Having an Instagram account doesn’t automatically mean that you’re going to get hundreds of thousands of followers, regardless of what the Instagram statistics say. It is not easy to grow Instagram followers.
In fact, growth is going to be slow.
But don’t be stressed yet. With these tips to grow Instagram followers, you will be able to quickly grow your account.
1. Add the right hashtags
The first step is to find the right hashtags.
To do this on Instagram, access the search, and explore option.
You may already have a few hashtags that you’re using to engage with followers. So start your search beginning from that list and then note down newer hashtags as you find them, creating a bigger spreadsheet where you keep track of the rest of the hashtags.
Hashtags are the perfect way for you to spread the word about your brand and become even more well-known. Hashtags take your posts to a niche-relevant audience.
2. Identify and engage with Instagram posts
Here’s an example to drive home the point.
Susan Petersen from Freshly Picked went from zero to over 900,000+ followers on Instagram by investing hours of her time liking tons of content from other accounts similar to hers.
How to do this? Make it a goal to like and post comments on 10 to 15 different posts on accounts similar to yours. That someone should be relevant to your business. It helps if you leave a real comment and follow them. This helps them notice you and also helps their followers discover you.
When doing this, here’s what to take care of— follow and like content from people in your niche. Go and search for relevant hashtags to find relevant content.
This gives you opportunities to engage with and find relevant posts.
Once you discover the right hashtags, to follow this strategy, the next thing to do is filter the content to find relevant and engaging content.
Find out the details of each post you come across by reading the caption. With the caption, you can understand if the person who created it actually spent any thought to it or if it is just some text written as an afterthought.
Look at the bio and other details.
Read the content to see if:
- The content is relevant and educational.
- The caption is well-written and informative.
The bio states in abundant clarity what they do and who they are in the community.
Look at the effort and time the person who wrote the caption spent on it. Is it just a phony description that only tries to jam in some words? Is it something that tries to fit in as many hashtags before jumping into posting the next piece of content?
Well written captions are always story-driven. In fact, storytelling is one of the most important factors for effective content according to research.
Only those accounts drive engagement. Here’s how to find accounts with good engagement.
What is Instagram engagement rate?
You can measure the engagement rate by looking at likes and comments on the post and divide that by the total number of followers to get an idea of the real engagement on the account.
Here in this section, I’m going to discuss the ideal engagement rate you should be looking for.
Engagement rate is the most important factor when it comes to selecting accounts you wish to engage with as part of this strategy. An account with millions of followers but barely any comments or likes isn’t the right account for you to target. That says a lot about the lack of a community on the Instagram account.
To engage it’s quite important that you leave valuable comments.
There’s a big difference in leaving a one-word comment and quickly shuttling to a new post to leave another self-promotional spam than leaving a comment where you look forward to creating a discussion. Only mindful actions move the marketing needle.
The comments you leave create a long term value for the brand and for the community well into the future.
If you can’t spend the time to leave well thought out comments, you’re just wasting time.
The time you spend to build relationships with the right people will improve your growth.
In comments are behind the scenes of your business around the caption. Or something from your life that you can relate to.
Another thing you can do to get the conversation flowing is to ask people to talk and engage by asking open-ended questions. This is a far more meaningful way to start a conversation
3. Create a theme for your content
Once you have engaged in such a manner, there’s a good chance that people will start checking out your account. Don’t let that opportunity go to waste.
When you follow and engage with another account, the first thing other people do is start noticing your username.
Next, they come to check your account. Give them something that helps them understand what your account is about. Include a bio that people understand what they should associate the account with.
For instance, if someone visits Shopbob they immediately know what the account is about. They go to great lengths to curate the best dresses on their feed. This makes it easy for prospects to shop.
Here’s an example.
4. Socialize with your Instagram followers
Social media is a channel for socializing.
To successfully socialize— respond to comments on your posts and leave your own comments on other’s work. High-tech water bottle maker Gululu was able to generate $100,000 in funding courtesy of their followers on social media. These followers came on the back of interactions they had with social media followers where they communicated the benefits of using their water bottle.
