Instagram Growth – Zach Benson

Thriving Launch by Kamala Chambers and Luis Congdon Instagram Growth - Zach Benson
00:00:00 00:00:00

Instagram growth

Summary-icon

SUMMARY


Learning how to achieve Instagram growth is essential for entrepreneurs because Instagram is an engaging platform for connecting, selling, and networking.

Zach Benson, a full-time entrepreneur, world traveler, dancer, and owner of Assistagram, has used Instagram to get sponsorships, travel the world for free, and generate leads for his business.

On this episode, he shares tips on how to grow your Instagram account and leverage it for your business.

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KEY TAKEAWAYS


arrow-iconInstagram is one of the most engaging platforms.

arrow-iconInstagram rewards people who are active.

arrow-iconTo grow your Instagram account, have 40% original content, and 60% curated content.

arrow-iconWhen sharing content on Instagram, the right hashtags will get you more exposure, followers, and likes.

arrow-iconMake an Instagram page about one of your interests, and focus on one particular niche.

arrow-iconIt’s hard to gain a lot of followers on Instagram if you’re just posting about your daily life.

arrow-iconCurating content means resharing other people’s Instagram posts and giving credit to them.

arrow-iconBe consistent and persistent.

arrow-iconTake time to like and comment on your target market’s Instagram posts.

Summary-icon

TRANSCRIPTION: INSTAGRAM GROWTH – ZACH BENSON


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Kamala Chambers

This week has been all about social media, and today, we’re going to talk about Instagram growth so stay tuned to boosting your Instagram training.

Today, we’re here with CEO Zach Benson. He’s a full-time entrepreneur, world traveler, dancer, and connector. Zach was also round 4 finalists on the hit TV show So You Think You Can Dance. We’re so excited to him here today talking about Instagram growth.

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Luis Congdon

Hey. Thriving launchers, you guys know how much I love social media. It’s my thing and my gem. I even have a course and some training on Facebook and starting to get into Twitter more, and LinkedIn, and one of the most coveted places of social media that I’m getting into is Instagram.

Instagram is something I haven’t cracked yet, but it’s something that people, like our guest today, have figured out how to utilize to travel the world, to get sponsorships, to generate business and leads.

Without further ado, let’s bring on the owner of Assistagram, Zach Benson. Are ready to launch?

Zach Benson

Yes. Hey, guys.

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Luis Congdon

Love it.

One of the first things I want to ask you is why Instagram? There are many choices out there right now. You and others know that I love Facebook. I love Facebook groups. Anything Facebook I think is fantastic for business. Why is it important to have Instagram growth? Why is that a place that we should be at?

Zach Benson

That’s a good question.

Instagram Growth For Business

Zach Benson

If you guys are following Gary Vaynerchuk, he made a post about it predicting why Facebook would buy and acquire Instagram for a billion dollar and that was back in 2011 or 12. It’s just because it’s one of the most engaging platforms out there with now over 600,000 active users every single month.

Zach Benson Instagram Growth Thriving Launch Podcast

Zach Benson

I think that’s why he was making that prediction and that’s why so many people are using it now. That’s why Instagram came out with Instagram stories. It’s shutting down Snapchat as well. It’s a cool platform.

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Luis Congdon

One of the things I know too is that Instagram stories have increased, and now, there are more users on a daily basis using Instagram.

If we’re trying to get the attention of people, if we’re trying to communicate, grow the network, have our business be relevant, be in the face of other people, and available to other people, then being able to have Instagram growth is important.

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Kamala Chambers

What do you recommend for your account to start Instagram growth?

Starting Instagram Growth

Zach Benson

To have Instagram growth, you got to decide first if you want to have a personal account or a fan page. The fan pages are a little bit faster and easier to have Instagram growth.

Let’s say you’re interested in travel or fitness or luxury. You make a page about that, and then you focus on one particular niche. Maybe it’s like motivational quotes or travel photography or most beautiful hotels in the world. Those pages tend to grow a lot faster because people are more inspired by the pictures.

