We grew our Instagram followers up to over 20,000 in the last year and a half.
And we drove similar results for our clients from all kinds of industries.
For example this one from the beauty industry, where we grew their IG by over 11,800.
We helped this client from the hospitality industry grow their IG from 0 to over 1,600 followers.
And lastly, we helped this school of medicine get over 1,800 followers.
We grow our Instagram followers, and our clients’ Instagram followers, by using a mix of organic and paid strategies.
Now hold on! Before we scare you off with the words “paid” and “followers” being in the same sentence…
…we are not talking about buying followers, using automated bots, or any of that mess.
So stick around because today, we will be sharing our 9 tips (that really work) on how to get followers on Instagram.
9 Tips On How To Get Followers On Instagram
Tip #1: Post Consistently & Get Your Profile Ready
Before we go through the rest of this list on how to grow your IG followers, we first need to make sure your Instagram profile is ready to receive them.
People make an instant judgment on whether they want to follow you or not based on their first impression of your profile.
So before you spend time trying to get followers to your page, make sure they’ll want to tap ‘Follow’ when they get there.
How do you do this? By posting consistently and getting your profile ready.
If people come to your page and see the last time you posted was several months ago, or even more than 1 week ago…
…they may think that your page is inactive or not active enough to follow.
So be present and post consistently.
Now, what does it mean to get your profile ready?
Posting regularly is part of it, but it also means letting your followers know at a glance that you can provide the value they’re looking for.
Here are a few examples of what we mean.
If you’re in the fashion industry or an influencer, this could mean having a certain feed aesthetic.
It’s where you only use certain presets and filters on your photos that all go together and are inspiring to viewers.
If you’re in the service industry like we are, this could mean having infographics and thumbnails with text.
Create graphics that state how-tos and tutorials that people can learn from and that are relevant to your industry.
If you’re an eCommerce store, this could include Instagram Reels of how to use or wear your products in different ways.
In addition to the visual effect of your feed, utilize your bio.
We’ll get more into optimizing your bio shortly, but for now, just make sure to use language that makes it obvious to the viewer what your page is about.
One glance at our bio and you can see that we are a digital marketing agency, and that our page will likely provide online marketing strategies.
So when we talk about getting your profile ready, we mean “glance ready”…
…where followers will come to your page and immediately think, “Oh yeah I want to follow.” Tap.
Check out this post next to learn how to create a theme for business social feed.
Tip #2: Use Keywords
The term ‘keywords’ in the marketing world is synonymous with search terms, and yes, they also play a role in how to get followers on Instagram.
If you’ve read some of our other Instagram posts on this blog, you’ve seen us discuss these new Instagram updates.
But for those that are new here, let us fill you in real quick.
You can now search plain keywords, not hashtags, like “marketing” and find a mixture of the top reels, posts, IGTVs, and etc. for that keyword.
So how do you help yourself show up for keywords that are relevant to your business? Include them in your content and in your bio!
Earlier when we said we’d talk more about optimizing your bio, this is what we were talking about.
You want your bio to be an anchor for the top keywords that are both relevant to your business as well as searched often on Instagram.
And then like we said, continue using intentional keywords in the captions of your posts as well.
This will help your profile get discovered by qualified people, because they’re searching for terms that are specific to your niche!
And if you’re getting discovered by the right people, they will be the ones most likely to follow you.
However, just because keyword search is the new big Instagram feature, that doesn’t make hashtags totally outdated.
Hashtags still hold their original function, which is to “categorize content and make it more discoverable.”
So it’s not a situation of using keywords “instead of” hashtags; you want to use keywords with hashtags.
So here are some hashtag guidelines to follow.
Use all different sizes of hashtags.
Anywhere between 50K to about 600 or 700K. Anything above that, and you start running into the issue of the hashtag being too large.
Let us show you what we mean.
Let’s look at the hashtag “#fashion”, which has over 968 million posts. See what happens when we refresh.
All the posts we saw just a second ago are already gone! And replaced by the new most recent posts.
When you use hashtags that are too big, you don’t really give yourself a chance to get discovered.
Plus, most hashtags that are that huge in size are too vague anyway.
You want to use specific hashtags so that you can attract qualified followers to your page.
