This is something I felt as a social media marketing professional (and someone who has personally grown their Instagram to over 11k followers) I previously struggled with this platform, despite overconsuming courses, guides, and keynotes about how to grow on it. It wasn’t until late 2017, when all of the hullabaloo surrounding Facebook starting to come to light, that I decided to start taking it seriously because, honestly, I was fearful; if Facebook were to sink, I’d lose my entire livelihood. Nobody wants to be a one-trick pony, so I decided to start improving my Instagram knowledge and make a solid effort to hit a substantial follower count within a relatively short time frame. What I wanted to do is see what was possible as far as strategic growth within the platform in a relatively short amount of time. Like the good student I am, I did my homework before hitting it hard – reading what the current acclaimed “experts” were saying about Instagram and how to hack it for fast growth.

Much to my surprise, a lot of the existing information about how to grow an free instagram followers instantly that I found talked more about the “content” and less about the actual strategy (what you need to do) behind the platform. There ARE A LOT of great resources by Insta-famous, Instagram influencers (models, bloggers, photographers, etc.) about how to build a visually attractive Instagram feed that highlights your personal brand and style. With the common advice being this: follow a color scheme, treat your Instagram like a micro-blog and document your lifestyle, use professional quality photographs, be inspirational in your captions, and if you are not yet getting sponsored posts, post as if you are, tagging brands etc.

Now, don’t get me wrong; this advice is EXCELLENT if you want to know the general info on how these mega-influential, Instagram model accounts come to exist. I would agree 100% with this advice – for anyone who is hoping to turn Instagram into their full-time career, who is ALREADY in the fashion and lifestyle arena, and IF you really have the time (and money) to invest in this sort of Instagram venture. I am certainly not going to poo-poo on the potential that exists on Instagram just to “do Instagram” – but in the same breathe, I would say that most of these suggestions are not practical for someone with a business (unless their business is going to run primarily via Instagram) or for ANYONE whose goals are outside of Instagram, and who are viewing Instagram as one part of a greater online marketing plan.

It also came to my attention that, for some reason, not many people were actually talking about the Instagram Algorithm.
This is shocking, almost, because, when it comes to understanding Facebook and how to be successful on Facebook, “The Algorithm” is depicted as a mythical beast that must be tamed by the knights of lore – if ANYONE wishes to have success on the platform. It has been “known” in the social media industry for a long time that knowing how to play ball with the algorithm is really the secret to success. Because when you know the algorithm, you get reach – and reach equals visibility, and visibility equals growth. Huzzah! Right?

But, yet, for some reason, people tend to forget about the algorithm when they talk about Instagram. This is ironic on various levels as Facebook is the sole owner of Instagram and they have (rather quietly) been gradually applying the same proven algorithmic rules to Instagram ever since they acquired it in 2012.

And honestly, I have to credit 100% my learned experience with the Facebook algorithm; that allowed me to quickly grow my Instagram following from being stuck (for years) in the low thousands to over 11K very shortly over 6 months!

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