Instagram, Insight Into My Path to My First 1,500 Followers.

Last Update: February 25, 2019

OK, I usually don't become fixated with something in the way that I have with Instagram over the past few weeks, learning everything I can about it. When I say that, I am approaching it much differently than probably most people do. When I want to learn something, I usually become a user, an observer, and I will ask questions of those that have more experience than me so I can speed up my own learning process.

So that is what I did. I was able to limit my "usage" as well. And I was able to grow my following to 1,500 people, which is the start of my journey and commitment to Instagram moving forward.

Follow Kyle on Instagram @wealthyaffiliatekyle
Following Carson on Instagram @wealthyaffiliatecarson

My second week, I have learned a lot more though and I would like to share my insights with you. As I move forward through Instagram, I will be offering you my feedback based on my own insights that I have, but also discussions that I have with others in the "Insta" world.

Monitor Your Usage

You don't want to over invest in social. This has always been a fear of mine with anyone working on a business, including myself. But there is a time value trade off with everything you do, and most people have a percentage of their day or "fill minutes" dedicated to navigating through one or more of the many social platforms out there.

I used on average 1:30 minutes of social this week, which is pretty consistent of my daily social activity from weeks prior, I just decided to invest my energy into Instagram versus perusing on a variety of networks. It is paying off, but it does take some work and consistency, which I will explain next.

Again, Consistency is Key

I have spoken with people on both sides of the fence, those struggling to get followers, and those that are doing very well in terms of building and establishing their footprint within Instagram. The BIGGEST differentiating factor between the two is the fact that those that are growing on Instagram, are those that are posting with regularity and those that are updating their stories throughout the day.

Yes, they use automation tools for one or both of these, but they are on top of this and their interaction is absolutely authentic. Consistency in business is key, this also translates over to managing and growing your Instagram accounts.

Shadow Ban is the Google Panda Fear of Instagram

I keep hearing this word come up, "Shadow Ban". People within the Instagram space, or those that think they know it, are constantly touting this word as though it is some "secret" formula that Instagram has.

I agree with them in many respects, but it reminds me a lot of Google Panda and how search engines manage those that are trying to "game" (or abuse) their platforms. If you are operating on any platform like this that relies on algorithms to decide whether the display content, how to display it, and who to display, you are going to have people trying to beat the system through automation and trickery.

Instagram tackles this as one of their core problems. If you are operating there in a way that is not authentic or you are trying to completely automate your growth (ie, the follow and unfollow schemes), over tagging, tagging things that are not relevant, or behaving in a way that is obviously robotic, then you will not be rewarded for this activity.

Be logical about your approach to building your Instagram following, and you will be rewarded. Try to cheat the system, and eventually you will be put into a "red flag" bucket like the shadow ban one.

Utilizing Stories is Critical

People undervalue the importance of creating stories. They are "snippets" of activity throughout your day, they don't have to be real time, but often times they will be and the images used will be more time sensitive, and not as polished as your other content.

This is day to day stuff, that allow people to see what you are thinking and feeling, but when you are operating in a niche, it could be niche news, something that is niche specific, could be reminding people of a new post, or it could be a little video of your dog or cat playing around (or ostrich, I don't know what type of house pets you have lol).

Use markup within your posts (tags, mentions, gifs, location, time). These may seem simple, but they take a post that is seemingly uninteresting, and make it much more interesting and fun.

But just be consistent with it. Stories are critical to growth, anticipation, and building a community of followers that want to see what's up with YOU on a day in day out basis.

Influencers Know What They Are Doing, Celebrities Don't

If you are going to look at someone for success "clues", look at people that have ground their way to followings, not those that come by it naturally. You should seek out influencers, that in essence are people that became someone because of Instagram, not that were already someone and simply use Instagram (celebrities).

I have found that many celebrities and famous figures are using Instagram completely wrong, and are doing things so different from celeb to celeb, that you are going to end up chasing your tail if you try to follow them. They have a following because of their celebrity status, in most cases.

So follow people and behave like those that have established themselves from the ground up on Instagram.

Instagram Has a Lot of Algorithms Going On

Like any technology platform, it is built out of algorithms. When these platforms are "user content" driven, then there needs to be complex algorithms to decide which content gets shown and what content does not. Instagram has some intensive algorithms that are running behind the scenes to decide WHO and WHAT gets newfound exposure, and which content to show to what people, and when.

As with any platform like this, there are people that chase holes in these algorithms (conventionally deemed as black hat marketers), and there are those that chase what logic indicates is the RIGHT thing to do for your fellow audience (conventionally deemed as white hatters).

I have seen a lot of folks with a lot of large followings, with very little clout. As in 10-100K followers, and they get little to no exposure when they post. You see the same thing on Twitter and Facebook. If you build your following in an authentic matter, your account is going to be represented with more clout (and rightfully so).

