U4D: Instagram Part 2

It was so good to hear how many of you enjoyed the introduction to Instagram post last week. This week I thought we could look at followers. Getting them seems to be the thing that everyone wants to do, I know it is something I’ve been trying to do for quite a while. There are ways of doing it, and ways not to, so this post will look at both.

Growing Followers on Instagram

Followers can be fickle people, and without a doubt, on all the social media platforms I’ve been on Instagram is the worse. People will follow you and then unfollow you just because you haven’t followed them back. It can be quite depressing, but you have to reassure yourself that you

The hashtag for landscape images, one of the most popular ones.

aren’t the only person this is happening too.

What not to do

It is so easy to get caught up in that “they followed me, so I should follow them back” mentality. Let’s face it nearly all of us, when we started Instagram, did the same thing. You end up following people whose work you don’t like and then wonder what you should do.

You may also get people commenting, saying F4F, or follow for follow, or other suggestions. You should delete them, if that is all they want you to do. The other one you find is the “get 10000 followers easily”, or something along those lines. It is paying for followers and that is something you should never do as well.

The reason are simply, you will just end up with spam followers, so they don’t engage in your content and aren’t beneficial at all. You want to grow your followers organically, which means putting in the hard work and getting people to follow you because they genuinely like you and your work. If they like what you do then they will press the like button on your images, or better still, leave you a lovely comment. It is all about engagement and that is what social media is all about.

Things you can do to get followers

It can be as simple as liking and commenting. If someone likes your post you can go and take a look at what they do, like some of their work back. If you like their images, then follow them, if they like yours, then they may follow you back, may. Clicking the heart to say you like the work, or double tapping on an image goes a long way. Never underestimate how much people like it when you like what they do.

It is one thing to like and comment on those that you follow, but if you want to grow your followers then you need to reach out to more people. The way that people do it on Instagram is through hashtags.

If you look at what people post, they all use hashtags, for example today I put up a long exposure photo of Melbourne at sunrise (the featured image), so when I posted the photo I used hashtags like #cityscape #skyline #longexposure etc. If you go to the search function, and put in that hashtag, or just click on it in your post you will see a whole lot of other posts from people that have used the same one. If you start going through them and liking, and/or commenting on the photos, you will start to see that people will start following you. You may also find people that you want to follow. It is a great way to look and see what others are doing. I often look at #melbourne so I can see what people are posting about this gorgeous city I live in.

Think about ways to use the hashtags, not just to look for people, but also to use when you post. If you are looking at certain hashtags you can be sure that others are doing the same. If you are unsure what hashtags to use then look at the ones that people use that do similar images to you. Though, some of them might be for hubs, which we will talk about in future posts.


You can’t like too many posts in an hour, or Instagram will think you are a bot and you will be blocked. Unlike WordPress, if you get blocked it is just for an hour, on Instagram you can end up blocked for anything from 24 to 48 hours. You can still post and comment, but you can’t like anything. Apparently, it is if you like more than 350 posts an hour. That is a lot, but obviously achievable. I’ve been blocked a couple of times, now I try to take breaks while doing it, so I don’t go too fast.

Next Parts

I hope you are enjoying these different parts. Next time I will try to cover posting photos, the how and different ways of doing it. Depending on how long the post will be, then we may look at hubs, being featured, though more likely it will be part 4.

If you missed part 1 click here for the link to it.

You might be interested in …


  1. I so agree with everything you say here, Leanne. In the first few months of blogging I paid attention to followers and often followed back. Since then, the last three years, I have unfollowed those whose content I don’t care about. And now I don’t pay any attention to who or how many follow or unfollow my blog. I only care about those who engage with my content I one way or another – and I often find their content wonderful as well. I have yet to try Instagram…

    1. Yes, I think you have to do that, unfollow those who’s blogs or pages you don’t get or like. You can’t take too much notice, or you just get too depressed. You have to follow what interests you and good to see you are. Instagram works much the same way. Thanks Tiny

  2. Thanks for this ppost, Leanne. It is very helpful, especially to those of us who are new to IG. I’ll try your suggestions about looking for others who do similar work via hastags and the idea of studying what hashtags others use. I have the same frustrations with the “follow–>unfollow” syndrome, but I can understand why it’s happening so I’ll put up with that. The intrusion of ads, however, is another matter and if it gets much worse I will abandon ship. Again, thanks for the good ideas!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Robin. It is amazing how quickly it can grow. It is so frustrating, I feel like putting it in my profile, I will not follow you just because you follow me. The ads, are getting annoying, I refuse to like any of them, though I wish you could opt out of them. I guess it is the problem with it being free, they have pay people some way. You’re welcome.