So how do you find the right hashtags for you?
Start by looking at your competitors’ Instagram accounts to see which hashtags are working for them.
And remember that you don’t necessarily have to stick to your “direct” competitor accounts here.
For instance, if you own a clothing store, we would recommend looking to niche fashion inspo accounts to see what kind of hashtags they’re using.
Ultimately, you just want to find accounts that share your target audience, and learn from the hashtags they utilize.
In addition to that, we’re sure you already have a few hashtag ideas you’re thinking of in your mind.
So, type those into the IG search bar and see what the sizes are for them.
The last thing you need to do with hashtags is to rotate them.
You can have a maximum of 30 hashtags to a post, but you don’t want to use the same 30 hashtags every time, even if they’re working for you.
Instagram will consider it “spammy” and will lower the reach of your posts, which is the opposite of what we’re trying to accomplish, right?
So we would recommend having a few “sets” of hashtags saved in doc, or somewhere on file, that you can swap between and pull from.
And continuously do hashtag research to find new hashtags that you can use fairly often.
The goal of using a strong hashtag strategy is to attract new, qualified users who will be likely to follow you upon finding your page.
Tip #4: Utilize Your Other Marketing Channels
This tip on how to get followers on Instagram is going to be pretty short and sweet and self-explanatory, but it’s worth mentioning.
If you have another channel that already has a lot of followers or gets loads of traffic, cross-promote! Point them towards your Instagram page.
Keep your Instagram linked on your website and other marketing materials.
Work smarter not harder right?
Tip #5: Engage With Your Community
Now, if you want to learn how to get followers on Instagram, this is a big one.
Engaging with your community not only keeps your current audience engaged so that they continue to follow you…
…but it also helps you bring in new followers as well!
So how can you engage with your community in a genuine way that doesn’t come off as spammy?
The first way is to follow hashtags that your audience would be following and engage with them there.
So if you followed tip #3, you should have a pretty good idea of what kind of hashtags your audience likes to look through.
Beyond just looking through the search results for hashtags, people can follow hashtags by simply typing in the hashtag and clicking follow.
From there, posts using that hashtag will appear in their feed, even if they are not following the person who posted it.
This is yet another reason why hashtags are still relevant.
But the idea for this is that you also follow those hashtags, and engage with users in the comment section.
And this is a really easy, organic way to go about community engagement.
This is because these posts will just show up to you in your newsfeed as you’re scrolling, since you’re following the hashtag.
Now, remember that the point of engaging with them is to get them to follow you. So how do you go about doing this?
Well, you don’t want to jump right in with “Follow me for XYZ” because that comes off as spammy or automated, and most people will not respond to that.
Instead, we would use whatever the post is that you’re commenting on as a starting point for conversation.
What did they say in their initial comment on the post? Reply back to them with why you agree or with another point to add to the topic.
You want to converse with them and provide value to them in the comments so that they think…
“Hmm, this guy seems pretty smart [or helpful or funny or however it is that you’re providing value to them], let me tap on their profile and see what they’re about.”
And if you followed tip #1 and got your profile ready, they should want to click the Follow button when they’re on your IG page.
You can directly ask for the follow after a couple of comments, but this can again seem ingenuine or automated to users.
Another way to engage with your target audience is to go to your competitors’ accounts.
Click on their most recent posts, and tap on the people who are commenting there.
Once you’re on their profile, you can comment on their posts, react to their stories, or even follow them.
But if they don’t follow you back or engage back with you within 2 days, we would go back and unfollow them.
And that’s because it doesn’t seem like they’d be an active follower.
Now, this can be a great strategy for obtaining not only new followers but engaged new followers.
However, the only precaution you need to take here is to limit how many times you do this a day.
Instagram is a little sensitive to mass-liking and mass-commenting because they want to get rid of automated bots and things like that as best they can.
The most common consensus we’ve seen is to limit yourself to 180-200 comments per day, and to spread that out over the course of hours.
Tip #6: Use Giveaways
This tip is not necessarily ground-breaking. If you’ve been on Instagram for a while, you’ve seen giveaways before.
But, it’s worth mentioning on this list because an Instagram giveaway and contest are still two of the best ways to encourage follower growth.