People Run Out of Ideas

Sustainability on Instagram has a lot to do with consistency. Consistency becomes tough though, as many people feel as though they live mundane lives at the best of times. To be honest, I think the idea of posting with regularity is scary to every Instagrammer, even the most successful influencers.

Where do you pull ideas from, how do you maintain a consistent feed, and how to you appropriately deliver content to your audience that is going to captivate them?

All things that I a currently working out, but I am building my own internal systems for managing these based on my experience. One thing that I have started is getting a broad range of "posts" from different niches, to see what type of content people are posting. I can use those as influence for my own ideas.

Another thing that I have done is created an "idea board" with things that I can include throughout the year ahead within my Instagram. This reminds me that at a "birds eye" level, I have things going on that I can leverage going forward for content.

The same as building a website or building out a Youtube channel, you need to research and record your ideas in advance of building the content. This gives you a game plan, and if you are going to take Instagram seriously you will want to make sure you are considering your upcoming posts.


So this has been my second week findings. I am unlikely to be providing you an update every week, but I will certainly be filling you in as this journey continues. Carson and I have made a commitment to Instagram, it has been a long time coming, but for us now was the right time to do it.

Does Instagram have a fit for YOUR business? If so, I recommend you get in there...even if at first it is just to use it as a research platform, it can certainly lead to new-found reach, trust and success for your business.

As always, if you have any feedback or comments, please leave it below!

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Bobby79 Premium
Ironically enough, I have chosen a very visual/aesthetic-based niche, automotive and recreational LED accessory lighting, and since I've already been using Instagram for a couple of years, I've segued into using it to build a following for my site.

The content problem for my IG is no longer a problem, as I have added a more physical component to my business in order to accommodate it, I have begun doing auto photography and using my pictures and car show networking to build followers on my IG.

I can relate to the time management aspect of your post, editing photos, researching hashtags, and trying not to look like a spammer while maximizing my reach is a time-consuming process. I'm trying to build the social sector of my new business heavily, as I feel that will give a solid word-of-mouth following to my brand that will support my SEO endeavors, but I've discovered that I need better time management processes in order to streamline both sides of this business.

This was a good read, man, thank you!

Bobby
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hnse Premium
I have spent some time with Instagram. In the last days, I grew it from 4 to 116 followers just by work. I don't know how far I can get or how much to expect.
I don't try to cheat the algorithms. But I do care about my followers. I help them, and maybe they help me.
I have been encouraged by Instagram to promote. But I haven't done it yet.
I haven't tried to buy followers. I suppose they can see it if I do that.
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ownonlboss Premium
Helping people and offering a lot of value is going to help you grow quickly I think. But you do need to keep it up consistently and for a good while to get the authenticy.

Steven
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hnse Premium
I agree. I upload a photo per day. Sometimes people follow and then unfollow shortly after. Hoping I don't notice that. But I always do.
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ownonlboss Premium
I am really wondering, should I go there as my full name or as my niche/business name?

I've followed a bunch of Gary Vee content and he talks about going into social media to make yourself as an authentic brand. That's how he does it. Gary Vee /Gary Vanderchuck is the brand.

The personal brand attracts people towards his business ventures.

I'd like to do it that way but I am just concerned about using your own name bit. Perhaps its silly. Gladly hear other people's opinions on this.

Steven
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Karin13 Premium
I don’t use my own name yet for my websites. I mean I blog with my own name, but none of my domains or websites have my real name in them. I can see the advantage of doing it, but not sure yet.

Best wishes,
Karin 😎
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davidpaul303 Premium
With Instagram as a picture-based social medium, I can certainly see problems using it to promote a website niche. Suppose your niche is house windows or cryptocurrency exchanges. Creating pictures that are relevant to these niches would certainly be challenging.

I see that on your Instagram account, you are posting assorted family pictures. How do you tie those into your Wealthy Affiliate business?

Thanks.
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ownonlboss Premium
No, but you can build your own name around there and help people in your niche. You don't actually have to offer images on the product or website you have, but content that matters for the people that are related to the things people do in your niche.

You can link in your profile to your website.

Steven
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jamesTefft Premium
Hi Kyle, I looked at Instagram and didnt understand how it worked and tryed to get support and never could talk to anyone about the problem so I canceled out. I also tried to talk to facebook about advertising and only got one person that would talk to me and tryed to help. I find their advertising very confusing and best I could do was 40 mile circle. I am still confused in FB. I am not sure I want to try instagram unless I can talk to support. I dont have good luck trying to follow written directions because I dont understand a lot of the computer words. I know U dont understand why I dont but I have spent my life working with hands. Jim
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Kyle Premium
Well you only have to use what you are comfortable with, you can learn anything you want though. There are a plethora of tutorials offered on instagram online by their company, also provide by independent bloggers.

