Get More Instagram Followers Fast
To date, Instagram has an estimated 1 billion active users every month. While Facebook still edges out Instagram when it comes to the number of monthly users, Instagram offers better exposure and engagement for brands, popular personalities, and even regular users.
Statistics from last year have revealed that:
- On a daily basis, more than 500 million people are active on Instagram.
- The most active population are those under the age of 35, making up 71% of users.
- The average time active users spend on Instagram is 32 minutes.
- Instagram boasts of an average 4.2 billion likes daily.
With so much activity going on in the platform, it might seem an obvious conclusion that getting more Instagram followers is easy peasy. This is not the case, however; the impressively high number of active users per day also translates to intense competition. There might be plenty of followers to go around, but reaching them is a whole other story.
Let’s break down an effective strategy for growing your Instagram followers.
Table of Contents
Tips On How To Grow Your Instagram Followers
1. Define Your Goals
Acquiring more followers requires an effective growth strategy which, in turn, will be defined by your overall goals as a brand.
Is your goal to increase sales, drive traffic to your blog or website, or promote awareness about an issue? Defining your goal/s will also define your brand identity and guide your Instagram growth strategy.
Keep in mind that Instagram growth is intricately intertwined with genuine and consistent engagement. And fostering good engagement with followers largely depends on the content you post on a regular basis. These are all important considerations when devising your growth strategy. And we go full circle and back to your defined goals which will also be the overarching theme of your page’s published content.
To sum it up, having well-defined goals will also translate into a well-defined brand identity, which will determine the kind of content you’ll post in order to attract the right kind of followers and thereby grow your follower base.
If, for example, your brand is a line of workout gear and your goal is to increase sales, you will be regularly posting photos, videos, and stories that showcase how your workout gear is key to health and fitness. Your specific content will appeal to Instagram users who are into all things related to physical fitness and overall health. With a well-defined goal, you can devise a growth strategy that includes the right content planning for a specific target market.
2. Capture Attention with a Creative Bio
For potential new followers that discover your brand, your bio gives them a closer peek at who you are. So make sure to use your bio as effectively as possible to make the best first impression. Instagram’s bio is limited to 150 characters, but these should be enough to:
- Provide the most relevant information about you, including contact information
- Let others know what’s important to you, i.e., promoting wellness, creating awareness about an issue, nurturing a community of like-minded individuals, etc.
- Deliver a call to action, e.g., to visit your website, make a purchase, and, of course, follow your page, among others
Your bio should be enticing enough that users who are learning about you for the first time will want to know more. They should want to actually click the link to your website, browse through your IG profile to view your content, and hit the Follow button.
Including a clickable link in your bio is a good way to provide more information about your company, if the 150-character limit is not enough. You can also encourage engagement by adding a branded hashtag which, when clicked, will direct users to a specific Instagram post; the hashtagged content should be interesting enough that these newcomers will want to follow you to stay in the loop.
You can add IG story highlights to your bio as another way to introduce newcomers to the kind of content you share. Instagram’s stories have a highlights feature that allows you to select and save specific stories as highlights. When newcomers click the story highlights in your bio, they will be directed to these saved stories. Make sure to create stories exclusively for story highlights in your bio to showcase your brand’s identity.
3. Follow Other Users
Especially if you’re just starting to grow your brand on Instagram, you will have to give in order to take. This means also growing your own following list by following other users which, hopefully, will earn you a follow back; tit for tat, so to speak.
Of course, your first connections will be with people you already know. You can easily search them on Instagram by using the “Find people to follow” feature, which imports your phone contacts and Facebook friends list and matches them with their IG accounts.
You can also use the “Explore” feature, which will give you suggestions on people you to follow based on similar interests. About ⅓ of the people in this suggestion list will follow you back, and this is a good way to kickstart your follower base.
Another trick you can try is to spend some time browsing the business pages you have followed, as well as competitor pages, and looking for people who actively engage with them. Make a list of these individuals and give them a follow, too. Initiating contact with a follow will, more often than not, make them curious enough to check you out — and this is where your bio will play an important role in encouraging people to hit your Follow button.
