Instagram has grown exponentially in recent years. There are currently over a billion monthly active users on the app, and this number continues to grow as the platform evolves.
Like any other social media platform, Instagram can be an effective marketing tool for brands or individuals looking to increase their presence and build high-value followers.
According to Instagram, 90% of its users have a business profile, and over 80% of users are willing to discover new products on the platform.
As exciting as this number sounds, standing out and building an engaged audience amongst such vast competition is challenging.
If you’ve already spent hours creating great content and still failed to increase your follower count, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
So what are the best ways to grow a high-value Instagram followership fast?
It’s not easy, but it is possible with the right steps and strategies. This blog post will discuss ten ways to increase your follower count on Instagram quickly and authentically.
Let’s get started!
Use Hashtags That Are Relevant To Your Content and Niche
The right hashtags will help you reach out to an audience that’s already interested in your niche. Think of your Instagram feed; you only see posts that are relevant to your interests.
The majority of this is made possible using the Instagram algorithm, and the algorithm takes cues from the hashtags used in the posts you show interest in. You can leverage this behavior to use the right hashtags in your posts to make them reach the right audience.
For example, if you’re a clothing store owner, you can post a picture of one of your products and use related hashtags from the clothing and apparel industry.
Now, Instagram will start showing your posts to the people who’re interested in the apparel industry. Primarily because people with similar tastes or preferences will be using the same hashtags to find their desired content.
Not only will this boost your reach and number of followers, but it can also help to increase your customer base.
The more relevant the hashtags, the higher are your chances of getting new followers!
Here are some essential tips for using hashtags in your Instagram posts:
- Research to find the most popular hashtags related to your brand, product, and even location.
- Rather than focusing all of your posts on a few key hashtags, use many different ones that speak to your post’s diversity. The Instagram algorithm also sees this as a sign that you’re providing enough engagement for a diverse group of people and attract similar followers in the long term. Create hashtag sets and mix them up.
- Get more specific and clever with hashtags. For example, you would be tempted to use “content” as your hashtag. But at over 6 million hits on Instagram, you now know your photo will share only a fraction of space on the front page for #content. Instead, you can niche down a bit and use longer variations of hashtags that make your post stand out.
Check out this example for reference:
You can create hashtag sets for your brand manually or using a tool. Hashtag generator tools are a great way to find out what hashtags are popular for the niche you’re in. Some of these tools provide suggestions on how many people have used a particular hashtag, and also tell which tags are performing the best in your niche or industry.
You can also search for top Instagram hashtags online and you will find several posts sharing the most popular hashtag for each niche. Find the one that works best for your niche and leverage it for boosting your follower growth.
Keep Posting Regularly
Exceptions aside, the lifespan of any social media content is not too long and people prefer timely, updated and relevant content.
The Instagram algorithm mimics the audience behavior and hence prefers regularity as well. It limits the reach of accounts that post less frequently compared to other profiles that update regularly.
Posting regularly is one of the most important parts of building an audience on Instagram and will help grow followers. But it’s vital to be careful before you post too much – posting too much can hurt your account, as well as potentially alienate current followers. To avoid these pitfalls, make sure you maintain a balance.
Tools such as social media scheduler can help you post accurately without going into the hassle of manually publishing at the right frequency and at the right time.
Even though quantity is essential, you must never compromise on the post’s quality.
What is the ideal posting frequency for Instagram?
According to the data collected by SproutSocial, the best day to post on social media is on a Wednesday, especially around 11:00 a.m. You can also decide to post on Friday between 10 a.m and 11 a.m.
That said, there is no one size fits all answer to this question. What might work well for a fashion company or an actor could not necessarily be the best strategy for a doctor or a lawyer.
Different industries have niche audiences with diverse needs and interests who will engage differently to the content shared by brands on Instagram.
Find out a formula that works best for you and aim for getting more engagement (likes, shares, saves) from your audience.