We have plenty of Instagram training coming as well.
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SherryS88 Premium
I am new to this - like 2 months in....I am currently working on my facebook, twitter and pinterest accounts and followings plus my website. Not sure if I'm quite ready to tackle another platform to learn lol. But thank you for the info! I am going to bookmark this for later when I am ready :)
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Kyle Premium
Sure, keep it to those for now. Just do know that Instagram is there and you may just want to create an account to acquaint yourself.

Do your thing though and avoid spending all of your day on social media. It will offer far less value to your business than actually building out your website.
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terri2018 Premium
I just read this update and thanks for covering everything that we could all learn from. Great IG feeds and stories you and Carson have already. :)

I've been on Instagram (personal acct) since 2012 - made my profile private due to the spammers out there, also I was selective of those requesting to be followed, lol.

It's time for me to take this to a different level. But, I am having a difficult time what I will name my new account for this purpose.

Any helpful tip is greatly appreciated.

Terri
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Ragman1 Premium
Thanks for sharing that Kyle. I didn't realize that creating a following in Instagram could become so influential. I'm not exactly sure what you were talking about with that shadow ban or google panda fear thing but I think I get the drift. This all seems to come so easy to you. I think my main problem is organization. If I could keep it straight I could keep it going. I think. Keep up the good work.
Robert
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RoopeshG Premium
Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us, Kyle, it's really helpful. I see a lot of folks posting quotes on Instagram. Do you think that this sort of strategy works or is it better to post the snippets of your life, passion hobbies?
Perhaps maybe a mixture of the two?
Thanks for this post, once again.
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hordol2013 Premium
Despite only being 29, I don’t really understand Instagram. 😬 I do have an account with like, 5 posts...

I’m just not sure what to post! I share my articles on the other social platforms and occasionally share other content. Not sure what to share on Instagram. Do you link to your site or articles from your pictures? I need to study it more, that’s for sure.

I know as a millennial I’m supposed to love social media but I just don’t, lol! I’m good with Pinterest and that’s about it. I know I really need to get this figured out and grow my followings.
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Kyle Premium
That is quite normal and I think a lot of people are int hat same situation Holly. If you have a "theme" of who you are and also, the niche that you are working within it makes things feel much more natural and it will give you ideas.

You don't have to love it, or use it if you don't want. It is completely up to you, just do know that there is a lot of opportunity within IG and out of all social platforms these days, I see the most TRUE value out of it.
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hordol2013 Premium
I definitely see the value! I'm going to work to find a good balance with social media. I think for my particular niche it is important. I keep dragging my feet though. Gotta sit down and really start working on this.
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Kyle Premium
For sure, one thing that I have always recommend is that people don't let social take over there activities. Your website (core) is the focus, social is an accessory to your business. ;)
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JKulk1 Premium
I have been on Instagram for about 5 months now, I have about 3000 followers and approximately 4% of these like my posts. I only post once a day and always with a little story about the photo. I have found that people love good, clear pictures but aren't to keen on written posts. My written posts usually only get about a 2% response.
I knew absolutely nothing about Instagram when I started, now I love it.
Pinterest is even more exciting.
I have much to learn but I find Pinterest and Instagram far more enjoyable then Facebook. Jim
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Kyle Premium
Those are some good insights. I am really glad to hear you have committed to it and that you have done so with consistency. It has a real positive impact when you are predictable and people know that you are going to be there every day, with new content.

That is in my opinion one of the most important aspects of ongoing success and growth within IG.
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Terand Premium
Thank you for sharing, Kyle.
You have put it in a great way on your Instagram profile, brilliant!

"If you can help one person, you can change a life. If you can help many people, you can change the world."

Have not been using social media such as Instagram, FB, etc. Need to get myself to socialize more on this platform. Thank you for your inspiration, Kyle :o)
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Kyle Premium
Glad you are enjoying the feed and the journey Terand! It is something that we feel is the right time for us as a business to get into, to each their own. My suggestion is if you truly want to have an impact within the IG world, that you want to commit to it.
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Terand Premium
Yeah, Kyle! Thank you for your great advice too! Yes, to each his/her own! 👍👍👍😉
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Kyle Premium
Definitely!
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DaltonTberry Premium
Just to throw this out there. Something that was imperative early on was to make sure that the photos you post are of high quality. iPhone usually does this pretty well now, but people like visually, aesthetically pleasing content.

If you post blurry, pixelated, or not well framed content you will certainly see less engagement. I do it myself from time to time when I get sloppy. But that's life! Typically it's just less likes or profile views I see. Insights are great because I can see some serious results on the high quality photos and even impressions are increased dramatically.

