Celebrating a Million Likes on Instagram

By: Guest | November 15, 2012 | 

Today’s guest post is by Tony Bennett.

Last week marked an unprecedented milestone in my otherwise ordinary life; it’s the first time I’ve ever accumulated a million of anything!

Sadly, it’s not dollars, but a million likes on Instagram certainly is a gratifying consolation prize.

While there’s no “easy-button” for building such an engaging fan base, there are three simple strategies to help you achieve a higher level of Instagram fame.

And don’t worry; proclaiming yourself as the “friendly neighborhood IG superhero” isn’t one of them… although it worked for me.

To Follow or to Unfollow?

The most simplistic way to grow your fan base is to follow more people. Going further, don’t follow just anyone… follow accounts actively liking OPP (other people’s posts). Or, in similar fashion, find someone who has a very good like-to-follower ratio (# of likes >30 percent # of followers) and raid their stash!

At my peak, I was following +/- 15,000 accts. However, once you realize your photostream is a clusterbleep, you’ll go through the drama of unfollowing people using tools such as I dropped EVERYONE who wasn’t either following me, or posting great photos, until I was down to seven non-reciprocators.

And I STILL can’t get Mark Schaefer to throw me a bone; but it’s ok, his pics are very good and I recommend you read his excellent post about explosive growth at Instgram.

Like, Like, Like and Like Some More

Once the follow/unfollow phase is complete, you’ll (albeit superficially) appear more attractive to other IGers (more followers than followings). Now, while you won’t have to follow someone for them to follow you, they just have to know you exist. It’s time to get your like on!

Whether you do it the old fashioned way, develop a script to do it, or have oompa loompas do it for you, choose a hashtag and start liking every picture posted. Find a tag which is similar to the types of photos you post and is among the most often used. Webstagram has a section showing the “hot” tags and filters on Instagram.

Don’t Be a Salesman

Instagram is a very fickle mob. Unlike most other social networks, IGers are not conditioned to seeing people with megaphonitis telling them what to buy. This platform is about the works you create and relationships, first. Anyone can go on IG to peddle their goods.

Not everyone can put themselves and their photoart out there. Ann Handley knows how to do this. While she talks about her business and books from time-to-time, she never sells you. Her pics are great, the conversations are fun. It goes to show developing your followers trust comes first. Then, in return, your super fans will be loyal and supportive to your cause.

Here’s what I want you to tell me: What is the main reason you’re on IG and do you want to grow your base?  Do you think this blueprint will help? What would you add?

Tony Bennett might have the world’s most interesting bio: “Having a famous name is my game and I’m winning it! Consider me your friendly neighborhood IG Superhero. Also, a future senator who’s going to reinvent America with the the Tony Bennett for Senate 2020 campaign!”

  • Thanks so much for sharing this! I have barely scratched the surface as far as Instagram goes (much to my chagrin) but I’m looking forward to using your tips! Congrats on your achievement!

    • @kateupdates GREAT! Good to hear you have an open mind are are looking forward to implenting some of this.  It’s not “easy”… but it’s not hard, it just takes time.  Thanks for stopping by Kate 🙂

  • GenXRadio

    I have been trying to figure out how to use InstaGram well for awhile. I am not much of a photographer though, so it has been hard for me to really put in a concerted effort to learn how to use the platform. Thanks for the ideas. This gives me a good place to start. 1 Million likes is unfathomable to me…so congrats on that. That is awesome!

    • Yeah, it’s not for everyone.  Either liking to see photos, or taking them, is sort of a pre-req. But trust me one I say you don’t need a whole lot of “talent” to be mildly successful or have a good time.  Thanks for the congrats.

  • kee1234

    One thing I have noticed, if you were not grandfathered in before their limit to 7500 followers, then it will be so much harder to follow follow follow.  Amazing tips!

    • @kee1234 The limit of 7500 only applies when you have less than 7500 followers. People might face a plateau at some point, but unfollow and follow again till you get 7500 of your own.  Plus the likes are a great way to get followers without following them.  Thanks for adding to the discussion

  • Heidihogurl

    I’ve just started an account with instagram but haven’t really done anything with it, yet. Great article and Congratulations on the likes:)

    • @Heidihogurl Glad you liked the post.  Thank you, as well, for the congratulations.

  • SterlingDee

    Great tips. I haven’t started on Instagram yet as I’m not entirely sure what to do with it! Congrats on 1 million likes.

    • @SterlingDee Key word “yet!” So that means I’ll see you one day soon 🙂 Thanks for the kind words, consider checking it out, even as an observer, see if you like it.

  • easyhiker101

    I don’t do Instagram but have seen some cool pics made with it. Congrats for your 1M Likes! Here’s to the next million.

    • @easyhiker101 Thanks for stopping by with the congratulations! There are some cool pics, perhaps you could check it out as an observer if you like art.

  • Out_Lived

    1 million instagr. likes?? wow, how is that possible??
    Humm, I don’t know.. I tend to follow only the people I know and care about 🙂
    gl, Helmuts

    • @Out_Lived Hi there, Helmuts. You know what? There’s nothing wrong with following the people you know and care about. Not everyone wants to be an IG superhero, they just want to stay in touch, and that’s great in itself.  Thank you for adding your perspective.

  • haroldgardner

    Really interesting.  So far I have not taken the Instagram plunge, but your explanation about how to manage it has given me the bug a bit.  I sort of hope it will pass.  If not, I will be stalking…I mean…following you.

    • Ha, Harold, you need to itch that bug!! It’s a very warm and supportive community there. And I don’t mind stalkers as long as you’re not giving out info to the paparazzi!

  • VPerriello

    To be honest I haven’t figured Instragram out and so I haven’t really decided what I can and cannot accomplish with it.
    I like your ideas and I’m going to see how they help me.
    Great post!

    • @VPerriello Glad to hear it!! check back with me and let me know how it works. Thanks for stopping by.

  • BEE_Ruud

    Let me first give my congrats for achieving this great result. I recognized your strategy. I use this also for my twitteraccount. A strategy that has created a huge fanbase, who are willing to RT my tweets. THX for giving this insight!

    • Insteresting, becuase it dawned on me that I probably should adopt some of these strategies on Twitter.  I’ve started slowly, but boy oh boy, it seems like EVERYONE (at least 1 out of 2) send you that darn auto-DM saying blah blah blah click here thanks for following. Nice comparison.

  • BillClemens

    I’m still figuring Instagram out, my 12 year old daughter knows it better than I do, so a Million likes is Awesome. Congrats.  I think you need to put all this together and sell the info as a WSO I can see this being BIG information.

    • @BillClemens Everyone is trying to figure out how to monetize Instagram, Bill… maybe there’s something to be said for not doing it directly on there!! IG (what your 12yr old probably calls it) is a welcome escape from the “typical” social networks.  More peaceful if you ask me.  Thanks for the congratulations, much appreciated.

  • Mr_Jenx

    Congratulations on the million keep up the great work !

    • @Mr_Jenx Thanks! I really appreciate it.

  • Intriguing strategy. Not comfortable with the idea of “liking” Every picture in a tag, but thanks for the tools update. 🙂

    • @Tinu It’s not for everyone, you’re right. Then again, not everyone wants or needs tens of thousands of followers on instagram. For me, I found liking posts more beneficial than following so I didn’t clutter my stream with people I didn’t really “like,” it’s just a way to let people know you exist. Thanks for the addition.

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