Grow Your Instagram Account With A Mum Track Mind

Instagram is a major love of mine in case you hadn’t noticed (meaning I go on about it all the time!) I love looking at other people’s pictures, like little windows into their life (in a non-stalker-ish way obvs). I love it so much that I even created my own hashtag community #mydarlingmemory . It is also notoriously difficult to grow your following there.

As a blogger, Instagram is a really valuable tool. We use it to share our lives with our followers, push traffic to our blogs and connect with other like-minded folk. Brands are increasingly becoming aware of the power of Instagram and will happily pay out for bloggers to advertise their wares this way. Basically, as well as it being all about the pretty pictures, it is also a powerful advertising medium be it for blog or brand. So it makes sense to focus on growing your own community if that’s what you want to achieve.

I have been working really hard on my Instagram account for the past few months. At first, like most people, I just used to post any old picture that I had snapped with my phone and that took my fancy in any given moment. Hence the 22 followers that I started out with. Four months later and I have hit *runs off to check followers* 2402. Respectable but by no means is it incredible. I do not in any way profess to be an expert in how to grow your following but I am pleased with the progress going on over there.

Quite a few of you have asked me how I grow my following so I’m writing this post, not as a professional Instagrammer (is that even a job?!) but just as someone who is having some small successes. I hope that my tips will help you in some small way if you are looking to increase your followers. So lets get on with it:

Visuals

  • Use your IG account to reflect your blog. I do not post pictures outside of my blog niche. Although I don’t usually subscribe to having a ‘niche’ for my blog  it is obvious that I write a family blog so I use my Instagram to post pictures that relate back to my family. I try to keep pictures of nights out with the girls or shopping trips off my feed. Pictures of my kids and family life are where it’s at for me. You do not have to stick with that particular niche but you should pick one of your own and work within it in order to grow your following.
  • Focus on the quality of your images – sorry but nobody wants to see dark, gloomy or blurry shots no matter how cute the picture is behind it.
  • If you filter your images (and you should unless you are a professional photographer) then pick one or two filters and stick to them. It provides a lovely consistent look to your IG feed and means that people will know what they can expect from following you and your account will grow.
  • Use the ‘Your Story’ facility to share snippets of daily life and short videos with people so that they know you are human and your life isn’t always picture perfect. Keep the more grainy, “real” shot for this rather than your actual feed.

Scheduling

  • One or two quality pictures a day are far, far better than lots of mediocre ones.
  • In a similar way to your actual blog, you should post consistently in order to grow. I find 2-3 times a day is what works best for me. Find what works for you and stick to it. When starting out you should post regularly though. Posting twice a month isn’t going to get you very far.
  • Through trial and error, I find that posting at 07:00 and 17:00 during the weekdays and 07:00, 13:00 and 20:00 on weekends is what works best for me in terms of the amount of engagement I receive. There is no science behind that but it definitely works for me.

Grow Your Instagram Account Quickly

 

Interaction

Interaction is where it’s at when it comes to growing your following. Here’s what I am doing:

  • I spend about 20 minutes a day, twice a day following people who follow the accounts I aspire to be like. Sounds stalker-ish but I don’t care. Instagram have a max follow rule of about 150 per hour so don’t go over this.
  • I comment a lot within the hashtags that I operate in. This often gets people to notice you and to follow back.
  • When I post a picture, I often ask a question within the caption so as to encourage people to interact.
  • For every person who follows me, I follow them back (within reason). As far as I can tell, nobody cares how many people you follow. Brands for example are only looking at how many people follow you and engage with your content.
  • For each new follower, I will go into their feed and back-‘like’ between 6-9 pictures. 9/10 they will reciprocate and back-like my pictures too.
  • I manage my followers using an app. If someone unfollows me, then I unfollow them.  At the end of every week I take stock of all the people that I have followed and if they haven’t followed back then I unfollow. It sounds a bit cold but when you are using Instagram for business then it is a numbers game, sorry.

Hashtags

  • I usually use the maximum amount, which is 30.
  • Often I will add one or two into the actual picture caption and then add the rest of them as a comment. This also helps boost your pictures because IG thinks someone is commenting on your picture quickly and therefore must want to see your feed.
  • I do not have time to add in 30 hashtags every time I post a picture so I created a few lists of them on my phone and I just copy and paste them into the relevant picture. As I work in niche (see the first point above) I only need about two different set of hashtags.
  • Here is a list of my current favourites

grow your instagram hashtags list

Give It Time

There are all sorts of ways of increasing your following rapidly, including the very dubious buying followers. I really don’t recommend doing this no matter how frustratingly slow the process will seem.

