8 Surefire Ways to Grow Your Instagram Followers
1. Share Images People Can Relate To.
If you check out the most popular Instagram accounts, you’ll notice a common theme. All of their photos are something most people can relate to and connect with. They’re personal, unique, and original. By sharing these types of photos, you’re establishing a connection with your audience, which is the absolute best way to attract people to your account.
In short, make sure your Instagram account is authentic and original. Think about sharing behind the scenes photos of your office, the process that goes into making your product, or (appropriate) company party photos. That is how you’re going to connect to other users.
2. Post at the Right Time.
Before posting anything on Instagram, consider what time zone the majority of your audience lives in and what time they check their Instagram account.
Because of its mobility, there isn’t really a favorite time for Instagram users – engagement is high on Wednesdays between 5 – 6 PM, while more people post on Thursdays. Regardless, a majority of Instagram users log in when they have the extra time, such first thing in the morning, on their way home from work or school, or on Sundays.
Typically, a photo only has four hours before it gets lost within the news feed. To prevent this, try to post when you know a majority of your followers have downtime and have access to their accounts. For example, if your demographic is high school students, then you should post your photos in the afternoon when students are either on their lunch break or home for the day.
If you have a strong following of professionals in Chicago, then you would want to post images during rush hour CST when people are on their way home from work and checking their account while on the “L”.
3. Use popular and trending hashtags.
You probably already know how important hashtags are in your marketing. If you don’t, you may want to stop and read this post first! In short, using hashtags on Instagram will allow people outside your current pool of followers to find you and follow you.
There are three main strategies for using hashtags to get more Instagram followers:
- Use popular hashtags that you know your target audience is using. This will help you gain much more targeted followers. This is the strategy I recommend if you want highly targeted followers!
- Use extremely popular hashtags that get searched for most often (e.g., #love, #photooftheday, etc.)
- Use hashtags that are designed for getting likes and followers (e.g., “like4like”, “follow4follow”). Use this strategy sparingly, as the quality of these followers probably won’t be the best!
For more tips on using hashtags to get followers, check out my post. Top Instagram Hashtags For Gaining New Followers.
4. Be a Problem-Solver for Your Viewers.
While nearly all brands conduct some form of audience research that underpins their social media strategy, few brands have succeeded in really adding value with their Instagram content.
To deliver something meaningful, ask yourself:
- Are you targeting the right segment of users?
- What types of questions is this audience thinking about?
- How can you help solve your audience’s issues in your ads?
If you’re just getting started and trying to figure out who to target with your Instagram ads, users who have engaged with your business before are an excellent place to begin. Since they are already curious about your products and services, existing users are likely to follow you on Instagram for the latest updates and rollouts!
Tips for beginners: If you have user emails or telephone numbers, you can create custom audiences with this data. You can get even more specific and build custom audiences for your ads based on users’ app activity or even Facebook video views. Targeting these highly active users will go a long way toward efficiently gaining new followers!
Creating custom audiences will help get your ads in front of the right people, but to make sure they become followers, you need to take it a step further and use the data to develop practical ads that will answer followers’ questions.
5. Interact with Your Target Audience.
This one deserves a long explanation, so we’ll cover this in the next article. In short, participate on Instagram with your target audience, following them, commenting on their posts, and liking their posts rather than only interacting with your current network. This involves strategies like following the followers of your fellow industry professionals and even competitors. Again, we’ll cover this in detail in a later article.
6. Join Instagram Engagement Groups.
Are you just starting to learn how to get followers on Instagram? This tactic is best for beginners. Some Instagram newbies have seen their Instagram followers increase fast. What did they do differently? They joined engagement groups.
While it can be tempting to join the biggest Instagram engagement groups, the truth is you’ll get a more targeted list of Instagram followers by sticking to your niche. You can find engagement groups for travel, beauty, fashion and more.
In these groups, you can get followers and likes from people who have shared interests. But if you’re serious about getting the attention, you should also return the favor by following fan pages for people who join the group. I’ve had friends get 2,000 new followers in only a couple weeks using this strategy.
While it might not help with immediate sales, it helps you gain credibility early on so your Instagram page doesn’t show that you only have 38 followers. This is more of a short-term strategy for your first few weeks on Instagram, not a long-term one for getting Instagram followers.
7. Run a Contest.
If you have something you’d like to give away, try running a contest. Some ideas? Have users repost a specific image and tag you in the caption. Ask them to follow you. Or invite them to use your hashtag on their own images. You could even try a loop giveaway if you want to collaborate with other Instagrammers.
8. Follow Others.
If you want to follow others, then you’re going to have to follow them. This is a simple rule of reciprocation that is common in all social media formats. So, instead of just uploading photos and expecting people to come to you, you also have to put yourself out there.
In other words, you have to be active.
Search for users and brands that share your interests and comment, then like and share their photos. Follow Instagram stars and influencers and engage with them, or even ask for a shout-out. You could even look for tags containing tags like #shoutout, #TagsForLikes, #ilovemyfollowers, and #follow.