As people like and comment on your photos Instagram's algorithms pick that up as well and understand that you are obviously posting popular, engaging content... it perpetuates itself because you then land on the discover page or Top page within the hashtags that you utilize.
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Kyle Premium
Yes, absolutely. That is what it comes down to and I think for many, it is trial and error to see what people are liking, and what people are not liking within a profile post.

I am already accumulating good data on this and I will of course be reporting back as time goes on. With the quality of phone cameras these days, they are comparable to SLR. You can certainly create a nice looking feed, with a phone.

The thing is, a lot of thought as time goes on should be dedicated to the design of the overall layout of images. Position of images and colouration play a role in a great looking feed.
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sammynathani Premium
I can really relate to your post... I've been on Instagram for about a year now...but I'm not consistent because of the several commitment I have on several platform, anyways I may still go back there and see how things are going..
I believe in building your status on Instagram, you need organic followers not merely users that use the principle of follow4follow
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Kyle Premium
Yeah, that is the thing. You need to be consistent and if you are taking the follow 4 follow approach, or the follow/unfollow approach, then you are going to have a difficult time growing outside of these strategies (an organic and much more valuable growth).

From what I see, the best path to this is consistency. Both on the feed side and story side of your IG account.
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Thank you, noted....yes Seven days is not much time to explore WA’s plateform, potpourri of trainings and stable of experienced, willing mentors. It’s like trying to visit every department in a 25,000 square foot mega corporation in one afternoon. Whew!

There is does seem to be an assumption, in the material, that most people have at a little World Web savvy. I admit I do not, I am in way over my head. ‘Landing Pages’, ‘Banners’, ‘SSL’, ‘SEO’, ‘Funnels’, ‘Instagram’, ‘Pintrest’, etc....wow, don’t get me started on ‘Wordpress’,....might as well sit me down in front of a NASA manual. :).

For the real newbie, starting with creating a published website, which we don’t realize, is sitting in google for the world to see with no content. A store front with no product. Empty space. Like printing a business card before you have something to sell.
Kinda funny...like being hazed.

Probably the joke everyone goes through, eventually laughing at their own ignorance, grabbing the baton before their even knew where the track was. 😎.

The is quite the learning curve here for the truly ‘techno illiterate.’

I am sharing this experience, because the ‘nugget’ you share in your post, regarding content is GOLD! Definitely the missing link. A corner stone for the foundation.

Decide on content, research for content, pre-brainstorm regarding content, create a map for content and a schedule for posting the content. Get your content ‘ducks in a row’ prior to signing up for Instagram, creating a blog or building a website because this is what I would be serving my visitors when they enter my cyber space.

This tid bit is gold....this is foundational. Got to crawl before I walk; a map that outlines the topics, stories or themes of my content certainly made the light bulb go on.

Thank you again for sharing your insights, your opinions and your experience. Mucho!
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Kyle Premium
Don't worry, you will get the hang of things. It just takes time, there do become assumptions with terminology over time, but we try to create platforms and training in a way that are completely simplified.

There will be some quirks and complexities of course, but you are going to get the hang of things as you immerse yourself.
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Thank you.
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Kyle Premium
Gladly!
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AlenkaV Premium
I've also been on Instagram about the same time as you and have 150 followers. (I know, nowhere near to your impressive 1500!)

I really like Instagram, find it easy to use, but must say, I have no idea how to find followers who are the audience for WA promotion. So for now, it's just a hit or miss situation.

Do you have any tips on how to find our target audience on Instagram?
Thanks :)

I really like your and Carsons accounts - you certainly are consistent and all the pics are fun to see.

Best,
Alenka
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Nekko26 Premium
I would try searching #workfromhome, #blogging #affiliatemarketing ect and follow some of the #s then look at some post in those hashtags and find people with names like bloggingtips and look at there followers then follow there followers an check out who there following as welll
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AlenkaV Premium
Hi Nekko

Thank you so much for your advice!
Will try doing what you suggested.

Best,
Alenka
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TBallister Premium
Great post here Kyle! I've found a lot of success through Instagram in the form of new clients, relationships with brands, solicitations for product reviews, and more. As you mention, though, I regularly remind myself that it's only one part of my entire business and it's important not to spend too much time on it. I've recently been learning how to create more engaging stories and using them to do some market research on the types of products and/or services my followers are interested in. This definitely helps in terms of making a plan for the content I'm going to create in the future!
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Kyle Premium
You are not alone Tucker, I am hearing this more and more and I have worked directly with folks that are utilizing Instagram with great impact for their local offline clients.

