With over 800 million monthly active accounts, Instagram is a popular social media platform for so many different reasons. It’s hard to stand apart from your competition on Instagram without a thorough understanding of how the platform works. If you want to increase your Instagram follower count, you will be required to put in a lot of work and effort, but the outcome will be worth it.
To help you increase your follower count, we’ve compiled the top 13 actions you should take to increase your Instagram follower count. These actions form the basis of every successful Instagram marketing strategy, and for good reason. They’ll help you build an engaged and active community of followers and maybe even drive some sales along the way.
Are you ready to grow your Instagram follower count? Read on to learn how!
Create the Perfect Instagram Bio
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Before you focus on content and engagement, you need to make sure your Instagram bio is effective and beautiful. Your bio needs to tell your audience who you are, what you do, and feature a clear call-to-action. Your target audience won’t follow you if they aren’t interested in what you have to offer. Being able to tell them what you do within a few eye-catching words is important for this reason.
As you can see from the screenshot above, Neil Patel explains who he is, what he does, and where you can find his company website. Even Neil Patel embraces the light-heartedness of emojis! Have fun with them in your Instagram bio, featuring one emoji per line or more depending on your brand’s personality. On-brand and engaging, Neil’s Instagram bio is clear, attractive, and informative.
Within your Instagram bio, you are only able to add one clickable link to your profile. It’s worthwhile to invest some time thinking how you can use that link best. Many brands use it to link to their websites, but that may not be the most beneficial way for you to use it.
One way you can get more mileage out of your profile link is to use a redirect URL or multiple link tool like Linktree. These tools allow you to send traffic to a number of different web pages. They are an excellent way to promote different offerings to your followers.
Rurubaked, a Toronto-based ice cream company, has a great Instagram bio that consists of who they are, what they have to offer, and their Linktree. Linktrees are a very popular choice for Instagram users who want to feature more than one link within their Instagram bio.
The link takes the user to another page optimized for their browsing device that features multiple links to different sites. In this case, there are links to job postings, the company website, and a direct link to their pint pre-order page among other links. If you are struggling to choose one link to feature on your Instagram bio, a Linktree may be the best solution.
When your Instagram bio is clear and informative, your visitors will be able to immediately identify what type of content you would post and determine whether they want to follow you. By making your content interesting and engaging, you give your target audience a great reason to joining your follower community.
Produce Interesting and Engaging Content
Once you have an informative and eye-catching Instagram bio for your account, you need to start thinking about your content. No matter how often you post, if you post low-quality, boring content that isn’t interesting or attractive to your audience, don’t expect to gain Instagram followers. To be successful on Instagram, you must share high-quality, interesting content that excites and engages your followers.
You need to create eye-catching media, but whether you choose images or videos is up to you. A combination of both is ideal to offer multiple ways for your visitors to learn about what you do.
Here are a few examples of engaging content you can post on Instagram:
When you’re in-between posting about your products and other promotional content, one of the best ways to fill this gap is with behind-the-scenes content. This often unappreciated form of content does well on all social media platforms because people like to feel knowledgeable and connected to your brand.
Behind-the-scenes content lets your visitors learn more about your offerings, your company culture, and even your employees. This type of content is engaging because it helps you build stronger connections with your followers. Rurubaked regularly posts behind-the-scenes videos of ice cream churning and pints being packed in their Toronto facility to highlight their homemade products.
Discounts and Promotions
Instagram is a great way to market your discounts and promotions. Many brands focus too much on the design and look of their Instagram, forgetting that those efforts don’t mean much if they’re not driving revenue for the business. Make sure to share content promoting your amazing but short-lived sales to motivate your followers to act fast and purchase your product offerings.
Sharing occasional discounts in a post or on your story is an easy way to get your followers to get excited about your great deal and become customers. It’s effortless for people to appreciate your products from afar on Instagram. Once they’ve been following you for a long time, they may lose interest altogether. Keeping them engaged with promotions will help you prevent them from developing that indifference.
Testimonials and Reviews
Many people rely on the opinions of others when they are making purchase decisions. If you want to use Instagram to drive sales for your business, posting customer testimonials and reviews can help. Sure, you can state that your product is the best, but showing potential customers what other people are saying can help build positive customer perception of your brand.
