League of Extraordinary Women – How we grew our Instagram to 75k

Posted By Sheryl Thai On 8 December 2016
Last May I decided to take over The League’s Instagram account that was sitting at under 5000 followers. In 18 months we have grown it to 75k, I remember how hard it was to even get to 5k. Now with the algorithms and what not, it’s making it even harder for people to notice your account and want to follow you.
Here are six ways to increase your following:
  1. CONSISTENCY IS KEY – Have a look at your feed, does it look like a haphazard mess? Or does it look consistent? Whether you have a bunch of ugly meme’s, as long as there’s a theme and consistent, that is the key. Have a look at our @theleaguewomen feed and you can see we have white, grey, black and pink as our main colour schemes. Images – pink, clean, pretty, inspiring. Quotes – nice and clean. For those of you that are really serious, you can use an Instagram planner app. Here are a few:


  1. THE 3 E’S – When posting content, ask yourself does your post either Enlighten, Educate or Entertain your followers? If there is no objective, your content and image will disappear into the background with the sea of thousands of images uploaded each minute. We love to entertain and enlighten our audience with a mix of hilarious real-life quotes and inspirational quotes. This encourages our followers to tag their best friends which in turn grows our following as like-minded people are often good friends that like the same things and have the same humour.
  1. SEEDING – One of the most effective strategies we ever executed to increase our following was to collaborate with complementary brands that have a similar audience to our brand. Once you identify these brands, usually those that have large followings, you can approach them to collaborate. I call this “seeding”. Look I’m not sure if it’s a real term and I probably made it up but it basically means: a strategy to planting seeds to attract and grow your following. Nowadays it’s not unusual to pay for these social media influencers to do posts for you and there’s a range of apps you can use including Nichify, Tribe, Hypetap.com
  2. CAPTION IS YOUR CAPTAIN – Sure, Instagram is a visual platform and you need an awesome image to grab attention but once you’ve hooked them in, you need to keep them engaged with your words. This is another opportunity to communicate what your brand is about – if you’re brand is playful, make your caption playful too.
  3. #HASHTAGLYF – Look, we get it, hashtags don’t look cool. When you use a lot of hashtags, you might feel like you look like a little bit of a desperado. Here’s the thing though – if you don’t use ‘em, you won’t get found. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post. Use them ALL. Put them in your first comment rather than your actual post so that most people won’t actually see them, and you can still maintain some dignity.
  4. GET PEOPLE TO DO SOMETHING, CTA – You might think at first that this sounds kind of annoying. But sometimes the best way to get people to do things is to literally just ask them to do it. Want more of your followers to comment on your post? Ask them to comment on your post. Obviously we don’t mean you should go post something and say ‘comment on this post’ and expect all the comments to start rolling in. You want to be clever about it and ask them to tag or comment for a reason. Here’s an example. When we don’t ask people to tag their peeps we get about 50 comments. When we do? We get 5 times as many comments. Comments equals engagement, which means the insta-gods will reign more views upon your feed.
If you’re super serious with building your Instagram following and want to dive deeper we conducted a sold out social media masterclass earlier in the year that we filmed with nuggets of gold that will help you create a strategy to use IG to it’s fullest potential for your business using real-life examples. Also our friends at Foundr do a great free ebook here.
Comment below if you have some great tips to share with the League community or comment if you enjoyed these handy tips.
Stay Peachy,
Sheryl Thai, CEO
League of Extraordinary Women
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6 Responses

  1. Christy says:

    Hi Sheryl!

    Great tips and completely agree with you on the hashtags – USE ALL 30!
    Thanks so much for supporting an Australian startup, I really appreciate it.


  2. Natalie says:

    Love this. So many great points. Yes sometimes the simplest thing is cookie scheme! You guys are doing such a FAB job. Thank you for always inspiring and bringing the laughs!
    Nat 🙂
    And yes loveeeeee the comments on the 1st comment! Brill!

  3. Kendra says:

    I’ve been doing makeup and hair for about 9 years but I jumped on the social media band wagon a little late! As someone who is just starting to build a following, I’m so appreciative of FREE advice. It’s tough when everything requires you to spend money but you are necessarily generating any revenue yet. So thank you for the tips!


  4. Jane says:

    There is some great tips and links in here. One of my favs is the ‘share your peeps’ and I will use it if I may 😊.
    Ps my phone auto corrected your name to Sherlock- maybe something in that. Ha

  5. Jane says:

    There are some great tips and links in here. One of my favs is the ‘share your peeps’ and I will use it if I may.

    Ps my phone auto corrected your name to Sherlock- maybe something in that. Ha

  6. Bek says:

    Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou! This is fantastic advice. Keep up the amazing advice


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