I’ve been asked a few times in the last couple of weeks how we’ve grown our Instagram account so quickly in 2 months.  Since we’re all family here, I thought I’d share with you the inside guide we’ve used as a team to build our strategy.

1. Make a short list of 3-5 accounts of other instagrammers who have your “target follower” (for us it is: Bevel, Street Etiquette, Travel Noire, etc)

2. Likers > Lurkers. Click on one of their pictures with a lot of likes, follow people who have liked their picture… these are LIKERS and you want them to follow you (you don’t want lurkers…).

3. Use 3-5 hashtags on each picture, try to use hashtags that are going to link back on pages people will actually look at the hashtags for ex. #streetwear, #Oakland vs tennis shoes or #Cali (too broad)

4. Make your hashtag mean something. People are naturally curious and like to be flattered so they will click it. Get people using your hashtag to show their #[insertbrandname] moments. Randomly go through instagram and start adding your # to the bottom of their picture.

5. This should really be #1, but consistent content or else people will forget who you are and why they followed you. Since you aren’t famous (yet) there should be some value to following the account – inspiration, discovery, etc. Ex. Travel Noire – see new locations and get featured if you use their hashtag. Blavity – see new creators, inspiration and promote positive black vibes. Howard = feel nostalgic about days back in undergrad. etc.

6.Engagement vs. Entertainment: While the ‘gram offers all types of ways to be amused, just using .gifs don’t make a memorable brand. Impactful messaging does. When you deeply understand your community, you learn  know what falls inside your niche, and more importantly, what doesn’t. The Phat Startup is all about the hustle, so they consistently post things to motivate followers,  and people respond well.

Bonus Tip:

Anyone who is following you personally should absolutely be followed. They are going to be your ride or die likers, which is why any picture with my face on it gets 20% more likes than any other one.

So there it is. A simple strategy we‘ve used over here at Blavity to grow our Instagram quickly, and connect with our community.

If you aren’t following us on the gram’, you’re missing out! Check it out here and follow us.