The Gary Vee $1.80 Method for Instagram Followers and Engagement

Someone using their smartphone  and the Instagram app to take a photo of the sunset

I always love hearing about new strategies for getting more Instagram followers.

Whether you’re looking to increase engagement or promote your own product/service – Instagram is the platform for you.

It’s one of my favorite social platforms and one of the best for anyone looking to grow their online or offline business.

About a year ago I came across the $1.80 Instagram strategy from Gary Vaynerchuk.

I tried it out on a few personal accounts with amazing success – but probably not what you’re expecting.

In this post I want to talk about the $1.80 strategy and how you can use it for building your own Instagram following.

The $1.80 Instagram Strategy by Gary Vaynerchuk

gary vaynerchuk instagram bio

What is the $1.80 Instagram Strategy?

The framework of this strategy is simple. Here are the basics:

  • Find hashtags relevant to the content you’re sharing
  • Check out that top 9 posts and share something valuable – your 2 cents
  • Repeat this on the top 9 posts 10 times for 10 different hashtags

In the end you’ll have left your “two cents” behind on 90 posts bringing the total to $1.80.

That’s all there is to it.

A strategy like this can’t be automated. The result of taking the time to leave thoughtful comments and actually interact with your audience is a highly targeted and engaged following.

Who wouldn’t want that?

The way Vaynerchuk frames it is that you’re putting the “social” back in social media. Being social on this platform, using it how it was designed, is going to work in your benefit.

Isn’t This Time Consuming? 

Yes, this is a time-consuming process.

You could automate your Instagram strategy – but is that going to get you the results you want?

It’s better to take the time to interact with your audience personally rather than hiding behind a bot.

The audience you build with this strategy is going to be hyper-focused on your content. When you make your pitch we are going to have a following that you already know is interested in what you’re promoting.

You also don’t have to interact with all 90 accounts. Starting out with 10 or 20 is better than not taking any initiative at all.

Do what you can with the free time you have. You’re bound to see changes even if you’re taking baby steps.

How to Apply the $1.80 Instagram Strategy

By now you have a basic idea of what the $1.80 strategy is.

Let’s take a look at how you can apply it to your own account.

Step 1: Find the Right Hashtags to Follow

The first step is to find the 10 most relevant hashtags in your niche/industry.

Let’s use the example of travel to give you a better idea of how to follow this strategy.

Some of the most popular hashtags on Instagram for travel and the travel industry

A quick search reveals a lot of interest in the travel industry on Instagram.

Here are the top 10 hashtags someone in this industry would consider using:

  1. #travel (304+ million posts – wow!)
  2. #traveller
  3. #travelholic
  4. #travelog
  5. #travelgram
  6. #travelpic
  7. #travelbug
  8. #travelphoto
  9. #traveladdict
  10. #travellife

When you’re looking for the top hashtags make note of other popular hashtags that you can use on your Instagram posts.

Including and interacting with people using lesser-known hashtags can be more effective, depending on the niche, when building your audience.

Check out the top nine posts of each hashtag that you decide to use.

The top 9 most popular photos for a specific hashtag

On popular posts follow through to the account owner. Take a look at their bio, make note of their engagement, and see what type of content they’re posting.

Engagement is the most important metric here. Don’t disregard small accounts because of a low following.

For each photo look at the number of likes and comments. Accounts with photos getting 100 likes but 20+ comments are those that you’ll want to leave your “0.02” on.

Looking at overall engagement with total comments and likes showing that smaller accounts can be just as effective as bigger accounts

This means that there is an engaged community. Interacting with these people will give you the chance to build your own following of users already interested in what you’re sharing.

All of the connections you make and relationships that you build here matter. This is your audience and target market.

Treat these people right and you can grow a highly engaged community around your brand/business.

Step 2: Leave Your Two Cents Behind

Holding a smartphone with Instagram opened up

This is a simple two-part strategy.

At this point you should have checked out the top 9 posts for the top hashtags you chose.

Now you can leave your .02, or two cents, behind.

The trick here is to be a thoughtful, helpful, or otherwise valuable comment. It doesn’t matter if it helps out the person posting or other users, you want to share something relevant and useful.

Don’t hesitate to answer questions or share interesting opinions. Encourage the conversation and engage with others rather than posting once and disappearing.

This doesn’t take long once you get familiar with the process.

I expect you could get through all 90 posts in an hour or less. it might seem like a long time but this is an investment work making if you’re hoping to grow your Instagram account.

Being social on social media is the key behind reaching the goals you have on each platform.

Don’t Stop Building Your Audience

a spread of photos used on social media

If you do this for one day and expect to get 1000 followers overnight you’re going to be let down.

This is an effective Instagram strategy that you’ll want to follow for as long as you’re growing your account.

There more people you interact with the bigger your audience is going to become.

For Instagram growth there isn’t a more effective strategy out there using manual methods for getting followers and developing engagement.

This is a numbers game even if you’re providing an immense amount of value. Put in the time each day and your Instagram account is bound to experience the quick growth you’re looking for.

Your Experience With This Strategy

I’m wondering – have you given this strategy a try yet? If not, what do you think of it so far?

This is one of those things where if you put in the work it’s likely you’re going to end up with the results you want.

Yes, this is a time-consuming strategy. The benefit is that you’re able to quickly grow an Instagram following that’s engaged and interested in your content.

You’ll get to know your followers on a personal level. This isn’t something you can get when you buy followers or use Instagram bots.

Within your first month of applying this strategy it’s possible to get hundreds or thousands of followers. This depends on your niche and the quality of content you’re sharing.

The best thing about this strategy is that you’re going to become a valued member of your industry community. Sharing valuable and helpful comments is going to let you build a relationship with the people that matter.

Browsing through all of these different Instagram accounts is also going to give you inspiration and ideas on how to continue growing your own.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Give this strategy a try for yourself and let me know how it works out!

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