It's been a long time! I don't know if I'm back for good, but I will try!
I don't have a huge amount of followers on Instagram, but I was asked how I gained mine. So here are some tips I can share:
1.) Do use your best nail art as your profile pic. Let's be honest, only a well-presented default picture gets a second look.
screenshot credit to @maespiritu_artofnail
2.) Do pick an interesting IG name. Make it something easy to remember, something "you". Refrain from using numbers in between letters because it comes off as spammy. No one will trust a @133tty_c00p312nailz vs. @BettyCooperNails
3.) Do fill out your bio. Say something interesting about you and your IG. This will keep your IG visitors on your page.
screenshot credit to @mininailblog
5.) Do trim your nails to the same length. I don't find it attractive when one nail is cut short and the rest are kept long. It's just wrong. But this is just a personal opinion. If your nails are neat and clean, it will attract more visitors to your page.
6.) Do clean your cuticles and hydrate before taking photos. Same reason as above.
7.) Do make it about others, too. Visit other pages, and leave likes and comments as you feel like. Be reminded though, to always be polite and never leave rude comments. And also remember that there's a thin line between liking / commenting and spamming. Be sincere with your likes and comments. Always bear in mind that IG nail artists have their own lives, too, so never ever demand anything from them. Ask nicely and you shall receive.
8.) Do join in nail art challenges (@californails, @nailsby_redkoletz, @missbellatracey, @nailitmag hold them montly), ask your friends to do bestie nails or mani swaps. Make sure when you do collabs, you are able to meet deadlines.
9.) Do not fill your IG page with giveaway photos. Pick the contests / giveaways you like best and support.
10.) Do not overuse hashtags.
11.) Do make an interesting caption as well. Nothing makes me hit the "follow" button more than an engaging caption. This shows that you are not a robot.
12.) Do credit when you recreate or repost. Simply "not erasing" a watermark and not tagging means you are giving credit. Please make sure to tag who inspired you. There is no 'big' or 'small' artist that doesn't need recognition for their work. It is also different when you put credits in your caption and in the comments section. Always put credits in caption. Most artists have their own hashtag if you want them to see your work.
13.) Do not spam other accounts by commenting "F4F", "S4S", "Please check out my account", "Please help me gain followers". This will only get you blocked by other accounts and lessen your chance of being seen by people that matters.
14.) Do not follow to unfollow. This will also get you blocked. Most IG users check.
15.) Do not send private group messages to people you don't know! Do not beg for shoutouts and likes. This is even worse than commenting spam messages.
16.) Do post regularly. Most followers unfollow if they get a feeling that you are not active. This way you can also practice your skills (in doing nail art, in capturing a great photo, etc.)
I gained my followers in a span of a year. One does not gain them overnight. Make time for your account. Be patient, you WILL get there.