My 5 Secrets for Growing on Instagram

One of my favorite things to talk about is growing on Instagram. I feel like there is so little information or just wrong information out there and not enough personal information/stories. I wanted to share 5 things that I have been doing either recently or over the past few years that have really helped my account thrive!

Posting reels. I can't stress enough how important Instagram Reels are right now!! I was posting reels often when they first were introduced at the end of the summer in 2020. I stopped posting them later in the fall because I just thought people weren't excited about them even though they were getting lots of view! I listened to a podcast from Josie Bullard about Reels and she said she grew 20K in 2 months from posting 2-3 reels a week. She suggested posting 2-3 a week for 2 months to see what would happen.

So, that's exactly what I'm doing! I started on February 24, 2020 and was at 16.6K followers before I posted my reel that day. It's been 23 days, I've posted 2 reels a week, and am now at 18K followers. That's more growth than I've seen in a while and I'm SO excited about it!! I've also noticed that the more reels I've been posting, the more and more views they get which is super interesting to see.


Tip: The best reels are the ones that align with your content. I'm primarily a Disney account, so Disney-focused reels always lead to the most success. I posted a reel with Michael (the rock, paper, scissors challenge from TikTok) in December that went viral. I gained about 1k followers from that and then didn't post a reel for months. I ended up losing those followers because even though it does align with my lifestyle content, I didn't continue to post reels/similar content. So that is definitely something to keep in mind and something that I learned from!


Showing my face on stories daily. I try to post a photo of myself (whether its a selfie, boomerang, or mirror selfie) as my first story of the day. Doing so has helped tremendously with increasing my story engagement. It has lead to more story replies throughout the day & more story views. It shows my audience 1) that I'm awake and ready to take on the day and 2) that I want to connect with them. It's more personal to share a photo of yourself than a blank screen with text so I always try to show my face as much as I can.


Tip: Posting a selfie with a question/question box, poll, or quiz encourages interaction! Sometimes I'll put up a question box in the morning when I post a mirror selfie that says "What are you up to today?" or if I post a selfie I'll include a poll that says "Are you a buying your coffee today or making it at home?". Of course the question will go along with what I'm saying in my story but those are some examples!


Responding to DM's/Comments. I cannot tell you how upset it makes me when I reach out to another creator and don't ever get an answer. It's just a very disheartening feeling. I totally get that it can be very overwhelming to go through comments/messages but it's the human thing to do when someone reaches out to you, even if it takes you a long time to answer! When I started my account, I got SO excited when I would see a message notification in my DM's. If I'm being honest, I STILL get that way!! The first thing I do when I go on Instagram, even before checking my post notifications, watching stories, catching up on posts, is looking at/responding to my messages! I just love chatting with my friends/followers through DM's because I feel like I'm able to best connect that way!


Tip: Responding to comments on your post during the first hour helps engagement and makes responding to the rest of the comments not seem so daunting because you already have responded to some!


Staying specific to my niche. It truly has taken me 3 and a half years to figure out my account. Between my two DCP's, occasionally going on Disney vacations, and the pandemic, I feel like it has been very hard to stay consistent with the type of content I was posted.

When I first started out I was a Disney vacation gal. Then it switched to a DCP account, then a post-DCP account trying to navigate how to post again at home while not at Disney. Then I went back for another DCP so it turned into a DCP account again. Then obviously the pandemic happened last year so it was very hard to figure out what to post because the parks were closed, I had little Disney photos left to share and just didn't know what to do. I branched out into lifestyle because I do love getting more personal than just Disney on my account. That was a nice change for me but still didn't feel like "me".

I honestly feel like my first trip back to Disney in January was when I really felt like I had a clear vision of what I wanted for my account. I have a Disney-focused account; that's what I love, what brings me the most joy, and what others find the most joy from. I have completely niched down my content and kind of restructured (for my own sake) to get a more clear idea of what my direction is with this account. Once I decided to fully commit to the Disney realm of Instagram again, I started finding so much more success and happiness in myself again.


Tip: Pick a content category that you really really love and could talk about forever. Mine is Disney of course. Choose like 5 aspects in that category that you want to really dive deep into. Some of mine are "Disney Trip Tips/Experiences", "DCP Advice/Tips/Experiences", "Disney Photo Ideas/Inspo", & "Disney Outfit Ideas/Inspo". I have three content categories (Disney, Lifestyle, Creation) and did this with all three... it has made niching down my content SO much easier!


Being myself. One of my biggest goals on Instagram is to be real. I'm a normal person and I want that to be very clear with my audience. I do not go on extravagant vacations, buy high-end clothes, or wear makeup every day. I wear leggings, buy Starbucks, and put my hair in a low bun most days of my life. I'm very honest with my followers about how I live because seriously when I meet people in person... how awkward would it be if I wasn't who I portrayed myself to be online...LOL. I'm a normal human and I want my followers to feel like they can relate to me and what I do in my daily life! I have been able to connect with people on such a deeper level now because I show them the real me on my Instagram stories!


Tip: Sharing videos is truly where your personality will shine through! I know it can be scary but people love watching video content and want to feel like they're talking to you!! I was so bad on camera when I first started. It's very cringey to go into my archives and watch my stories from 3 years ago but practice makes perfect and the sooner you start, the sooner you get comfortable!


I hope you enjoyed my little secrets for growing on Instagram! Let me know if you want to see more posts like this. As always, you can always send me an Email or DM me on Instagram!


See ya real soon,

Danielle