As algorithms and common practices change, so too does how to reach your target audience. In spite of all of the changes that have occurred in recent years regarding how Instagram works, and how brands and companies can reach their followers, there are clear, simple ways to make sure you are getting more followers, increasing engagement, and growing your social platforms. I have put together 15 of the best practices to do so below, including the types of posts that will most effectively bring in new and active followers.
Does Getting More Followers on Instagram Even Matter Anymore?
With the prevalence of Instagram Reels, which are shown regardless of number of followers if the content is considered good, the focus should be on developing your content and subsequently developing deeper relationships with current followers rather than always catering to your target audience. Despite the importance of maintaining current followers, as a society, we tend to want to focus on a wider audience and attach greater credibility to those with a larger follower count. While having more followers may not be as paramount as it once was, if you are going to invest time and energy into a social network, it makes sense to try to grow your influence over time.
For these reasons, if you are a creator, your follower count does matter–to an extent. Opportunities, brand collaborations, and more can all be influenced positively or negatively based on your total follower count and engagement of those followers. Remember that fake followers are never useful, as countless metrics tools can determine fake from real followers. While there are other things to focus on–using relevant hashtags to make sure you are keeping with your following or preferred audience, your own engagement rates, and making connections with real people–it is still important to have a solid following on social platforms to maintain your business or brand and continue to experience growth.
How to Get More Followers on Instagram
Now that we’ve determined that it is still valuable to seek out new audience members and grow your Instagram following, let’s take a closer look at the latest strategies to help grow that following and maintain the interest of your audience.
1. Create More Instagram Reels
If there is any format that Instagram is promoting that allows you to be seen outside of your current followers, it is Reels. Reels are more useful than Instagram Stories, in that they focus more on quality and type of content to showcase. What does this mean? Ultimately, it means that Instagram Reels can be used to get your name and brand out there more effectively than simply leaning into branded hashtags, running promotions, and other (older) methods of growing your follower count.
2. Experiment with Different Types of Instagram Posts and Lean into Trending Content Formats
Reels are currently all the rage, it is true, but trends shift. Once Reels have quieted down, Instagram Live, Instagram Stories, or carousel posts may once again see a spike in interest and use. Continually utilize different types of Instagram posts to see what is getting the most exposure at any given point in time, and to see where your engagement is highest. Doing this ensures that you are keeping yourself at the top of your audience’s mind (and, more importantly, their feed), and you never know: you may become the outlier who actually does better with static posts than they do with Reels or Instagram Stories.
3. Run an Instagram Giveaway/Contest
Running a giveaway or contest is another smart strategy to grow your followers, because giveaway and contest outlines often encourage entrants to follow and tag others to get extra entries and increase their chance of winning. Sharing posts to their Instagram Stories is another common request in giveaways and contests, and it is a great way to bring in more potential customers. An oft-used social media strategy because it works, running a giveaway or contest can quickly increase your follower count.
4. Consider Instagram Ads
While giveaways and contests are successful options on their own, they are often most successful when paired with Instagram ads. The ads let you reach a broader audience, and interest in winning can encourage an increase in followers. Instagram ads can be used for many things, and are not limited for use with giveaways or contests; any time your reach extends past your existing followers, it increases your chances of acquiring new followers. When choosing something to advertise through Ads, make sure you select an image or post that appeals to a broader audience, and offers a compelling visual.
5. Cross-promote Your Instagram Account
This is the next best thing to ads, assuming that you have a sizable audience on another social network, a large email list, or a popular website. It should go without saying that if you are seeking engagement and new followers on Instagram, you should be religiously sharing a clickable link to your profile on your website and other social media platforms where you have an audience. This includes any business profiles you may have across profiles.
6. Work/Collaborate with Other Brands, Creators, and Influencers
Influencer collaborations give you an excuse to work with brands who just might end up boosting your post as part of their campaign. Working with brands also shows other potential brands that you have a track record as a creator. All of these things might help you get exposed to new users on the platform and thus increase your following, whether through simple shares, popular hashtags, or the efforts involved in the partner’s campaign.
7. Write a Compelling Bio
When people that don’t follow you arrive at your profile, you’ll want to improve your chances of converting them into becoming a new follower. This begins with your bio; after all, relevant users who arrive at your profile need to know that you are a good fit for their wants, needs, or interests. Organic followers are often more valuable than those that show up for a kickback of some kind, and your bio is the first place to grab attention.
Further Reading: 10 Elements of the Perfect Instagram Bio
8. Post Content That Followers Actually Want to See
This should really go without saying, but you need to be locked into your niche, understand the current trends, keep an eye on your Instagram analytics, and at the end of the day post high quality content that is aligned with the expectations of your audience. This means keeping abreast of trends in video content, and continually developing the types of content that your specific audience is interested in. Even if you are in a highly specific industry, you can always reach a larger audience with genuine, quality content than pushing out mediocre content in high volumes.
