Once after I gave you an overview of Instagram in the previous article, now is the time to talk about the specific strategies that I used to build my profile and followers on Instagram.
Let’s start with the two most important abbreviations you need to know if you want to be successful on Instagram. They are F4F and S4S. Let’s consider them separately.
F4F – Follow for Follow
When you follow somebody in Instagram, that will show in his notifications. It’s likely to click straight from there to see your profile, your bio and photos. If he likes it, he’ll follow you.
My experience says that if you profile is interesting, about 30% of the people you follow will follow you, as well.
At the end it comes to that somebody follows you, because you’ve followed him. As I said in the previous article, Instagram is not like Facebook, where you need to send an invitation, the connection between people is made by following. Following is too basic procedure to talk about it here, I’m sure you’ll find out how to do it, even if you’ve never used Instagram.
But there is something important we need to discuss – do you have to do F4F? Many marketers say about that strategy that the followers you build that way are not really valuable. In my opinion, you need to do it at least at the beginning to build enough followers.
I also decided to compare the engagement of the photos of my personal profile ( I use F4F) with the profile of the biggest opponents of that strategy – Gary Vee (Instagram: @garyvee). I came to the conclusion that we both get about 1-1.3% likes from people who follow us, which seems to be the normal percentage for profiles like this, because I checked few others as well and the percentage is the equal. That compare may not be absolutely exact, but it has to show that it makes sense to use F4F.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s much better to build your followers “organically” when somebody follows you because he’s found you and likes you. The problem is that this is not so realistic at the beginning. Without F4F is really hard to build followers as a starting profile.
I have to say that in this article I talk about what I actually do to have a successful Instagram profile, not what is my opinion about F4F or another strategy. The fact is that I did F4F very aggressively in the beginning, even as two of the staff helped me with that. I’ll advice you to read more about that strategy and to decide if you want to use it or not. I just share my personal experience and I’m not telling you that you must use F4F if you want to build followers.
I do believe that in order to sell, you need impressions, which means to be in front of people. To follow people is a way to show in front of them. It’s a way to say “hey, I got something for you, take a look in my profile”. If they don’t like what they see, they can always unfollow you.
However, F4F should be done according to certain rules. Here are my rules for that:
• Follow only followers of the profiles from your business area – for example, if you do music similar to Linkin Park, then find their Instagram profile and follow their followers. They are the ones who may be interested to know more about you.
• Build cool profile with cool bio, so more people can follow you back.
• Follow no more than 60 people per hour – that’s the limit that Instagram allows you. If you do more than that you’ll get а warning or а ban to do it for few days.
• You may send a message to anyone who follows you, as you turn to him personally and write about something you’ve noticed in his profile, in order to show that’s not a robot.
• Follow through Crowdfire – that app will give you only the most committed followers of a certain profile. But more about it – in the third article.
S4S – Share for Share
This abbreviation I use as a collection of all cases when you’ve been tagged in the post of another profile. It’s not necessary the picture or post be yours. It’s enough to be tagged because that’s how the followers of this profile will notice you and some of them will follow you. To tag somebody in a picture of another profile in Instagram parlance is called shout!
As an example, you can tag somebody in your profile and he can tag you back in his profile. That’s how your followers see his profile and his followers see yours’! That’s how it looks the tag:
In that case, jorgavoro has tagged me and his followers will see me in his post!
There are few ways to use S4S. Some of them technically are not exactly S4S, but more like share for something else, however, we’ll combine them together. The ways are:
• To tag somebody in your picture and to wait for him hypothetically to do the same for you – only about 10% of cases you’ll be tagged back.
• To send a personal message to the other profile and to talk about S4S. You can do it by sending a message on Instagram!
• You can pay someone to do it for you. Contact any big profile and ask the key question “How much for a shout?”
• You can ask you audience to tag you, by giving them something rewarding. For example, I do contests – “Tag me in your best picture of food and one of you will win a TV”. You can’t imagine how many people do it, just because there is a little chance to win. I’ve done it and I’ve gained about 10-20 tags a gay, which is a lot.
The most effective way to me is to do a contest because for a cheap item you can build a huge base of followers.
So, now you know which are the basic strategies for building followers. Now is the time to say more about the software I use and the ways that I post.
You can follow my personal profile in Instagram, where I post original motivational pictures every day! Click here!
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All the best,
IMPORTANT: I do not give any guarantee for you to get results or make money with my ideas, information, tools and strategies presented in this blog. The results I have achieved are not typical and I am not even remotely implying that anyone can achieve such results or any results if they follow the same here.