  • Set yourself small goals like getting to the next 100 followers rather than pining after the 10,000 followers someone else has.
  • Enjoy the process of sharing and connecting with other like-minded people and your following will grow organically. This is far better than having 10,000 people following you who have no interest in you or your blog even if it does take more time.

So that’s it really – that’s what I am doing. As a result, I am currently seeing about 50-100 new followers a day, which I am really happy with. I hope that you find this useful but if you have any questions then leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you think this post will be helpful to others then please do share it.

Until next time

xxx

 

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76 Comments

  1. August 11, 2016 / 8:14 am

    Excellent post. Thank you for sharing your tips as these will be very useful, not just for me but for others! #triballove
    Sarah – Mum & Mor recently posted…Making a Go of Expat LifeMy Profile

  2. August 11, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    This is the best help guide I’ve read in ages Fi, thank you for putting it together. I had no idea of quite a few of these points, like leaving a comment on your own photo with extra hashtags. #tribe #operationgrow

  3. August 11, 2016 / 2:20 pm

    This is really useful advice. I’ve only just started on instagram and had no idea half these hashtags even existed and often only put on a couple, definitely need to work on this.
    #ablogginggoodtime

  4. August 11, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    Great post! I am also trying to grow my instagram following (3 followers off 400) so I have a long way to go. I am definitely going to use your hashtag tip of having them in your phone and posting them as a comment. #ablogginggoodtime

  5. August 11, 2016 / 10:45 pm

    I am addicted to Instagram so this post is really helpful. I’ve been trying to increase my followers, and I’m getting there slowly.
    Ky recently posted…Now you are 2My Profile

  6. August 11, 2016 / 10:56 pm

    I am trying to interact a bit more on Instagram now. I am getting a couple more followers a day. Thank you for this post it is very useful. Soon there will be a programme called “the rich mum’s of Instagram” instead of the rich kids of Instagram lol.

  7. Julia
    August 12, 2016 / 6:29 am

    Excellent really useful advice! I love your Mumtrackmind blog & Instagram & Facebook posts!

  8. August 12, 2016 / 8:16 am

    aww this is fab – great advice! I adore Instagram too! thank you so much for mentioning #thismamaloves xx I also use #instamum #motherhoodofinstagram and #motherhoodthroughinstagram xx you are doing amazing with your IG followers!! #ablogginggoodtime
    justsayingmum.com recently posted…What really happens when you remove a teen from Wi-FiMy Profile

  9. August 12, 2016 / 10:14 am

    Great post, I’m only starting out so this is really helpful. Thanks 🙂

  10. August 12, 2016 / 5:50 pm

    Some great tips. We’re pretty new to instagram and currently have 930 followers through a bit more work and your tips hopefully we can make it to 1000 by the weekend. Thanks for sharing #ablogginggoodtime

  11. August 13, 2016 / 8:19 am

    I’m so useless at hashtags – I’m the blogger at any event saying “what’s the hashtag again?’ about 50 times….#fortheloveofgBLOG
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted…Sculpture at BarangarooMy Profile

  12. August 13, 2016 / 8:31 am

    Wow Fi you have done so well growing your Instagram, and also having the time to manage it. You’re right you need to be patient with it, and it sounds like you are doing all the right things to make a success of it. Setting up Instagram for my blog, is something I want to do. But something I don’t think right now, I have the time to manage. Claire x #fortheloveofBLOG.
    The Pramshed recently posted…#fortheloveofBLOG Week 15My Profile

  13. August 13, 2016 / 9:02 am

    Oh I loved this post so helpful! Insta is my favourite place but my following is very slow need to be putting lots more work in I think, thanks Fi!! #fortheloveofBLOG

  14. August 13, 2016 / 9:03 am

    Thanks Fi this is really useful. My pictures are eclectic, but then so is my blog!! 😀 #fortheloveofblog
    sarah recently posted…My Kid is an OlympianMy Profile

  15. August 13, 2016 / 9:06 am

    Really useful post ; im on Instagram but haven’t put much effort into actually growing it, this will be my next task ( along with the dreaded Facebook) thanks for the tips #fortheloveofblog

  16. August 13, 2016 / 9:23 am

    This is really useful! I didn’t know there was an app to monitor followers, I think people are following and unfollowing me on Twitter. Or maybe that’s because they realise how boring I am once they follow! Ha! #fortheloveofblog

  17. August 13, 2016 / 9:24 am

    I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram (always have! And I’ve had an account pretty much since it started!) so I found this post really interesting. Some great tips, didn’t know that about adding the hashtags as a comment but I’m going to try that next time! Thanks for sharing your insights. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Mrs Lighty recently posted…Beaches and BirthdaysMy Profile

