Slow followers growth despite good numbers

Hello! I’m in the process of building up this micro-niche (wine and winemaking) account that has been doing great numbers wise, but is also experiencing slow growth followers wise.

I’m sitting at 1.8k followers right now, started from scratch in November 2019, with an ER of 23%. I hit explore with all of my 6 latest posts, getting great reach (up to 14k – 96% non-followers) and a lot of likes, but very few seem to convert to a true audience.

I have experienced organic growth on other niches (medical students / young physicans), even getting 600 followers a day at some point, but everything in the wine field seems to be incredibly tight and stagnating.

Methods I’m using (full manual) are:

  • F/U
  • Hashtag research
  • Competitor analisys
  • Like/comment spamming correlated hashtags in Recent when I post
  • Run very small ads (.30/.40 euro cents) right after I post
  • Reply to each and every comment/DM right after I receive the notification

I have also created a 50 members DM group with other micro-influencers, where we connect but not necessarily like/comment each other posts’. It has more to do with sharing wine tasting information and events.

Is content the issue even though the numbers are fine? Am I missing out on something? What am I not seeing here?

Thank you all for the help – you never stop learning on mpsocial!

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it might be your niche is slow growth niche. What are your competors rate of growth? ( if you don’t know – you best better find out) Not all niches are super fast growth btw. Dentistry is God awful slow to grow.

My competitors are just instagram illiterates. Biggest italian wine influencer is a tool, who bought the vast majority of his followers and rocks a 0,5% ER at 80k.

I can say with confidence I’m crushing my competitors. Nobody matches my ER, and even on absolute terms I’m on par with the biggest accounts.

I mean I’m on Explore right now with a 3 hours old post, sitting on 600 likes and 70 comments…yet I only got 35 followers today.

Am I doing something wrong?

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Most of these accounts I have listed are in your niche with over 100K followers, were you aware that these existed?

It might be because the wine community is just small on Instagram, it is a very niche subject. Even if you’re building up your audience slowly, it’ll be worth it once your engagement exceeds a certain point.

Instead of measuring the accounts success by the followers it has, perhaps more work on making sure the engagement ratio stays the same, and doesn’t dip as you grow. As I’m sure you’re aware, once your like count starts to exceed the biggest wine pages you’ll dominate the niche.


I follow all of them, but they’re English pages — I will never compete with them, audience is too broad and thus it’s harder to sell a marketing service to local wineries in my region. Also italian influencer market is still kinda empty, so I see more possibilities posting/competing in my native language.

Your points are all fair — so thank you for the insight. Yet I feel like it’s going to take me ages to land an affiliate campaign with such a low followers count.

I’m not sure I explained my fears properly… I feel like I will never monetize if my growth is so slow!

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I have the same experiances as you, 50-80% of reach is from non followers and I can get very few following me.

My best post (70k reach 95% not following) only got 60 followers.

I have a big feeling that most of my hashtag and explore reach is just bots.

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I’m just wondering… are we doing our bio/profile pic wrong? If our profile is actually seen a lot and not many people follow us maybe it’s not attractive enough – even though we publish real good content. Is it possible? What do you think?

My PFP is good and my content is good (imo) I’d definitely say my bio and highlights are lacking but if assume most are looking at the first few photos.

That’s why I say bots, they just like and move on in hopes of a follow. Plus who even browses a hashtag in 2020? I only do it every week or so.

Well then, let’s assume you’re right. We need to get back to basics: what is the best way to convert an user into a follower?

If you’re following hashtags they just show up in your feed, so it could be people following them who don’t care about following the user who posted it, they just like it and keep scrolling.


I only have experience with my niche (photography) which is different then yours but I’ll say how I’ve noticed accounts grow.

  1. Large accounts: mainly recommended when you follow someone or reposted by feature pages all the time. And probably a bit from explore page.

  2. Small accounts: feature pages, all the small accounts I know only seem to grow after getting reposted by a large feature page, other growth is extremely slow.

In your situation it is different as I don’t think there are wine feature pages, you need to incentivize follows.

How to incentivize follows?
Cross promote with other similar pages, share your work on places where traction has nothing to do with followers but content (Reddit, etc.), Go on wine hashtags and leave unique comments on users posts (search on here I think it’s called 50/50 strategy or something)

Other then that I don’t know. Most of my growth on my large business pages were at the height of automation so I can only guess at how to grow now.


Didn’t think about that, thanks.

They also make it hard to get to the users page too, which is bs. It shows the name in tiny font like it’s second rate to the hashtag you found it through.

It’s almost like they… want you to pay for your name to be prominent, oh wait… that’s what they want, because money. I really hate the current platform we’ve been hooked on.

Well to be fair they have to get that bread somehow. Can’t blame Instagram. They sell a tool.

Thing is they don’t have a tool that converts well to follows. I’m not interested in selling a page, I’m interested in growing an audience. The difference is subtle but is there.

Well they also intentionally limit what you can do and hide reach behind ads, continuing to reduce exposure unless you pay for it. Sure, they need to make money but at what point does it go too far and totally ruin the user experience?

Personally I think we’ve reached that point a while ago where they have shown to only care about money and nothing more.

Very good insight here. My experience with shoutouts/features hasn’t been satisfying up to now, but I might have to invest a tad more to decide whether they’re worth my money or not.

What should they care about? Our feelings? :smile:

Yes, of course :roll_eyes: