This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for…
In a previous post – found here – I talked about how posting more frequently on Instagram, and at peak hours of the day, could boost the number of likes (and followers) you can get. Previously, I was getting 40-50 likes but by the end of 2016, I was managing 80-90 likes on my posts. Similarly, I was able to climb from ~310 followers through most of 2016 to 392 at the time of writing.
On March 1st, I was celebrating my two year anniversary with my girlfriend when I posted a picture to commemorate such a milestone and, to my surprise, I was finally able to pass to 100 like mark on Instagram! Now, I know this isn’t much of an achievement. It’s very possible to reach 100 likes on Instagram, just as well as it’s possible to reach 1000 likes or 1 million likes, but a milestone is worth appreciating nonetheless – no matter how big in size. I expect to reach 400 by the end of this month, and hopefully 500 by the end of this academic year, but naturally there’s no way of telling how fast one can grow or what heights I may reach. I should reach 400 by March 13 according to Social Blade, and 500 followers 100 days later using the same projections, however, you should always take projections with a pinch of salt, and just try to do the best you can in all aspects of life.
There are many interesting statistics in this HubSpot article which you can use to improve your posting strategy, but, here are my three key bits of advice for us regular people:
1) Upload at least once every 3 months. If you’re too inactive people will have no reason to follow you – you can’t get likes without followers!
2) Don’t beg for or buy followers. It can be nice having 8000 followers on Instagram, but if only 200 of those people are liking your posts, can you really be satisfied? My current engagement rating is around 30%, where I get roughly 1 like for every 3 followers I have. This, to me, is a good representation of a successful account as it shows that my followers are engaged in my content, as opposed to an account with 8000+ followers which struggles to reach the 300 like mark, where 200 likes for 8000 followers represents a 2.5% engagement rate, where only 1 in 40 likes your content – tough stuff. Stat 45 suggests that the average user engagement with brands was only 2.3% in 2015, but as normal people, we would expect much higher levels of engagement from out friends and family, wouldn’t you agree?
3) Try to post during peak times (Stat 38 – Monday or Thursday, anytime except 3-4pm). There are plenty of posts on the internet telling you when are the best times to post and why, so if you want to grow quickly as a superstar, use this research to time your posts and stay one step ahead of those who upload whenever they want. It’s more important now than ever before to post at peak times as the new Instagram ranking algorithm means a post from 2 hours ago with 15 likes will very likely be several images below a post uploaded 36 hours ago with 400 likes. This is because Instagram wants to put the most likeable posts on the top of your timeline to keep you engaged. Considering this, if you post during peak times and are lucky enough to reach 30 likes in the first 10 minutes of posting, you can almost guarantee yourself a front row seat to the popular life.
Disclaimer: This post was intended to update readers of my current social position and does not encourage everyone to try and grow on social media. The number of likes you get on Instagram does NOT make you a better person, nor does it make you better or worse than somebody else. You should not base your happiness or pride on your ability to get engagements on social media, and you certainly shouldn’t be upset if you struggle to build up a following.
Closing thoughts: anyone can build a presence online and create a personal brand. Growth hacking isn’t something you are born with, it’s something you can learn and it’s something you can master. I’m not trying as hard as I could be to develop a social influence, but I am still able to see growth with minimal effort and 0 investment – let’s see how far I can go!