With over 1 billion users recorded on the platform as of June 2020, Facebook’s Instagram has become one of the most important digital marketing platforms in the world. It’s become the new normal for everyone selling a product or service to own an Instagram account. Instagram is one of the fastest ways to bring your brand online and get eyes on your value. However, there’s usually one major problem – building a network of real customers and followers from scratch.
In a world of click baits, phony giveaways, bots, and fake followers, it takes real and consistent dedication to attract organic followers to your business or personal page. Most niches are so oversaturated with eager competitors that entrepreneurs usually have a hard time resisting the ever-present temptation of “cutting corners”. In the end, they’d usually be left with a porously large following and zero tangible results. No booming sales, no real reviews, and eventually, it all catches up with you.
When 21-year-old CEO Nick Rogers started his first Instagram page in 2018, the business and entrepreneurship niches were already bustling with countless influencers pulling all the weight. He started at zero, with nothing but a lot of value and worthy content to offer. In less than a year, Rogers could boast of 100,000 organic followers on this page, Business Driven Dream, counting upwards of 400,000 today. Rogers is the founder and CEO of Pvsted Media (pronounced “posted”), an Instagram growth and digital marketing company that also oversees all his other personal pages.
Pvsted Media has become one of the top brands in the Instagram digital marketing sphere. Scaling clients up to over 100K followers a year and over $250,000 in monthly revenue, Rogers and his team have perfected a sort of blueprint to navigating the field and gaining value for every penny spent.
Last December, Rogers took to his Twitter account to share some of the most important lessons he’d learned while building a network of over 2 million followers on Instagram. There’s no shortage of advice online on how to “grow your followers” on the social app, but a lot of these strategies are overdrawn, overused, and practically ineffective. Rogers believes the easiest way to garner thousands of followers in less than a month is to create a base with relatable and unique content.
Content is the only thing that matters.
Instagram is a photo and video sharing app, so basically, it’s all pictured content. People easily connect with pages posting the most relatable content in any niche. You will most likely not build a strong following by opening a page, scraping a few followers together, and throwing your products or services at them. You should start and continue with putting out valuable content worth the time spent carousing your posts on the feed.
Rogers wrote, “Content determines how many will follow you and if you’ll make sales. Also, it’s not about the design, it’s about the message.”
DMs are where the money is made.
You’d often find a lot of brands redirecting people in the comment section to their websites or other messaging platforms. You immediately slash the chances of connecting with a customer to close a sale. A serious businessperson would head to the DM, strike up a conversation, and build a rapport before redirecting (if necessary).
The majority of “IG gurus” are liars.
“They’ll tell you to be consistent, use hashtags, and post good content without telling you how to do it,” Rogers said.
As mentioned above, there is no shortage of “advice” on Instagram growth everywhere online. However, very few are still practicable. Post hashtags, but only the most relevant ones to that particular post. Consistency is key but it only gets you to the top when you’re actually adding value to your viewers.
Most influencers are poor.
“They don’t know what’s fair or how to create a business so they sell themselves short to brands,” Rogers said. Essentially, a lot of Instagram influencers do not know the value of their pages and how much they are actually worth. When you start, don’t get carried away by the fast and tempting money. It’s usually going to be way below your actual worth in the end.
Hashtags are not the secret to growth.
Hashtags increase visibility and impressions on posts and the page in general, but in the long run, they are not very dependable for building strong followings.
Rogers said: “The “secret” to growth is tapping into a network of accounts. My network is powerful enough that I can easily build a brand new page to 50k in one month.”
The posting times don’t matter.
You’d often find a lot of so-called tutors trying to sell specific times of the day and year as the best posting times. However, Rogers believes that this is an unnecessary tactic. As long as the content is solid, you can post whenever you come up with it.
The Final Take
In summary of the entire thread, Rogers listed the two major methods for growing real followers on the app. Organically – mass comment growth and a lot of patience. Paid – Buying shout-outs, giveaways, and originality.
Growing on Instagram is a continuous process that allows no room for complacency. If you get too comfortable at a certain follower count, you’d risk slacking in originality and losing people. The goal is to build a solid network that yields real results and targeted returns on invested time and resources. Also, have fun while doing it. After all, it’s Instagram.