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3 ways to reach a million followers on Instagram

How to reach 1 million followers. Source: Getty Images

The New Investors video series brought to you by Yahoo Finance reveals the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople in Australia today. Watch the full first episode with Gretta Van Riel here.

Australian entrepreneur Gretta Van Riel has a combined 16 million followers across her personal and business Instagram accounts.

It reflects her success as an international pioneer in selling products on Instagram.

The most common question she is asked is: “How do you get so many followers?”

Van Riel divulged the secret on the Yahoo Finance New Investors show.

“The three things that I focus on most in community building are what I call the three Cs,” she said.

“They’re the three pillars that everything else is based off and formed around. So that first C would be content, the second C would be collaboration, and the third C is consistency.”

Here is Van Riel explaining the three Cs:

The first C – content – is the easiest to identify but perhaps the hardest to master.

“It’s creating content and posting content that your audience actually wants to see,” said Van Riel.

“You can definitely leverage viral content as well or you can create your own original content… There’s also something within the Instagram algorithm that works around image recognition. So the algorithm can identify when content is viral and when it is trending, and if you do repost that content, it’s actually going to algorithmically perform a lot better than other content.”

The second C, collaboration, is to work together with social media influencers, “other accounts in your niche for shoutouts”, or another brand to host a giveaway.

“By collaborating with another brand in your niche to host a giveaway you’re able to mutually benefit each other by growing each other’s social following,” Van Riel told Yahoo Finance.

“Just put together a prize back of your products and both push the giveaway through your social channel – for example Instagram.”

Consistency is the last C, which Can Riel says is imperative to be in the good books with Instagram’s feed algorithm.

“Accounts that post consistently will receive a more ‘organic’ reach on their posts, meaning Instagram will show their posts to more people.”

Van Riel only had $24 in the bank in 2012 when she started her first business, SkinnyMe Tea.

“Back in 2012, Instagram wasn’t as widely used obviously as it was now,” she said on New Investors.

SkinnyMe Tea, by the end of that year, had grown to 200,000 followers.

“I think Nike had about 10,000 followers at the end of 2012. So we… pioneered that Instagram presence for some brands and that’s where I started growing my following from.”

Her current venture is Hey Influencers, which is a system that performs “match-making” of brands to social media influencers, bringing advertisers within reach of the most appropriate target audience.

The New Investors video series brought to you by Yahoo Finance reveals the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople in Australia today. Watch the full first episode with Gretta Van Riel here.