If you’re on Instagram or really any social media platform to market something, you’re going to need a large following. Whether you have your own shop, brand repping, influencing, or whatever it is, you’re going to need to have followers. How to gain followers is a pretty secretive thing in the social media world. A lot of individuals do this in a “hush-hush” manner because they don’t want to be looked down on. My way of thinking in the IG world is we’re all trying to grow & we all are different, so why not help one another out. Especially in the influencing world, it’s not our decision if we get picked for jobs or not, it’s the companies, so why not support & help one another. But like I said, not everyone thinks that. I’ve literally been blocked from individuals I thought were my IG friends because of them wanting to be secretive about their influencing & followers. It’s seriously crazy to me! So that’s why I’m going to share what I did to get the following base I have.
BTW, I do not think I’m some pro at this. Not in the slightest okay! I am really just trying to help bring some light to something that nobody wants to talk about & hopefully help people getting started on social media. I still have SOO FAR to go but I do think I have passed a few mile markers that would help others to know about.
1. Open Follow Loops
I briefly mentioned this in a past post about brand repping, but this seriously is one of the first things I did to grow my following & it really helped! This is not something I do anymore, mainly because I don’t have time in my schedule but if I did I’d probably still be. This is a simple, FREE way to gain followers. All you have to do is search the hashtag #openfollowloop , #mamafollowloop, #bloggerfollowloop, etc and tons of options will pop up. Of course make sure you find one that is actually currently open & not an old one. You also want to pick ones that fit with your “niche”. For example, since I’m a mom blogger, I’d choose one that is related to that such as the #mamafollowloop. You go through the specific open follow loop you chose & follow everyone that has already posted to their page. Once you have followed everyone, post the image & rules to your page so that everyone that goes in behind you will do what you just did and follow you too. So when you get follow requests from individuals with that on their page, follow them back. It’s just a “if you follow me, i’ll follow you” program, but it’s for individuals with the same “niche” as you so they are more likely to remain following you. It’s a great way to find other pages you may end up really loving too. Here’s some examples of previous ones I was apart of.
2. Shop/Company Giveaways
A lot of small shops or even larger brands love to host giveaways. It’s a great way to gain followers, as well as try to win some goodies! The rules to enter include to follow the accounts participating so if you want to win, you gotta follow. Some places will require a giveaway to be apart of their agreement to work with you, but it’s also a good way to ask for a collaboration. When you reach out to a shop/company to collaborate you can pitch the idea for a giveaway & how it would be a great way for you both to gain followers.
For these types of giveaways, it really just depends if this will be a photo you take & upload for the giveaway or if they will want you to post a image they created for the giveaway. I’ve done both. Usually if it’as an image I actually take, I leave that photo up on my page forever with the caption changed to CLOSED. But if it’s an image they provided, that only stays up until the giveaway winner has been claimed. My opinion is if it’s not my photo, it shouldn’t permanently be on my page. But everyone is different and this is totally up to you.
You also do not have to have the word GIVEAWAY on the photo. I have posted tons of giveaways with brands where I did not have that on the image, only written & explained down in the caption. That’s another decision that is up to you & the brand. Here’s a couple photos where they were giveaways (which you will still find image & info on my page) that do not have Giveaway written on them.