Don’t overlook the benefit of following celebrities, influencers, and other famous personalities. Engage with them as often as possible to increase your visibility to potential followers. Especially if your comments get replies, and even more if your brand is mentioned, followers of these well-known Instagrammers may also start following you.
Hashtags that specifically draw follow-backs, such as #ifollowback, #follow, and #followtrain, can also help you look for people to follow who are also looking for a tit for tat. Just type the hashtag/s in the search bar to locate users who are using them, too.
Growing your account’s following list is important when you’re just beginning your growth journey. You have to be proactive — aggressive, even — and put yourself out there to make your presence known. Later, when your brand has earned a significant number of followers and can continue to grow through your content and engagement strategies, you can start cleaning up your following list to remove people who did not follow you back, may have unfollowed you, are not active, or with whom you don’t share any interests.
4. Identify Your Target Audience And Look For Them
What’s more important than having a lot of followers? Having the right ones. When we mentioned defining your goals as the first step you should take to grow your Instagram followers, we also mentioned attracting “the right kind of followers.” In order to generate genuine and consistent engagement from your followers, you should value quality over quantity.
To effectively seek out and earn the follows of the right kind of people, ask yourself these questions.
- What types of people will be interested in your product/brand?
- What can you offer in terms of content that will make these people interested in you?
- Does your product/brand deliver exactly what these people are looking for?
- How can you get your target audience to notice you, follow you, and engage with you?
These questions will help you narrow down the right kind of people you want to reach, the type of content that will be most effective to reach them, and how you can present your product/brand to convince them to follow you and engage with you.
Once you have identified the specific group of individuals that you want to target, you should do further research to find out the best time to reach them (through your posts, DMs, and/or engagements on other IG pages) and the right tone to use in your content and communications.
But, of course, you should know how to find them first in order to learn more about your target audience. You can start your search by checking out other popular Instagram accounts similar to yours and/or which you think cater to your target audience’s interests. Browse through the feed of these accounts and identify their most active followers, i.e., those that frequently like and comment on their posts. Compile a list of these followers.
Next, visit each of these followers’ accounts as well. You can quickly browse through their own posts to make sure their interests are aligned with your brand before following them, or just hit the follow button straight away. You may also like and comment on some of their posts to get their attention.
Another way to help you find your target audience is by doing a search using hashtags relevant to your brand/product. The results you’ll get will include posts and conversations that use these hashtags and which will direct you to users that will most likely be also interested in your brand. Again, once you’ve identified your target audience, make them notice you by engaging with them.
5. Make Sure Your Account Is Easily Accessible
With more than 25 million business accounts on Instagram and tons of new ones being added every day, the competition is tough, to say the least. Even if your niche is ultra-specific, you will still be competing against bigger companies with a more expansive offering, including products/services similar to yours. So how can you make your brand stand out in the crowded Instagram-verse? One good way to do this is by making sure that you are easily accessible.
Use keyword optimization in your username. Instead of just using your brand’s name as your username, you should consider integrating a relevant keyword into it, i.e., a keyword related to your brand and which users often use to search for related companies or content. For example, if your company is ZZZ Cafe, your username can be @ZZZcoffeeshop because “coffee shop” is a commonly used search keyword. As much as possible, you should use the same username for all your social media accounts so that potential followers on other platforms can easily find you, too.
b. AR Filters
You know those filter effects available in Stories? You can create one for your brand, as well. If it’s appealing enough or trendy, and if it is not promotional, it can be accessed by any Instagram user for their stories. Every time your filter is used, your account name will be appended to it — shown as a clickable icon at the top left corner of the screen. This is a good way to increase your brand visibility and drive traffic to your business page.
c. Instagram Nametags
Instagram nametags are QR codes that lead directly to their associated IG profiles. Using a nametag is among the latest digital marketing strategies. It can be printed on any marketing collateral such as posters and brochures, and even on product labeling and receipts; it can also be displayed at networking events and conferences. These brand-specific QR codes are scannable and immediately bring people to your page.