When posting a testimonial or review, post a relevant photo, a screenshot of the review itself if possible, and tag the person you’re quoting in the photo and the post. If you’re a local business, posting video testimonials can be even more meaningful. Customer reviews are great content to add to your Instagram arsenal.
The Carousel feature for posts was previously available only to advertisers and an underutilized way to diversify your Instagram content calendar. This feature allows you to post multiple pieces of media (photos and/or videos) to a single Instagram post.
Though this feature can be used in many different ways, it is best used when you need to tell a story. Because of its design, the Carousel feature is perfect for showing a collection of images that create a narrative for viewers, like in the example above. Simple product shots are always great too!
Post Regularly and Schedule Your Content
Posting regularly is key to acquiring and maintaining a large follower community. You must be very active on Instagram, ideally posting a least once a day. If you can post more than that, that’s even better; posting two to three times a day is recommended for the most reach and engagement, especially when you want to grow your account. We also strongly recommend identifying the best time of day to post on Instagram to best reach your target audience.
While it can be a hassle to post on Instagram several times a day, there are many scheduling tools that come in handy for this by automating your posting. One of the most important parts of Instagram marketing is maintaining a consistent and frequent content schedule. Though social media marketers know about these tools, not everyone know there are ways to make Instagram content scheduling even easier.
Some of our favourite Instagram scheduling tools include Later, Sked, and Buffer. The biggest advantage to using a tool like this is that you can plan your posts, hashtags, and captions long in advance. This means you can spend less time each day worrying about what to post on Instagram. Instead, you’ll have more time to interact with your followers and improve your presence on social media.
Keep Draft Posts Ready to Go
If you’re not ready to invest time and money into a scheduling app, there is another option you can use in the meantime. Instagram allows you to create draft posts that you can save within the platform to post at a later date.
When you add a photo to Instagram, write a caption and tag people in it as you would normally, but don’t publish it yet. Instead, you can choose the option to save your post as a draft. When you select this choice, Instagram stores your draft post within the app, allowing you to immediately pull it up the next time you’re looking to publish a post.
Though the draft system is not nearly as reliable or organized as scheduling your content on a dedicated application, it’s a good way to keep a few posts ready-to-go. If you find your Instagram strategy is more spontaneous and less scheduled, using Instagram drafts may work better for you.
Identify and Utilize the Right Hashtags
It’s easy to make a silly mistake with hashtags. These mistakes can be anything from using no hashtags to a bunch of random non-related hashtags. When sharing content on Instagram, it’s important that you use Instagram hashtags, but you need to use them correctly.
When you use hashtags correctly on Instagram, you maximize your chances of reach, engagement, and potential growth. In order to do so, you must make sure to do regular and in-depth keyword research to find the best hashtags that give you the greatest visibility. If you get your keyword research right and foster a lot of engagement within a short period of posting, your post may even appear on the Explore page on Instagram.
Selecting the right hashtags can make or break your post. Hashtags have a tremendous impact on the engagement your post receives. They can also be a huge determining factor when it comes to whether or not your content will reach the eyes of your target market.
While there are a few different hashtag strategies, there is still debate over which strategy is best. We’ve found that the most effective hashtags are those that are either local or directly relevant to your post.
Using hashtags like “#dogs” or “#cute” might get a ton of likes, but they’re usually from bots that won’t ever make a purchase from your business. Instead, do some research and find out what local businesses in your industry are using. When you do this, you ensure that you’re reaching the right audience every time.
Contests are very popular on Instagram and running a themed hashtag contest helps you create a single, cohesive campaign. Create a campaign-specific hashtag like “#PregoPizzaParty2021” and have your followers post photos using the hashtag, tagging your brand in the caption and the photo itself. Contests create excitement around your brand and can help you quickly grow your Instagram following.
If you’d like, you can actually run your contest on an external page to generate leads for your business that you can market to through email in the future. You can also run a hashtag contest on a third-party app, so you have an aesthetically-pleasing gallery of entries.
Have Fun with Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories can be used in many different ways. Stories are an excellent feature of Instagram that should be utilized frequently. Stories are important because they’re the only way to guarantee a position at the top of your followers’ feeds. The most recent Stories show up first, as opposed to regular posts which are sorted based on user activity and Instagram’s algorithm.
