@196sonhos, the adventure of growing 550% on Instagram in 3 months

196 countries in 17 months and 2 days. That’s the time span the 24-year-old Brazilian Anderson Dias took to enter the Guinness Book record as ‘the fastest human visiting every country on the planet’. His Instagram account, @196sonhos (Portuguese for 196 dreams– referring to the 196 recognized nations currently lying on Earth) has served as a witness to this ambitious personal project.

Before understanding how a dash of entrepreneurship and good content reaches nearly 700,000 real followers, let’s go through the metrics during the first couple of months of this Instagram adventure. Cabin crew, ready for take off?

Anderson realized he had been holding back a voice in his mind for too long: he wanted to get to know the world, and he was going to do it big time.

Anderson was born in Salvador da Bahia and moved to Agreste de Pernambuco when he was 5 years old. After graduating from high school, he moved to Recife, capital city of Pernambuco, for college. It was during this period of time, away from his family, that he went through immense financial difficulties.

Amid the difficulties in Recife, Anderson had the idea of ​​selling cell phone covers on the streets and public transportation of Recife. He gathered the equivalent to 10,000 euros after working 16 hours a day, which was enough for an exchange experience in Ireland. When back in Brazil, he decided to bring his business to the next level and start a mobile phone service and accessories company.

It took Anderson short to stabilize the incomes in his bank account and become a successful entrepreneur. He then realized there was a voice in his mind which he held back and was now ready to listen: Anderson wanted to travel the world, and he was going to do it big time.

Anderson Dias from @196sonhos with his family and friends at the Recife International Airport in Brasil
Anderson Dias from @196sonhos with his family and friends at the Recife International Airport in Brasil

May 27 of 2018. Recife international airport was the launching point of a long-yet-short trip across each and every country in the globe, in the shortest time as possible. Since then, he has been spreading and motivating travel enthusiasts from all over the world on Instagram.

On April 1, 2018, when @196sonhos hardly reached 7,000 followers, Anderson started investing in his new job as an influencer, thus increasing his reach; he then got over 5000 thousand followers raffling an iphone. But this was very little compared to what was about to arrive in his followers counter.

Anderson Dias from @196sonhos in the cockpit on his way to Uruguay
Anderson Dias from @196sonhos in the cockpit on his way to Uruguay

When analyzing @196sonhos statistics, it was observed that the organic reach had fallen via limitation of the Instagram algorithm. Because of that, while he was in the third country, Uruguay, Anderson started using strategic hashtags, well-known locations, tags with high followers and a detailed description in both Portuguese and English in all its publications.

As an example, on his flight to Uruguay @196sonhos published a photo inside the cockpit. The photo ranked first in the top trends of the location of São Paulo International Airport, the largest airport in South America.

The photo received about 2700 likes and since then @196sonhos followers only increased. See in this chart the followers growth in the first 3 months:

Growing on Instagram: Anderson Dias @196sonhos followers growth analysis
Anderson Dias @196sonhos followers growth instagram 2018 travel
Growing on Instagram: Anderson Dias @196sonhos Instagram stories views growth
Anderson Dias @196sonhos Instagram stories views growth

As a result, other metrics also grew inside his Instagram account: 

  • The number of interactions went from an average of 400 interactions to an average of 1500 interactions in less than 1 month. 
  • Reach of publications grew by 550%. 
  • Views on his Insta stories that had never before reached 1000 people, surpassed the 10,000 people mark.

His profile currently (Aug 2019) exceeds the 30,000 interactions in each post. While he is still on the road, his story got the attention of various journalists and has been featured in media, such as GQ.

After many adventures, troubles and unforgettable experiences @196sonhos is currently in the country number 131 of 196 and expects to return to Brazil at the end of 2019.

Anderson Dias from @196sonhos at the Batu Caves Temple in Kuala Lumpur
Anderson Dias from @196sonhos at the Batu Caves Temple in Kuala Lumpur

Primetag’s conclusions:

  • Time is key in developing a strong engaged audience, but a thrilling story is a massive accelerator in the growth of followers and interaction. Peculiar characters generate curiosity and interest, leading to higher numbers in followers.
  • When your story is eye-catching, the results are multiplied by other viral factors such as word of mouth or traditional media, like TV and online/offline publications. Unique narratives overstep the phone screens and turn into real-life phenomena.
  • Crazy stories need real people behind them. No matter where Anderson goes, he nurtures his audience, interacts in each posts, regularly engages with his followers on IGTV, and provides them detailed information of each destination, which makes them feel like they are there with him, hand-in-hand.
  • He took this professionally, defined up a strategy and was consistent to it. Having a strategy doesn’t mean leaving your authenticity behind. Know that followers don’t arrive easily from one day to the other, but if you are consistent, chances are the followers count will do the same.

Flávio Terto

Phd candidate in Economics and Controller at Spark Agency. I'm an econometrist lover, and my superpower is having strong beliefs! I think data science can change the world.


  1. Avatar
    Maria Milza de Farias Middlebrough Reply

    I’ m so proud of you, Anderson! You encourage many people to never give up on a dream. Congratulations!

  2. Avatar

    Simplesmente o melhor conteúdo do IG. 🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷@196sonhos

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