6. Use Engagements
Organic and consistent engagement is every Instagram account’s lifeblood, and you need effective communication to encourage your followers to engage with your content through likes and comments, and even shares. But because your followers can only see about 30% of your published content on their feeds, you should also aim for higher content numbers, but not too many that you’ll be spamming newsfeeds, annoying users, and violating Instagram rules and regulations. You should also aim to have your posts appear higher and frequently in your followers’ feeds; you can achieve this by getting more people to engage with your posts, as every like and comment increases a post’s visibility.
a. Engage with similar brands
Again, it’s important to put yourself out there. In addition to following other brands in your industry, you should also engage with them so their followers will see you. Frequent engagement will get you noticed more, but remember that you want to grab the attention of potential followers in a good way so the quality of your engagement is important.
Given that these other brands may also be your competition, you wouldn’t want them to block you because you’re deliberately and shamelessly trying to coax their followers to go with you instead. You might even earn the irk of their loyal followers. So you’ll have to be creative, subtle, and neutral with your engagement. You should also time it perfectly; for example, a post that has just gone live and which is already getting a lot of likes and comments is a great opportunity for you to interact with your target audience, as you know for a fact that they’re active and will see you.
b. Engage with other content directly before and after you post
Instagram’s algorithms measure a post’s relevance based on how much engagement it gets within the first hour that it’s published. If your post gets a lot of interactions within this golden hour, it will get pushed higher up in other people’s feeds. Additionally, when your followers frequently interact with your posts, you will earn a top spot in their feeds; the high engagement rate is viewed by Instagram as enthusiastic interest in your brand and content so your posts will earn a higher rate of visibility.
But first things first, you’ll have to encourage your followers to interact with your posts. To get their attention, make sure to engage directly with the content of other users immediately before and after you publish yours. You can like and/or comment on their most recent post and/or stories; make sure you get them interested enough to check you out. Your engagement with other users’ content, especially if it gets noticed by these users, is also tracked by IG’s algorithms and can earn you visibility points.
c. Write catchy captions
Catchy captions are a tried and tested trick. Make sure those first few lines immediately capture people’s attention. Make them curious, smile, laugh, or inspired — so much so that they’ll react to your post, comment on it, or even share it. Give them something to think and talk about.
d. Reply to all comments on your post
Keep the conversation going in your post by replying to all the comments. It’s important to reply as soon as possible to each comment to increase the likelihood that the original commenter will read it and maybe like it and/or reply to it. Again, the more active the engagement is on your post, the more it will appear on top of newsfeeds, including your commenting followers’ followers. So the time when you post something should not only depend on when you know most of your followers are most active; you should also consider your ability to promptly engage with everybody who interacts with your content. The same also applies to your Instagram stories.
You can also tag people within your social circle who you know will be interested to engage with your content. Aside from increasing engagement, tagging people can make you visible to their respective followers, if their privacy settings allow it.
e. Pin your favorite comments
You can pin up to 3 comments on each post. Obviously, select the best comments to pin as these can be effective and organic brand promotional tools. Pinning comments also encourages other followers to post comments in the hopes of getting theirs pinned as well.
7. Create Interesting Content
When you grab the attention of potential new followers with a single post, it doesn’t always guarantee an immediate follow. Most of the time, users will visit a brand’s page and browse through its previous posts. This is why it’s important to create interesting content each and every time. You want these potential new followers to enjoy looking through your content and to want to see more of you in the future so they’ll start following you.
a. Use templates
There’s a wide variety of online design tools that you can use to enhance your content. With some trial and error, you should find several visual templates that work best for your brand, i.e., those that earn a lot of reactions. Having templates ready to use will make it easier for you to create interesting and aesthetically pleasing content every time. Templates also deliver consistency and harmony and can help promote your unique brand identity.
b. Repost from popular brands within your niche
Reposting content from popular brands can benefit you in two ways. First, your active engagement can earn you visibility points. And second, it’s a great way to fill in your own content feed with complementary and engaging posts.