  18. August 13, 2016 / 10:04 am

    I am so glad you wrote this! I have to admit that while I see why people like Instagram, it’s never interested me that much. I’m more of a words person I guess. But I obvs want to use it to promote my blogging and it’s so generous of you to share your secrets. I’ve followed you on IG and am pinning this post to my Pinterest so I can refer back to it later! #fortheloveofBLOG
    The Mum Reviews recently posted…Don’t pretend to be a duck: Lessons from a lovely day at Hever CastleMy Profile

  19. August 13, 2016 / 10:20 am

    I love this post. I have come back to so many times since you published it 🙂 #fortheloveofblog
    Emma recently posted…Grosnez CastleMy Profile

  20. August 13, 2016 / 10:26 am

    Thanks so much for sharing. Having only been blogging and instagramming (is that a word?!) for about 6 weeks, this is really useful! I didn’t know there were limits to anything and I haven’t really been thinking about the overall feel of my Instagram page. Must get to work! #fortheloveofblog
    Grounded Mummy recently posted…This Mummy Can: Jessica Ennis-HillMy Profile

  21. August 13, 2016 / 10:39 am

    Great post – I’ve been doing some of these but need to work on others. I’ve gotten over 300 followers in 4 weeks which I think is pretty good going as a start 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG
    OddHogg recently posted…Solo ParentingMy Profile

  22. August 13, 2016 / 10:42 am

    I’m not on Instagram, tbh it hadn’t even crossed my mind. Great tips, thanks for sharing them. Xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  23. August 13, 2016 / 11:04 am

    Just popping back to say thanks again, from all your tips I’ve grown about 150 followers in a week! #fortheloveofblog

  24. August 13, 2016 / 11:18 am

    I have Instagram, but don’t use it for my blog. However, if I did then this is EXACTLY the sort of post that would help. Clear advice from someone who is going through the development stages. Great. Alison x #fortheloveofBLOG

  25. August 13, 2016 / 2:21 pm

    Oh oh oh Fi! This is so helpful! Particularly the scheduling times – will give that a bash. I’ve recently started to take stock and see what it really working on my feed, and planning more of a content strategy. It definitely helps avoid instablock and therefore be more consistent. Thanks so much – do come follow – would love to hear your thoughts! #fortheloveofBLOG

  26. August 13, 2016 / 3:18 pm

    I haven’t investigated Instagram yet! I’ve pinned this for future reference as it’s something I should get into eventually! Xx #fortheloveofBLOG
    Sonia recently posted…Our Family Holiday in Alcudia, MallorcaMy Profile

  27. August 13, 2016 / 6:04 pm

    Thanks for this incredibly useful piece! I’ve been wondering how to grow my followers from 7 😀 #fortheloveofBLOG

  28. August 13, 2016 / 6:54 pm

    Yes! I’d been waiting for this post! Thank you so much for sharing your tips. xx #tribalchat #fortheloveofBLOG

  29. August 13, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    I love posts like this, it’s always great to get hints and tips from people who are doing well at growing followers – I’m getting there slowly and have been trying to focus on consistency, think after reading this I need to spend some time on interaction too X
    #fortheloveofBlog
    Lucy recently posted…Review – Fisher Price Woodsy Friends Comfy Time BouncerMy Profile

  30. August 13, 2016 / 7:55 pm

    This is great as I’m a new blogger and just getting to grips with various things and how to grow Instagram. Question – how do joy know what hashtag to add? Some of them don’t even make sense to me! Should you just use ones that other bloggers you like/follow use? Thanks and thanks for hosting #fortheloveofBLOG

  31. August 13, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    Amazing tips Fi! So pleased you’re having so much success on Instagram. I really need to work on my account, I am going to start doing all this and hopefully it will all work for me too. Thanks for sharing your insta knowledge 🙂 xx #fortheloveofBLOG
    wendy recently posted…The TMI tag – #vlogstarsMy Profile

  32. August 13, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    Really interesting post, thank you. I’m not massively into Instagram, but have taken on board your idea about having hashtags saved – it’s such a ball-ache typing them out every time!
    #fortheloveofBLOG

  33. August 13, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    I LOVE instagram too. I used to post maybe 4 times a day but it got really difficult to get decent photos so now I’m at 2, occasionally 3 and that works much better for me. I found that posting in the evening works really well on Instagram x #fortheloveofBLOG
    Emma Plus Three recently posted…My Birthday WishlistMy Profile

