Instagram Favorite: How NewYorkCity Gained 500,000 Fans

instagram, social media


What does it take to make a truly successful Instagram account? Is it about working with key brands? Promoting yourself on all major platforms? Or about creating original content that resonates with your readers?


Liz Eswein, the user behind the popular @NewYorkCity Instagram account, recently chatted with us about her success on the platform and what her new agency, The Mobile Media Lab, aims to do with this visual social platform. From photo-taking tips to business insight to fake Instagram followers, she shared with us a few tips that we think all bloggers should know when it comes to Instagram.




Why did you choose Instagram? What was it about this platform that made you excited?
I just tried it out and ended up loving it. It’s a great way to see different parts of the world and things that people are experiencing.

You've seen enormous success on Instagram. What's your secret to getting so many followers and likes?

I think it’s just been sticking to a theme. People have a special place in their heart for New York City and love seeing photos of it. It brings back lots of memories for them, which is always nice to hear.

How much time goes into setting up a shot? From location-shooting to shooting, is it all pretty quick or does it take research?
I think it just all depends. Sometimes I just shoot a photo and like it, but other times I sit on the photo for a bit.

instagram, social media

You've started your own company, Mobile Media Lab, which focuses on building Instagram followings and creating content for brands. What inspired you to create this agency and what has been your biggest achievement?
We saw an opportunity to shape the way brands work both on Instagram and with Instagrammers. I think our biggest achievement hasn’t been a specific job, but more so that we are being recognized as leaders in the space.

If bloggers could do one thing to boost his/her Instagram's engagement, what should they do?
I think it’s great when I see bloggers sharing content that isn’t on their blog: from the markets they shop in to even little things, from colors their choosing for their manicures. It’s a side that their readers don’t get to see.


There has been a lot of chatter about fake Twitter followers and brands buying fans. Do you think this is happening in Instagram?

I’m not entirely sure, but there are definitely ways to go about buying them. I’m not aware of any brands doing it, personally, but even so, if someone did buy followers, it doesn’t generate into a real interactive connection.

We talk a lot about creating stories with your posts and photos. How can bloggers create stories with their Instagrams?
I think it’s great when they share another part of their life. What are they looking for at the market? What are they thinking of incorporating in their next post?


For more insight on what your Instagram followers really want, be sure to read our post on what those users enjoy and this video on How to Not Suck at Instagram. Don't forget to join @NewYorkCity‘s city snaps and, of course, IFB's adventures too.


Have questions about the platform or how to make fresh photos? Share them in the comments!

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17 Responses

  1. Emily

    Instagram has been my most successful Social Media to date! I absolutely love the ability to show my personality and everyday life. I think people respond so well to my personal images and sarcastic captions. Gives more a of “real” vibe.

    GO IG!

    Emily Jenny

  2. Emily Jenny

    Instagram has been my most successful Social Media to date! I absolutely love the ability to show my personality and everyday life. I think people respond so well to my personal images and sarcastic captions. Gives more a of “real” vibe.

    GO IG!

    Emily Jenny

  3. Meredith

    This is a great article. I live in NYC and instagram was what got me interested in blogging. I try to focus on makeup and beauty only but I think it’s a great tip to share things not on your blog. Thanks!!

  4. Maria @CrashingRed

    Also, I’d add it’s important to socialize on Instagram too. Like more other photos, find and follow interesting new people, connect and yes, be consistent with your content and it’s quality. You will grow it in no time!

    Our Instagram @CrashingRed and @So_Nailicious say hi! We would love to meet you!

  5. Winnie

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that her followers grew organically per se – wasn’t she on Instagram’s suggested users list for some time? It’s easy for Instagram’s ‘superstars’ to credit their popularity and growth simply to the pictures they take but it is evident that a lot of the popular accounts gained leverage through being on the Suggested Users list.

    • Rita

      I agree. It’s also easy for an account with a name of a place that has been publicized for decades and thousands of people around the world will look for easily. If you only have your name /be it your brand or blog or whatever) it’s harder to build on without all the extraneous publicity! No one is repeating your name 24/7 but New York? Com’on!

  6. Kitty Heredia

    Hey everyone if u have an instagram id love to make new friends so follow me kitty_monster i follow back 😀

  7. Geraldine

    I’m on Instagram and follow anybody who follows me (@geraldinecruzgarcia)

  8. Bananaa

    I love instagram now,with all the pictures i can post!!
    Follow me @bone_fisha
    I follow back!

  9. Melanie Fontaine

    I’ve only recently started to use Instagram, but it’s quickly become my favourite social media site. I feel that it’s much easier for people to find my pictures on there then – let’s say – my tweets or my blogposts.
    I’m not using Instagram very effectively at the moment, but it’s one of my goals to learn how to do so.

  10. Carmen L

    A picture is definitely worth a thousand words and Instagram has created more words for us than imaginable. Letting creative souls and avid photography lovers come meet in a place of union. I am in LOVE with instagram and have turned to it in posting photos of my life instead of Facebook nowadays.