When your account exceeds 10,000 followers, you can start adding links within your Stories, which is an amazing way to drive more traffic and generate more business from Instagram. You should be using the Stories feature almost every day when you have the chance to show off exciting content.
You can make use of Instagram Stories by promoting your latest content and letting your audience know that you have uploaded a new post, which will increase your engagement faster.
Here are some common Instagram Story strategies:
- Highlight new posts: draw attention to your new Instagram posts to bring followers to your profile and increase engagement on your newest post
- Run contests: a simple contest on your Story gets followers excited about your brand and products
- Showcase promotions: if you have a current sale, highlight it on your Story with a link to your website
Instagram Stories are yet another great feature that Instagram provides its users in order to display more content, excite current followers, and attract new ones.
Create Instagram Highlights to Immortalize Your Stories
Instagram Highlights allow you to post previous stories on your profile permanently. Normally they would disappear after 24 hours, but if you post a Story as a Highlight, it stays on your profile forever.
Take advantage of Instagram highlights on your profile to display past stories and increase website traffic. You can even create a few highlights to encourage your followers to follow you on other social networks. You can even categorize your highlights to promote different types of content.
You may decide to create a few product highlights that include a hyperlink to directly buy your product or service. Use your creativity to find exciting and unique ways to increase traffic, engagement, and follower growth, all of which will help you become an Instagram success.
Cross-Promote with Friends and Influencers
Cross-promoting can help you get more followers if you utilize your connections well. Make use of your other social accounts to help grow your Instagram following.
Share your Instagram updates on your Facebook or Twitter and consider even displaying your Instagram posts on your website. Popular clothing retailer ASOS does an amazing job of this to promote their clothing. You can also automate your Instagram posts to upload directly to your Twitter by using tools like IFTTT.
Depending on how big your account is, you should consider connecting with larger accounts and Instagram influencers and ask them if they would be willing to collaborate. If your account is nowhere near the same size nor engagement ratio, then you should think about providing value before you make that request.
Influencer marketing is huge on Instagram. You rarely see smaller businesses take advantage of this type of Instagram marketing when trying to build a following, which is a mistake. To utilize influencer marketing, you’ll want to research the major influencers on Instagram within your industry.
When you find like-minded influencers that make sense for your brand, reach out to them to create a partnered post and they’ll know what to do. This is such a powerful Instagram marketing secret because it allows you to tap into parts of your target market that you might otherwise be unable to reach. Providing a custom coupon code to your partner influencers to sweeten the deal will make the returns even greater for your business.
Go Live on Instagram
When you use Instagram Live, it can actually create a lot of engagement and bring in new followers, especially if you provide value and share your video across your social channels. When you promote your Instagram Live beforehand by using hashtags in your Stories and posts, you’ll probably acquire a few new and interested followers wanting to see what you have to offer.
Instagram Livestreams are great for driving traffic. If your Instagram Live has garnered a lot of viewers, considering dropping in a few call-to-actions like telling them to click the link in your bio for exclusive content.
Your Instagram Live should be interesting and engaging for your audience. That can be achieved by sharing what happens behind-the-scenes, or by doing a weekly or monthly Q&A session. Live can be used for a ton of other purposes, like teaching followers how to do something or simply keeping them updated with the latest news on your brand. These are great ideas to help your audience get to know you more and for you to discover what your audience likes to know about you, giving you more ideas for content.
Engage with Your Followers and Target Audience
Building a large community of Instagram followers depends on how you engage with your followers. If you demonstrate that there is an actual human behind your profile picture and actively reply to your followers’ comments and direct messages regularly, they will be more likely to engage with your content and recommend you to their friends, family, and followers.
This also means you need to engage with your followers’ content. Leave some likes and comments helps build positive relationships encouraging trust and engagement. Follow some of your followers back too. This strategy can be very efficient when engaging with targeted audiences, as they will receive a notification each time you engage with their account.
For the best results, you should space out your interactions, giving your followers three notifications all at different times. When you do this, you will have a much better chance of them checking out your profile. If they do check out your profile and they like what they see, they may engage with the content on your account and potentially follow you. That’s how great relationships with your targeted audience begin.
