Following on from my post about why getting 5000 followers on instagram was important to me, I thought that a post about how to get 5000 followers on instagram might be of interest to you all.
Disclaimer: this is not a “quick-fix’ option. This is not about being disingenuous. This is a post that may help you fellow content-creators out there, who are stuck in a rut and suffering the effects of the algorithm. This post is aimed at those who are genuinely working hard to get their sh*t seen and want to reach a larger audience to share their content. These are also tips based on my experience of the industry, my personal growth and knowledge of instagram.
How to get 5000 followers on Instagram
As I said above, there is no quick fix that’ll make you have 5,000 followers on instagram overnight (sorry)! Quite the contrary, it takes a lot of work and time. That’s why you’ve got to love instagram and why your reasons have got to be genuine.
Of course, you could get lucky and go viral and/or have an epic shout-out from a big account, but those events happen few and far between and you still want to ensure that the audience you do have, are genuine and actually interested in your content – otherwise, what’s the point?
Based on my experience of using the platform for a few years now and approximately 18 months of using it for my business, here’s a few tips that’ll help with your instagram growth too:
Create good content
Sounds obvious right? Wrong! With over a billion monthly active users on instagram, there are a lot of people, looking at a lot of content. Therefore if yours doesn’t stand out in some way, who’s going to bother liking it or following you? So you either have to have fantastic images that speak for themselves, or be seriously good with your captions. But there’s no getting away from the fact that the image is what hooks people first. So:
- Create beautiful imagery – use your camera, your phone or an image creator like Canva
- Be thoughtful / interesting / helpful in your captions
- Be entertaining – people are looking to laugh, cry or be stopped in their tracks by content these days
Don’t be so literal
For ages I knew what I wanted to say on insta, but didn’t know how to portray that in image. I thought my grid had to perfectly reflect the content I was sharing and my captions. How wrong I was! One of the key ways I got 5000 followers on instagram was by not worrying about my images being so literal to what I was saying! Instead, I’d bank some nice photos and use them as a vehicle to say what I wanted to say in the captions. Sometimes these are portraits, sometimes they’re a picture of a nice view or a piece of furniture – go on, try it!
Post regularly and consistently & find the right time for your audience
This is two tips in one really. With the algorithm set against us (or at least it feels like it sometimes) and so much content for users to sift through, one of the ways to grow followers on instagram, is to post regularly and consistently. It’s up to you what this means. For me, it means once a day 5-6 times a week at the same times, either 7.30am or 7.30pm. Why these times? Because after a lot of research, using my insights and trial and error, I discovered that the majority of my audience were using the platform at these times and engaging with my content.
If you’re a business, you may find that posting 2-3 times a day is what’s needed to get you attention and for some, once or twice a week might be enough. However much you decide, make it regular and consistent so your audience knows when to find you!
Your short bio speaks volumes
My instagram bio is another thing that remained untouched for months. I underestimated how powerful those few characters were in growing followers on instagram. In fact, I think one of the key ways I got to 5000 followers on instagram, was because my bio was clear and succinct. It meant that if anyone was discovering my page, they new straight away if it was likely to interest them. I still tweak mine every now and then, but largely, I think I’ve found my groove for now…
An extra little tip here, is to know that you can use hashtags in your bio as you’ll be found under those search terms too. Also, have a play around with the visuals – you may want to break up the text with line spaces, emojis or even different fonts (use an instagram font generator like this one).
Getting to 5000 followers on instagram is nigh-on impossible without them! There literally is no way your content will get found on insta if you don’t use hashtags in your posts. Include them in the caption, or just below in the first comment…it doesn’t really matter. Here are a few hashtag specific tips to help you:
- You can use up to 30, so don’t be afraid to. Mix it up. I’ve found that 11-15 specific hashtags work well for me, but if I can think of 30 that work, I’ll use them!
- Experiment with new ones – don’t be afraid to try new hashtags, in fact instagram prefers it and has been known to penalise (or “shadow-ban”) due to using the same hashtags continually (basically, because it looks spammy).
- Let instagram suggest ones for you – use the search bar and type your subject and insta will throw up a whole load of other ones in a similar field. Or if you click through to that hashtag specifically, you’ll see a whole load of suggestions underneath…fall down the rabbit hole!
