4 Instagram Lessons Learned From Gratuity_Included


“How do you get 7,000 Instagram followers in three months?!”

It sounds like an incredible goal, but as with all major social media milestones, it becomes much more achievable if you make a battle plan ahead of time. Photographer Gratuity_Included began posting a series of black-and-white photos of party animals on Instagram with a set formula to build a community of fans on Instagram, and just three months later, “G_I” had accumulated more than 5,000 fans eager to see the next wild moment captured by this savvy artist. But how did he accomplish this impressive feat? Let’s take a look at his winning strategy:


High Quality Images –

Gratuity_Included is quick to note that posting high quality images that follow a set theme was essential to reaching 5,000 followers so quickly. While every Instagram user should upload the highest quality images available to them, the fact that his profile exclusively hosts excellent black-and-white images almost exclusively featuring people who probably partied a little too hard made it very easy for people who liked the first photo they discovered to stick around for many more pictures like it.


Planned Posting Strategy –

Timing was key for pulling in initial followers, as he scheduled to post one of his photographs a day between 8pm and 10pm with the aid of Latergramme. While you could simply dump all of your content onto your profile, an expert Instagram poster releases content regularly over time, and uploads during the site’s peak usage. This golden time varies over the different social media sites, but after carefully tracking data using Iconosquare, G_I learned that uploading his images in the early evening, and rarely on the weekends, would garner more views and followers for his art.

Hashtag Usage –

Although it’s normally a bad idea to cram a ton of hashtags into your social media posts, apparently it works wonders for Instagram. G_I attached hashtags from many of the 100 most popular hashtags of the day, along with a cluster that were relevant to the posted image to cast a wide net for potential viewers. We also suggest being specific with your Instagram hashtags to help people find your content more easily: for example, instead of #city, use #Miami, or #Skittles over #candy.

Community Building –

In addition to carefully creating and maintaining a core platform to showcase his art, it was important for G_I to curate and tend to a quickly growing community of passionate followers. He started by seeking out influencers who upload comparable content, and then followed their followers with the hope of grabbing each fan’s attention. As his own fanbase grew, Gratuity_Included made sure to interact with supportive photography devotees, while making sure to thank them for their positive feedback. Commenting on images that caught his eye also helped to get his profile in front of even more Instagram users.


Stay tuned for additional social media success stories, and we’d like to congratulate Gratuity_Included on his first 7,000 Instagram followers! Click HERE to visit view his work on Instagram. (NSFW!)

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