Triple your Instagram following

Our CEO, Jimmy Mackin, made it a priority to focus on Instagram this year and he is killing it. 🔥

In fact, in just 90 days he has tripled his following (without cheating).

He is also getting more Likes, Comments, Shares, Saves, Story views, and DMs with business opportunities than ever before and is ready to share his secrets to success.

Watch Jimmy and his Curaytor co-founder Chris Smith's latest live coaching session below.

1. Develop a strategy and posting schedule

Most people don't take the time to develop an actual plan for Instagram. Jimmy did and it has helped power his growth and engagement in a major way. Here are the things you need to have dialed in:

Purpose - Jimmy's goal is to be the most useful account in real estate. Make sure you clearly define the purpose for your account.

Audience - Jimmy is focused on helping real estate agents and teams. Be sure to define who you are creating your content for and be as specific as possible. 

Content - Jimmy creates three types of content which are actionable advice, useful data and downloadable templates. By having these buckets in place it makes it easy to find what to post. Be sure to define what types of content you want to post. 

Frequency - Jimmy's goal is to post once a day Monday through Friday. Five posts a week, every week, without fail. Make sure you determine a frequency for how often you want to post and stick with it. What is the best frequency? As often as possible without sacrificing quality. 

Cadence - Jimmy decided he wanted his cadence to be Video - Visual - Video - Visual (this also keeps your feed beautiful for when people visit your profile to check you out). Decide up front how often you want to post videos versus visuals. 

Inputs - Jimmy set up a Google Doc with a stream of proven ideas and inspiration. He has links to the best Twitter accounts, YouTube channels, blogs and podcasts that produce the type of content that he does. Be sure to spend a lot of time (once) setting up proven and reliable sources.

Batching - Jimmy saves every idea he has in a doc and creates a bunch of them in one session. With Reels only being 30-seconds you can create a month's worth of videos in one afternoon. Be sure to save every idea you have for content as soon as you have it and then go into the lab and mass produce it as time allows. 

2. Grow your following

There is a formula for growing your following on Instagram: Consistency + Quality = Growth

Post a lot. Post good stuff. But there are other ways to get more followers too. 

Try the garyvee $1.80 strategy and find the most popular locations, hashtags and accounts locally to use this on. You find 90 posts and give your two cents in the comments hence the dollar eighty. Be sure you leave smart and well thought out comments if you want this to work. 

Another proven way to grow your following is to run contests (Chris went from 5k to 10k in 4 weeks by running a contest) but the key is to target an audience you would want to follow you not just any audience. In the contest Chris ran he focused on people following Tom Ferry, Inman News and Boomtown because anyone who follows those accounts are likely to be agents and teams he wants following him. 

You can also boost your best organic content in a paid ad with Visit Profile as the call to action. Jimmy found that his posts that organically got the most Shares and Saves worked well for getting new Followers when combined with an ad spend. 

Lastly, every mass email Jimmy sends he includes a link to his Instagram in his email signature. This one tactic has led to 100's of new followers who were on his email list but hadn't yet followed him on IG. You should obviously use social media to get more people on your email list but this idea gets more people on your email list to your social media. 

3. Get more likes on your posts

Certain types of posts get more Likes than others. These include quotes, comedy, kids, pets, real estate porn, selfies and vulnerability. If you want more Likes on your posts then you should make one or more of those part of your plan. 

Another way to get more Likes is to test an idea where you have a large and engaged following and then take the winners and turn them into Instagram posts. Where can you test? For Jimmy that is Twitter but for you it might be your Facebook profile or Page. Track down your 25 most popular posts of all time on other platforms and repurpose them on IG for “guaranteed” success. 

Ask for the double tap (in the caption or in the image). In the example above Chris simply asked his audience to Like if they agreed. You would be surprised how effective this can be. You don't want to ask for a Like on every post but you can do it semi regularly. 

Another simple and effective way to get more Likes is the ICYMI (in case you missed it) email. Send a mass email to your list at least once a month with links to your individual top performing posts on Instagram. This can be incredibly useful especially if you don't blog or publish new content on your website regularly. 

4. Create Reels that people love

Instagram Reels are over indexing right now. Meaning, Instagram really wants and needs them to do well so they are giving them more reach than regular posts with videos or IGTV posts. In fact, we are getting 10x more views on a Reel than a normal IG video. 

We've also seen some A+ Reels from our Curaytor clients like Rossman Team and Jay Marks Real Estate. In both cases their Reels are also massively outperforming their normal video posts. No one can be sure how long this organic love for Reels will last but take advantage of it ASAP. Remember, at one point Facebook Pages got a ton of organic action too. Until they didn't and it became pay for play. 

Here are some of our Rules for Reels:

Thirty seconds is hard but necessary. If you are not creating micro content you will miss out. Short form content is increasingly becoming the most popular kind. Reels, TikTok, YouTube Shorts and videos in Stories are all blowing up because vertical videos that are short were perfectly made for today's iPhone addicted society. 