3. Paid Giveaways
This is probably one of the more “controversial” ways of gaining followers. Paid giveaways are something I found out about a few months ago, and in my opinion are just fine. This is a giveaway that you join to be apart of & it costs you to do so. There are tons of these giveaways out there, and tons of these giveaways that are fake or just plain bad. So this is something that I totally encourage you to do your research with to make sure you’re joining a legit giveaway. You can find giveaways from $20-$500+, yes I said that right $500+ to join a giveaway, CRAY CRAY! And just like before, you can find them for your niche. If you have a lifestyle page, you can find $1,000 Target shopping spree, Homegoods gift card, etc etc. When I first started doing giveaways, and to this day I’ve really only did a handful or so, I started with smaller ones. Giveaways that had $25-$50 buy-in to participate. What I realized is that you def gain followers based on what you are putting into the giveaway. The more the giveaway costs, the most likely you are to gain more followers. The problem is there is no guarantee with any of this. A giveaway may happen that was expected to gain 500 followers or whatever and not. And you have lost out on what you paid for. But from my experience, I’ve never really had a horrible giveaway. I’ve had ones better than others for sure, but nothing that I thought “worst mistake ever” lol. The whole concept and the entire reason you’re having to pay to be apart of this giveaway is:
- You are paying for the item that is being given away
- You are paying for the cost of the sponsors to be apart of the giveaway
The whole way you are gaining followers is because they have found certain sponsors, which are just IG’ers that have large followings to join in & post this to their page. So therefore, the thought is you now have access to a lot of their followers. Do you get every follower they have, no….no way. But you do usually get a decent amount based on what the buy in was. And a lot of paid giveaways now are telling you what they expect the giveaway to pull in for followers.
The controversy of this is that it’s just like buying followers. In my experience though, it’s nothing like it. When I first was starting out on IG & joining open follow loops, I started to receive dm’s from people trying to get me to buy followers or pay them to increase my page following. I received a lot, & ignored a lot. But at one point I received an offer that was free to try. They would give you 500 followers for free in hopes that you would be WOW’d and pay them for more. I decided to give it a go since it wasn’t costing me anything, and I’m glad I did honestly. I realized real quick what this buying followers meant, it’s bullshit. Excuse my language, but seriously it is lol. All you are doing is getting fake, bogus accounts. I mean literally it’s ridiculous. These “followers” are not going to actually engage & help grow your page because they are not real. And if a brand looks through your followers and sees all these completely obvious bogus accounts, they will not be thrilled about working together. The whole point for brands to work with you is to share & market, how the heck are they going to do that with fake people?!?! So, I learned real quick I never wanted to buy followers & thankfully because I didn’t pay for anymore followers from this person they took them back. THANK YOU! haha
That is the thing to be careful with when signing up for a paid giveaway. Some shady people create giveaways just to get your money and then to keep you happy send you bad accounts to follow you. That way it looks like you got your moneys worth from the giveaway. I also recommend paying attention to what the sponsors niches are and from where they are from. If every giveaway you do has overseas sponsors, that’s where all your followers will be from & US brands will be less likely to work with you. Oh and they also now started doing these “hidden giveaways” where you don’t have to post on your page. This way you don’t have to clutter up your page with giveaway posts, or if you’re in the middle of a campaign you don’t have to interfere with it etc. Only the sponsors that are apart of giveaway are posting to their page. These usually are much more expensive to join. My opinion on paid giveaways, is that as long as you’re finding a legit giveaway, it’s worth it. Yes you do loose followers once it ends, but you keep more than you loose. I’ve had good luck with the few I’ve done and I really believe it helped grow my page overall with engagement.
I have started working with a giveaway account that is legit & I’ve had good results in. They also have a great range of giveaway buy-ins as well as different themes depending on what you’re looking for. The page is @instaloops1 (https://www.instagram.com/instaloops1/) & I do have a discount code you can use for $2 OFF a giveaway. Code: TIFFANY
5. Put in the Work
This is not every method to gaining followers. There is follow/unfollow method where basically your mass following people in hopes they will follow you & then unfollowing them once they do, in hopes they won’t notice & continue following you. I don’t like that and I’ve never done that. But you can google on it if that’s something you’re interested in & I do know they make apps to help do this easier.
Really I’m sure there are tons more ways of gaining followers that I just can’t think of right now but really none of it matters if you’re not putting in the work. If you’re not creating & posting good content then you’re page is not going to have good overall engagement. And by engagement I mean comments on photos, likes, saves, profile clicks, etc etc. These are all important things that brands look at. It’s a cliche thing to say because it can be said about anything you’re trying to do, but that’s because its true.
You put in the time, you put in the work, you will grow & succeed.
I truly hope this helps you & if you have any questions or if I missed anything, leave me a comment below. And don’t forget to scroll down & hit the follow button to be alerted of the next post!