Updated: Feb 1
Instagram is one of the most popular platforms for mermaids. It's where we all hang out. If you want to connect with other mermaids, become an influencer, or promote your business, Instagram is a great place to be.
I started my mermaid Instagram almost two years ago. I was slow to grow at first, but the trick is to keep at it. It takes time to build a following. Even 1k isn’t all that much compared to certain influencers, but it’s a milestone that I was proud of reaching. Gaining that initial small following is the hardest, but once you've done that it becomes easier to grow. I'm now at around 1500 followers. Here’s how I did it.
At first there wasn’t much rhyme or reason to what I was doing. Sure, I posted decent pictures with captions and hashtags, but I learned so much through some research. The advice I heard the most frequently was “be consistent.” Post frequently and don’t give up even if you’re not getting many followers. You also want your page to have a specific theme, something that you'll be consistently posting about. It could be sports, health, food, well-being, your shop or brand, or mermaid, if you're like me! So that is tip number 1.
Tip number 2 is to make use of the space you have in your bio. Use specific key words that relate to your niche and be descriptive about what your page is about and who you are. It's also good to include a link to a website or another social media page you run. At the top with the bio is also your profile picture. Use a good photo of yourself that represents your brand. For me, it makes the most sense that my profile picture would be me in my mermaid, since that's what the_real_mermaid_liv is about.
Another important thing about growing a social media page is the quality of the content. You need to be posting good content. You don’t want blurry, cluttered, or poorly lit photos. You don’t even need a fancy camera or an Iphone to have good pictures. If you take pictures in your room, be sure that there is no mess in the background. Do some research on how to take good pictures. There’s also editing pictures. That can really help a picture. Sometimes it’s just adding a filter, and other times it can be more in-depth editing. That’s another good subject to look into.
Along with good photos, you’ll need good captions. In general, the best captions either have value or pose a question. Adding value to your caption just means you have something to offer. It could be a product advertisement, a discount code, a piece of advice, something funny, or some inspirational words. You just want something that people will find worth the read. Asking a question is another great way to get comments. Comments are part of the key to mastering the Instagram algorithm.
Learn about the algorithm. An algorithm is just a set of rules to be followed in computers and mathematics. For Instagram, the more engagement your post gets, the more easily it will be able to be found. More likes, comments, follows, and hashtags are what you need. Tagging people in your posts and having people tagged in comments is also good for the algorithm.
You want people to engage with your posts, but it also helps to engage with others’ posts. Add likes and comments to the content of others to help your page be found. It’s also just nice to support other content creators by engaging with them. Sometimes the good goes around. For example, a kind word on a post may prompt someone to look at your page and potentially follow. This works with liking and following. Some people will follow you back, some will check you out and maybe like some of your stuff.
Engaging with others’ content helps others to find you. Someone may like a certain post and see that you commented on it or liked it and that could cause them to check out your page. I have a system that has helped me greatly in increasing followers.
You want to know your audience. To find your audience, you want to look at the followers of other successful accounts of whatever your niche is. I run a mermaid page, so I look at the followers of mermaids who have a large following. I check out those pages and find something that I like and I’ll hit the like button, sometimes I’ll even comment. Sometimes I find people I like enough to follow. I’ve spent a decent amount of time just searching for people who like mermaids and interacting with their posts to get noticed. Then, not only do they notice you and possibly follow, but people who use this same method can also end up finding you. I’ll do this with follower lists, but if I see a mermaid picture with lots of likes, I may click to see all the people who liked it and do the same thing. I try to only like things that I truly do enjoy. If I see a cute pet picture on someone’s page, or something mermaid or ocean related, I will like it. This feels more genuine to me.
Using the analytics feature can be really helpful as well. It shows you which posts gain the most attention and which times people are the most active, which can help you make a plan of when to post and which things people like the most. Something I do is to look through my posts and examine the ones that get the most engagement. What did I do differently? Maybe people like a certain type of picture the most, or maybe the hashtags I used made a difference.
Hashtags are another thing that are important to utilize fully. Hashtags are the keywords you use with the pound symbol (#). Whenever you use the search engine and type something in, it will show you pictures that have been tagged with that word. So the more you use, the better. Use keywords that people are searching for and that are relevant to your niche. I use the hash tags: Mermaid, mermaidlife, mermaiding, mermaidtail, mermaidvibes, mermaidsofinstragram, and realmermaid the most often. You can use as many as 30 hashtags. Some people even put their hashtags in a comment on their post. Don't use hashtags that have too many uses, for example if a hashtag has been used 2 million times then your post will likely get lost in all the content using that same hashtag.
Post when people are active. If you want your post to do well, study when people seem to post the most frequently and also post at that time. This will make your post more likely to be seen and interacted with. This takes time to figure out. Throughout the day I'll scroll through Instagram. You can see how long ago someone posted something. I will mentally count the posts during each period of the day to find the best times. Check in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
This is good to know because you also want to be one of the first to see a post so you can engage. Leave a meaningful comment that you've written out. It's better than just commenting with emojis.
Utilize all features that Instagram offers. Make reels, IGTV videos, and always have something in your story. You also need to take advantage of things like tagging your location, adding hashtags, writing out alt text, and doing carousels. This is all good for the algorithm and will give you more chances to be found.
Remember that these concepts apply to almost every other platform. If you want to succeed on Youtube then you also want to remain consistent and have high quality, informative or entertaining content with good captions and descriptions, using targeted key words. Of course there is more to it than that, but in general these practices help on almost all social media sites.
Those are the main tips I have for getting to 1k followers! Hope this was helpful. I wish you all luck and growth in your personal journeys!