Use hashtags or trending music for more reach. By using relevant hashtags we are getting 1,000’s of views almost instantly after publishing. Plus, these views are largely coming from accounts that do not follow us yet so it gives us a chance to get new followers. 

If you don’t have a rockstar like Annette on your team to edit your Reels try these iPhone and Android apps for DIY simple editing options: InShot and Splice 

If you prefer to outsource editing try Upwork or Fiverr to find people to edit for you. Be sure to find an editor whose style you like and who is already editing vertical, short form content.

Add every Reel you create to TikTok. We are guessing you aren’t posting there at all or enough so by focusing on Reels you can build a new audience on TikTok as well. Chris has a video with 130k views on TikTok that was created to be a Reel. Because the audiences on Instagram and TikTok are different, cross posting content works well and isn't as frowned upon as it is with other platforms. 

5. Leverage Carousels for clout

Many new reports have found that Carousels are officially the most popular type of content on IG. The nice thing about them for us has been it allows for deeper dives on a topic than a Story, Reel or regular Post does. 

Instagram's algorithm loves them because it gets them more “time on post” and interaction. We have really seen people using Instagram's Save option with our sliders that give more information than you may be able to digest or act on immediately.  

One pro-tip that works well is making sure the last image in your Carousels is a call to action to follow, like, comment, share or save if you found the post valuable. You can even add icons above the actual buttons on Instagram to draw more attention to them. In Jimmy's post above you can see both the Save This For Later CTA on the first slide and the Follow Me CTA on the last. 

6. Build stories that get more views

Stories are everywhere nowadays because people love posting and looking at them. The best part about getting views on your Instagram Stories is that 100% of the people who view your Stories truly wanted to. They had to click on your Story to see it compared to things that the algorithm puts in their feed or explore tab. 

What you may not know about Stories is that there is a direct correlation between the amount of engagement they get and the number of views they get. Be sure to take advantage of Polls and Tagging accounts people should follow. When Instagram sees that you ran a Poll and a high percentage of those. who see it voted in it they push it out in front of more people. Same when you tag someone and suggest your followers follow them too. If a lot of people click on their handle your Story will get a boost and end up in front of more of your followers. Stories with a high engagement rate can get 3-4x more views than Stories people only advance or exit. 

Make sure you also share every Story to Facebook as a Story too. All of the IG Story functionality now works there. In the past if you tagged an account or ran a poll it wouldn't actually be clickable when you sent it to Facebook but now they are. 

It can be tough to create a bunch of Stories every single day so if you can’t create, curate. Share other accounts best posts as Stories from your account. If you are following a bunch of quality accounts that share the same type of content that you do in two clicks you can turn it into a Story. Use can even use apps like Top Nine to find the most liked posts from any account. 

If you are looking for more advanced Story designs and ideas be sure to check out either Motionbox or Easil. Both make it easy to create amazing Stories in seconds using their pre-made templates and editing capabilities.

7. Analyze your Analytics

To see the most and best Instagram analytics be sure to visit your Professional Dashboard which you can find by visiting your own Profile. You can also find Insights through the menu but the Professional Dashboard goes deeper. Worth noting, if your account is not listed as a business account you will not see the Professional Dashboard. 

You also need to decide on North Star metrics for the content you post. If you only judge your posts by the number of Likes they get you are doing it wrong. Sure, for the quotes Jimmy posts the goal is Likes. But for carousels it is saves and for Reels it is views. This approach can keep you stay sane when you post a killer carousel that doesn't get as many Likes as your other posts do but gets a ton of Saves or Shares instead. 

There are a lot of analytics that Instagram provides that aren't super useful but one that you should look up is knowing the best time of the day to post. Instagram will show you what time your Followers are online and posting when the most are logged on can make or break a post. It is critical that the first hour’s engagement is as high as possible because we have seen that ends up determining how well the post will perform for the next 24 hours.

8. Use ads effectively

In our experience, Instagram Ads are good for getting Likes, Reach and Followers but not so much for website traffic and leads. We do get traffic and leads from Instagram but not nearly at the scale as we do using Facebook Ads.

One reason to consider using IG Ads however is that it is a differentiator. Things like Story Ads are wide open and easier than ever to create. Basically, anyone can do a Swipe Up call to action with a link if they use a Story Ad. Ads for Reels are also going to be effective and less used than their other ad units because you will need to create a Reel worth advertising which many won't. 

If you are going to test Instagram Ads be sure to also try out their Lead Form option that pre-fills the form out with the person's name, email and phone number by extracting it from their IG account.

Lastly, if you do not have the time or expertise to get Instagram right we can help. Hundreds of the best real estate teams rely on Curaytor to design their Instagram posts and stories as well as promoting their listings. To see if we have an opening in your market start here

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