Is it too late to start Instagram in 2021?
The short answer is — no.
If you’re reading this article, you’re most likely deciding whether you should start a new Instagram account.
The truth is, it’s never too late to start an Instagram account.
It’s how you go about starting and growing it.
However, starting an Instagram account in the present is more difficult than starting one in the past.
Firstly, let’s dive into the current restrictions of starting a new Instagram account.
Table of Contents
1. Restrictions when starting a new Instagram account
2. How should I go about starting an Instagram account?
3. Case study
4. How do I grow my Instagram account?
5. How do I utilize follow for follow communities to grow my account?
6. 3 reasons to start an Instagram account
Restrictions when starting a new Instagram account
In the past, Instagram had fewer restrictions.
For instance, back in the early days of Instagram, you can follow hundreds of users at one go without getting action blocked.
However, if you try to follow a bunch of people repetitively right now, you will be action blocked for 24 hours or more.
This is because the action block didn’t even exist back then.
In the present, Instagram is getting smarter because they implemented more algorithms.
These algorithms are designed to keep users in the app and reduce automation/spam activity.
Instagram has also restricted the number of users you can follow by 7,500.
This means that you exceed the following limit unless you create a brand new account.
As such, methods like the follow for follow strategy or automation isn’t that effective as a stand-alone anymore.
So how exactly do you grow your Instagram followers from scratch despite the restrictions?
Read on to find out.
How should I go about starting an Instagram account?
Now, there are a few questions you’ll need to ask yourself before creating a new account.
Is it a personal or a business account? What is your niche? Who is your target audience?
For example, if your account is a personal one, your target audience is mostly friends or family.
On the other hand, if you’re creating an account for your business, you’ll have to create specific content that appeals to your audience.
Likewise, you’ll have to stick to a niche whenever you’re creating a new account.
If you post content that is all over the place, it’ll most likely confuse your audience and people are less likely to follow you.
However, if you have a niche and all your posts are following a specific theme; people will be more inclined to follow your page.
Naturally, people trust others that are experts in their field.
Therefore, sticking to a niche will establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
This is especially important if you’re creating a business or a theme account.
Here’s a case study of me starting and growing an Instagram account from scratch.
At the start of 2020, I started a brand new Instagram account, @followchainorg.
I utilized a specific strategy to grow the account, which I will get more into detail below.
Here are the results for about a couple of months.
Within the first week, I managed to grow the account from 0 to nearly 200 followers.
Here’s exactly how I did it:
I utilized three different Instagram follow for follow communities.
Reddit’s r/Instagram, r/Followback and r/FollowForFollow.
These communities are places where you can share your Instagram link with others.
This strategy is quite unconventional but very effective (if you use them correctly)
It’s like a shameless plug, without the “shameless”.
The thing about these communities (despite its controversy) is that they work really well.
You can grow just about any Instagram account from 0 to 100 followers in a jiffy utilizing these communities.
By week 7, I have grown the account to 1,000 followers.
So, it took me about a month and three weeks to grow the account from 0 to 1,000 followers with almost no prior connections.
This proves that it is not too late to start an Instagram account.
Everyone can do it too.
With just a bit of dedication and consistency, you can start a brand new Instagram account right this instant and grow it to 100 followers in a few days using follow for follow communities.
Now, you might be wondering, wouldn’t the follow for follow strategy negatively affect my engagement rate?
The answer is no — if you’re careful about who you follow and people that follow you.
For instance, if your niche is in photography, you only want to follow people that are into photography, or something related to it.
If you follow people within your niche, your engagement rate will remain relatively high (6% to 10%).
After all, the average Instagram engagement rate is just under 5%.
How do I grow my Instagram account?
This section guides you on how to successfully start and grow your Instagram account.
If you’re just starting a brand new Instagram account from scratch, growing your followers/engagement can be really challenging.
Hence, here are 5 simple steps to follow whenever you’re starting a new Instagram account.
By following these steps, you can grow your Instagram account from 0 to 1,000 followers in no time.
The only requirement for you is to stay consistent.
Let’s get right into it.
1. Choose your niche
The first step to a creating successful Instagram account is defining your niche.
What niche are you going to dive into?
Is it photography, fitness, or art-related?
Defining your niche is important because you want to stick to a theme whenever you’re posting.
Moreover, people will trust you more if you have a niche.
For instance, if your account’s name is “nature_photography” but you post memes, people are going to be confused.
Consequently, people will be less interested in following your account.
Without a niche, your feed will be all over the place.
Ultimately, make sure to stick to a niche and a theme whenever you’re creating a new Instagram account.
2. Create an Instagram account
Now it’s time to create an Instagram account.
Here’s the challenging part — selecting the right username.
How do you choose the perfect Instagram username/handle?
In a nutshell, if you’re creating a business or a themed account, you want to pick words that are related to your niche and include them in your username.
A great way to come up with usernames is by combining a couple of words together.
A couple of examples of companies utilizing this is Salesforce and Workday.
Sales + force and Work + day.
The possibilities are endless.
On the other hand, if you’re creating a personal account, including your name or initials in your username is the norm.
One thing you want to try and avoid is special characters (e.g underscores and full-stops).
However, if all the username options are taken, make sure to utilize special characters sparingly.
Too much of them and your username will look very unprofessional.
3. Optimize your profile
Thirdly, you want to optimize your profile such that it appeals to visitors.
If you’re creating an account for your business, add a professional logo as your profile picture, a short description about your business, and most importantly, your business website.