When you’re able to curate content of other people and photographers around the world use that content on your page, it makes your page go more viral. It gets you more followers, and likes.

If you did want to start a personal page, you’re able to have Instagram growth. Just know that it’s a little bit harder to grow.

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Kamala Chambers

What about a blend where you use a business page, but you weave in some photos from your real life? Does it draw the market more?

Zach Benson

You could do that. I know a lot of celebrities live cool lives, so a lot of people are interested in their pages, and that’s what makes them popular and have Instagram growth.

Posts That Slow Down Instagram Growth

Zach Benson

For an average person or entrepreneur, it’s hard to gain traction and followers, and it slows down Instagram growth if you’re just posting about your daily life.

Zach Benson Instagram Growth Thriving Launch Podcast

Zach Benson

No one cares what you have for breakfast, but if you’re a celeb like Justin Bieber, they’ll go crazy over it.

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Luis Congdon

Yeah, I want to know what time Justin Bieber is eating, what he’s eating and how he got that awesome haircut. That’s my biggest question, so I’m logging into Instagram. I’m just joking.

What you said about what posts to make to have Instagram growth completely makes sense. One of the things I teach over in the Profit From Facebook is that a lot of us are using social media in such a personal way that then, we’re keeping it very private, which is good and bad for Instagram growth.

If I’m posting stuff about what I eat, and what time going to the bathroom, and all my emotions throughout the day, that appeals to my friends and family. That becomes a very personal thing for my friends and family but doesn’t reach a broad spectrum of people.

Thinking From The Viewer’s Perspective Speeds Up Instagram Growth

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Luis Congdon

If our purpose is to get out there, get noticed, make an impact, make a difference, and have people be drawn and attracted to us, then we need to think from the perspective of the viewer. Those are excellent points on Instagram growth.

One of the things I hear from you is to have a focus around your Instagram. Don’t try just to make it super personal and just about you but have a focus on who you’re trying to attract, and what kind of images those people like.

What else would you suggest to have Instagram growth? I know one of the hardest things most of us have is being able to have Instagram growth. That’s one of the most difficult things people have, and one of the techniques people use is follow and unfollow a bunch of individuals, but that doesn’t seem to be the best way to go about it.

Zach Benson

Exactly.

Automation Doesn’t Help In Instagram Growth

Zach Benson

Instagress was just shut down. A lot of people are going crazy like, “What the heck do I do now?” because they’ve been relying on it so much.

The truth is that apps and services that use any automation stun your growth so don’t use that.

Use Real People To Have Instagram Growth

Zach Benson

I’m all about using real people managing and growing my accounts.

Instagram rewards people who are active.

That’s why it’s better to have a real human being working on the account.

To grow your Instagram account, have 40% original content, and 60% curated content, and have a nice mix going on in there.

Zach Benson Instagram Growth Thriving Launch Podcast

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Luis Congdon

When you say curated, what does that mean? Curated is an interesting word for me in this context. Could you explain that to us a little bit more?

Zach Benson

Yeah.

Let’s say you have podcast account or motivational account. And so, you have your quotes and inspirational things that you say, and videos that you put out, but also, you probably have some other influencers, people you looked up to, respect, and admire, and follow on Instagram.

Curating Content To Have Instagram Growth

Zach Benson

Curating content means resharing their posts, giving credit to them and saying, “Great one by Gary V,” and posting that on your feed.

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Kamala Chambers

That’s great.

You’ve brought up that magical word “Hashtags.” How do you recommend we use hashtags for Instagram growth? I know it’s a big topic.

Zach Benson

Yeah.

There are many ways you can find them. If you are using automation tools, you can find some and research hashtags with Massplanner, but I always do it by hand. I have my virtual assistant setter in my company just research hashtags for the clients, and basically, it depends on their size.