It is definitely one part, but it's importance, it's brand value, and it's true reach I think are going to really outlast any other social platform. Because of that we are committing to it!
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TBallister Premium
I absolutely agree! It's my preferred social media platform, although I do now have a plan for sharing my content across Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter, and Google+ as well (which is sadly going away in about a month). Aside from Instagram, I've actually found that sharing my posts on Google+ has driven quite a bit of traffic. I haven't really begun to research how to replace that traffic source once the platform goes away. Do you have any suggestions?
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jamesTefft Premium
Goodmorning. I like the picture of the camera and apiece of movie film that came into being long after that camera was last used. I have a small collections of cameras like this one and some of them I have the glass back so can use cut film. I took pictures in the Bob Marshal wilderness with one some years ago. Well I don't know anything about instagram. never have looked at it I did get into Linkendin for a while and couldn't get any support people to talk to me so left them. I use Face book and email. I just barely able to do things on FB but I think I have email down pretty good. I have used it about 2 years. TNX for getting me to read this. Not sure what changes I can make yet. Jim
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Kyle Premium
Well ,you being fascinated with photography and images I think Instagram would be a much more suitable platform for you. It is a much cleaner form of communication within the ongoing propoganda that it feels like other networks are rife with.

Plus your reach, is near a true reach in Instagram because of the follower capabilities (being over 5K) and them actually giving you exposure when you do make posts.
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jamesTefft Premium
Hi Kyle, I may look at it but not sure I want to try any more changes till I get this Pig in the air. Jim
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Kyle Premium
Sure, focus on the pig. That is definitely what I recommend!
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jamesTefft Premium
Thanks Kyle. I am moving a little but I am finding some things a little better. I will try to complete some of the writing excersizes. Jim
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cheffinchic Premium
I think this post was kismet. lol I literally told my brother just last night that instagram sucked. He replied, "I thought you LOVED insta?" I do, but not for my website! (My instagram followers over the past year and a half have climbed to 70, 80, 90...and then 90, 80, 70..it's frustrating)
And then I wake up to this post.
As you said I never do the stories because I feel my days can be a little mundane and who wants to watch THAT?! My blog is about food and I'm not cooking 24 hours a day!
I guess I learned from your post that it's not all about my website and the food but letting people get to know MY brand...as in me!?
Yikes....that's scary.
But here goes.....
I'm following both you and Carson on instagram and I'm going to start my story today...in the laundry room...muahhahahahaha. ty:)
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Kyle Premium
Yeah, you have to be careful about getting too excited over the auto follow and unfollow. That is something that a lot of people are doing, even some of the "higher number" accounts that you see.

This is a brand move as much as anything if you can integrate it into your website, which should be your first and foremost focus. So never deviate from that, this will be complimentary to your business.
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cheffinchic Premium
Thanks Kyle. Compliment it I will do.:)
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dj-drea Premium
I followed you when you first told WA you were on Insta! You two post a lot! It is great to see how committed you both are once you make your mind up to make it a priority.

I have noticed stories seem to be more popular than posts. I don't use the feature much, because I don't like the transience of it, but it is something I should be utilizing more.
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Kyle Premium
The transience is what can allow you to open up a bit more and be a bit more vulnerable. That is what I see stories for, as for the feed it is typically reserved for my polished posts (although I haven't fully been following that rule yet).

Still in my infancy here, you will see my activity evolve over time and of course I will be sharing all my insights.
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LynneHuy Premium
Oh and hashtags are HUGE on Instagram - you've got to give that a go Kyle! See what a massive impact it will make. I use Tailwind for hashtag research but I don't actually use Tailwind anymore for posting or scheduling. It is such a quick and easy way to find the most awesome hashtags that make a huge impact on your reach.
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Kyle Premium
I am definitely using hashtags, but I am trying to overuse them either. I have definitely seen some really good results from them in stories, leading to a lot more exposure and followers.

I have been using mostly Tailwind and Gramto, Gramto having much more in terms of automation. I am still very reluctant to automatically do anything, other than post to my feed. I just want to be careful about that.
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LynneHuy Premium
I totally agree with you on that! I also only use SkedSocial to post and to have a schedule - software that does auto follow/ unfollow tactics and automated commenting or messaging is awful and I really don't believe it has the desired effect that anyone is looking for. Sure it may increase your total number of followers, but as with anything what we are all looking for is not a number, it is real engagement! The only way to do that is to put the time and effort in to create quality content. Exactly what you have been teaching us here.
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LynneHuy Premium
Kyle I've been making use of Instagram more consistently and putting in the effort in the last say 6 months or so. I've tried many different things and made loads of mistakes, but that's how you learn! I need to get my ass into gear when it comes to stories!

Otherwise I am on quite a good schedule in general. You are so right though, it does take quite some effort to come up with new content ideas all the time.

