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Thread: Gaining followers and comments on Instagram for your business.

  1. #1

    Default Gaining followers and comments on Instagram for your business.

    First of all - I am new to this forum. If this post is against the rules, please feel free to remove it.

    I recently found an interesting way to gain more followers on Instagram, and thought it might be relevant for some members here, who also run their own businesses.

    This method is free, or cheap cheap if you want it to be semi automated.

    It does not generally get you a lot of website visitors or sales, as the followers you will gain are typically your competitors, or not in your geographical area - or mine, at least - I'm UK based and most of the followers have been USA based. Higher follower counts just makes you look like more of an established business.

    This tutorial was originally written for my business Instagram account - so the keywords will be focussed on gemstones, minerals, fossils, etc.

    It has been active for a few months now although the account itself was previously my personal account. You can quite easily spot the transition between random posts and gemstones, minerals and fossils.


    The first thing you'll need is an account with 'Websta' -
    It's free to sign up and use.

    It is essentially an analytics website for Instagram accounts.

    The first thing we're going to do is some hashtag research. We want to know the most relevant and most used hashtags for our subject area. Mine are all gemstone/fossil/mineral related, but yours may be entirely different jewellery, or any other subject matter.

    Head over to Websta, and click on the 'search Instagram' box top right.

    When you search for 'Amethyst' you'll get a list of users with 'amethyst' in their name, and a list of hashtags starting with 'amethyst'.

    You may want to follow the users, in the hope that they'll follow you back, but what we mainly want are the hashtags.

    Create a spreadsheet, with a list of the hashtags, and the amount of posts they have each. Check each hashtag with your Instagram app on phone/tablet just to make sure they are relevant. You will find some hashtags are completely unrelated many of the 'fossil' hashtags will actually be for the fashion brand, rather than fossilised animals.

    What we want are relevant hashtags, with over, say, 250 posts, depending on how niche your products are.

    In many cases, something as simple as a spelling mistake or a plural will change the amount of usage the hashtag gets a lot.

    'geode' has 110k posts, whereas 'geodes' has 27k a search for #geodes will not bring up the results for #geode.

    Spelling mistakes are quite common 'dalmatian jasper' and 'dalmation jasper', for example.

    We use these hashtags whereever they're needed. An amethyst point can use the hashtags #amethyst #amethystcrystal #amethystpoint #crystalgems etc.

    This will start getting you some likes on your images.

    Follow everyone who likes you there is a reasonable chance that they'll follow you back. My current follow rate is around one out of every two I follow.

    Now, there are a few other things we can do. Check their user profiles out especially anyone with related keywords in their username in this case, 'gems', 'minerals', 'fossils', etc.

    Check their images, and follow anyone who has liked images related to what you generally post.

    For these people, my current follow rate is around one out of every four or five I follow. Not as good, but overall not bad.

    This will end up with you having a profile that says something like '400 followers', '1500 following'. Doesn't look especially professional, so we use the app 'Crowdfire' - to mass unfollow users who didn't follow us back. It's 6USD per month you can unfollow them manually in the app, but honestly, this saves a lot of time.
    There is an hourly limit to the amount of users you can unfollow per hour, so it does take a while, but.

    We mainly want to leave our profile with a roughly even amount of followers and following this tells other users we are likely to follow them back, and makes them more likely to follow us to begin with.

    Wait a week or so, for users to start following you. Post images every day or two with proper, relevant hashtags, that'll get you a few other followers. Keep following relevant sounding users that follow your competitors if you can find users based in your main country, all the better. It's a bit trickier to find local users though.

    After that, we can use the 'Engagement' area of Websta, which gives us a few graphs showing our total likes, total comments, average likes and average comments etc.

    As you can see from the graphs, after just a week or two my account is already way more active than it was before. It isn't perfect, but it is significantly better than it was.

    Finally, check out the 'Optimisation' section of Websta. This shows the times when most people interact with, like, or comment on your images and videos which gives you an idea of when is best to post to get the most interactions. For my account and followers, the best time is 12 noon on a Saturday.

    I hope I've explained this relatively well, hope its relevant, and hope it helps someone out.

    Please feel free to ask if you have any questions, or want clarifications on anything. I'm not really great at explaining things.

    I also apologise if this is against the rules - feel free to remove it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Slightly TLDR - and I don't use Instagram - but is this "just" piggybacking on existing hashtag usage?

    Interesting use of the analytics.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by ps_bond View Post
    Slightly TLDR - and I don't use Instagram - but is this "just" piggybacking on existing hashtag usage?

    Interesting use of the analytics.
    More or less, but really the research is the most important part. A fair few of the hashtags I would have used without doing any of this research turned out to not be the best to use. 'rockhounds' was a good example - 22K posts, whereas 'rockhound' got 162k - and I am assuming that the tags with more posts have more views. Same with sharksteeth/sharkstooth, sharktooth/sharkteeth etc - there is a massive amount of variability between hashtags you would honestly think would be very similar.

    This is basically just hashtag usage, but optimised to find the best hashtags to use easily - plus directly following users related to those hashtags.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019


    You'd better explain how to find potential customers on instagramm and attract them to your channel. As "the followers you will gain are typically your competitors, or not in your geographical area" are useless followers. I understand that maybe at the very beginning slight amount of such followers can make your account look more trustful, as people may be scared of channels with no or 5-20 followers.

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