14 ways to gain followers on Instagram
Growing community sizes is often one of the core KPIs of a community manager, and Instagram is the new frontier for many businesses (those that are a little bit behind, at any rate…).
But how can you grow your community size on Instagram? How can you capture those all-important followers? We’ve got 14 ways to do just that.
#1 Buy followers
It’s frowned upon, but there’s no doubt it’s the quickest and easiest way to increase your follower count. Buying followers will definitely skew your other metrics, however, such as engagement rate. We don’t recommend it.
#2 Increase your hashtag usage
Hashtags are the easiest way for people to find your pictures, so ensuring that you use a wide variety of hashtags that are related to your picture is advisable. Research shows you should use a minimum of 11 to stimulate engagement, although we often use up to 30.
#3 Post at relevant times
Make sure you post photos at times when others will see them! Posting at 2am or 5pm has been shown to be the most effective times to post.
#4 Get creative with your Instagram theme
A very visually appealing Instagram theme is sure to draw in followers.
#5 Follow others
Similarly to buying followers, this is a frowned-upon technique – but almost as effective. You follow a large number of people each day – typically those with #f4f, #follow4follow or #followback hashtags on their pictures. You then wait for them to follow you, and unfollow those who don’t.
#6 Host contests
Hosting contests on Instagram is a quick and dirty way to gain followers. Simply post an image promoting the contest and ask people to like it and follow you to enter.
#7 Engage with other users
Making sure that you are engaging with others who post in the communities you’re interested in is key. Searching hashtags you use and liking those pictures can net you some followers. One study found that for every 100 pictures one user liked, he gained 6.1 followers.
#8 Write a good bio
Optimising your bio is essential to allow people to find you if they so wish. Make sure it features a call-to-action and, if they’re applicable, branded hashtags. Make sure you add a link back to your site too, as you’re only allowed links in the bio.
#9 Ask questions in captions
A simple and effective way to get likes – and followers – is to ask questions in the caption of your photo. This gives the perfect opportunity to spark conversation and create comments. More engagement = more followers.
#10 Post frequently
You need to make sure that you keep your current followers engaged too! Posting relevant and attractive photos on a near-constant basis – usually three times a week – is fine. Make sure you don’t flood your followers’ feeds though!
Ensuring that you promote your Instagram account on other social networks – e.g. Twitter, Facebook – can also be a key driver of traffic, thereby increasing your followers.
#12 Use Mayfair
According to Track Maven’s Fortune 500 Instagram Report, it’s the single most effective filter for marketers.
#13 Make the most of your Sunday
Sunday is the day that sees the least amount of images posted to Instagram – so make sure you make the most of the day and get some increased visibility for your pictures.
#14 Be different
Look at what all your competitors are doing. What makes them stand out? What makes them different? Try and emulate that, without copying them. Stand out from the crowd.