Continue to engage with your followers whenever you see their posts in your feed. This will keep them engaging with your content, unless they already do. The more human your account is, the more engagement and interaction you may receive.
Did you know that tagging people, products, and locations in your posts can spike engagement by nearly 30%? Try it by adding some tags the next time you schedule a post and get your promos in front of a larger audience.
Use The Best Editing Apps
Using editing tools is no big secret. There are a ton of tools available for photo editing and Instagram post creation that will help you make beautiful, eye-catching content. We love and recommend tools like Canva, VSCO, Photoshop, and Snapseed among others.
Canva is an awesome resource for creating post templates, whether for your Stories, Highlights or just a standard Instagram post. You can even create a brand colour scheme and save it to your account. There are a ton of things you can do with Canva for your Instagram account to make it stand out from your competition and attract new followers.
Though it seems very similar to the other editing apps out there, Snapseed is one of the most powerful photo editing tools available. In addition to its intuitive interface, Snapseed has a few features like a healing brush and curves that make it an ideal photo editing tool.
Facetune is another super-popular photo editing app that you’ve probably heard of. Though you probably know it best for its ability to alter images of people, it’s actually perfect for touching up all photos and giving them an Instagram-friendly, quality finish.
Create a Seamless Feed
This tip is not for every business, but creating a seamless Instagram feed is a visual spectacle that makes your Instagram page an attractive and unique gallery for potential and current followers. A seamless feed is just what it sounds like: editing your Instagram photos to make your feed look like one giant image, like The OA did for their Instagram account below.
To do this properly, you’ll want to find a template that you can use as a layout for your photos. You can use an app like Photoshop to do this or you can find a template online. The seamless feed strategy is great for brands or feeds who don’t require constant content creation to succeed.
There are other ways to design your feed like this without it having to be completely seamless. Horizontal grid, vertical line, and horizontal line patterns are also popular options that are more easy to manage when you’re posting more regularly, but still want to maintain a specific look for your Instagram account.
Use a Social Commerce Tool
Instagram is a great way to promote your products, but it can take some work for your visitors to find their way to the page where they can purchase those products. There are many e-Commerce businesses that take advantage of social commerce tools like Like2Buy or Have2Have.It on their Instagram accounts to make it easier for followers to become customers. Essentially, these platforms make it way less complicated for your Instagram followers to find and buy the products you promote on your feed.
For example, Like2Buy is a platform that turns Instagram likes into mobile sales by removing the need for users to open a separate browser to search for a product. Instead of posting a link to your website, you would post the Like2Buy link in your Instagram bio.
Your visitors simply click on the Like2Buy link in your Instagram bio section, which leads to a page of your brand’s featured products. From this page, your visitors can select any photo that appears on your Instagram feed and within two clicks, your visitors can find the landing page for the product they want to purchase.
Along with the featured product tab, the Like2Buy page also has a “My Likes” tab, which keeps track of product photos that a user has liked and leads to landing pages from a company’s Instagram account in three clicks.
When you use a tool like this, you can add a call-to-action to your product photos that says things like “Need this now? Shop the link in our bio.” These tools reduce the amount of effort it takes a visitor to become a customer, which is always a great thing!
Run Some Instagram Ads
Instagram Ads are not some big secret, yet not nearly enough people take advantage of them. Because of Instagram’s powerful targeting algorithms, you’re able to advertise directly to your target audience, getting in front of the people most likely to be interested in your product.
We recommend that you use both feed and story ads to create campaigns that extend your reach, increase brand awareness, and boost your posts in the feed. When you target the right audience with Instagram ads, you increase your chances of discovering new followers.
Besides reaching new potential customers, Instagram ads allow you to add a call-to-action, which means you can send ad viewers to your website so they can purchase your product. Yes, ads cost money, but sometimes you need to pay to play. Because of Instagram’s powerful algorithms, Instagram ads help you reach potential new followers within your target market.
Now that you know how to grow your Instagram following, you just need to action the above tips, try out different types of content and hashtags, and never be afraid to experiment with your marketing. Remember that building an Instagram following will take time. If you’re looking to increase your follower count by hundreds or even thousands, it could take months or even years by following the steps we’ve listed above.
If you’re interested in a faster path towards more followers and Instagram popularity, look no further. We can help you gain thousands of followers safely and quickly.