Before I write anything else, I want you to know this post isn’t going to tell you how to magically grow your Instagram account. I don’t want you to be disappointed. But it will show you some insights into what works, and if you’re interested, please read on. Thanks!

So I’ve been working extra hard on my Instagram account lately. It really needed a little spit shine and polish. I’m just going to be transparent about what I’ve done so you can follow along with my experiment of sorts.

I’ve been creating daily Stories (the vertical content that disappears after 24 hours, found at the top of the app home page) and set up Highlights. I’ve also created several Reels after seeing them explode in popularity. (Many social media experts believe Instagram has been promoting Reels in order to compete with TikTok, as the format is similar.) And I’ve also tried getting back into the practice of leaving intentional comments, which I’d let slide.

Over the last 30 days, I’ve earned some pretty good (for me) results:

Instagram insights
Instagram insights

I also increased my followers, but not by much.

Unfortunately — maddeningly! — Instagram doesn’t provide insights on Reels even though it’s promoting this feature.


Not only have I looked at my insights for the past month, but I’ve also been checking them week by week. One week I created a Reel almost every day. Another week, I only created one Reel but left a lot of comments on others’ content. My insights showed that these two different activities gave me different results.

The tl;dr takeaway on what works for Instagram

When I created a Reel every day, my reach went waaaaay up that week — almost 300%! However, I see my Reel views falling now even though I’m getting the hang of it. It’s possible the reason is that I upload video to create a Reel rather than use the Reel functions to create a native video in the app, and Instagram may now give preference to native video. (Note to self: Try creating native Reels to test this theory!)

The week that I focused on leaving comments, I got more profile views.

Naturally, the key is to take advantage of all of Instagram’s features and do as much as your time allows for it. Just like anything in life, you’ll get out of Instagram and other social media platforms what you put into them.

I don’t use bots. I’d never pay for followers or recommend doing that. My Instagram account is just me, being myself, creating content around what I can offer to others and what interests me.

One more important note about Instagram: Although everyone would like more followers, your success isn’t dependent on just your number of followers. Your reach and engagement are important, too. The number of people who click through to your site is important. The creative outlet is important. The community that you build, your branding, and the fact you are showing up in the first place to establish yourself all matter.

What has worked for you on Instagram? What’s frustrating? I’d love to know! Please send me a message.