Organic Vs. Desperate Growth

In this world of social media, it’s so easy to become a narcissist. If you’re not careful, your ego will get the best of you and you will become a Social Media Narcissist.

And it can sneak up on you quickly.

When I first started my IG, I wanted to grow it badly. I caught myself on the cusp of becoming narcissistic, but before letting myself get in that mode, I decided I wanted organic growth – the best growth, in my opinion. I’ve been asked by some of my peers what I’ve done to grow so “quickly” (I only have 12k followers)  and the honest answer is…

…if three years is quick, then the best way is by being patient. Seriously.

In this post I will share some tools, that I have used over the last year to grow on social media and some tools that I’ve learned not to use.

When I really started paying attention to my following, I often wondered why I would have 100 followers one day and the next day I would have 80. Like WTH!

I thought it was me.

I thought I was saying all the wrong things. I thought that maybe I was being offensive without really knowing, but then I slowly started to notice the same people were following me every few days. I recognized their names or their pictures and thought, “Wait didn’t he just follow me a few days ago?”

So then I found out about something referred to as the “Follow/Un-follow Method.”

Now, if you use this method, you should stop reading. I’ll probably offend you…

What is the “F/UF Method?” It’s when someone follows a bunch of people and as soon as the people follow back, they will unfollow (explained best here).

Think of that guy or girl you meet, make out with (or maybe more), and then they never call you. It’s that kinda sleaze.  It screams desperation. And, at some point or another:

1) People will catch on to your sleaze

and/or

2) Instagram will “punish” you. Suddenly your engagement will drop and although you could have 1,000,000 followers, your social media impact/presence will be non-existent.

So, the best advice I can give you to help you increase your followers is this:

Be patient and do it organically.

Some other little tips that helped me grow my following (little things add up, you know) are: enjoy the fruits of your Social Media labor; follow those who inspire you; follow those who make you smile; follow that ex-boyfriend you want to secretly stalk (Lol. JK. Ok, maybe); follow whoever you want to follow, but don’t use people for a follow back.

Most importantly,

DON’T BE DESPERATE.

While patience is the best tool, some other tools to help you speed it up are:

  • Pick a niche:
    • Think about what your niche is. Who is your audience? Are you a foodie? Are you a mommy? Are you a fashion blogger? Are you a re-seller like me?
    • Once you decide what your niche is then make sure your posts are mainly about that niche. Don’t get me wrong, a post about something other than your niche here or there isn’t bad, but you don’t want to confuse your audience of followers about who you are and what you do.
  • USE Hashtags
    • Use hashtags related with that niche. Remember, IG gives you 30 hashtags to use on your posts. Use all 30! Why not? Hashtags will help with your engagement. Just be sure to not use the same hashtags all the time so IG doesn’t think you’re a bot. *** AND DON’T USE BOTS FOR ANYTHING!!!***
    • I use an app called PLANN to save my separate groups of hashtags. If you use the same hashtags for each post, IG will likely consider it spammy and it could hurt your chances of showing up at the top of the hashtags, so switch them up. Use them every other post or every third post, just not every post.
  • Make friends with IGers with LARGE followings.
    • Comment on their photos, reply to their stories, etc. Most IGers with big followings are very nice – they’re mainly people like you and me (this is especially true for those in the Poshmark Niche). In my experience, they are always willing to help and offer advice.
  • Show your personality. Show your face! 
    • You see, when you come off as a real person. People will relate to you better. I like to follow users who show me a little of their real-world (this speaks to the non-niche posts)
    • As much as I like to see clean work spaces, coffee cups next to a computer or a funny meme, I also like to see that I follow a real person. Show me a picture of your beautiful or handsome face! Tell me with your posts who I’m really following!
  • Use all of the Instagram Tools
    • Use stories
    • Make surveys
    • Post to IG TV
    • Post something daily! This I learned from Jade’s (fashionwithouttrashin) notes from the Girl Boss Rally. Her notes are available here  *I def learned a lot more than just that.
  • Make your account public and make it a business account
    • No you don’t really need to have a business for this, but when your account is a business account, you will unlock all these new awesome tools that IG gives you.
    • The most useful tool from it is the Insights. The insights will tell you how well or how bad your posts are doing. This way you’ll know what your audience likes and know what to give them more of.

And when it comes to un-following…

…think WWMKD – What Would Marie Kondo Do?

Un-follow those accounts that don’t bring you joy.

Oh, and un-follow those F/UF sleaze balls! How can you tell who they are? There’s an app for that!

In conclusion:

Remember, your worth is not in the number of followers you have.  Trust the process and grow organically.

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