Daily Math - Growing an IG page to 100k+ followers

Hamza Alsamraee an 18 year old high school student grew his math IG page to over 100k followers and leveraged that distribution to publish two best selling books.

Today’s case study is a little bit different. We usually cover big (and small) tech companies and their journey to 1000 customers. To change things up a little bit I have invited Ria Golovakova a PR and communication specialist at Dapi (YC W20) to write this story of Daily Math… one of the largest instagram math page (over 100k+ followers.)

🤷🏼‍♀️ What do they do?

Daily Math (daily_math_) is an educational Instagram page posting math problems and math related content. In less than 2 years the page has grown to 109k followers with an active userbase eagerly waiting for each post.

The creator behind the page, Hamza Alsamraee, has published two math books:

His first book sold more than 4000 copies in the first year, which put it as the #1 Amazon bestseller in the categories of Solid-State Physics and Teen & Young Adult Physics eBooks.

These accomplishments would be remarkable for an esteemed professor, but Hamza is 17 years old and only recently graduated high school! So, how did he do it?

🍎 A Problem a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Initially, Hamza started the page for two reasons:

  1. Connect with fellow math enthusiasts, as his high school did not have a math club.

  2. Test the market for his first book.

He began by posting one math problem a day. His first two posts were photos of a handwritten problem and solution, after which he switched to typesetting the problems on his computer. These posts did not have any pictures, they were simple slideshows of a problem and the steps in a solution.

Hamza prioritized living up to the name of his page, posting a problem every single day.

🔽 Niching Down

Even though the math community is already a niche of Instagram, Hamza knew he had to niche down even more.

To grow a presence on social media, he thought, he needed to start with a very well-defined audience and deliver upon a simple premise time and time again.

Hamza's first posts were only integration problems, a small subset of calculus which, in turn, is a small subset of math.

He tried to post the most interesting integrals and solve them in the most simple way he could. This way, he hoped his followers would feel like they've solved the problem themselves.

⛏️ Grinding Outreach

Once Hamza's page hit 100 followers, he began actively marketing the page. He went to similar math pages, asking them for shoutouts and directly messaging their followers. This process took him multiple hours every day, but that wasn't even the main problem.

Instagram's algorithm makes outreach very difficult for pages with few followers. Hamza had to limit the amount of users he reached out to, so that the platform wouldn't flag him as a bot and ban his account.

He messaged about 10 people in the morning, 10 during the day while walking, and 10 before going to sleep. But even with these limited numbers he once got banned from posting for a week.

He began promoting daily_math_ from another Instagram account that he had, a meme page with a slightly larger number of followers.

🧚 A Sprinkle of Luck

Active outreach efforts got some results, but growth was still painfully slow.

Daily Math's big break came when another math page happened to come across the account and shout it out to their followers.

Hamza got a few hundred followers within days thanks to that bit of luck.

🤝 Building a Community

Beyond posting good content and actively reaching out, Hamza's secret sauce was building a community. The goal of his page was to stand out from other math content online. Hamza did not want to lecture people. Instead, he tried to make them feel as if they were on a journey with him, solving the problems together.

To help people feel involved, he responded to every message and every comment the page got. Then he actively encouraged people to like, comment, and share his posts with others.

Even further, he made it clear that he was a real person behind the content. He would share updates from his life and post stories with his face on them.

This was critical to Daily Math's early success: when a social media account doesn't have a face attached to it, it doesn't feel credible. With his personality as part of the brand, Daily Math became an avenue for Hamza to share his love for math with the world.

🤝 What the First 1000 community is working on?

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