circles – an organizer gathers a certain number of people to post the same image and chat loop “script” to prompt conversation amongst followers. Each host asks a question and participants are instructed to answer the question then head to the next user’s profile to answer their question, and so on until the participant has completed the loop. These are usually organized and operating via Instagram DM. I run a weekly chat loop for moms called #MomFriendMonday that I’d love to have you join in on if you’re interested!
- Giveaways – giveaway loops can be a great way to gain followers since participants have to follow each giveaway host in the loop in order to complete their entry into the giveaway. The key is making sure that the people you’re targeting for the giveaway (ie: who the giveaway will appeal to) are the same people you want following you. This will make it less likely that they will unfollow you once the giveaway has concluded.
So, there you have it! Thanks for sticking with me through all of this – I know it’s a LOT of information to process, but hopefully implemented bit by bit, it will lead to steady and consistent growth for you on Instagram!
Feel free to drop any questions you have below and I’ll try to help in any way I can!
Oh, and will you do me a favor and PIN the image below so this info can get into the hands of and help as many people as possible?