Instagram Growth Progress: 3 Month Update

I need to speed up my Instagram growth.

Instagram growth has been consistent this year but not quite at the pace I want it. How can I adjust my tactics?

Reading time: 5 minutes

To start things off, we'll look at an overview of my Instagram stats provided by Iconosquare as well as a couple of my Snapshots. Analytics are a crucial tool if you want to take your marketing seriously, so this has been a real focus of mine - taking a look at the results of my work at the end of a day gives me guidance on what I'm doing well and what needs to be improved. This article is a followup to my previous writing on tactics for Instagram growth and a bit of a wake-up call for myself to get my ass in gear.

My Instagram growth of followers is charted here in plain sight.
I'm a huge fan of being as transparent as possible in marketing since there are countless fakes out there, so here's a 1 to 1 view at my Instagram stats.

In the Past 3 Months, my Instagram Growth is +115 Followers a Week.

That's the bottom line here. It's not where I wanted to be - I had originally anticipated to reach the 5,000 mark mid-June and it doesn't look like that's going to happen at my recent pace. Let's take a look at my Iconosquare Snapshots for a quick review of my last 30 days of activity to get a better picture of current speed and engagement. It's important when observing your analytics to compare your overall  progress to how much the snowball effect is coming into play. At the time of writing this article, I haven't crunched the numbers on this yet, but I'm willing to bet that my Instagram growth rate has been faster than 115 weekly in the past 30 days.

Overview of my Instagram growth and engagement.
Average of 151 likes per photo, 3/4 of my top photos are from the last month and it's not surprising that only 3% of my media use filters since I typically edit in PhotoShop rather than natively in Instagram.
Only 653 new followers in the past month, not impressed with my Instagram growth.
In April of 2016, I gained 653 total followers. +152 followers per week, +22 followers per day. This clearly shows that I'm gaining momentum on my Instagram growth, albeit less than I had hoped for.
My top posts in the last month are a marker of my Instagram growth - much higher engagement than earlier this year.
My average engagement per post and engagement % 3 months ago was much, much lower - a true indication of my Instagram growth.

Changes I've Made to My Approach to Instagram

1. Mutual Shoutouts

This is number one on my list for a reason - it's extremely effective at building real communities and you can gain strong long-term partners. In my Instagram marketing guide, I highlighted how crucial it is to plan your posting schedule as a grid of 9 posts. If you're short on content or want to up your pace: Start giving shoutouts to your fans with similar or slightly larger followings. It's perfect, really. You can not only choose the best of the best from photos they've already posted, but you can also choose ones that fit your brand's aesthetics. Reach out to them, tell them you'll return the favor and give your fans a reason to follow your new partner in growth. This beautiful photo of New Zealand by @amy_brierly was one of my top performing posts last month for example:

Instagram growth can be boosted by using and abusing shoutouts.

2. More Aggressive Follow/Unfollow Cycles

I might catch a bit of hate for doing this but trust that I'm being genuine when I say I don't give a shit. I'm building my brand and my community - nothing else matters. If I were abusing a tactic that could potentially hurt my long term growth, then I'd be worried but the way I use follow and unfollow cycles is sustainable. I set my Instagress settings to only follow someone once, so I don't annoy them later down the road. I've tested around with Instagress' pacing so that there's a 24 hour window before the majority of newly followed users are unfollowed, so it gives them a chance to check their notifications. This is crucial since my fans are so split between North America and Asia. I also only target users within a certain range of followers, so that if I give shoutouts later down the road, these people have somewhat strong followings behind them that I can benefit from.

Instagram growth can be accelerated by using automation smartly.

3. Email Signature

It's a small change but it deserves to be mentioned. I send out anywhere between 10 and 50 emails a day and I've noticed that the clickthrough rate on my signature has never been that great. What I changed just last month was adding a screenshot of my Instagram profile with a link to follow me. It hasn't gotten me a lot of new followers yet, but that's not the point. The point here is that if you're focusing on growing your following, the face of your entire brand should reflect that. If you send me an email right now, what's in your signature? If it's a list of half-assed social profiles, you're doing things all wrong.

Instagram got you overwhelmed? Let me help you out!