Hi everyone! This blog post is on how to get more Instagram followers that are relevant and also to increase Instagram engagement. You do not want a ton of followers who are not engaging by liking or commenting on your posts. The objective to getting more followers should be getting an audience who cares about your feed and are actively engaged because they are interested in what you have to offer, in order for your brand to be successful.
Here’s a list of 10 different ways that will help you get more followers:
- First Impression – Your Instagram Profile
- Your Instagram Feed and Content
- Use Relevant Hashtags to Target Users
- Geotagging – Targeting Based on Location
- Engagement – Be Actively Involved
- Be Consistent
- Timing Your Posts
- Link to Other Social Media Platforms
- Hold a Contest on Instagram
First Impression – Your Instagram Profile
When people first land on your profile and feed, this is the first place where they develop their impression of you. This includes your username, profile picture, profile description, the number of followers and following that you have, your posts and the branding you have created based on your posts.
Make sure that you have a high quality profile picture in place and a profile description that is direct and let users know who you are, what service you are providing, or what makes your service or product unique and stand out.
If you are a freelancer or influencer, be sure to show what you can offer, be it modeling, songwriting, make up services, etc.
Your Instagram Feed and Content
Instagram is all about the visuals. If you want your feed to look visually appealing or aesthetically enticing, the quality of your photos will matter. Also, when people click on your profile, they will be brought to your main feed where you have all your images laid out in this manner.
Let’s use my own profile @scarletplaysguitar (currently with 33k followers) as an example:
What you will notice about the layout is that not every picture is an up-close selfie. As I am a guitarist and this is my personal account, I have posts of myself, my guitar, some guitar videos, my family, and some sponsored posts as well.
No matter what your branding is, try to make sure that the pictures are visually balanced. So, if I posted an up-close selfie the day before, my next post may be a full body shot. The next day, I will not post a selfie or a full body shot because it looks the same (unless it is in another angle), but perhaps a guitar picture, followed by a guitar video in my next post.
The color scheme that you use is also important, which adds to the feel and branding of your company or yourself as an individual. If you are trying to be an influencer, think about a niche that you want to focus on. Are you a make up artist or a rock musician? Do you wish to be a travel blogger or a mummy blog? Choosing a niche is important, and this will lead to my next topic.
Use Relevant Hashtags to Target Users
Once you know your niche, the next thing will be finding your target audience using your hashtags. Once again, let’s use my account as an example. As a guitarist who loves rock, I would want my music to be discovered by fellow musicians and a potential audience who would love my music. So how do I find them? Whenever I post a guitar video, I would add the hashtag “#guitarist”.
But, that could mean attracting ANY type of guitarist, perhaps classical players, and not specifically people who love rock music. So I’d think about targeting a more focused group like “#riffwars” which is used by many electric guitarists. I could also choose to target “#rocknroll”, so I know that people who use this hashtag are people who love rock and roll, increasing my chances of finding like-minded users.
So when you use hashtags, try to use a mix of not just general hashtags (e.g. “#follow4follow” that will attract a random audience looking for followers but they may not be relevant to your page at all), but include those that are more focused and specific to your target audience.
Geotagging – Targeting Based on Location
Whenever you upload a new photo, you have the option to “Add Location” which can be very useful for businesses wanting to target people in a specific region. You can tag your own business office or city in order for followers to find you in the same area.
Engagement – Be Actively Involved
Instagram is all about engaging! This means you need to spend time being actively involved; from liking to following to commenting on other people’s posts. The whole point you are reading this article is because you want to grow your Instagram account, just like every other business or influencer. People love it when they get likes and comments, and if you want others to engage with you, you have to engage with them as well.
Try engaging with new posts instead of those extremely old posts. It may begin feeling like a chore, but eventually it is a wonderful experience to get to know like-minded individuals who share the same interests and you will build a community just by engaging! These people can eventually be your potential and loyal customers.
Cross-promotion is a great way to expand your reach, whereby both parties benefit. For example, I may find another guitarist whom I think would be a great fit to collaborate with. We could record a song together, and post the video on both our profiles and tag each other, thus gaining exposure to the other person’s followers. You can do this with many other people and gain lots of exposure from there!
You will benefit from being consistent in every way. Be consistent with your posts, your branding and your persona. Have a schedule or just ensure that you post consistently; at least 3 times a week or once a day if you can. If this is too time consuming, you can look at options like using programs to schedule your Instagram posts.
Timing Your Posts
Many people overlook this, and post at anytime of the day or upload a picture whenever they take one that they like. Based on the location of your target audience, it is best to post when most people are on their devices.
One good way to check when YOUR audience are active is to switch your Instagram to a business account. Select “Insights” and you will be able to view all activities here. Select “Audience” and you will be able to see the number of followers you have gained for the past week, the percentage of the gender that makes up your audience, their age range, location and finally at the bottom, you will be able to see the timing where most people have followed you.
So based on this example, the best time for me to post will be between 9pm to 12am. This will vary if you are based in another location and have a different target audience.
Link to Other Social Media Platforms
One good way to build your brand is to use other platforms to promote your Instagram account. Likewise, you can promote your other social media platforms on each other.
Try to provide different value for different type of platforms instead of posting the same thing on every platform. For example, if you are posting 1 minute videos on Instagram, perhaps you could have the full video on YouTube and ask people to “check out the full video” in your bio.
If you are using Twitter, you might want to use that for updates and press release (e.g. “New interview featured in Radio Times” or “New song out, check out Instagram page for 1 min sneak peak!”).
Hold a Contest on Instagram
Yes, you could hold a contest on Instagram! Ever noticed those giveaways where they ask you to follow their account, tag 3 friends and comment why you should win that product? It’s a great way to get people to follow you if they are keen in winning whatever you have to offer (be sure it’s of value!).
At the same time, they only qualify if they tag 3 friends, which means they are helping to refer people to view the post, who might also end up participating and following you, and tagging another 3 friends! It is possible for contests to become so successful that they go viral (with other marketing strategies in place).
How this works is they will post at the best timing with the highest engagement, hire influencers to do shoutouts and sponsored posts all at the same time, resulting in a massive snowball effect.
Some companies take things to the next level by using “user-generated content” by asking users to post a picture and tag themselves and stand a chance to be featured by them or win a pair of travel tickets. This works by getting users to generate content FOR them, spreading the word to their followers as more people take part and upload their images with the same hashtag.
Influencers tend to have the highest engagements and get featured in “Top Posts”, or start trending in various hashtags, resulting in a highly effective marketing campaign.
Once you use these tactics, your engagement WILL increase overtime and as you gain more followers, you will start seeing your own posts being featured in “Top Posts”. Less than a year ago, I had around 1k followers. These are hashtags I have been featured in as my account grew overtime.
YOU can do this too! Hope this article has helped you out and have a great day!