9. Keep a Consistent Content Calendar and Post Consistently
Algorithms like consistent content creators, so try to be consistent to consistently be shown to potential new followers. As stated above, don’t simply post for the sake of having content put up. Instead, be sure to post according to a consistent schedule. This means that if you can only create high-quality content for your social media accounts twice per week, do so on consistent days during the week. If only once per week, keep it around the same day and time.
10. Write Compelling, Engaging Captions
Engaging captions means that you are asking questions or doing something to spark engagement from your followers. The more engagement you get, the greater the chance your content will appear in more feeds, especially if they are Reels or you are using hashtags. As much as possible, find ways to get people to engage with your content in your captions across your social media channels. Receiving engagement on a regular basis is essential for a content creator to see consistent gains and results.
Further Reading: 25 Ideas for What to Post on Instagram to Increase Engagement
11. Use the Best Hashtags to Get the Right Exposure
Hashtags don’t seem to give you the exposure they used to, but it doesn’t mean that you should give up on them. There are still some people that follow or search for hashtags, and as long as that is the case, you should still be using hashtags to the best of your abilities to reach your target audience of potential followers. Hashtag use still remains a practice in social proof, and will not detract from your efforts, even in the absence of a huge impact on follower numbers.
Further Reading: Instagram Hashtags: Where To Find Them And How To Use Them
12. Tag Your Location
While not as powerful as a hashtag, people still do search locations and are often exposed to tagged locations in Stories. It might not be the most effective strategy, but it certainly couldn’t hurt! This can be particularly useful in real estate and other professions that are almost entirely location-based, and therefore require a content strategy that focuses on location and visual content that highlights your particular area.
13. Engage with Your Community
Every time you engage with the content of your followers, it increases the chances that your followers’ followers will see you–especially if you comment, thus increasing your chances of recruiting new followers. No matter the content type, securing quality followers requires engagement and interacting with the follower base that both you and your followers have cultivated. An engaged audience will provide far more to your business than long series of fake accounts or users who rarely see and interact with your content.
14. Lean Into User-Generated Content
This is only for businesses, but if your customers or fans are talking about you, you should be able to increase followers every time you publish user-generated content. Not only should the creator hopefully follow you, but also the followers of the creator will hopefully be exposed to your account. This can happen either through the creator or by tagging the creator, thus increasing the chances of gaining new followers. This can be more useful than other means of exposure, including hashtag searches, as being exposed in relevant accounts can lend a hand to developing an engaged community more than other, faster means of gaining a following.
15. Look At What Your Competitors Are Doing
It can never hurt to keep your eye on the competition and see which of the above they are doing and how successful they are. Be inspired by those that you see as being successful, analyze their tactics, and emulate what makes sense to you and your brand to find new ways to grow your followers. This can mean echoing similar social media management tools, following a similar posting schedule, or even matching the social channels that your preferred competitors utilize.
Further Reading: How to Spy On Your Competitors on Instagram In 4 Steps
There is a distinct difference between an authentic follower and a follower who has only arrived in the hopes of taking advantage of a discount or giveaway. By keeping your current audience in mind as you work toward building your following, you can help ensure that your following is an authentic or genuine one. In this age of recommended media, followers are no longer king when it comes to success on social media, but they can still be extremely valuable to help secure partnerships with other brands, influencers, and more. Because followers are not only considered an indication of a brand or company’s success, but also their reach and overall influence, many reputable entities will insist on working with those who are able to cross over a specific follower threshold.
Fortunately, increasing your follower count is not an impossible task, and you do not have to lose the tone and spirit of your account to do so. Instead, by making sure that you are consistently engaging with others on your own channels, and you are regularly developing content that is high-quality and visually appealing. Followers will happily come to accounts recommended by others or shared by others, provided that the account consistently posts content that they find valuable, interesting, or compelling. For that reason, if you focus on engaging, developing quality content, and taking advantage of opportunities to connect and collaborate, you are likely to see results and experience a positive change in the number of followers on your account.
Have you tried any of the tips listed above? Let me know in the comments!
Further Reading: 11 Amazing Free Ways to Promote Your Instagram Account
Hero photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash
How To Get More Followers On Instagram FAQs
Do these steps consistently to get more followers on Instagram for free:
1. Actively promote your Instagram
2. Create content exclusive to Instagram only
3. Use relevant hashtags
4. Actively connect with other Instagram users
5. Follow more people
6. Post actively on Instagram
Here are the things to do to gain organic growth or 1,000 followers on Instagram:
1. Interact with other Instagram accounts that have similar content/niche to you
2. Find and use relevant hashtags to your posts
3. Always interact with your followers
4. Search for similar content and interact with them by liking or leaving comments on their posts
In reality, it is impossible to get 1,000 followers on Instagram in 5 minutes unless you or your posts have gone viral. This may cause your followers to instantly increase but if that’s not the case, it won’t happen. Other people use applications that promise them to gain instant followers but it is not recommendable. Having fake followers especially as an influencer, will not help you.
There is no hack to gaining 1,000 followers on Instagram. If you come across applications that offer to grow your followers instantly, do not take their offer. It is better to take your time in gaining organic followers than buying fake followers. If you are looking to increase your Instagram followers fast, check these best organic growth hacks that can be helpful to you.