How a little bit of love can quickly grow your Twitter & Instagram followers

We spoke to a few clients and contacts about their twitter growth and found that many small businesses and brands have used similar methods to gain traction and a following for both Twitter and Instagram. Here’s what we learned:


Hashtags are used differently. Many large scale brands and organizations create common hashtags they may use constantly for recognition and user generated content. Smaller handles or brands may not have the luxury of getting traction this way so the tactic for hashtags can be quite different.

  • Change it up: Instead of constantly using the same hashtag in that 140 characters, they change it up frequently and test and learn to see what gets traction. If your business is a jewelry company for example each post could have a different hashtag depending on the content: #Diamonds, #Jewelry, #Fashion, #Wedding, #Bridal, #Rings, etc. This method allows your content to appear in searches and feeds to a variety of users giving a larger amount of exposure. On instagram you have more space for more hashtags so keeping common ones with each post can still allow you to swap out a few new ones that is targeted toward the content you are posting (i.e. #Quotes or #Sale).
  • Use it for search: Use your own method of reach and start searching these users out with the hashtags you are commonly using. Finding users also using these can help you engage and take action with them (see more below) in the search of both Twitter and Instagram.

Engage, Engage and Engage. Find users and engage, it’s really that simple. Use those hashtags from above to search out key users based on the content they are posting and go from there. The more engagement you make with these users, the more you will get in return.

  • Like or Favorite: Simply liking or favoriting similar posts by users across both platforms will bring them back to your profile (better make sure your profile is spiffy and a good representative of your brand). The more you do the more you will get, especially across a range of key hashtags. There are a few tools out there that can help with this such as TargetGrow but taking the time to search out the users can also give you a deeper understanding of your target audience.
  • Follow Back: The old game of follow me and I’ll follow you back still works like a charm. Although not everyone will follow you, the ones that care about your brand will and they will stay loyal. Try using key hashtags to get started and then consider tools like iconosquare and communit to find new people.
  • Reply or Comment: Having something to say to a user’s post can make a huge impact. This extra step can mean the world to a loyal user who may not know about your brand just yet.

Giveaways, no matter how small. People like free no matter what. This can be true no matter what you can do and as a small organization you can normally pull this off with a lot less hassle than a large organization (legal, distribution, product, marketing team involvement is no where to be seen). No matter what you give away, make it product related and simple (free product such as jewelry or gift card for services). Now just make sure your execution is spot on to grow by asking users the following:

  • Twitter: Ensure they follow you, use key hashtags, request a RT and make sure you remind them.
  • Instagram: Ensure they follow you, use key hashtags (#giveaway), and have them tag a friend. This simple tactic can bring you a lot more exposure within Instagram.

Measure & adjust constantly. Although large marketing or brand teams may be looking at analytics monthly or quarterly, it’s important for a small organization to look at their analytics constantly. We have heard that most teams are looking daily or weekly at their traction and user response to come up with new content and adjust everything from hashtags, timing and images for the new week. In addition, we’ve even heard this is one of their favorite benefits about as they save a bit of time with our daily recommendations and game plan. Slight self promotion but have a look with our 14-day free trial so you can get some time back in your day!

Have you tried any of these methods or tools? Did they work? We’d love to hear! If you’re looking for a bit more about Instagram, check out our Blog post here or if you want to learn more about engaging on Twitter, check out that blog post here.

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