My 6 Week Instagram Experience

This is my Instagram experience. I am in no way a social media guru but I do have an understanding of social media forms for regular people starting out and working to develop a following. Many people have asked and so I am delivering my 6 week experience of building a following on Instagram.

This is just a small part of what I have discovered so if you want to use social media to increase your business connections without paying for it, follow along for the next 6 weeks.

I currently run four accounts:

@piercebrunson (my life posted, low post frequency, minimal engagement)

@piercebrunsonphotography (my photography, low post frequency, minimal engagement)

@fireflyeventphotography (my high school event photography business, regular post frequency, minimal engagement)

@promphotography (my prom photography business, high post frequency, high engagement)


IG: Instagram

Posts: The pic or media you are sharing.

Hashtags: “#” and then some words

Followers: People that follower your account

Likes: The heart that people click when they like your pic.

DM: Direct message

Engaging: Actively talking to another person.

Organic Follower: Real followers that are interested in your content, you built them by engaging and hashtagging your pics.

Igers: Actually “IGers”, a person that Instagrams.

Creep/ Creepin’: Looking at someone’s account to see what they are doing, then looking at who their friends are and what they like (also used to gain information about someone without asking)

Ok, time to get started. As of today I have worked the Instagram from zero to over 600 followers for a solid six weeks. I didn’t use the Facebook feature to instantly boost the account. The account where I did all of my learning is @promphotography. I have spent hours during the day and night to figure out how to build my account organically.

What I know:

  1. To increase likes it has to be a decent pic, not professional. Though professional helps.
  2. The IG filters help a crappy pic…they help a lot.
  3. There are people that sympathy like things because you posted a pic of your face and it has only two likes.
  4. Stay on topic
  5. You will gain and loose followers for a number of reasons
  6. Don’t take this personal
  7. It takes a ton of time and dedication to build a great site.
  8. If you engage you will have followers that are real people.
  9. Fake accounts will like your pics and follow you, mostly like pics.
  10. Follow4follow is useless, engage for follow
  11. Purchasing followers is a rip-off, no matter what the company says.
  12. I think products are easier to post, attract followers, and sell (though I have zero proof of this).
  13. People will DM (direct message) you pics that are related to your content if you feature them, tag them in the pic they send you and shout them out. (the most DMs I received in a day were 22, it was overwhelming)

What I have yet to figure out:

  1. How to turn any social media into buyers of product.
  2. How a person with 4 posts has 10000 followers.
  3. How to make money with these platforms.

What I believe now.

  1. You think you want 10000+ people that follow until you have to engage with them.
  2. You better figure out how to make some cash off of your efforts.
  3. Starving social media guru is the new starving artist.
  4. Social media is a 24 hour job. God bless Gary Vaynerchuk @garyvee, his social media obsession, and ability to turn this format into gold. Shit ain’t easy.

How to HASHTAG (#)

How to # (hashtag) properly? Simply type “#” and then add a word or phrase behind it. There you have just properly used the hashtag.

How do you get more likes to your images? Use this hashtag site to keep up.

I used this site’s hashtag suggestions and did get a lot of likes but many they were from fake accounts.

IMO (in my opinion) the best way to hashtag is with this formula: general topic, regional topic, local topic, extra tags for likes and followers.

Sample: I post a lot of prom pics for my Firefly Event Photography business, @fireflyeventphotography and a sample posting for general images looks like this.

#northeast #vikings #nehi The #best student event #image company delivering #amazing #instagood #homecoming, #prom, & #graduation #style in #florida. Use #fireflyeventphotography at your #highschool #formal #event and get unlimited photos for everyone. Free downloading of images for 20 years. No credit card needed. #photooftheday #photobooths #props #memories #orlando #miami #stpete #tampa #tampabay #Sarasota #palmbeach #bocaraton #daytona #verobeach contact

A bit jumbled so here is the breakdown of what I am doing:

General topic: #homecoming, #prom, & #graduation #style #highschool #formal #event

Regional topic: #florida #orlando #miami #stpete #tampa #tampabay #Sarasota #palmbeach #bocaraton #daytona #verobeach

Local topic: #northeast #vikings #nehi #fireflyeventphotography

Extras: #amazing #instagood #photooftheday

I combined a few from the tagforlikes site and developed my own formula. It is working out well.


One tag that I discovered the other day was the term “igers” there is a local tag for this.

#igersoftheday has 8 million pics connected to that hashtag.



To increase followers post a ton of this type of content:

  1. Food: IDC (I don’t care) how much you exercise at the gym, food or #foodporn, is attractive. We all desire to eat whatever we want without the consequences.
  2. Tits and Ass: Shocking, I know but there is no way your meme about loving life will out attract a chick that is willing to post her body in the skimpiest outfit possible. These ladies will get easily 1000 followers in a few days from a fresh account.
    1. These type of women are also followed by the fitness girls that are just using the gym selfie to separate themselves from the porn (soft-core) world.
  3. Shoes, Animals, Jewelry, HDR Pics:

The aforementioned three are just for the regular folks…celebrities have a ton of followers but you aren’t them so don’t be shocked that you only have a third of your Facebook friends following you.

Want to easily increase your followers?

  1. Do a local search of users, example “stpete”
  2. Follow everyone related to that search in terms of your personal interest.
  3. Creep their followers and who they follow to increase your follow list.
  4. Like some of their pics and follow. If you are slightly interesting you will get some return follows as some will instantly follow back. #followback

How to organically increase followers?

  1. Use 1-4 above
  2. Like others that have the same interest.
  3. Follow others that are dedicated to the same interest.
  4. Engage by publically contacting them.
  5. Have contact that they will want to follow.
  6. Hashtag properly

Ok this enough for today, my brain hurts. If you have any questions or comments just leave them below. Every Friday until September I will share how the @promphotography and @fireflyeventphotography accounts are going and share tips that will help you increase your Instagram account.

Follow Pierce Brunson on Twitter, IG and Google+.

Pierce Brunson , M.Ed., is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, and spends his time working as a mentor and speaker while developing businesses that help improve the high school experience for students and teachers. He has over a decade of experience teaching in the public school system as a high school Social Studies teacher, majoring in World History and Sociology. Pierce believes everyone can do more to help improve the education system in their local communities, which is part of the backbone of any society. Pierce’s advice is simple: stop complaining and do something to help improve the situation. Good people have to stop being afraid to fight for what they believe in. Get in the game, help others, share culture and move the world toward equality and justice. Connect with Pierce at,, and

My Youtube:


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