The Honest Truth About How People Grow Their Instagram Following

We all know one person who is undeservingly Instagram famous.

Maybe we’re just jealous, but you know you’ve looked at an acquaintance’s Instagram and thought, “how does this basic b have 30k followers? She’s not even cool!”

It’s easy to suspect someone of buying followers, but that might not be the case. After all, buying followers is so 2015.

They might have real followers, but that doesn’t mean the followers came naturally. Every famous Instagrammer and influencer wants people to believe that they amassed a huge following by “staying consistent” and “being real,” but most of them get their followers by putting a lot of time and energy into their social pages.

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And there’s no shame in that. They’re probably making money from their pages, so go them. But why are they lying about it?

Well, okay, we know why. People consider it kind of embarrassing and uncool to put that much effort into it. But sorry Insta famous peeps, I’m about to spill all of your secrets. Here’s how people are growing their following quicker than you can say “double tap.”

1. Engagement Groups or “Pods”

Instagram bloggers realized that sometimes to get your 15 minutes of fame, you have to lift others up as well. That’s why they have started banding together in “engagement groups” which essentially consists of a group of Instagrammers who form a DM group and send their posts so that the other members can be sure to like and comment on each post, garnering them tons of comments and also some likes. These are better in theory than IRL — because who sits in their DMs all day waiting for someone to post — but they definitely help people get their comment engagement up.

There’s also a theory that the more likes and comments you get in the first few seconds, the more people Instagram will show your post to. So it allegedly creates a snowball effect, adding up to more and more likes and comments as more and more people see your pic. Kinda worth the effort, no?

READ ALSO: Influencers Are Using “Instagram Pods” to Get More Followers

2. Paid Promotion Through Other Pages

Pages like Fashion Bomb Daily are one of the first sites new bloggers go to when trying to promote their own pages because they have a huge (and hopefully organic) following. If someone pays Fashion Bomb Daily to post their pics, they would hope that people who follow Fashion Bomb Daily will see their image and think, “hey, maybe I’ll follow this person’s page too.”

In fact, lots of big Instagram accounts have a special pricing structure and email aspiring bloggers hoping to make a sale on a post that may only stay on their page for two hours before they delete it — but it can work.

3. Posting 3-4 Times a Day

If you’ve ever unfollowed someone who never posts, you’re not alone. Instagrammers know this, and they combat it by posting all the freakin’ time. Experts suggest posting 3-4 times a day when trying to build a page.

This is insane, because who has this many good photos? But this is the reason why so many “aesthetic” pages are popular, because they can repost Tumblr graphics, etc. It’s also why lots of accounts, say foodie accounts for example, cross-post from other bloggers.

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4. Commenting on Kylie Jenner’s Page

Have you ever glanced down at Kylie Jenner’s Instagram comments and chuckled to yourself after seeing the 500th commenter write “first.” Like, WTF, how could they think they were the first commenter? Does she get that many comments instantaneously?

No, actually. They’re not claiming to be the first commenter on the page, they’re asking someone to comment on their first photo in return for reciprocation. Those commenting “CB” are telling other ‘grammers that if they comment on their posts, they’ll return the favor. “LB” is for “like back.”

I know what you’re prob thinking: only thirsty tweens with no lives would do that. But the crazy thing is if you scroll through the comments, you’ll see some pretty popular pages begging for likes and comments. Instagram is a crazy place, man.

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5. Follower Apps

You don’t have to be rich to buy followers. In fact, there are tons of apps that will give you free followers (or likes or views) for simply playing a game or liking other people’s posts. Seriously, just search “followers” in the app store on your phone. Yes, you can also buy engagement through these apps, but if you don’t have money, you can give your time.

6.  Hashtags Out The Ass

#OOTD (outfit of the day, you noobs) is just the beginning. Hashtags may have originated with Twitter, but on Instagram they’re a great way to grow your page. Sure, it’s embarrassing to post a shitload of hashtags (which is why many people hide their hashtags within the comments of their posts), but they definitely help bring new eyes to your page. No shame in that hashtag game, #slay.

7. Outsourcing That Shit

You know how celebs don’t always manage their own social media pages? Well, there are tons of companies springing up trying to help the average Jane with her Instagram. I know because plenty of them have emailed me offering to “curate my page” and make me a star. Obviously, this comes at a cost, but fame always comes at a price, I guess. And it’s probably way easier to get a ton of followers if you have someone engaging with randos on your Instagram all day, because who has the time for that?

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