I'm finding the easiest is to take loads of pictures all week and when I think of something interesting I make some notes. Then at the end of the week I create all my Instagram images, write up my descriptions, do my hashtag research and schedule it all using SkedSocial. I actually just published a video here on how to use it. I'm finding it very helpful.
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CSavoie1 Premium
Can you send the link to the video on how to use SkedSocial?

I love Instagram and have personally made more purchases here than any other Social Media platform. It’s also very educational without all the distractions like Facebook.
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LynneHuy Premium
Here it is: Just note that it is a paid tool, but I really feel that it is well worth it. I can also show you my trick of using Tailwind at no cost to do hashtag research :) I'll hopefully get a moment to make that video tomorrow so watch out for that.
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Kyle Premium
Ah, Sked Social. Haven't heard of that one yet, but there are so many options out there so I have just been working off of reference and research up to this point.

I like your process of shooting photos, and then scheduling them. I am doing something similar, but this is the approach you need to take to keep consistency.

PS. Cool training video as well, thanks for sharing that.
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LynneHuy Premium
It is a pleasure Kyle. I take pics of everything now, from the views, to my food, my kids, my makeup, what I buy..., everything and then stock those up. It really helps a load!
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BarbaraN Premium
Kyle, You are very enthusiastic about Instagram. I know social media is a must if I am to ever get enough followers for my Website, and I'm one lesson away from the one on Social media.

I also have a very inadequate camera. And social media is somewhat a mystery to me. I've had very poor luck with facebook. But I sense that pictures of animals and stories, or snippets of stories might be successful.

You have access to my website:https://My-Pet-Toys-And-Stuff.com. Your thoughts---
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Kyle Premium
I am enthusiastic because that is my authentic self. That is one thing that I am committed to doing and that I wanted to do with Instagram, is to have a level of authenticity that would provide people with a peek into normal day to day operations of WA. lol
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tommo1968 Premium
Hey Kyle, great follow rate.

I took your advice and opened a business profile on Instagram last week. I have 5 posts and 50 followers but when I get Tailwind switched on for automation hopefully that will build nicely like my Pinterest account which brings in just under 50% of my traffic to the website.

The fact you can only put a link in the profile sucks a bit though, I see some changing the profile link for each post but that seems an extra step for me. Will have to get into stories where you can drop a link easier.

Can you use tailwind to post stories, I haven't come across that yet?
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Kyle Premium
Use tags, use some automation, and make sure you create a consistent schedule. Just don't overinvest, perhaps spend a few hours each week organizing your week, add to your stories through the days, and then go from there.

You can add stories through Gramto. I haven't used that feature yet however, I know some people are. I almost want to keep my stories real time, but I know some are using automation for their stories.
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Stella2 Premium
Thanks for all you've been sharing, Kyle! I love how you go about investigating something.

I've been working at Pinterest for a bit now. Just organically and I'm starting to get some traffic. But my pins could look better, so I have to work on that aspect.

I recently started Instagram, so what you're doing is very valuable. I appreciate it. I actually had a visitor from there yesterday and I only have 7 followers (one is my son). haha It wasn't him. Lol

I have Twitter, but could never get it to work much. So I don't invest much in it anymore. And, I always make sure most of my time is spent on content writing.

Thanks again, I'm following you and Carson now. Love your pics!
Stella :-)
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Kyle Premium
Yeah, Pinterest can be a real powerhouse in terms of traffic and reach for certainly industries. Lots of folks are seeing good success with that. Pinterest can certainly be the same, if you have the same sort of commitment. Just can't forget about your website, that needs to be the focus.

Glad you like the pics, I have a lot of cool stuff planned for my feed. ;)
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Selenityjade Premium
Hi, Kyle!

So black hat verses white hat.

I've been randomly picking up ebooks on Kindle Unlimited because I got it for the 3 month special. So been 'borrowing' a lot of make money online books just to see if there are other strategies.

I'm completely blown away by how many encourage grey hat tactics. Those that aren't illegal but definitely not morally right. And even when I know very little about internet marketing, if it's 'gaming' the system, passing off people's work as your own to increase production of books, etc.

Right now, there's a gigantic Twitter firestorm where a USA Today bestseller and RITA nominee has been caught plagiarizing over 30 authors in her books, including a huge well-known author who is traditionally published. The plagiarist claims the ghostwriter she hired did it, which is shining a light on Kindle Publishing and the broken system that rewards these grey and black hats while white hats struggle to get their stuff noticed.

Said traditionally published author is willing to help as she's a household name and a victim and the more she learns about the selfpub world, the more disgusted she is that these people get hundreds of thousands of dollars for crap.