  3. I’m with you with the followers .. I find it a bit silly that you feel obliged to follow back. Great tips Miss. Fat chance of me liking 350 in an hour! 😄

    1. For which reason Esmee, the things you have to do on Instagram are pretty much the same for WP if you want your blog to grow. 😀

  4. Thanks for the tips! I’m already doing these things.. I’m still hoping for some magic advice I haven’t implemented yet 😉
    I also suspect some are following then immediately unfollowing.. just to trigger the notification. I get half a dozen new follows a day, but my total count only slowly creeps up a few at a time 🙁

    1. That’s great to hear, well I might not have any magic tips, you might know what I know.
      Though if you see the follow they wouldn’t be doing it straight away, as the notification disappears at the same time and you wouldn’t see it. However, there are sites that tell people who has followed and who didn’t follow back, so people then unfollow you. It is very common, I get two, lose one, get 10 lose 7, get 20 lose 25. It is just a horrible part of IG that many of us dislike. Thanks.

  5. Helpful. Can’t help but think net month there will be a new platform called ‘platform’ we’ll all have to learn or ignore for a while and then learn…

    1. Wouldn’t that be interesting? lol. I do get asked to look at new places, but it is hard to work out what will be next, I think people are generally happy with Instagram, but if they keep putting up so many ads it might start making people look elsewhere. Thanks

  6. Another great post about IG. I too am not a fan of #f4f and usually don’t bother to check out what they post. There’s such a varied audience these days using IG. You can be a photographer using it, and you can also be the every day person using it. Either of them can be dedicated followers and I think it’s a matter of investing in time not only liking other’s photos you don’t follow but also the IG accounts that you do follow.

    Hashtags have always been tricky for me. There are so many hashtags you can choose from, lol, the choice is endless. I like to pick some and stick with them for a while and then maybe switch it up a bit when I discover new ones.

    I actually didn’t know WP will block you for liking so many posts. Then again, I’m not big on liking posts on WP, more on reading and commenting.

    1. I don’t get the point of the f4f, you end up following someone and then you hate their work. There is definitely a varied audience, it can be so good. Oh yes the time, I can spend a lot of time on Instagram, I do get carried away sometimes.

      Yeah, it takes a bit to work out the hashtags, I often look at people who do similar to me, see what they have. That is a good way of doing them. I’m cutting back, getting fed up with the hubs and trying to be featured, I find I’m posting work for that, not what I want, so I’m stopping.

      Yeah, WP will, I find if I have been away for a few days and want to catch up quickly, then I can’t get very far, though I don’t know what their numbers are. Thankfully it is only for an hour, and then you can resume. Thanks Mabel.

  7. I finally opened an instagram account, but haven’t the slightest idea how to use it. But I’ve barely learned enough about twitter to respond to a tweet, so I’m pretty social media challenged. I needn’t worry about followers since I have yet to figure out how to upload a photo.

    1. Well, maybe I can help Marilyn, hopefully you will feel better about using it once they are done, please let me know if there is anything specific you would like me to cover.I don’t like twitter, so you won’t get any tips from me there. Haha, love it, thank you Marilyn.

  8. I didn’t realise you could be blocked for liking too much. Sounds a little counter productive really.
    I’m not as good with instagram as I should be though.

    1. Oh yeah, you can, they think you are spam. Yeah, especially for how long they do it for.
      You can only do what you can, I guess it depends on what you want, I like it because I get a lot of inspiration, but then that doesn’t mean it is for everyone.

  9. I think it’s nice when people follow you but I don’t see the value of clicking mindlessly at every post whether you like them or not just to get more likes and follows, nor have I got the time to do this! But I do like to see what others are doing and reflect on what appeals to me, so I can post better images. I think I need to do more with hashtags… I am at the very beginning of using Instagram!

    1. I guess it all depends on why you want the followers. Most people I know want to know how to grow them, whether they have the time to do or not is another thing. Though I don’t think anyone just clicks mindlessly, I know I’m picky, though I am fairly quick at it too. Though I am faster at galleries than others as well. I am with you, I love seeing what people do. Thanks Chris.

  10. Instagram is a pain in the backside in many ways yet so much fun too. Pay attention to the stupid rules, you’ll be OK.

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