As the engagement level on your posts increases, you’ll start to appear on popular feeds. This will make you more visible and place you on people’s “Explore page” – which is a sure-shot way of rapidly building new followers.
Tip: Don’t forget to update your stories regularly. The accounts who engage with your stories eventually start engaging with your posts as well, boosting the overall visibility of the profile.
Find the Best Time to Post
There is no universal answer for when to post on Instagram, but there are ways to figure out the best timings for your audience.
A general rule of thumb is to track your followers’ time zone and post at a time when they’re the most active. Check the engagement on posts from other accounts in the same industry as yours. If they are getting more likes or comments than you, it may be worth trying out their timings to post content too!
Instagram analytics will show you the best times to post and what posts perform well at certain hours. You can also use these analytics to know which days of the week have higher engagement rates.
Having a clear picture of what times are best suited for your audience will help you play around with different types of Instagram content, including stories, IGTV videos, reels, and more.
According to Instagram Business, almost 60% of Instagram users become interested in the brand after seeing its content on stories. These stories can only last 15 seconds, so make sure there isn’t too much information shared within those few moments.
Be it stories or posts, make sure you follow the right timing and frequency to capture maximum eyeballs.
Engage with Your Audience on Instagram
Getting involved in creating content is important, but taking the opportunity to network on Instagram can help you make a significant impact on your business.
Engagement activities from you will help you better engage with your audience. Engagement is always two ways. The more you respond to your audience, the better they will respond back.
Typical engagement activities include interacting with other accounts in their comments section. It also includes liking your audience’s comments on your posts, so people know you’re active and respond to their messages!
Here are some common engagement activities for Instagram:
- Respond to comments.
- Offer live customer care chats on Instagram (instant messaging)
- Run contests and giveaways.
- Reach out to new followers with a welcome message.
- Share peeks into what goes on behind the scenes at your company (we love this one!)
- Create question and answer sessions where you provide expert advice
- Answer targeted questions about products, services, or industry trends.
- Occasionally running polls can also be useful for gauging interest in what types of content people want to see.
Polls allow you to ask your audience’s opinion about your content, your products, or something more generic, while the sticker feature is an open-ended question where people can share their opinions.
Use these features to boost the engagement levels on your profile.
For example, you can ask questions in your poll that capture the generic interest of your audience: What’s on your wish list this year? #wishlistwednesday! (Tag friends!) or What’s one thing you want from Santa Claus?
Every poll can bring a new audience to your content or give you a marketing opportunity. Polls are an easy way to keep people engaged and having their voice heard without major effort on your part.
Along with boosting engagement, you can also use such a strategy to convert your Instagram followers to customers.
Tip: Don’t just use story features because you’ve to do so. Use this opportunity with potential followers so they know your account is open and they can reach out if they want to.
Run a Giveaway to Attract More Followers
When you run a giveaway, your followers will have an incentive to follow and interact with the account. They want something in return for following your posts or interacting with you on Instagram.
You can offer a giveaway that is related to your content and your product. Ensure the prize will be something they would want or need.
According to a study conducted by Tailwindapp, an Instagram contest helps you grow your followers 70% faster in three months than the accounts that don’t hold any contests. As far as the engagement is concerned, your contest post will be subject to 3.5 times more likes than regular posts.
Here’s an example of a giveaway contest by Curvestocontour to get their audience’s trust.
They decided to give away Toryburch miller sandals to celebrate their birthday month. They listed how to participate in this giveaway in the caption, which then became a hit among their audience.
Optimize Your Instagram Bio
Your Instagram bio tells your audience about you. It’s the first thing they see when looking at your account. It should be short and catchy, and informative so that people know what to expect from you on Instagram.
But along with that, your Instagram bio also holds the potential to drive target traffic to your profile. Strategies like using relevant hashtags in your bio make your profile stand out and appear in Instagram search results.