And somehow she's being attacked for willing to use her considerable name and clout to try and help.

People literally cannot see why buying a ton of ghostwritten content to publish under a penname to increase their output is not okay because it's deceptive. Ghostwriting has it's place but not to game Amazon's algorithm to make a killing.

I've been watching and I wonder why they can't understand. It's legal because ghostwriting has great reasons behind it when done for autobiographies or whatever. But when you're abusing a system and deceiving people, to make a quick buck, they literally don't get it. Just like people who are trying to manipulate Facebook algorithm to spam, but think this is marketing.

And all these tactics are encouraged in areas. It's just mind blowing the lack of morals and perseverance in online business. It nets lots of money quickly if done correctly, but it's not a sound business strategy because you are screwing the system or deceiving your followers. They don't care because they can just change their names and do it again online. It's seriously discouraging.

So thank you, Kyle for building a learning platform that DOESN'T encourage gaming the system!
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Kyle Premium
I have never read industry "books" for that reason. I have gotten my influence from actually doing and seeing, or from external influences outside of the industry.

There are too many "hypothetical" marketers out there that write about what they think might work, but aren't actually doing it. And if you follow grey/black hat marketers, you are eventually going to find yourself drowning trying to battle for air (which algorithms quickly close off).
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lixmecus Premium
Hi Kyle!, the LORD is with your good self,

I took time to go through your write-up, and was able to extract a lot from it. It turned out to be an eye-opener and a great lesson to me. Thanks a lot.

Per your recommendation to me, I will soon get in three.

Thank you for caring for my success.
May you always remain in HIS presence, in the name of JESUS Amen

Pst, Chiemeka.
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Kyle Premium
Really glad you found it insightful!
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JonLake Premium
The sustainability is my biggest beef with Instagram, well with social media in general. My average day is very mundane - get up, walk the dogs, work at my desk in the home office, eat, watch TV in the evening, go to bed. I cannot believe that anyone is interested in that anymore than I am interested in somebody else doing it!

From time to time I give it a go, but just get bored with it, I must be honest.
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Joanne-G Premium
I agree. This begs the question “what’s wrong with people/our society that they put more effort peering into other people’s day to day mundane activities than using their own wonderfully creative mind to create a reality/life they love?” I just really don’t get it!
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Kyle Premium
That is the reality of many, or so they think. People like to watch mundane lives, when documented properly. You do stuff on a daily basis that is interesting, it is a matter of capturing those moment and spreading them out within your stories.

I have some REALLY boring days, but that is the reality of everyone. You can use historic content during those days.
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JonLake Premium
I think that is where I have the sticking point. My weeks are pretty much the same, day in day out. I don't really consider that I do anything that is interesting to others!!
Maybe I need to get out more!!!
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Joanne-G Premium
I guess as a holistic lifestyle coach I could show me making my yummy green shakes in the morning and tell them why I chose certain ingredients 😀
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sfortson Premium
Thanks for the great update and tips Kyle, this is helpful to me. My interaction is sparse so I need to get on top of things.

On another note any tips for Twitter? I post fairly regular and have no followers to speak of.
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Kyle Premium
My tip for Twitter is to not use Twitter. Just my personal opinion, the time value tradeoff is simply not there.
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sfortson Premium
Thanks for the heads up, I hate wasting time lol.
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1500 it's very impressive as I read your story am asking myself where do I start.

Really want to make usage of the time I have on me and the energy of online.

Please lead me Kyle and show me how. Please please please
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TommyVTE Premium
I build it up in the last 2 months from less than 100 to 1000 plus followers. Like Kyle said to be consistent I post every morning just after breakfast etc just before I leave the house 3 post relevant to my niche mostly and in the evening I do the same around 8 pm some days I post also 3 posts around lunch time. I reply or like any comment and follow people back that seems to really follow. I mean if somebody has 100k followers and follows 300 people you know right away he will unfollow you as soon you follow that account.
I hope this helps

Have a great day
Tommy
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Kyle Premium
Nice work Tommy, and you get it. It is about consistency, as is anything in business really. People see you post with regularity and there is that anticipation there.

As you gain more followers, you have the more ability to get faster traction. Keep it up!
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Hi Tommy

Thank for the advice and guidance. Now my is start to follow because I was talking to my sister and cousin about this whole thing and my sister her simple answer was eish where will I start with that. My answer was how will you know you don't try.

I appreciate your assistant and looking forward to more.
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TommyVTE Premium
You're welcome anytime I can help I will
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Esther73 Premium
Thanks for the update I know you have been doing online marketing for a long time but 1500 followers in two weeks is impressive
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Kyle Premium
It's been an interesting few weeks indeed.
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fer700 Premium
Thank you for the update Kyle. Very interesting and informative.