Try leaving genuine replies and comments. If your followers are posting user-generated content, try and encourage more of that.
5. Create a branded hashtag and encourage its use
To build your own community it isn’t enough you create content around popular hashtags. The way to take this forward is by creating your own unique hashtag that people can associate your brand with. Make sure it’s not already being used.
There are many examples of brands nailing this. Here’s one from KFC:
In this particular example, the hashtag wasn’t something KFC invented but jumped in on at the right time.
When #NationalFriedChickenDay became a trending hashtag on Twitter— KFC decided to make the most of the opportunity.
The hashtag came on the back of chicken lovers who wanted a day for fried chicken. Since KFC realized it was something close to what they did they started a promotional campaign around it.
Next thing you know it became an annual event and KFC’s most popular hashtag campaign. Something for which KFC didn’t invent.
Once you encourage people to use hashtags then you can also repost those hashtagged images on your account and show your appreciation for their content:
There are several ways a hashtag can be useful:
Hashtags create brand awareness
They increase content visibility
Make it easy to track your content
Engages your audience
And helpful when creating a contest
Speaking of contests here’s what you can do about them:
6. Run a contest to grow Instagram followers
In addition, another tactic you can start using is running your own hashtag contests. Have people tag you in the caption. You could also make it a participation rule to tag others.
Invite followers to use photos they clicked or post selfies with products of yours.
You can also run a giveaway collaborating with other Instagrammers in your niche.
Contests are a good way to sell on Instagram.
7. Make use of Instagram stories
Instagram stories are the hottest thing on Instagram. As of 2019, 400 million daily active users engaged with stories. Now 500 million do. People love watching stories. There are multiple ways in which you can bring creativity to the forefront.
Post behind the scenes content to showcase how the brand acts and feels behind the curtain.
Ask questions. Use polls and quirky stickers. Use filters. Be comfortable with what you are doing to get people to connect with you.
Also, use ads on Instagram stories. Ads are a way to supercharge your Instagram presence.
When using ads, keep in mind that your offers need to match PPC temperature. In other words, they need to be relevant to your audience.
8. Encourage action from followers
It’s simpler to get someone to take an action if you simply ask them to.
Ask your followers to like or share content on your account— be it photos or videos. If you’re sharing something that can go viral or is funny ask to tag a friend. You can invite action by asking.
9. What does your audience want?
Next, go back a little and scroll through photos and videos you posted to understand and analyze what sticks out. What kind of content used to get the most likes and comments and also what gets no love. What kind of content do audiences click most?
Do a little research on your own content. Go back through your photos and see which ones got the most likes and comments. Also, look at content that generated the least interaction. Find out what clicks with your audience. Once you do make more of that content.
If you have an Instagram business account, you can readily access statistics on it.
10. Approach influencers
Another creative way to grow Instagram followers is by involving a popular instagrammer by asking them to take control of the account.
These guest contributors are instrumental to grow your account quite quickly.
Zoe Rodriguez is a health and fitness blogger who runs @zoelovefit. As part of an overall Instagram overhaul, she connected with several popular influencers on Instagram who promoted her content on their feed and generated much traction for her personal brand.
The results? The initial investment of $300,000 grew to $1.6 million in sales. Influencers can do miracles for your brand.
How to Grow Instagram Followers Conclusion
Instagram is one of those places that haven’t killed their organic reach yet. It’s fertile ground for you to track and understand the growth of your audience by doing more of what already finds traction with your online audience. Follow my advice and you’ll be certain to grow Instagram followers.
Now that you’re ready to grow Instagram followers, check out our other advice to further help you on your journey:
- 6 Tips on How to Get More Followers on Instagram Quickly
- A 10-Step Plan to Launch (or Revise) Your Instagram Marketing Strategy
- How to Create Content for Instagram: Ten Design Tools Social Media Marketers Should Use
- How to Create Your Own Instagram Followers Policy to Increase Your Community and Gain More Engagement