- Choose hashtags that have more than 10,000 posts and less than 1 million. In general, this will give you the best chance of being seen. Any hashtags under this amount may not be used/searched very often (though some will be and will grow quickly, so keep this in mind) and anything over a million, you’re just a drop in the ocean and will be on the discover page for a matter of nano-seconds. Again, best thing is to mix it up.
Be social! Engagement is key!
Basically, for instagram growth, you need to remember why you’re using the platform in the first place. It’s a social platform that’s designed to connect people. Yes, it’s use now by businesses and for brands to advertise, but the main connector is connection! So you can’t expect people to like or engage with your content, if you’re not doing the same too.
- Only post when you’ve got at least 15-20 mins to engage with your audience and other posts afterwards (this really does seem to help the algorithm and makes instagram take notice that your post must be worthwhile serving to other people)
- If someone likes your image, check out their content too and give them a like back.
- If someone takes the time to comment on your content, be polite and take the time to reply and maybe even start a conversation.
- Be helpful – if you see someone has asked a question or perhaps you’ve seen on someone else’s post something that you could help with. Even if there’s no direct gain to you, be helpful. People will remember that and at the end of the day, it pays to be nice!
- Share the love – there’s no denying that a lot of instagram growth these days comes from shout-outs. Content creators or brands, sharing their favourite accounts. It’s a great way to introduce new accounts to their readers and spread-the-love. So have a go yourself. Share some accounts you love and you might just get some love back.
Which leads me on nicely to my final tip on how to get 5000 followers on instagram…
Use the explore page
Now you’re using the platform properly again, it’s time to fall in love with insta again too. If you’re not enjoying instagram as a user, you probably won’t enjoy it as a creator or business. Fed up? Obsessed with your follower count going up and down daily? Wondering why your amazing image only has 30 likes and 1 auto-bot comment? Starting to resent other accounts that are seemingly doing well and growing by the 1000s? Hey, we’ve all been there! Get exploring…
When I was in a serious insta-rut, I decided I had to fall in love with the platform again and start to use it positively. I began to use the explore page (that little search icon on the bottom left of the app) and would choose 10-15 new accounts daily, that I wasn’t already following – I’d look at their content, like, engage, comment and enjoy what they had to offer. Consequently I’d find new inspiration and instagram would serve be a whole new raft of content that I also loved. I was enjoying it again! And guess what, I was getting discovered too!
So there you have it. If like me, you’re frustrated and stagnant with your instagram growth and would like to get 5000 followers, then try the above for a few weeks and you’ll see just what a difference it makes.
If you’d like to know more, follow me over on instagram and feel free to comment/DM on my latest post and I’ll be sure to get back to you.
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**HOLLY GOES…BACK TO REAL LIFE** • Well what a week that was. From Manchester to Tuscany back to Manchester to London and back to Manchester again! All in 7 days. – I missed my boys but I was so glad to have some quality time with my girl. I realised I’d been a bit snappy lately, preoccupied trying to fit work around summer holidays & childcare (or lack thereof). I realised I’d been on my phone a lot, turning on the TV a bit too easily & not fully engaging. I realised I was tired. – Being away on a special “girly trip” really hit home to me how much better a mum I am when I have energy, space and time! I wasn’t distracted so could indulge in her role play & fairy tale stories. She had all my attention for 5 days and being a big sister to a toddling lil bro, she needed and deserved that. – So what have I learnt? These years fly by too quickly and at no point am I regretting not answering those emails a little quicker. No. But I was starting to regret not being as present and in-the-moment as I could be, as a mum. – So here’s to making a few simple changes… ✅ getting clear cut with my diary & work vs family time ✅ less digital time during the school holidays ✅ stop trying to do 5 things at once all the time • Can you relate? What little change could you make? ______________________________________ #hollygoeslightly #mumbosslife #creativegalgang #mumsofinsta #dresslikeamum #theuncoolclub #discoverunder10k #freelancerlife #mybeautifulstories #hashtagauthentic #putyourselffirst #bloggergram #canwehaveitallpod #bloggersunder10k #manchesterbloggers #ukbloggers #lemonadeandlenses #prettylittleitaly #over30style #fashionable30s
Interested in making blogging a career? Or perhaps you’ve got an idea and are thinking about leaving the 9 to 5? You might also like to listen to my podcast with Carly Rowena and other guests.