Instagram is one of the most popular social networks in the world. According to Statista’s figures from January 2017, the photo sharing service now counts more than 600 million active users. That’s a massive audience to tap into, but how to get started?
We have prepared a list of things you can do to grow your following. Some of these are quick fixes, and some, well, require more time. You should try doing them, nevertheless. Here are…
11 ways to grow your Instagram followers
1. Create a theme for your photos
Select three keywords that best describe what you want to share on Instagram. If you’re sharing fitness stuff, your keywords are something like “fitness,” “wellness” and “workout.” Or if you’re into food, go for something that will communicate your love for delicious (or healthy) meals. The idea is to make it easy for other users to find you (and consequently start following you).
2. Like photos similar to yours
Use hashtags and check your own followers. Or followers of the famous “Instagram personalities.” Use search if that doesn’t work. Add it to your calendar to like 5-10 photos every second day (for instance) and leave genuine 2-5 comments. Don’t be rude, though. The point is to engage in conversation and to get your name out there. At the same time, this will help other users discover what you are doing on Instagram.
Related to the previous point. If you still haven’t started commenting other users’ photos, it’s time to change that. Be genuine though. Leaving comments like “nice photo” won’t take you anywhere. Take a good look at every photo you want to comment on and say something about a specific detail. Also, feel free to like stuff left and right. Interacting on Instagram is a must if you want to grow your audience.
4. Geotag your photos
If you’re posting photos from your travels — even if you’re going to a conference — geotag them (add location tag to it — if it’s not automatically added). This way you will be able to engage with the local community who in turn can find out where have you been or — in case of an event — what’s going on in their town/city. And yes, this will help you get new followers.
5. Use hashtags
The easiest way to get your account noticed is to join the existing conversation. Search for the popular hashtags that are related to your account and see how you can join the ride. Make sure you are posting relevant content (photos and videos) — otherwise, people will start ignoring you. You are free to use more than one hashtag. And when you grow a bit…
6. Create your own hashtag
As noted, this step requires that you already have an audience of your own who will be able to help you get your story to even more users. Ask them to use your hashtag, so you can repost their stuff on your feed. This way your hashtag not only helps you build a community, but also gives you content for your own account.
7. Post what your audience likes
Check through your feed to determine what kind of images got you more likes, versus those that have produced little to no reactions. This isn’t a sell-out, mind you. If you want to do something just for yourself — don’t share it with the world. On Instagram, you should cater to your audience. So deliver on that promise.
8. Ask for comments
This is how you engage with your audience. Adding something short as “comments please?” can take you a long way. Then tune in to read comments and reply to them. The simple “thank you for commenting” will work, but see if you can be more specific. Your audience will love you for noticing their efforts. Also, you may want to ask for “likes” and “shares” — there is nothing wrong with that.
9. Run a contest
This is what pros are doing to grow their audiences. The easiest way is to organize a contest is to ask users to share some post, and you will pick one (or a few) lucky winner and give him/her some hot, in-demand product like an Apple Watch. Those $300 invested in Apple’s wearable device could easily get you thousands of shares. If you decide to take this route, you should also promote this contest in other places.
10. Use other social networks…
…to promote your presence on Instagram. Ask your Twitter followers and Facebook friends to “check you out” on Instagram. Feel free to repeat this message every week and/or every month. Also, make sure to link your Instagram account with other networks.
11. Connect with popular users
Once you have established your Instagram presence, you may want to contact other popular Instagram users for collaboration. A typical arrangement involves one Instagram user “taking over” another user’s account for the day as a guest contributor. Also, two or more of you could organize daily or weekly challenges from which both of you will benefit. Or something else — research what other popular Instagram users are doing and learn from them.
Want more tips?
We suggest you check Instagram on Fire — this unique course will provide you with the top strategies the so called super-users rely on to increase the number of their followers and monetize their audience. Start by signing-up for a free report.