Are you on Instagram spinning your wheels trying to figure out how you can grow your following and expand your reach? There are many "tips and tricks" out there and different methods that claim to have the answer. One of them is called "The $1.80 Strategy". What is it? How do you implement it? Does it work?
The 1.80 Strategy on Instagram
The $1.80 strategy was created by Gary Vaynerchuck and is pretty simple in concept and is very easy to understand and implement.
What is the $1.80 Strategy?
The $1.80 Strategy is putting your "2 cents" on 90(!!) posts on Instagram, a day.
That's right, you need to comment on 90 posts a day!
The main pillar behind this method is that reaching out (and commenting) on other people's posts within your niche will in turn expand your reach and get like-minded people viewing/engaging on your content.
$1.80 Strategy: Step 1
Find 10, relevant to your niche hashtags.
This ended up being more difficult for me than I originally thought, but I'll get to that in a bit.
$1.80 Strategy: Step 2
Comment on the TOP 9 posts for each of your 10 hashtags.
It is important to remember a general rule of thumb on Instagram is that a comment must be at least 5 words (sans emojis) and relevant to the caption to avoid it being marked as spam.
DO NOT comment "follow me", "great pic!" or a bunch of heart eye emojis.
You want to be genuine in your comments or no one will be inclined to view your profile.
The comments you are leaving on each of these posts are your "two cents".
(Get it, $0.02 X 90 = $1.80. The $1.80 Strategy).
$1.80 Strategy: Step 3
$1.80 Strategy Results
I, along with some of my blogger friends decided to challenge ourselves to do the $1.80 Strategy for 1 full week and see if we saw any results.
After 1 week my overall reach was up by over 400 accounts reached and my interactions were up by almost 100.
I have no idea if these results are typical, above average or below average - I did however, count this as a win and proof that reaching out and engaging with accounts that you aren't following helps improve your overall reach.
The Drawbacks to the $1.80 Strategy
On paper this method is really easy. Almost too easy.
I'm often skeptical of a lot of things (okay, possibly everything!) but I wanted to give this method a try as I found my Instagram profile was growing stagnant and my reach was abysmal.
I clearly saw results, so what's the problem? With everything there are drawbacks and I found that the $1.80 Strategy does have a few.
$1.80 Strategy: Drawback 1
Hashtags chosen may not be used frequently enough for fresh TOP 9 content.
When selecting hashtags you are encouraged to select large, popular ones and smaller ones to get a full picture of your niche and reach accounts of all sizes.
Initially when I started I realized some of the tags I thought I wanted to use were actually too small.
The TOP 9 posts for some of the tags I initially selected were from months ago, some dating into last year.
To combat this, I initially started commenting on the 9 MOST RECENT posts in the these tags but even then the posts weren't refreshing enough to see 9 new posts a day.
I ended up having to switch out some hashtags about two days in because of this.
$1.80 Strategy: Drawback 2
TOP 9 posts may not be in your native language.
I was surprised to see how many tags I initially thought I would use in the mom/parenting niche were being used more frequently by accounts not in my native language.
This could have been due to the time of day I was able to interact but either way this was a downside I was not expecting and something to certainly think about.
Again I tried commenting on MOST RECENT instead of TOP 9 under these tags.
$1.80 Strategy: Drawback 3
You *feel* spammy.
I know I was looking at the picture, reading each caption and commenting something relevant but I still FELT spammy.
Since I wasn't following these accounts I was commenting on I felt like a spammer because some of the photos I was commenting on had very little comments to begin with and then here I was some random, non-follower.
I was in my head a bit the first few days because of this but I will say eventually, this feeling started to pass.
$1.80 Strategy: Drawback 4
Commenting on 90 posts a day is exhausting.
I never imagined how time consuming commenting on 90 posts a day would be.
I found my whole day consumed by making sure I was commenting on 9 posts under each of my 10 tags and by the end of the day I found I still needed to comment on 30 more posts before I could go to bed!
$1.80 Strategy Final Thoughts
Even though I couldn't fully complete the $1.80 Strategy challenge I set for myself (having to switch out tags midway, not being able to comment on TOP 9 each time) I still saw results.
This tells me, this method works!
However, it was very time consuming!
I have not completely abandoned the $1.80 Strategy but I am doing a much paired down version of this, trying to interact with and comment on at least 30 posts a day.
My reach has certainly expanded and I do believe the credit goes to the $1.80 Strategy.