Hashtags For Instagram Growth

Zach Benson

If you are having like a travel account with using the hashtag “travel” that has millions and millions of posts, it’s very highly unlikely your post will get seen unless you have a crazy engagement like 20,000, 30,000 likes.

I always suggest to using hashtags with lesser posts. If you have a smaller account, use hashtags with 10,000 to 50,000 posts, and you rotate those hashtags throughout the day and the week, and you figure out what works best.

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Kamala Chambers

That’s great, and there’s a limit to the number of hashtags you use. You put those hashtags in the comments, and I’ve heard what the limit is but I want to hear it from you because you are the expert in that for Instagram Growth.

Use Right Amount Of Hashtags For Instagram Growth

Zach Benson

The limit is 30. Usually, what we do is put three hashtags in the first comment. As soon as we post, we wait a few seconds and then copy and paste our hashtags in there.

You can post up to 60 hashtags, and there are ways to do it. You can simply Google it. I don’t want to explain it because it’s easier for you guys to find out by yourselves but 30 hashtags seem to be the best to do it in the first comments.

Guides have come out where you can post 60, but that doesn’t help so I’d stick with 30 in the first comments.

kamala-head

Kamala Chambers

That’s great. Thank so much for clarifying that and giving us another resource to look into there.

As we’re going out and we’re trying to grow our accounts manually, what would you recommend on how to do that? What I’ve heard is a method where you find people that have related hashtags to what you use. They’re someone who would probably follow you back, and you like five of their posts, and comment on three of them, and then follow them if they’re relevant to you.

Is that something you would recommend or would you recommend something different for Instagram growth?

Zach Benson

I’m going to tell you a secret to Instagram growth that a lot of people don’t know, and this was a tip given to me by one of my friends.

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Luis Congdon

We like secrets. We promise not to tell anyone.

Secret To Instagram Growth

Zach Benson

Growing your Instagram account is all about content. Content is king.

Let me explain how to find viral content like I said 60% curated content. You go to a page in your niche that’s performing very well, and you know their posts are very high quality and viral. Then, you calculate their average likes over the last 30 posts and then, find posts that perform about 30% better, and then you’ll have viral posts proven to work, and it works for every niche.

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Kamala Chambers

So you would go to someone that you like.

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Luis Congdon

Go to someone who is doing well.

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Kamala Chambers

Someone that’s doing well, and you’d find their top performing post in the last 30 posts?

Zach Benson

Yeah. I calculate their average likes over the last 30 posts and then find posts that perform about 30% better.

kamala-head

Kamala Chambers

How do you that?

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Luis Congdon

Kamala’s confused about how you do that. I’m not exactly sure what she’s asking but let me just break it down and see if I understand properly.

Zach Benson

Yeah.

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Luis Congdon

It seems like I get it.

Let’s say my business is in the travel industry. It’s something you do very well Zach, and it’s something that is incredible on Thriving Launchers.

Viral Posts Help In Instagram Growth

luis-head

Luis Congdon

So if you’re in the travel industry, find two or three travel accounts. Let’s just say find one travel account that’s just crushing it. It’s a good travel account, and then we’re going to look at their last 30 posts. Then, check the number of likes they have for each post and calculate the average.

That’s what they’re getting, and from there, that’s the next piece of the puzzle where maybe you can fill us in again.

Zach Benson

Just to keep it simple because that was a good question.

Finding Viral Posts For Instagram Growth

Zach Benson

To keep it simple on how to find viral posts:

First, you have to find accounts that are doing well. It can be in any niche.

After that, you can see the posts that are performing very well and have gone viral. If you can’t find a viral post, that means the account is unhealthy. That means they’ve relied on Instagress and automation, and follow and unfollow. If your account can’t get viral posts, that’s a problem.

By viral, we could be anywhere from 5,000 up to 20,000 likes. You just basically do the math, and you just do trial and error and repost some of those posts on these accounts that have done well.

