Growth Hacking Your Instagram in 3 Steps

These are 3 lessons learned that you can apply for growth hacking instagram.

I opened my Instagram account 2 years ago around November 2014. Not exactly an early adopter right? πŸ™‚



One of my first Instagram pictures was this

I was in Wisconsin for Thanksgiving and they said “Let’s get a Christmas tree”. I thought we were going to the store.

Instead we went to a field of trees.

I took this awesome picture:

List price of trees

A photo posted by Tom Ordonez (@tomordonez) on

6 likes, 0 comments.



New Years Eve of 2014 I was in Colombia

I went to an amusement park in the coffee region and took this awesome picture:

Giant spiders transformed into bamboo "Guadua" by the local wizard #Colombian witchcraft

A photo posted by Tom Ordonez (@tomordonez) on

9 likes, 0 comments.



January 2015 I went to Las Vegas for the CES

I took this awesome picture of the grasshopper. Although I couldn’t capture the fire.

A giant grasshopper that shoots fire in #LasVegas at #ContainerPark

A photo posted by Tom Ordonez (@tomordonez) on

12 likes, 0 comments

At this point I didn’t have more than 100 followers.



I didn’t post anything for a year


My next post was February 2016. About 120 followers.



I watched Fury Road in February 2016

I snapped a picture of an awesome truck that reminded me of Fury Road.

Fury Road in #Miami #miamilife #miamistyle #miamiliving #doral #doralzuela #trucks #pimpmyride #truckporn

A photo posted by Tom Ordonez (@tomordonez) on

37 likes, 1 comment



Around November 2016 I reviewed my Instagram strategy

Spent 2 months researching and experimenting.



Suddenly in January of 2017 I had 3,023 followers

96 likes, 37 comments



January 7, 2017. 128 likes, 25 comments



Growth Hacking Instagram in 3 Steps

These are 3 lessons learned that you can apply for growth hacking instagram.



1. Awesome content without audience is pointless

Unless you are using Instagram to “backup” your pictures. Posting awesome pictures without an audience is pointless.

The experience is exactly like playing a concert in front of no audience.

You might as well play the concert in your room.

To get an audience you need to…



2. Play the Instagram game

Instagram plays like Twitter.

I follow you. You follow me.

To grow faster you need to automate this task. But keep in mind that Instagram limits the number of people you can follow to 7,500. And they might block your account if you automate too fast.



3. Use hashtags

If you use hashtags wisely you will attract a large audience.

Focus on “wisely”.

If you use hashtags that are overused or too general you will get a lot of spam.

There are ways to scrape top quality hashtags.



4. Bonus: Research, Experiment, Iterate


You need to research a lot.

  • Research what other people are doing.
  • What they are posting.
  • What creates engagement.
  • What doesn’t create engagement.
  • At what time they are posting.
  • How many times they are posting in a day.
  • What do people respond.
  • Are they humans or robots.
  • How many likes.
  • How many comments.
  • Where are the commentators from.
  • Are they authentic or a bunch of spam.
  • Research Instagram ads and all previous variables.


Based on your research:

  • Define a topic. Is your Instagram a channel for 1 topic or many topics?
  • Collect hashtags for that topic
  • Create content for that topic
  • Post 5 times a day
  • Follow people that use those hashtags and are related to the topic
  • Like related posts
  • Comment on related posts
  • Review engagement results next day
  • What worked? What didn’t?
  • Iterate


Based on experiment results. Go back to research and repeat the process.



5. Bonus: Automation

Once you have a model that works then it’s time to scale growth. The only way is with automation.

Selenium Automation

You could create a Python script and using Selenium you could automate this on the browser. While randomizing steps so it appears humans.

This will require some technical skills πŸ™‚

Using Tools

There are some tools that are sort of grey hat which you must use properly and at your own risk.



If any of this helps please comment below. If you would like to share lessons please comment below

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