Following are some of the best practices for optimizing an Instagram Bio:
- Use relevant hashtags in your bio that attract potential customers to your profile
- Include a link if someone wants more information about who you are or how to reach out to you
- Just like the bio, your profile picture is important as well. Design a logo and use it as your display picture. Using a brand logo makes you instantly recognizable on social media. The logo should also be noticeable across all of your social media channels to keep your branding consistent.
Above all, keep your bio short and direct so your followers can instantly understand what your profile is about and hit that follow button.
Identify Your Competitors and Analyze Their Followers
One of the best ways to grow your follower count is by gaining followers from brands similar to yourself. It may sound like a bad idea, but it’s not as risky and challenging as you think!
You can find some popular competitors and find out who they connect with regularly.
The best way to do this is by using the hashtag search function on Instagram.
You can put the hashtags your competitors are using in the search bar and analyze the posts.
It will show you all relevant accounts who are interested in the hashtag. You can then find these people, follow them and engage with them (like some photos), DM, or message some of them about why it would be great if he/she followed back.
There are no set rules to grow audiences on Instagram, but it’s important to find a strategy that works best for your brand!
Collaboration is key here. The most interested you are in your target profiles’ content, the more they will reciprocate. You can also share their posts on your Instagram account to get more exposure for both of you. It will help with engagement rates as well.
Take Advantage of Influencer Marketing on Instagram
Influencer campaigns are a great way to increase your followers because it is an organic growth strategy. Influencers promote products they believe in, which means their audience trusts their recommendations.
It can lead a huge share of influencer’s traffic to your Instagram account, where there’s more of what interests or excites them on display. It could mean new likes from people who’re not currently following you.
Today, almost every brand is leveraging influencer marketing to grow on Instagram. Here’s an example of an influencer marketing strategy by Audible: The famous journalist and author, Caroleradziwill made a post about Audible’s product. She provided a link using which her followers can get a free 30-day Audible trial.
This is a perfect example of combining a marketing offer with the potentially huge power of the influencer’s followers.
Here’s how you can contact influencers to help you promote your brand:
- Find influencers with a relevant audience. You can even use hashtags to find influencers on Instagram
- Reach out to influencers directly via Instagram DM or through another form of communication) and share information about your brand
- Build an influencer marketing agreement outlining their deliverables and the amount you will pay
- Put the campaign into action and analyze and track their post for results
When possible, offer free product or service samples for influencers in your niche; this will help strengthen your relationship with them! Make your offers enticing but fair for both parties.
An influencer marketing campaign is your pathway to building an engaged audience base on Instagram.
Create Intriguing Captions for Your Posts
Your Instagram captions are a great place to capture attention. You can’t just write plain promotional stuff for every post. Try and make your captions longer and more interesting by adding an intriguing or funny content that will get people interested in following the account!
Instagram algorithm values and measures the time spent by followers on reading a post, and uses this metric to improve the profile’s reach. So, it’s important to give this aspect of your profile the attention it deserves.
Here are a few ways to create enticing captions:
- Using a question in the caption, asking for feedback from your audience, or including an intriguing hashtag that will get people interested.
- You can also use tag-a-friend captions or personal story captions for better engagement.
With more people creating longer captions, Instagram is not very far from being considered as one of the best blogging platforms. By expressing your passion through captions as a micro-blog, you can promote your business and engage with your audience.
Make the Most Out of the Latest Trends
To increase your follower count quickly on Instagram, try targeting popular topics with posts relevant to what’s trending at the moment.
You can try to use new challenges or meme trends through Instagram posts. Whenever an Instagram trend is being shared by people, it gives you a chance to ride the wave of engagement that’s already associated with the trend and gain followers.
The tips above might not be new, but these are the fundamental strategies one can use in their Instagram marketing strategy and watch the metrics rise.
Not everyone will get the same level of engagement or visibility. You should bear in mind what type of audience you are targeting with your branding strategy on Instagram.
It’s time to put the knowledge into action! Get started right away. Good luck.