How Will Smith Went From 0 to 22 Million Instagram Followers In Nine Months

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Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

The only question we need answered when it comes to Will Smith’s Instagram is why didn’t he join sooner? The Fresh Prince graced us with his presence on the photo-sharing app last December, and already has two times more followers than Sweden has people.

Since joining, his posts have only been getting better and better, and everyone is along for the ride. It’s a Will Smith World, and we’re all just living in it.

But even when you’re one of the world’s biggest celebrities, how does one’s Instagram go from zero to 21 million followers in a mere nine months? We’ve broken it down for you.

He started off with a bang

When you announce yourself on the Insta scene, you’ve got to do it right. Trust Mr. Smith to go all in, joining while hanging out with Ellen DeGeneres as a guest on her show. Pro tip to all of you planning on joining the Instagram scene in the coming months, make sure that first post is a memorable one!

He isn’t afraid to pull on our heart strings with some nostalgic content

Everyone loves a good throwback, and when you were the star of the one of the most popular shows of the ‘90s, your #tbt’s are naturally going to be fire. Whether it’s one of his iconic music videos, or hanging with Carlton, a flashback to simpler times is always something that everyone loves.

He hangs out with everyone’s favorite YouTubers

When you’ve reached the level of fame that Will Smith has, you’d probably expect him to be hangin’ with the likes of Brad Pitt, or maybe Julia Roberts, right? No, Smith chooses instead to spend his time hanging with social media stars like Liza Koshy and Casey Neistat. Stars like Liza and Casey have built huge audiences that are rabid for their content, and what better way to get the hang of social than by hanging with the best?

He uploads on the daily

He’s only been on the platform a total of 271 days, and to date, he’s posted just over 250 times. If you’re a Will Smith fan, that 1:1 ratio must be pretty good. A great tip to everyone out there trying to grow their audience on Instagram: Speed over perfection will usually work better when you’re initially trying to gain some traction. It’s pretty simple, but the more you upload, the better chance you have of finding your audience quicker.

He shouts out up-and-coming artists

So far, he’s put everyone from graffiti artists to ukulele players on blast to his 22M followers on his account. When you see a legend like Will Smith highlighting talented artists every week, it’s only natural that more and more people are going to tag him in their posts, thus raising the Will Smith Instagram stock along the way.

His story times are awesome

Every so often, Smith will sit in front of the camera and reel us in with good ol’ story time. Whether it’s an anecdote from his childhood, or the time he got his big break on Fresh Prince, they’re guaranteed to be entertaining. If you’re stuck on what content you should create for your Instagram, maybe give some storytelling a try.

Overall, when your star shines as bright as Will Smith's does, it’s naturally not as difficult to grow your following, but when you’re keeping it as fresh as Smith does on Instagram, it’s no wonder he’s racked up over 20 million followers in such a short time frame.

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