Most public brand accounts, especially big-name ones, allow their followers to freely share their content. With some brands, you may have to ask for permission to directly repost their content or to share a screenshot of it. And always credit the original owner when you share. If you can tag them, even better! Their followers will be able to see your repost, as well. (Again, whenever necessary, ask for permission before tagging another account.)
c. Edit your content
Strong Instagram aesthetics are another crucial element. Aviary, Afterlight, and other similar editing tools available to Instagram can help make your posts and stories look professionally-made and more aesthetically pleasing. Impressing Instagram users with the visual quality and composition of your content can earn you a lot of followers and engagement.
Over time, your followers may get bored by your content — especially if the themes and/or messages are predictable and basic. Every now and then, spice up your posts to keep your followers’ interests piqued. Here are some ways to do it:
- Share the best stories about your product posted by clients
- Post testimonials
- Create informative content
- Share quotes that are inspiring, timely, and relevant to your brand
- Share behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your brand
8. Post Frequently and Consistently
Whether you’re posting several times spread throughout the day or week, doing it consistently and at the right times will help you reach as many people as possible. With the help of Instagram analytics, you should be able to determine the best times to post your content, i.e., based on when most of your followers are online and active. Keep in mind that these times may be different for each day of the week.
Create a daily/weekly posting schedule and stick to it. Once you’ve established your content schedule, your followers will come to expect it and you wouldn’t want the old saying “out of sight, out of mind” to affect your brand’s engagement rates. Consistent posting can translate to consistent engagement which, in turn, can lead to new followers.
When it comes to frequency, how many times is enough and how many is too much? Here are some pointers:
- For new accounts, the ideal number is 3 to 5 posts per day and, again, stick to the number you choose; during the first few months, you will have to experiment with different posting schedules to give Instagram’s analytics adequate time to collect data on your followers.
- It’s generally better to increase the frequency of your posts rather than decreasing them. Of course, always remember to stay within Instagram’s posting restrictions.
- Ideally, you should post at least one Instagram story a day.
- Add some user-generated content and content from other brands to your content schedule. These shared posts will add variety to your content rotation, and will also prove useful when you’re out of good ideas for engaging content.
9. Aim to Get Your Posts Shared
Promotional content is necessary to keep your followers informed about what you have to offer; however, this type of content is rarely reposted. Getting your posts shared should always be one of your primary goals, so create content that your followers will find worth sharing. Infographics, inspirational content, and even funny memes and GIFs often get a lot of reshares.
As much as possible, stay on-brand even when posting non-promotional content. But it’s also okay to stray from a brand-centric approach and just encourage some casual engagement from your followers.
Another strategy you should try is creating unique content aimed at Instagram feature accounts related to your industry. IG feature accounts are curated accounts created around one topic, a movement, or a community. By simply using the right hashtags and other relevant tags, your content can be picked up by these featured accounts and shared with a whole new group of people, which can then earn you a lot of new followers.
10. Initiate Conversations To Get Noticed
a. Ask a simple open-ended question in a post
As previously mentioned, engaging in conversations with other users by commenting on their posts is one way to get them and other people to notice you. You can try asking questions about their post to increase the likelihood of getting a response.
For example, for a picture with a tagged location, you can ask any of these questions:
- What’s the weather there like?
- What are the best coffee shops in the area?
- What drinks/food would you recommend?
- What’s the nightlife like?
The original poster and even other people may reply to your question and keep a good conversation going, so make sure to also join in to get your profile seen by as many users as possible.
b. Respond to every comment on your feed
We’re emphasizing, once again, the importance of replying to every comment on your posts. This helps build real connections with your followers and almost always guarantees frequent engagement from your followers. Don’t make any of your followers feel ignored or they might hit the unfollow button. And the more activity a post has, the more often it will appear on newsfeeds — increasing your chances of gaining new followers.
11. Use Relevant Hashtags
Choose your hashtags wisely to help your content reach the right audience. There are two ways you can try when using hashtags for your content.