Regards, Frank
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Kyle Premium
Glad you enjoyed it. Whether you use IG or not is up to you, no pressure either way. It can certainly be complimentary to your business and brand as you build it out. :)
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Crazyhaggis Premium
I’d be interested to know your thoughts on Pinterest v Instagram. I’m pretty well invested in Pinterest and have created over 200 pins/infographics, it’s a good fit for my niche. But I’m also conscious of Instagram’s popularity. Would you do both tho’?
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Kyle Premium
I think both are valuable. I think Pinterest to certain niches, ones that are more visual in nature can be great. I feel though a lot of these folks are slowly moving over to Instagram, or using both.

I think Instagram has viability across all niches, and has more sustainability than Facebook.
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Crazyhaggis Premium
OK thanks I’ll check IG out.
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bigrog44 Premium
Thanks for sharing, Kyle.
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Kyle Premium
Absolutely!
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hanley Premium
Thanks, Kyle for your interesting experiment.
I for one still don't get it although I do see instances and understand it can work.
Personally, I am getting a bit bored with Kyle and Carson because of too many happy snaps. Didn't mind the Moose though, LOL

I think your family and close friends will love the Happy snaps but we, the unwashed want to be entertained. Action.

This is not personal just my observation.

Peter H
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Kyle Premium
Thanks for your feedback Peter, it is definitely much different than Youtube (which is more geared towards entertainment). Some of Instagram of course it is that way, just depends on the channel of folks you watch (it's kind of like tv channels in a sense).

And more Moose it is.
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SondraM Premium
This may sound like a dumb question, but if the influences are using automation for posting and/or updating . Plus, I assume most busy business people with money to spend, are trying to limit their time on social media because they are actually working; when are LIVE people actually looking at all of the stories and updates and what are they looking at?

For example, if you actually took the time to look at what is going on Instagram, what are you personally interested in seeing?
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Kyle Premium
It's not for everyone. I am not making that argument, I know that many generations of people probably aren't using Instagram. And most people aren't using automation, the average person isn't.

There are well over 1 BILLION users now on Instagram, with half of these active daily. That is a number from late 2018, they have likely pushed to the 1.1 - 1.2 range by now. That is a lot of potential reach and traffic, if you do it right.

Just making both arguments here, of course I agree and I am a proponent of your business first. This is certainly not the core focus of your business, and should be complimentary of your actual core business.
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TommyVTE Premium
Hi, you can use Tailwind for automation it's only a couple dollars per month. I use it for Pinterest, but can also use for Instagram

Have a great day
Tommy
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DonnieNorton Premium
Hi Kyle, I have considered Instagram a few times in the past but I have always been under the impression that you needed to get an influencer who is expensive. Maybe I'm wrong and an influencer is not necessary to be successful with Instagram. Thanks for the great post.
Donnie
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Kyle Premium
By get an influencer, I am not sure what you mean by "getting one".

Getting a plug from one, can be useful to grow your own following, but if you have an online business, it is a medium that you can leverage to extend your brand, build trust, and through the arc of time I think it will be more and more important.

We have decided to commit to Instagram in a more ongoing and consistent nature, as out of all the social networks I feel that it has the most authentic reach, and will have the most sustainability moving forward.
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emarketingguy Premium
Nice post. So what is it about Instagram that has you so committed? Have you found it to be profitable? Do followers equate to conversions on affiliate products? Or is Instagram best used for traffic which packs more brick onto the foundation of traffic to your site? I'm confused as to why Instagram over other similar platforms but it's definitely got a great demographic audience for traffic, I've seen. Thanks for sharing and congrats on 2 weeks + 1500 followers, that's pro.
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Kyle Premium
The follower to reach ratio is the best out of all of the social platforms. There is much more focus with the users, and although it is just images and text, people are very much engaged when they are on Instagram.

It can be really good for humanizing your brand, creating trust, and getting additional reach that you wouldn't have potentially gotten otherwise.

Take the view of an email list. Whereas you may get 5-10% with your messaging on your email list over time, you would get much more through something like Instagram. Is it a replacement to email, no. Is it a useful medium for your business, yes.
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emarketingguy Premium
Well, I definitely could use more reach. You said you put in 1.5 hours this week on it? I can commit to that. What about Pinterest vs Instagram? Would you recommend even time to both social platforms or just Instagram all the way because of better reach?
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Kyle Premium
That was a day. Pinterest has it's advantages too, for visual niches but as I mentioned above, I see lots of this businesses moving their activity to Insta.

I would personally latch on to one, instead of trying to do too much. Certainly keep an eye on your schedule and don't overuse.
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emarketingguy Premium
Thanks for the advice. Instagram it is, I’m all about the fastest route to the cheese.
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