If you don’t know what we’re talking about, a quick example is where you, as the business, host a giveaway on Instagram.
Ideally, the item you’re giving away is something your audience wants, while still being relevant to your business.
In order for people to enter the giveaway, our suggested requirements would be for them to:
- like your Instagram post about the giveaway,
- follow you on Instagram, and
- tag 2+ friends in the comments.
This ensures that you get the follow from the original person entering…
…and you get the added brand awareness from the friends they’re tagging, who may also end up entering the giveaway and following you.
Now, it’s inevitable that some people will only follow you for the giveaway and then unfollow you once it’s over.
But to minimize this, you want to make the prize they’re winning something that is, again, relevant to your business.
If you own a golf course, for example, it would be better to give away a free round of golf at your establishment than it would for a $50 Amazon gift card.
By making the giveaway prize relevant to your business, you’re more likely to attract followers who would be interested in your social media content overall.
Tip #7: Boosting Posts
Here is where we start to get into the paid strategies for how to get followers on Instagram.
Boosting posts simply means putting advertising dollars behind your post.
You can do this through Facebook Ads Manager (as Facebook owns Instagram).
Or, you can do it directly within the Instagram app by tapping the blue Promote button on a post…
…and selecting more profile visits as the goal.
Now keep in mind that the Engagement campaign on Facebook is going to optimize for post engagement.
While the promote button on Instagram is going to optimize for more profile visits.
There isn’t a campaign that optimizes for Instagram followers directly the same way that Facebook has one that optimizes for Facebook page likes.
But these campaigns should get your post and/or profile in front of more targeted eyeballs.
So again, if you’ve got your profile “glance ready” to convert onlookers into followers, this can be a great way to gain followers as well.
Tip #8: Working With Influencers
IMH describes an influencer as someone who has:
“the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience.”
And someone who has:
“a following in a distinct niche, with whom he or she actively engages. The size of the following depends on the size of his/her topic of the niche.”
We think influencers are most commonly thought of in the fashion and blogging world, but they really do exist across many industries.
We’ve even worked with digital marketing influencers for LYFE Marketing’s Instagram in the past.
The idea is you want to find somebody on Instagram who has a larger follower count than you, and with great engagement.
This is the key, because you don’t want to work with somebody who has a bunch of bots for followers instead of real people.
So find somebody in your niche who has a big follower count and substantial engagement.
And, the goal is for them to have the same shared targeted audience.
You would then reach out to that influencer privately in the DMs and get their rates…
…to see how much it would cost to have them shout out your business and tag you either on their feed, in their IG stories, or both.
Usually, people do this and have the influencer talk about how much they love your product or service to encourage sales.
But, you can also do this to encourage follower growth as well.
For instance, running with the golf course example, if you own a golf club and want more followers…
…the influencer you’ve partnered with could encourage their followers to go follow you.
And they can say it’s because of all of the helpful swing techniques you share on your Instagram.
Depending on the audience size of the influencer that you’re working with, you might even get away with doing a “shoutout for shoutout” exchange.
This is where instead of paying them with cash to mention your Instagram, you pay them by mentioning their account on your Instagram in return.
Just make sure that if you do this, you have some way to track how many followers came from their shoutout.
Oftentimes, this is something they can track on their end, so you just need to include that in your negotiations with them.
So now on to our last tip for how to get followers on Instagram.
This is a little similar to our community engagement tip, but instead of outreach, this has to do with what you post on your own Instagram account.
Spend some time actually thinking about what you want your Instagram captions to be.
And then, include questions in them for followers to answer in the comments.
If someone is engaging with your posts in the comments, they’re more likely to follow you if they haven’t already.
And sometimes we see that even if people aren’t talking to you directly…
…they’ll tag their friends in the comments on your post if the post is about something relevant to them.
And again, when people are tagging others in your posts, that’s added brand awareness for you, and potentially, for even more followers.
We know short captions are sometimes just easier.
But, try doing the longer conversation-starting captions on your Instagram posts and see if that makes a difference in your follower growth.
And that’s a wrap for this post!
Again, if you need more help with your Instagram marketing, our LYFE team is just a click away.
You can either check out our Instagram marketing services page, or get in touch with us at 404-596-7925. Talk to you soon!