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Maeurn Smiles Reveals Her Top Advice for Growing an Instagram Following

The following content is written in partnership with Taylor Smith


Instagram is a social network with a gravity pull like few others. Its 2 billion-strong user base, 57% of which logs in at least once a week according to CNBC, includes a lot of people who have found success elsewhere in life, mingling together with regular folks who are looking toward Instagram to find their success. The network is a place where A-listers and celebs mingle with up-and-coming businesspeople who want to show off their lifestyle, as well as regular folks who are turning to the social network to have their shot at becoming successful.

Finding success on Instagram, however, takes time, effort, and dedication. Maeurn Smiles, an online model with a large Instagram following, started her journey at the age of 18 and saw her fan base grow from a couple of thousands to hundreds of thousands in a couple of years. “I had to learn quickly that some Instagram strategies, such as the ones that rely on heavy hashtag usage, didn’t work for me,” Maeurn explains. “So, I doubled down on the things that worked.”

Investing in Instagram Advertising

Even though many content creators hope that they’ll be able to build their followings exclusively using organic reach and methods, the truth is that paid methods have their place in an Instagram growth strategy. The platform allows several different types of ads that correspond with its content types and services, and most of them lend themselves perfectly to increasing reach, for example.

“I was buying a lot of advertising and it helped me grow tremendously,” says Maeurn Smiles. “The trick I’ve found is to use my top-performing organic content as a starting point for ideas for what types of ads I should use.” This approach works well for content creators who are not trying to break into a new audience segment, so they mostly need to keep doing what’s already worked for them with the reach they had organically. Advertising, in that case, behaves like a signal boost.

Of course, considering goals should come first when thinking about Instagram advertising. Maeurn might not have advertised a store, but if she did, she might have used different content with different calls to action. With advertising, it’s important to align the message and content with the goal and the audience.

Jumping on Trends

It’s hard to predict what type of content is about to blow up and start trending, just as it’s difficult to produce content with virality in mind. That doesn’t stop content creators and marketers from trying, though. There’s nothing like a viral piece of content, or content that kick starts a trend, to increase reach and draw in new followers.

If it’s too difficult to create trends and viral content on purpose, the next best thing is to be ready to jump on the bandwagon quickly once someone else starts one. “I’d get on meme pages, jump on trendy music reels that were going viral, and see the views and followers increase,” says Maeurn Smiles. “It’s still a lot of work, keeping up on the latest trends and being ready to create appropriate content on short notice.”

Another important part of the puzzle is following competitors. It’s always best to strive for better performance than them, but there’s nothing wrong in learning from them either. Competitors’ profiles can be great places to get inspiration and see what’s going on.

Investing in Follower Relationships

Social networks, when they’re boiled down to their core, are just digital spaces where people tend to spend some of their time. Creators, brands, influencers, and celebrities all fight over who gets more of everyone else’s time for their profile, but the bottom line is simple; it’s still all about just people, and people like to be treated as human beings.

“When I engage with my followers, I tend to do it in a more personal way,” says Maeurn Smiles. “I try to treat them like I’d treat any other person I’d meet.” Going so far as to engage with every single person that likes or comments on a post might be overkill but keeping a personable disposition and finding the right balance between giving the followers too much time and completely ignoring them might be key.

For brands, it’s a whole different ball game when it comes to follower relationships, though. Brands have more resources, and they can use Instagram to build a community or service an existing one. In that case, remembering that we’re all people and taking every chance for some quality communication with followers would be a good idea.

“Instagram helped me connect with a lot of people, and it opened up a lot of opportunities for me,” concludes Maeurn. “There’s no reason why it wouldn’t do the same for anyone else if they give it a good try. It’s just important to stick with it, avoid the mistakes you can, and learn from the ones you can’t avoid.”

Members of the editorial and news staff of Woman's World were not involved in the creation of this content.

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