First, create your content and find popular hashtags related to it. You can easily do this by doing a hashtag search using a keyword relevant to your industry. For example, if you’re a fashion brand, you can search for “#fashion,” “#style,” or #beauty” and Instagram will provide you with the most popular hashtags using the keyword. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, so feel free to use different hashtag iterations for a single keyword, and different keywords. Just make sure the hashtags are related to your post and relevant to your brand.
Second, you can create your content based on a trending hashtag. Again, make sure the hashtag is relevant to your brand; if the hashtag is about a broad issue, you can still create a post about it to show your support or share your thoughts.
When choosing hashtags based on popularity/frequency of use, remember that the more popular a hashtag is (used hundreds of thousands or millions of times), the higher the competition. So less popular hashtags may also serve you well because there is less competition; your post will have a higher likelihood of being seen by the right audience. It’s always a good idea to use a mix of popular and less popular hashtags with every content.
12. Post Videos and Stories Frequently
In general, videos generate a higher engagement rate compared to images. So make sure to post videos on your main feed and in your stories a few times a week. You can create your own videos, such as tutorials, a behind-the-scenes look at your brand process, or a quick day-in-the-life glimpse. Newsfeed videos can be long, but don’t make yours so long that your viewers will get bored; videos for stories, on the other hand, must only be 10 seconds long.
Original videos take a lot of work to create, of course. You can also share user-generated video content, whenever possible.
13. Promote Your Instagram Profile On Other Social Media Platforms
Link your Instagram account to your other social media accounts; make sure your IG link is in your bio and take every opportunity to also provide the link with a call-to-action when you post content on these other platforms. Especially if you have more followers on your other social media accounts, it’s important to let them know about your presence on Instagram. Staying connected with all your followers on all social media platforms is a great opportunity to sustain and boost your brand growth.
How To Get Instagram Followers Using Facebook
Facebook still remains the most widely used social media platform, although Instagram follows at a close second. Although competition on Facebook is even tougher for brands, having a Facebook presence still offers a lot of opportunities for brand growth. Here are some ways you can leverage your Facebook following to support your brand’s success on Instagram.
a. Add an Instagram tab to your Facebook page
This will integrate your Instagram account with your Facebook account. When users visit your Facebook profile, they will immediately see the Instagram tab which will directly take them to your Instagram profile once they click on it.
b. Share your Instagram posts on Facebook
You can modify your Instagram settings so that all your posts and stories will also be automatically shared to your Facebook newsfeed and stories, respectively. When Facebook users click on your post/story, it will take them to the original Instagram post/story.
c. Run an Instagram contest on Facebook
This is a popular strategy among businesses nowadays. The Facebook contest usually requires participants to follow the brand on Instagram and then commenting on the post, sharing it, tagging friends, and/or using specific hashtags
14. Get Featured on the Instagram Explore Tab
Instagram’s Explore tab, which is located at the bottom of the Instagram app and represented by a magnifying glass icon, displays content you may like from users you’re not following. More than 100 million users visit the Explore tab on a daily basis, according to Instagram’s estimates. If you get featured on the Instagram Explore tab, it would be a great opportunity to gain new followers.
How can you get featured? By creating great and relevant content. This means content about topics that your target audience will be interested in the most. Remember that you want to appear on the Explore tabs of users who are interested in some aspect of your industry. In order to create content that will meet the needs of your target audience, you must have good knowledge of what these needs are, such as the questions they usually ask about your niche/product/service.
15. Keep Tagging
Tagging another user automatically posts the tagged content to the user’s feed, which expands your content’s reach. Their followers will be able to see your post and you can earn more interactions and follows this way.
Adding a call to action that encourages your followers to share your post and tag their friends is another way to take advantage of the tagging option. They can tag people in the comments of your original post or when they share it.
In addition to tagging other users, location tagging can also widen your reach. Make sure to tag a location when you post photos and videos. When users click on the tagged location or when they do a location search on Instagram, all your tagged posts will appear.