  34. August 13, 2016 / 11:06 pm

    Meant to ask – what app do you use to keep track of your IG figures? Xx

  35. August 14, 2016 / 7:21 am

    Some really useful tips here. I’m not that great at instagram but I do enjoy using it. I don’t post pictures of the Cambridges because that’s not the point of the blog but I do seem to waste an awful lot of time scrolling through them! These tips have made me think about what I could do to improve followers etc. Thank you! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Right Royal Mother recently posted…Brooching the Subject of a Mother Canada Goose TourMy Profile

  36. August 15, 2016 / 7:58 am

    Great advice thanks for this post. I literally only joined instagram yesterday after saying I wouldn’t bother with yet another social media platform but I’m there now so may as well work it! #fortheloveofblog
    Geraldine recently posted…Sunday Sit Down – Ashes from the FireMy Profile

  37. August 15, 2016 / 8:07 am

    I read this a few days ago and started following you tips and it works !!! Love it . I really want to increase my Instagram folllowing. #fortheloveofblog

  38. August 15, 2016 / 8:08 am

    This is soooo useful! Thank you so much for this post – I am already doing some of it but there’s so much more I could be doing. Thanks for all these tips – am off to implement them asap! #fortheloveofBLOG

  39. August 15, 2016 / 8:39 am

    I really enjoyed reading this and was encouraged that as newbies we seem to be using the same methods as you, although in a different niche, and the result has been about 600 new followers in the last week that are actually the type of people we are interested in and want to attract. We find instagram the most rewarding of social media and enjoyable – hopefully that is not just because of our concentration spans! Wish I had been able to read this before we started, we learned on the job and this would have been a great help! Thank you for hosting! #fortheloveofBLOG

  40. August 17, 2016 / 11:12 am

    Hi Fi, this is a really informative post, thank-you for sharing your instagram tips and tricks – always useful. Which app do you use to manage your instagram followers / non-followers? I’m on android and am really struggling to find a good one. Thanks, Sally x

  41. August 17, 2016 / 2:57 pm

    I think that’s pretty good going increasing your following by so many in such a short space of time. Some really great tips here thank you xx #ablogginggoodtime xx
    Tammymum recently posted…My Sunday PhotoMy Profile

  42. August 17, 2016 / 9:06 pm

    You are doing so well on IG and this is an amazingly helpful post honey thank you!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime #triballove

  43. August 21, 2016 / 1:58 pm

    Thanks so much for these amazing tips they are so helpful and will definitely be useful for me.
    xo

  44. August 21, 2016 / 1:58 pm

    Thanks so much for these amazing tips they are so helpful and will definitely be useful for me.
    xo

  45. January 3, 2017 / 3:53 pm

    Really helpful! My goal this year is to grow my social media audience, so this will come in super handy 🙂

    Thank you for posting it 🙂

  46. January 10, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    I have finally signed up to Instagram following your post about blogging, but having only just signed up yesterday I am finding it a bit tough going at the moment to find the people I want to follow (isn’t it frustrating you can’t just follow all your Twitter people!?) but also enjoying finding new people and getting used to a new medium.
    What app do you use to manage it?

    • January 10, 2017 / 8:14 pm

      Yay welcome to my happy place! I use the Instagram followers app but my advice is to post consistently and in your own style, use relevant hashtags and it will grow without the use of the app to begin with x

  47. January 13, 2017 / 3:51 pm

    Fab tips although brands do care about the ratio on all social handles re followers to following ratio-it implies influence and affects metrics on various algorithms, the most important being moz, the industry standard tool for measuring blog/website domain and page authority. I would simply follow those you resonate with and love their galleries. I spend 5 minutes a day there if that but do enjoy it and want to spend more time there.

    • January 13, 2017 / 7:25 pm

      I could do with updating this post as I’ve learned a lot more since I published it. Thanks for the tip x

  48. February 5, 2017 / 11:13 am

    Hi, being completely new to blogging and instagram and twitter this month, this post is really useful with some great tips. Thank you. I’ve retweeted this link.

  49. February 10, 2017 / 12:08 am

    Loved this post. The speed at which you managed to grow your Instagram is quite impressive. I am in awe of your getting 50-100 new followers a day. Your feed is gorgeous though, makes perfect sense, and so do the strategies you’re implementing. #mustryharder

  50. August 22, 2017 / 9:26 am

    Such a great post! I’m always fascinated to know what the best hashtags are for mummy bloggers! How does it work if you create a hashtag of your own? What is he benefit of doing that? I’ve been hash tagging my photos with #littleme (as my blog is called littlemelondon)

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