It is Saturday afternoon and as I write this, I am waiting for a meeting to resume. Unfortunately, two expatriates seated at the far corner of the conference room are talking loudly about assorted bedroom activities. I gather that the man is gay and his friend is a married straight woman. I suppose they are comparing notes?
It was impossible to hear myself think, so I am standing near an open window to let the sound of traffic drown out their voices. And while I am here, I thought it would be good idea to update you with my Instagram goings on.
At the moment, I’m hardly posting on Instagram. But for the past eight days, every 23 hours to the hour, I see that I have 25 new followers. This exact number, at exactly the same time, tells me that this is the work of a machine.
Remember that last year, Instagram was burning my posts. And now, after two months on the platform, the smart tech is working for me. I was advised in a Clubhouse room, a couple of months ago, that Instagram was doing a big reset. I was also advised to take advantage because this was a once-in-a-lifetime event. The problem is that I am an introvert and going live on video will never happen. Because of that, I needed a modified approach.
Here is what happened after two months and 18 reels, 3 (15-second) stories daily, no lingerie selfies, and zero live posts. I am at 472 followers. My account is growing every day, so I will continue on this path. (If only Twitter were as malleable).
- This is a business account.
- I do not pay for ads which means that all of my engagement is organic.
- All of the new followers brought over from Instagram’s smart tech are 85% artists in the NFT community, 5% follower boosting accounts and 10% crypto investors.
- Quite a number of my other followers are from Clubhouse. The apps share data with each other. Instagram will automatically suggest my account to anyone following me over there and vice versa.
Posts and engagement
- After my first five posts, I started posting reels in the form of animated videos showcasing my artwork.
- Avoid captions. Only a few of my reels have them. Instead, I tell a story in a slideshow or MP4 video.
- Nearly zero hashtags on posts or reels. Instagram treats hashtags like spam.
- Edit all videos or images (to create a slideshow) in the IG native editor using filters.
- Add music and carefully choose clips within the song to match the story. Music choice is the number one compliment I have received so far. People seem to have a positive emotional reaction my artwork because of the music.
- Repost my own reels/posts to stories.
- Hashtags only in stories – limited to one per story and this is always NFT related.
- Follow back as many accounts as possible. Check occasionally to make sure that all followed accounts are active.
- Restrict spammy, fake looking accounts and never follow sales people (crypto investors).
- Reply to all comments and respond to private messages. Delete messages I don’t want to answer. Accounts look spammy if they don’t talk to each other.
- Mute accounts that post more than 5 reels in one hour. These kinds of accounts rarely engage with my posts. Then I look spammy to the smart tech.
- Visit new followers’ profiles and engage with posts.
- Engage with my timeline. Hide, mute, like or share posts to friends.
- Join live broadcasts even for a few minutes. Send comments and reactions while there. This signals that I am a real person.
- Engage with my followers’ stories by sending reactions and comments. Gauge feedback to these and mute accounts that are not responsive.
- Remix posts from active followers and share them to my stories. Add music, fun stickers, gifs, scribbles, text and mentions.
- When a follower adds the above remix in their stories, immediately share to my stories.
- Use voice memos or calls where possible.
If you are interested in testing this approach, try it on your Instagram account. I must point out that I am niche specific. I am an artist in the NFT community. I focus on graphic design and I’m interested in paintings from visual artists. And though I never tell Instagram what my specific niches are by using captions or hashtags, the smart tech introduced me to blockchain specialists, abstract painters and 3D/animation artists in the NFT space. Then, bear in mind that I spend no more than 30 minutes a day creating at least three stories. I also respond to all of my messages.
No selfies, no bikinis, no bare butts. Only plenty of good music, interesting stickers, and artwork to inspire me. Best of luck.