16 February 2017

How I got 370.000 followers on Instagram

By Christian Trampedach

Chronological vs relevance

It is well known that Facebook moved away from the chronological feed to an algorithmic timeline. Due to the fact that Facebook owns Instagram, it meant that Instagram would follow suit. Before the new algorithm, all users received all content in the chronological order of when it was posted. However, the new algorithm is determining what content is being exposed in your feed but also the order. Simply put, it all depends on engagement. If you engage with a specific user’s content, you will receive more of the user’s content in the future. Popular content (high engagement rate: engagement (likes+comments)/total amount of followers) also scores higher in the new algorithm.

Conclusively, it is more difficult to get exposure on Instagram today than before the new algorithm.

@restless.arch and the man behind

I currently work freelance as a 3D designer at Montdor. Also, I am enrolled at Copenhagen Business School for the MSc in International Business and Politics. I feel passionate about various things; e.g. entrepreneurship, business, investments, travel, sports, design, and importantly, architecture. I usually take advantage of the diversification of my interests, as these interests can be combined, strengthen my drive, and thereby create remarkable results.

I started using Instagram as a platform to engage with others who shared the same interest and passion as me. But, I faced difficulties in finding the projects, which the architecture pages on Instagram promoted. The architecture pages on Instagram simply lacked information about the projects. I knew I could do this better, so I started @restless.arch.

@restless.arch is an Instagram profile, which focuses on posting great content on interior and exterior design with attention to great details. All posts have something unique attached to the design. Besides, all posts come with a short caption, which clearly states the name of project, the architect, the location, and the photography copyrights.

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“Being faithful to the strategy” is what makes @restless.arch stand out from other competitors within the architecture niche on Instagram. The followers know what they will get, and they know, when they will get it.

My Instagram goal is to become the largest architecture page on the social platform. ?Simultaneously, I want to attract more prominent personalities to the profile. Personalities who can be ambassadors in the future. Already now, I have followers such as the footballers Iker Casillas and Alexis Sanchez, the Indonesian celebrity couple Raffi Ahmad and Nagita Slavina (top 100 on Instagram), and the rapper Travis Scott. And ultimately I want to meet interesting people I would not otherwise have met for future opportunities.

The key to success is easy. The journey is not!

Before I started my page, I was considering different growth strategies: Should I just start posting great content and hope the page would grow itself? Should I follow a bunch of people, hope they would follow me back, and then eventually unfollow them? Should I perhaps just like a bunch of relevant posts from Instagram users with similar interests? Or maybe I could buy my way to Instagram success?

I knew for sure that I did not want to buy followers. It does not help. Actually, it has the opposite effect. I was not really interested in following people either. I wanted to be selective with my followings. 

Instead, I chose to post great content, and like a lot of relevant posts every single day. I did this ”day-in-day-out” for around 6 months. At the same time, I kept track on my growth through an simple sheet, which I kept ajour every week. After the first 6 months, I reached my first milestone: 100.000 followers. I stopped liking photos. I started to use more advanced analysis tools to measure my growth, optimal posting times, top followers, geo-locations etc. From there, I focused on content and optimization, and little by little I reached 370.000 followers.

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My strategy? Simple; Transparency, consistency, and restlessness.

First of all, I make sure that everything I do on Instagram is transparent. I provide the most important information about projects, so my followers have the opportunity to search and explore on their own. And importantly, I deny all types of advertisement.

Secondly, I do whatever it takes to be consistent. This means I am consistent in terms of post times, content, caption structure, partnership engagement, etc. I post 3 times daily – around 9AM, 3PM, and 10PM. I rarely diverge from this; divergence would be due to external circumstances.

And lastly, the restlessness is what drives the page; something that people can relate to. The followers need to feel connected, if I want to sustain the growth of the page while improving the overall engagement.

With a simple strategy and simple steps, I gained my followers within a year. Now it is your turn to do the same.

 

My 5 tips to success on Instagram:

1. Find a niche that you are truly passionate about
2. Find pages you can partner up with – knowledge sharing is everything
3. Treat it as a business
4. Be consistent
5. Be patient