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0 to 10k: How I Took my Dog's Instagram Page from Lame to Fame

Nowadays, everyone is on social media. People are constantly liking, posting, commenting, and sharing. It can honestly be a little overwhelming. Even while people are constantly posting and interacting with one another, one challenge that many people face is growing a following. While I feel this isn't important for personal accounts, it can be a great goal to achieve for someone who is a blogger, photographer, or any other kind of influencer.

Recently, I reached my goal of growing my dog Mason's Instagram account to 10,000 followers. This was something I have wanted to do for a long time, and I was very excited when I pulled it off. Below, I am going to tell you the DO's and Don'ts of growing an Instagram following.

Let's start with the Don'ts, as these are very important to avoid:

Don't expect overnight results

Many people find themselves eager to grow a massive following over night. This simply is not how it works. Any page worth following takes a lot of time to grow followers. You need to be patient and consistent with your posting, which we will discuss later. Don't listen to anyone who has a secret way to grow followers overnight or to go viral. Any one who says that is telling you a lie.

This leads me to my next point...

Don't buy into any account growth scams!

These scams are all over the place. When growing Mason's account I would see countless videos about these methods while doing research on growing his page. Following the instructions of these videos caused me to get our account temporarily banned a few times, which slowed down our progress even more. Be on the lookout for anything like "go and follow all of the users that this page follows" or "purchase this app for x amount of dollars to receive 1,000 followers instantly". You WILL get banned and you will definitely regret it.

Don't Give Up!

Like I said before, growing a quality following for a social media account takes lots of time and patience. Heck, it took Mason and I three years to reach our goal. Had I stayed persistent, I likely would've reached it quicker; but since I would tend to lose patience I would end up temporarily losing interest. Impatience kills progress when it comes to social media account growth, so take a breath, grab some coffee, and take a look at the Do's below.

Do interact with as many pages as you can!

If you know anything about entrepreneur and social media influencer Gary Vaynerchuk, you have likely heard of his 2 cents rule of Instagram. If you aren't familiar, here it is (in my words):

When growing an account, you need to be an engaging part of the community. That's kind of the whole point of social media. In order to engage you should "spend" $1.80 per day (if you have time) on interacting with others in your content area. But we aren't talking money. Go and find hashtags that relate to the things you post. 10 of them to be exact. Then, go and leave your "2 cents" on 9 posts in that hashtag. And make it something engaging, not that "what a lovely picture" BS.

2 cents times 10 hashtags times 9 posts is $1.80

You may be surprised at how many people begin replying, following you back, and engaging with your content in return. Remember, social media is a community, you need to be a part of it before you get to the top of it.

Do post consistently.

This is key right here. It is definitely an area that Mason and I lacked when growing his account. It is very important to post on a consistent basis. While I do think every day is too much, 1-3 times per week seems to be a good medium. If you aren't posting consistently, then the followers that you do have will begin to engage less since you wont be showing up in their feed as much, causing them to forget about you. Posting content consistently is very important, but it wont be as effective without my last point:

Do improve your content

What I mean by this is you should constantly be learning new ways to improve your content. Whether that means learning some photo editing skills, how to create graphic designs, or even some photography basics, improving your content is a great way to get people to want to engage with you. Remember, the value of your content increases with it's quality.

When Mason and I started our account back in 2017, I had no clue how to take good quality photos. I had a Samsung Galaxy S6, and looking back, the photos were crap!

When I realized the potential that we had, I grabbed my mom's Canon camera that she hadn't been using and I took to YouTube for some self taught photography skills. I learned all about how to set the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO in order to take professional quality pictures. After that I learned how to properly edit pictures to improve their overall look. In turn we went from the pictures above to pictures like the ones below.

This improvement definitely came with higher engagement; plus, Mason looks great on our Christmas cards now!

There are three key things I want my you to take away from this blog post about Social Media Growth:

  1. Be patient

  2. Be engaging

  3. Always improve

If you follow these three steps as well as the Do's and Don'ts listed above, I know that you will be able to grow your account and achieve your growth goal, whatever it may be!

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