“How did your girls get ALL of those followers....SO fast?” A question I’ve been asked almost on the daily over the past few months. At first I had absolutely NO idea. Instagram was something that I hadn’t used much before starting an account for the girls this past July. If you would have asked me 6 months ago if 300,000 followers was a lot... I wouldn’t have had a clue.
According to some of my friends (that were WAYYY more Instagram savvy then me) I needed to follow a few key steps in order to get my girls account up and running. Here are some of the things I was told...
Post Pictures Regularly (but don’t overpost). Well... I kind of took that with a grain of salt in the beginning. I felt like it was more important for me to establish an account and have too many pictures at first then to take weeks playing the game of posting them sparingly. Looking back at their account now I definitely failed this first step because I posted 5 pictures the first day... :/
Use The Right Hashtags When Posting Your Pictures. When I first started posting I had NO idea what hashtags to use for the girls so I did a little research. I would look to see what hashtags girl models their age with large followings would use in their posts. I’d compare a bunch of them with each other, find the ones most had in common, add in some others I thought might work for twins, and hope that it all came together well enough to get a few new followers. I’m still not sure if I’m doing it correctly but as long as the girls are continuing to grow their followers, I must be doing something right.
Tag The Right People To Give Them Credit And To Get Your Post Seen. I definitely struggled with this at first. I didn’t know who to tag, who not to tag, or even how to do it. I now realize tagging designers, makeup artists, and even entering your location will get your posts noticed way more and possibly even reposted! I’m still not sure what the difference is between tagging the photo and/or tagging in the comment section below but I do both just to be on the safe side :)
Following EVERYONE... At Least In The Beginning. This way you have a chance of them following you back. I started out following every kid model, every photographer, and every kids clothing store around. Once I started getting a lot of these to follow the girls back, I went back in and kind of cleaned up shop. I kept following ONLY those I wanted to follow. Comment On Others Posts. This is a time consumer and to be honest until talking with a friend tonight I forgot about this step myself. I can’t say that I did this often with my girls account even though I’m sure it would have been beneficial. And did you know...5 word comments get noticed more? Yeah, I didn’t either until today so I definitely still have a lot to learn!
So by following the steps above, in a little over 2 months time, the girls had their first 1000 followers. Then exactly 3 months after I started their Instagram account, they hit 3000 followers and I remember thinking... well that came a lot quicker then I had anticipated! The same day they hit 3,000 followers I had gotten my first batch of edited professional headshots back so I posted a couple up! It was like a wild fire... the girls’ followers doubled in no time and in only 7 days, Ava and Leah’s account had gone from 3,000 to 15,000 followers. I then decided to post a few more pictures from that same session, and 3 days later it jumped up another 10,000 for a total of 25,000 followers. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I remember thinking... is this normal? Is this a glitch? Am I going to wake up tomorrow and all of these followers will just be gone? It almost seemed too good to be true.
Eventually I ran out of pictures from that session and knew I needed to come up with a new plan if I wanted to keep their account growing. I noticed the pictures with both of my girls together were getting way more likes then the ones I posted of them individually. I also noticed the pictures getting the most likes were those that showed their similar features (especially those that accentuated their eyes) where they posed side by side. So once a week, usually on a weekend, I would take the girls out for an hour or so around the neighborhood to snap a few pictures that I would end up using to post to their account for the following week. I would borrow a couple of cute outfits from my neighbor who runs the childrens Pop Up Boutique and sometimes I would quickly style their hair differently in between shots (so it looked like a new day)! If I was lucky, I’d get 3 or 4 good shots that I could use to post to their account for the next week and that I could also give to my neighbor to promote her boutique. Win Win!
I then discovered a new tab on Instagram where you can see all of the pictures that other Instagram pages tag you in. I started noticing that some of the pictures I had taken were getting reposted anywhere from 10-50 times on other Instagram pages that had followers ranging from 9 followers to 9 million followers. And every picture that had been reposted was of my girls posing together, rather then alone, so I realized it was the “twinsfactor” that was contributing to their large following.
Now, a little over 5 months later, the girls have over 380,000 followers. Although I’m still no expert at this social media game, I’ve been learning a few tricks along the way. One thing I know for sure is it’s ALL about the pictures... so don’t settle for an average photographer because you want to save a few dollars. Spend a little extra, it will pay off in the end!