16. Explore Instagram Advertising
Instagram advertising is highly effective at targeted marketing; you can be sure that your sponsored content will reach the right audience. You can specify the length of time that your ad will run, as well as the specific groups of people to target based on their interests, key behaviors, location, demographics, and other factors.
You can choose from photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and slide shows. The average cost for 1000 views is $6.00, which can translate to 1000 new followers for a $6 spend. Organic following is always a top priority, but you also shouldn’t miss out on the advantages of paid advertising — especially if you’re running a business.
17. Leverage Instagram Live and IGTV
Instagram Live feeds offer a wonderful opportunity to engage with your followers in real-time. You can announce your scheduled Live feed and build up interest and excitement through regular posts, or you can also have a regularly scheduled Live feed. Make sure to create enticing content to encourage your followers to set their alarms and tune in. Your followers will also receive a notification every time you go Live.
Alternatively, you can have an influencer do the Live feed for your brand, or join you during your Live feed. This will increase your potential viewers and new followers.
Live videos can be automatically deleted when the broadcast is over or you can opt to have it show up in your stories for 24 hours so your followers can still view it even after the broadcast has ended. You may also want to add the video to your Instagram TV (IGTV), which is always a good idea if you’re creating a video series.
18. Embed Instagram Posts Into Blogs
Tap into the wide reach of bloggers to grow your Instagram following. An estimated 77% of internet users read blogs; keep in mind that readers of blog posts are already interested in the blog’s content, you can harness their follower potential by simply embedding Instagram posts into blogs that are related to your niche. This can be done through photos and videos which, when clicked, will drive traffic to your IG account.
Even if you’re not a blogger, you can collaborate with one who blogs about topics within your niche. To help you to convince bloggers to feature your Instagram content in their blogs, it has to be valuable (relevant to their audience, informative, or helpful in some other way), entertaining, trendy, and/or also useful to the blogger/s. Of course, don’t forget to promote the blog on your Instagram feed, as well.
19. Join Instagram Engagement Groups
Instagram engagement groups can earn you up to 2000 new followers in a week. Engagement groups within your niche will allow you to get in touch with people who share your interests, so they will be more than likely to give you a follow and engage with your posts.
Why You Should Not Buy Instagram Followers
Using bots and automated tools to give you a follower boost may provide impressive, albeit fabricated, numbers, but the cons of using such services far outweigh the pros.
a. Fake followers don’t create engagement
The bots usually only post single-word comments that have no value. And as there are no real people behind the high numbers, there’s no real engagement.
b. Bots may drop inappropriate comments
Because they are programmed with limited responses, bots may post comments that are completely unrelated to your content. Your real followers will become suspicious if they read these bot comments and may make them not want to engage with your content or cause them to unfollow you.
c. Fake followers can lead to spamming
Many apps that offer automated followers usually come with malicious spamware. The spamware could target you and collect all your information, including data from your other social media accounts. If your followers start following these spam accounts, their data could also become compromised. When they trace the spam back to you, they will most definitely unfollow your account.
d. Instagram recognizes and removes fake followers and penalizes the account
Instagram prohibits the use of these automated tools and has created advanced algorithms to detect bot-like behaviors and purge the platform of these spam accounts. You even run the risk of getting suspended by Instagram for going against their rules and regulations.
e. Fake followers destroy credibility
With the proliferation of fake followers and fabricated follower numbers, many Instagram users — especially business, influencer, and celebrity accounts — are quite familiar with their telltale signs. Boosting your follower numbers with fake followers will turn away potential and real followers and put an end to possible collaborations with influencers or other personalities before they even begin. The deceptive move is an obvious indication that you cannot be trusted.
You have to put in real work and a lot of time to grow your Instagram followers in such a way that delivers real, consistent, and lasting engagement which will sustain your brand/business for a very long time.
There are a lot of tempting shortcuts available out there, but their benefits — if there are any — are often short-lived and not worth the repercussions.
When you’re building your brand on Instagram, do it right the first time and always put your best foot forward and the best practices in play. All your efforts will pay off when you’re guaranteed a robust and fruitful existence in the Instagram-verse.