On the other hand, if you’re creating a personal account for yourself, add a picture of you, a simple bio and a personal website (if you have one).
Tip: Add an arrow pointing down emoji to increase link clicks by 5%.
If you have a link and you want to drive more visitors to your website, try adding an arrow pointing down emoji at the end of your bio.
This will increase your link clicks by 5%.
Adding story highlights is also a great idea if you want people to know more about yourself or your business.
4. Post quality content
Posting quality content and sticking to a theme is one of the best ways to attract people to follow you.
For example, if you’re in the photography niche, only posts photos or videos related to photography.
This enables people to easily connect with you (if they’re in the same niche as you).
If you post out of your niche, it will confuse people.
Having a personal account is not an exception.
You also want to stick to a niche if you have a personal account.
Post photos or videos that are related to your interests.
Don’t go out of your niche because it’ll make your account look unprofessional.
On Instagram, quality trumps quantity.
If you post too much, people will end up muting your posts because it hides the photos or videos of people that they are more interested in.
However, if you post too little, people will think that you’re inactive and unfollow you.
At the end of the day, you’ll have to find the right number of times you should post every week.
If you post more than once per day, some people might consider it as over-posting.
Typically, one post per day is more than sufficient.
5. Grow your followers
Growing your followers is one of the most important things you should be focusing on when creating a new Instagram account; second to growing your engagement.
Because why would anyone want to post something that gets little to no engagement?
Instagram is a numbers game.
The number of followers, likes, or comments you have matters.
If you have a business account, your goal is to drive as many link clicks to your website as possible.
On the other hand, if your account is a personal one, followers and likes correspond to your social status in some way or another.
If you don’t have a decent number of followers or engagement, starting an Instagram account is less rewarding.
Hence, you should always prioritize growing it.
But how can you grow your Instagram followers from scratch without buying them?
The next section teaches you how you can utilize follow for follow communities to skyrocket your Instagram followers/engagement.
How do I utilize follow for follow communities to grow my account?
Follow for follow communities are an unconventional way you can grow your Instagram followers and engagement.
But they are really effective if you utilize them correctly.
Here’s how you can use one to your advantage.
1. Sign up for an account on Followchain
Followchain is a dedicated follow for follow community for Instagram.
Sign up for an account on Followchain if you haven’t already (it takes less than a minute)!
You can either connect with Facebook or register for a new account.
2. Share your Instagram link
Next, share your Instagram link like so (as shown on the image).
Make sure to include a short description of yourself or the content that you post.
This is useful if you want people to be aware of your niche (which will increase your engagement rate).
3. Follow others that interest you (that are within your niche)
Let’s say you came across a user that is in the ‘aesthetic’ niche.
Simply click on the link, follow the user on Instagram, and like a few of their most recent posts to grab their attention.
4. Send them a direct message that you came from Followchain.
Lastly, you’ll want to send the user a direct message that you came from Followchain and they will follow you back.
This final step is the most crucial because if you don’t send them a direct message, the person that you followed wouldn’t know where you came from!
People are increasingly aware of spam so sending a direct message to someone stating that you came from Followchain tells them that you’re not a bot.
Hence, they are more likely to follow you back.
That’s about it!
If you follow these steps, you can grow your Instagram account from 0 to 100 to 1,000 followers in no time whilst maintaining your engagement rate!
3 reasons to start an Instagram account
Thus far, what you have learned in this article is that it’s not too late to start an Instagram account.
So why should you start an Instagram account?
Here are 3 reasons to start an Instagram account.
1. It’s free publicity
Instagram is literally free publicity to whatever that you’re promoting or advocating.
If you have thousands of followers and decent engagement rates, you can post a story or photo to promote something and get conversions.
You can even partner with a business to promote their product/services and get paid for a post.
This is also known as an influencer.
Instagram influencers are dominating the marketing industry.
The highest-earning influencer on Instagram, Kylie Jenner, is paid up to $1.2 million per post/story.
But that’s an extreme outlier.
The average influencer (10,000 followers with high engagement rates) makes somewhere between $50 to $500 per post.
But that’s still a lot considering the little amount of effort required to post something.
2. Drive traffic to your business
Secondly, Instagram has the ability to drive traffic to your business.
However, driving traffic to your business from Instagram is challenging.
For that to happen, you’ll need to know exactly where your audience is and how to get to them.
There are multiple ways you can go about doing this.
Fundamentally, your main priority should be growing your followers and engagement rates.
Because only then, you’ll be able to drive link clicks to your website.
But let’s face it — Instagram growth takes a long time and you might not even get decent results out of it.
To drive link clicks, you’ll have to consistently post quality content and engage with people.
So, Instagram is not a sustainable way to drive traffic to your business, but it’s still very useful if you use it correctly.
Using Followchain, you can easily grow your Instagram audience and connect with people in your niche.
If you have no clue on how to start growing your Instagram followers, signing up for Followchain and sharing your Instagram link will provide you with a foundation.
3. Stay updated on your friends and family
What better way to share your life with your friends and family than by posting photos and stories on Instagram?
Instagram is a great way you can stay updated on your friends’ and family’s life.
It makes it convenient for you to be able to dive into what’s happening in their lives without having to meet them in person.
This is especially useful if you aren’t in touch with your close ones in a while.
So is it too late to start Instagram?
The answer is no — it’s never too late to start an Instagram account.
Growing it is as challenging as before, but there are communities like Followchain that makes growing your followers easier.
To grow your Instagram audience, all you need is consistency and quality content.