Magic happens when you get to 10k followers on Instagram.
People take you seriously and recognize your expertise. Instagram unlocks special features for your account and paid opportunities are within your grasp. But…
Only 10.9 percent of Instagram accounts ever get to the magic 10k number!
Anytime something is valuable, spammers, fakers, and quick-money-makers will create myths and shortcuts that promise immediate wins. If you are like me, you’re seeing these offers everywhere!
We don’t want you to be fooled by quick fixes like these or get frustrated by weak plans that don’t focus on results, so we’ve developed some solid tips for getting to 10k Instagram followers — without spamming people, using sketchy tactics or losing momentum.
The 10k Follower see it here Feature You Need to Unlock This Year
A 10k follower count on Instagram isn’t just an awareness metric. The milestone comes with an immediate, tangible benefit.
Once you have 10k followers, Instagram will make it easier for you to get people to your website via Stories with the swipe up to link feature.
Swipe up is the only way to get a direct link from your Instagram to your other web properties. And, it’s available in STORIES, if you have 10k followers.
The swipeable link in stories lets you send people to your blog, your ecommerce page, or your email signup list, without requiring the visitor to click to your bio first.
The feature alone is a game changer!
“Before that, Instagram rarely showed up as a traffic source for my shop or blog. Since that feature was added, I’m able to get more traffic to my websites directly from IG.”
@bydawnnicole 93.k followers.
What’s the problem with buying Instagram followers?
Once you see the goldmine available in the swipe up to link, it might be tempting to take shortcuts to get there.
Here’s why. In the worst case scenario, your account could be removed from Instagram, causing you to lose all the followers you earned the hard way, and the ones you bought.
Fake followers can also keep you from getting the blue check mark, verified status on Instagram.
And, no matter how much a seller promises you a “high quality” audience boost, fake followers won’t like, comment, or share your content, keeping your engagement score low.
Engagement is based on likes, tags, shares and DM’s, all of which signal Instagram that your account is important to the user. The algorithm behind the feed uses those signals to prioritize the content it displays.
Buying fake followers is a vicious cycle: Low exposure leads you to buy followers, which limits your engagement, which decreases your exposure, which starts the cycle again.
To succeed on Instagram, we need to inspire our audience and offer them visually appealing content.
We also need to post on a regular basis. Research into 100,000 Instagram posts found that posting at least once per day increased engagement by a wide margin!
“I do feel like I gained more traction after hitting 10k in followers. It all goes back to consistency though, and when I’m being more consistent, it’s easy to see the growth. It took me almost 22 months to hit 10,000 followers, and then it took me 14 months to go from 10,000 followers to 20,000 followers. The longer I’ve done this, the more I’ve been able to hone in on what works for me, and I just try to be as consistent as possible. – @sharilynscookiestudio, 22.3k
The No-Shortcut, No-fluff path to 10K followers
“Hours of conversations with Instagram users reveal that the biggest need they have is a simple, results-oriented plan for getting to 10k followers.” Rebekah Radice, Social Media and Marketing Performance Strategist.
Our answer is the VALUE Framework.
It’s a 5 x 5 grid which divides Instagram posts into 5 broad categories:
Valuable — helpful or educational posts that teach your audience something new.
Aspirational — offers idealized, tangible help for attaining a vision or a goal.
Lifecycle — builds awareness, nurtures relationships, or encourages action.
Unique — focuses on your business, proprietary
Evergreen — timely, relevant posts that are also useful for years to come.
To put the VALUE framework in action, create a post for each category on a weekly basis, one per weekday. And, for the most value, plan for 5 weeks of content at a time.
Valuable posts teach or educate.
In this video post, Mari helps her audience learn about the importance of paid reach on Facebook.
This is also a great example of repurposing content from a longer video into an Instagram-friendly format.
If you have a lot of Facebook Live or Webinar content, consider editing it into bite-size chunks and adding it to your Instagram feed.
Notice that Mari uses a simple frame, based on her brand colors, to convert the video to square and provide a space for her logo.
Aspirational posts offer help for attaining a vision or a goal.
To get started creating aspirational posts, think about the problems your product or brand can solve or the value you offer to your customers or audience.
For example, a coffee shop offers a place to socialize, a drink to boost energy, a friendly smile.
These posts from @coffeehubohio taps into aspiration with simple images that link it to the value offered–energy on a busy day.
Image quotes like this one from @suebzimmerman are another super quick and easy way to deliver aspirational content.
Consider using pre-made templates from a tool like Canva to quickly create 5 weeks worth of image quotes.
Heather Bruggeman is a blogger who offers a paid online course called Summer Soul Camp. Her value proposition offers “a self-paced online retreat – a place to celebrate the light and warmth that summertime brings. A place to savor the sunshine, linger into the evening, welcome creativity, and allow time for stillness and spontaneity.”
This photo from the @heather_bruggeman feed is aspirational–reflecting the value that she offers via the class, and suggesting a quick way to get there…sitting outside with an iced coffee.
Lifecycle posts build awareness and encourage action.
Posts that you could imagine repeating often fall into the Lifecycle category. Think of event promotions or invitations, challenges, or blog post announcements.
Inbound uses Lifecycle posts to encourage followers to register for their event.
And Brooklyn Tweed, a knitting supply store, uses Lifecycle posts to get blog visitors.
Unfortunately, some accounts rely solely on lifecycle content, focusing on what they want their audience to do. The result is a boring feed, that doesn’t offer enough value to keep people engaged.
The VALUE framework keeps us honest by steering us away from repeated lifecycle content.