Repost And Reshare To Have Instagram Growth

Zach Benson

You could go back a couple of months and find their viral posts, and repost them and reshare. It’s just going to go viral again because people in Instagram see images every single day and they forget. It’s always good.

It’s like if you read a book, you’re not going to get what the book has to say in one read. Sometimes, you have to read it four or five times. Sometimes, you have to see these pictures four or five times, and it’s fine. It’s okay to see it again.

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Luis Congdon

That makes sense.

One of the things I hear from you is not to be afraid to share other people’s posts on your wall. That’s something that I haven’t done. I’ll be honest. I don’t tend to share stuff that other people have done. It’s not something I do on Facebook because it works terribly on Facebook.

Whenever I share a fan page thing or whenever I share someone else’s post, I’ll do it with a lot of scrutinies because it’s not certainly going to get me more fandom or anything. I’ll only do it if I find it to be super relevant to my audience on Facebook or special to me and I want to share it, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to do a lot for me.

With sites like Twitter and Instagram, I’ve heard that this is a good strategy to find posts and shares that have already gone viral and share those.

Zach Benson

Yes, exactly.

It’s good because it’s not all about you. It’s like you’re also inspired by other people and things every day so we might as well share it.

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Luis Congdon

So Zach, one of the things I’d like you to just chat a little bit about is you do this thing where you grow Instagram accounts that you can then sell or utilize for travel purposes, and have company support. The only reason I want people to hear about this is not so much that they’ll go out and buy it from you or buy from someone else because that’s a very careful thing people need to consider if they’re going to do that.

More than anything, Thriving Launchers, I want you guys to consider the possibility that if you’re using social media right, you can utilize it to travel the world or to network or sell products. You can do many different things.

So Zach, tell me about what you do with the travel aspect of Instagram.

Zach Benson

It’s pretty cool.

Get Sponsorships Through Instagram Growth

Zach Benson

Past year, I’ve gotten over about a hundred free nights at five-star hotels all around the road for myself and friends and even launched deals with board of tourism. I’m working with the board of Dubai right now in a big influencer campaign and pretty much traveled the world for free.

It’s cool because I add a lot of value to these hotels and travel companies I work for, and I give them a ton of exposure on big network of travel pages, which is 6 million. Then, we have a fitness network, a 5 million luxury

We do barter, trade, exchange. And so, I stay in their hotels for free, get everything for free, and then we give them posts.

It’s a little bit more complicated than that, but then after that, we become friends. And then, I see all these huge deals with these hotels and travel boards, and I’m pretty much running their whole social media campaigns.

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Kamala Chambers

It’s fantastic. So it’s not only that you do get the free nights, but then, you can sell them as a package.

Zach Benson

Yeah. It’s all about that mutual beneficial exchange, and then becoming friends, building that trust and rapport. If you guys like each other, then it’s pretty easy to do business because they’re like, “Wow. Zach is the guy. He can make it happen.”

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Kamala Chambers

Zach, you opened up a lot of possibilities there. Just with that. We appreciate you sharing that.

Before we close, is there any last tip you want to give the Thriving Launchers about growing their Instagram?

Keys To Instagram Growth

Zach Benson

It’s all about just being consistent and persistent, posting two to five times a day, rotating those hashtags, liking and commenting on your target market for a few hours a day. It just all takes time. The best things in life take time, and you’re only going to see results if you’re consistent with it. If you don’t have time, then it’s going to be a lot harder to grow.

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Kamala Chambers

If you don’t have time, maybe you have money, and you can hire someone else to do it for you.

Thank you so much for being on with us here, Zach. We’ve been talking about Instagram growth, using Instagram to leverage your business and blow it up.

Thank you so much Thriving Launchers for tuning in. I just encourage you to go out today and start implementing some tips that Zach has blessed us all with.

Keep thriving everyone.

Thriving Launch by Kamala Chambers and Luis Congdon Instagram Growth - Zach Benson
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