This is a practical guide on how to get Instagram followers in South Africa. Just a few years ago, opening an Instagram account and gaining a lot of followers was very challenging. People who would normally get a lot of likes on Facebook, I’m talking real Felebs were nothing on Instagram, they would only get around 2 – 5 likes on posts. However, Instagram has now become more forgiving. It’s now a bit easier to gain your first thousand followers. I have personally grown an Instagram account from 300 followers to 15 000 followers without buying any followers. An all organic strategy.
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Things to know about Instagram
Instagram is a photo sharing app, it’s quite different from Facebook. People go to Facebook to connect with friends and find trending topics. People go to Instagram primarily to consume content that they like. This is why pages that do extremely well on Instagram don’t do too well on Facebook.
As an Instagramer you should treat your account as a magazine, each and every post should be made to connect with your followers. We will discuss some of the algorithms used by Instagram when discussing which accounts to promote. This article is mainly geared towards users but businesses can gain a lot of value as well.
Choose the type of Content you will focus on
As aforementioned, people go to Instagram to consume content. This content might be fitness related, automobiles, finance, beauty, lifestyle. You need to decide on which content you will stick to. You do not have the freedom to switch between multiple content unless you are a lifestyle Instagramer. You cannot post finance content, then fitness, then luxury, then poetry. You will never be able to grow a significant following if you do that.
To be able to be lifestyle Instagramer in South Africa you need to be rich or be extremely good looking. You cannot treat Instagram like Facebook; you can’t just upload random selfies that are poor in quality. That only works if you are extremely good looking and works mostly for girls, guys get to a point where that doesn’t work anymore.
This means that you should decide on what your content will be about and stick to it, treat it like a tv program, focus entirely on your niche, if you travel a lot then your content can be beautiful photographs of all the places you have travelled. If you eat out a lot then post about food more often. There should be a reason why anyone would type in the name of your account in the search bar on Instagram.
Create Quality Content
We have already talked about the importance of creating good content, the next thing is to make sure that the content is of high quality. Low quality photos might work on Facebook or anywhere else but that don’t do well on Instagram. You will need a phone with a very good quality or a camera.
Quality will play a huge role in getting Instagram followers in South Africa, take your time to produce quality content. Don’t focus so much on taking quality photos that they end up not looking authentic, by quality we mean that the photos should be clean and clear.
Use of Hash tags
You will need to do a bit of research about your chosen niche and figure out which hash tags are used by people in your niche. Hash tags do an incredible job in increasing your Instagram followers, they work incredibly well for new accounts with less than 5 000 followers.
The reason why hash tags are effective in getting Instagram followers in South Africa is because Instagram allows people to search for content using hash tags. If you go to your Instagram search bar and start typing in a search, it automatically shows you hash tags related to your search, a lot of people prefer clicking on these hash tags, that way they get content from multiple sources instead of just one source.
If you used the relevant hash tags then your post will appear for relevant searches, if your photo stands out then you are going to get some people visiting your page to check out more of your staff. All you have to do is caption your content with the relevant hash tags.
Follow for follow
After getting your first few followers, you will need to follow people in the hopes of them following you back. I used the follow for follow strategy and raised over 8 000 followers in a matter of three weeks. However, for this strategy to work, you have to follow people who are interested in the type of content you produce and those should be people with a few followers 100 – 500.
To find these people you will have to go to the accounts of your competitors and follow their most recent followers. Most of those people usually have a few people following them and will notice when you follow them and likely visit your account to check out what you are all about and will most likely follow you back. You can’t use this strategy indefinitely, use it until you get to 10k followers maximum. Then unfollow everyone who didn’t follow you back.
The reason why we say you should follow the most recent followers of your competitors is because those people are active. You are assured that this person was on Instagram just a few hours ago, unlike following someone who has not been active for over 2 years. Don’t follow people too rapidly, this might flag your account as a bot to Instagram.
There are what I’d like to call hobby pages on Instagram, they take the best content on Instagram for a particular niche and post it. These pages don’t create original content, they often have a lot of followers, pages like Coolest Kids in Mzansi post what they deem as the coolest kids in South Africa.
You can find such pages and tag them on all your posts, if they post your content, they will likely link back to you, which is how many Instagram accounts grow. They also do paid promotions, that’s if you are not patient enough for them to discover your content and post it naturally, you will have to send them a DM. The prices are really cheap, you can get your content in front of 300k people for only R400, you will get a lot of Instagram followers when you do this.
Should You buy followers?
No, buying Instagram followers is a bad idea, don’t do it. Facebook is cracking down on such accounts and it will do more harm than good for you in the long run. Build everything organically, get real Instagram followers, that way, you can even build a business around them.