How to get more followers on Instagram & Facebook

Hey ghouls!

I'm finally making this post, I get a lot of questions about it and I really hope I can help and give some usable advice ;)

I'm currently at over 31.000 likes/32.000 followers on my Facebook page and almost 25.000 on my Instagram.
I'm not the most popular but I'm also not just starting out so I feel I have learnt a few things about social media.
I'm an alternative model/photographer and I'm speaking from my experience but these tips can work for any type of person, artist or business on social media.

First of all I'm sorry to disappoint you but there isn't any magic formula that will work for everybody. Facebook and Instagram are always changing their algorithms (for the worse most will say)... for this reason getting followers is harder and harder...
I'm also sorry to tell you that there will always be someone who does a way worse job than you and will have 100 times more followers, life's not fair, don't compare yourself to them.

Again these are the things that work for me on Facebook and on Instagram. If you search other articles about this you will get different opinions, so you have to try and see what works for you.

- Quality  
This shouldn't be a surprise, it's very important that you have quality content. High quality photos and videos is what will attract followers. Only post your best pictures, it's better to post just one amazing photo than 5 mediocre ones.
This might take time if you are a beginner but even with a phone nowadays you can get good material. If you have friends with DSLRs even better ;)
In whatever activity you are involved in the photos will make or break your business. Even if you make the most beautiful jewelry but you have horrible photos ... it won't work.

- Consistency
I found out I get the best result if I post once a day maximum twice a day. If you miss a day or two that's fine it's better to miss a few days than to post too much because it will be viewed as spam especially if your posts are very photos of the same thing. I myself have unfollowed people because I kept seeing the same thing over and over and over....
 But try to post at least 3 times a week to keep yourself  ''in the game''.
I also noticed that I get more likes if I post at certain times... this is weird because I got followers from all over the world but probably most are from Europe so it's a similar time zone.
The best time to post is between 14:00 and 19:00.

- Theme 
People will follow you because they want to see a certain thing. For example if I'm a goth model, my followers expect to see darkly inclined outfits, dramatic make-up etc. Every picture that I posted and it's not me in it (a building, a flower etc. ) has less than half of likes than my other pictures.  Now I'm not saying I will never post these things again, because I will post if I think it's very beautiful or meaningful but I also know why those tens of thousands of people are on my profile.
Pay attention on what kind of posts you get the most likes and comments and do more of that.
I also noticed that I myself loose interest and even unfollow accounts if they change the theme in a direction I'm not into.
Some go overboard with their theme and are very strict but I think you can have some liberty as long as you are somewhat consistent in your theme. For example if you are a makeup artist you will have mostly makeup stuff on your profile but you can also post a few outfits or even a vacation photo if you want to, it's nice to see behind the scenes too.

Use hashtags on Instagram that are related to your content. You can even go check out what others are using and get some ideas.
Be very careful with the hashtags because I recently found out about the Instagram Shadowban, they basically ban your photo if you use a 'forbidden' hashtag, usually it's those with a sexual connotation like 'fetish' or extremely used like 'woman'. If you search the tag it will not show up or it will show up only a page of photos.
*You can search more info about this on google.

- Honesty
If you are too fake people will notice and they don't usually like it. I know you can't be 100% open on social media (and you shouldn't be) but posting a no makeup selfie or making fun of yourself for something you did or said will bring a breath of fresh air to your followers.
They like seeing real persons that they can relate to.

Always respect your followers (unless they are being a**holes obviously). Answer any questions and be nice to everyone. You never know who's watching ;)
If they comment something interesting ask them about it and 'like' their comments to let them know you are reading them.

- Sponsors 
Follow/like/join pages and groups that promote your type of work. Share your work everywhere you can and ask for collaborations with pages and people that do similar things to give you a share for share, this is especially helpful if you are starting out.
If you make/sell clothing or jewelry talk to models and send them some of your stuff to help you promote.
Giveaways are also a good idea. I've seen pages gaining thousands of followers in just a few weeks with a giveaway.
I've never done any paid sponsored posts for Facebook and Instagram except for my shop. If you can afford it, great. It might help you out but don't waste your money unless you get a profit out of it. If you have a shop or any business yes it can be good but if you are just posting photos of yourself its like paying for people to look at you hahahahah at least that's how I see it.
You actually have to pay for your followers to see your posts, the reach is getting worse and worse and i don't really want to support Facebook (and now IG) with this because that means that you basically pay to be 'famous' even if you are not so good... i hate that idea.
I prefer to have less followers but loyal ones. It's really no use to have 100K if you only get 500 likes and 2 comments.

-Have fun 
Last but not least don't forget that you are choosing to be on social media because you want to show the stuff that you are passionate about. Don't get so concentrated on the followers and likes that it becomes a burden. Just do the best you can, try to improve every day and ... have fun.

That's about it...
I hope it's helpful so some of you <3