Instagram has become one of the most preferred social marketing platforms for brands in the last few years.
Instagram has reported over 1 billion active users each month, and over 500 million users are active every single day, isn’t that insane?
If your brand is not active on Instagram, you are probably missing a ton of potential traffic and a huge revenue source.
In case you have created an Instagram account, but struggling to get more followers; this article will surely help you.
We have been experimenting with the methods mentioned in this article for a couple of our projects and we have seen remarkable results.
People always talk about how to get followers. The to-do list of actions to increase following but what not to do on Instagram also matters a lot.
So, we will have a look at some of the best Instagram practices that will surely help you to increase your followers at a faster rate.
So let’s jump right into it.
#1. What Not To Do on Instagram
Never use those like for like apps or following exchange apps or buying followers because while these may grow your Instagram following and you may get followers from it, they are not going to be actively engaged followers.
They are going to be what we call ghost followers where people who follow your account but don’t interact to engage with your content.
While it might be cool to have this huge number of followers on your account which looks great but they are not going to be real people and they are not going to be engaging with your content. So they are pretty much useless.
In fact, there is a probability that your account might get affected and considered as spammy and low value by Instagram and other real users.
#2. Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are extremely popular among users and a very powerful marketing channel.
As per the statistics published by Instagram, over 400 million users are using the Instagram Stories every day.
So, get creative with your stories and try to engage your users. If nicely done, the Instagram Stories will increase your following dramatically.
#3. Hashtag Secrets
You have probably heard this many times, you should always use hashtags for your images on Instagram.
Images with proper hasgtags always perform better than images without them and statistically, it’s been found that images with 11 or more hashtags perform the best.
You are allowed by the Instagram to add a maximum of 30 hashtags. Make use of this feature, specially during the initial days. Here are a few popular hashtags #love, #instagood, #photooftheday, #fashion, #beautiful, #happy, #cute, #tbt, #like4like, #followme, #picoftheday, #follow, #me, #selfie, #summer,#art, #instadaily, #friends, #repost, #nature, #girl, #fun, #style, #smile, #food, #instalike, #likeforlike, #family #travel, #fitness.
#4. Be Active
This is not a secret tip if you are active and engage with the community; you will surely get more followers on Instagram. When you are engaging and interacting with other people’s photos, post comments that are more than just nice pic or cool photos because of these sound like bots. They sound robotic and they don’t sound real and genuine.
And even as a creator, the person posting the photo, no one would want to respond to comments like that. So there is no reason even leaving a comment on a picture like that because you are not calling to action or calling to engagement.
So instead we encourage you to post comments that are actually engaging. Ask a question, maybe start a dialogue.
Talk to the people as if they are real people because they are. Just like in Youtube comments, people talk to one another and they talk about topics.
So try and translate that to Instagram and open a discussion and talk within the comments section amongst yourself, your followers and followers of other accounts on other people’s photos.
#5. Feed Aesthetic
Most people say that don’t want to get boxed in at all, but the truth is with Instagram, the more consistent your feed looks and the more consistently you post, the bigger you will get.
Most of th users struggle to keep the pace. So, it is completely understandable if you are struggling with it too. We suggest posting the photos within a specific niche or theme. That takes us on to image shapes.
You don’t want to be posting all kinds of weirdly shaped on your feed so that your feed looks messy when you visit it. Because people who come to your account and choose whether they want to follow you or not, don’t look at just one picture and decide to follow you, they look at your feed as a whole.
So if your fee is messy and all kinds of different shapes and sizes, they are not gonna hit that follow button.
#6. Image Orientation
The image orientation is a very important factor on Instagram as well as other popular image sharing sites Pinterest. The portrait images receive more engagement on Instagram. Clearly, because they fit into the screen perfectly on a smartphone Vs a landscape image.
#7. Cross Promotion
With using other platforms to grow your Instagram following, that takes us to our next tip, which is cross-promotion also called cross-pollination. If you were using some other social media platforms before coming to Instagram, just go to them and promote your Instagram account there.
Try to derive the traffic from those social platforms to your Instagram account. You can get so many followers by just deriving the traffic from other platforms to your Instagram profile.
For example, if you have a Facebook page and a YouTube channel, just drop your Instagram username there. So even if, you have multiple social media accounts whether it’s YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn.
You probably have a different audience on each of them. So by merging them and getting the audience to spread across platforms, it will help you to grow as well.
As Instagram is a Facebook property, you gives you a quick option to connect your Instagram profile with the Facebook page so that you can promote the same content on both the platforms.
The process is simple, go to your Facebook page >> Settings >> Click on Instagram and connect your profile.
#8. Sticking to a Niche
So once you have picked a category, whether it be portraits, travel, fitness, wildlife whatever it may be. Try and only follow the accounts within that niche.
It is kind of difficult because you want to follow your family, you want to follow your friends but what we suggest is that if you want to grow your Instagram account, only follow accounts within your niche. And the reason for this is that you get lumped with those other creators.
So if you only liking and interacting with accounts that are similar to yours, Instagram is going to suggest you to people’s followers. Or when a new person visits their account and follow, you may pop up as a suggested user.
If you still want to interact with your friends and your family, we suggest you creating a separate account, whether it be a private account or public account but an account that you interact with just those accounts on.
But your main photography account, use just for photography and we guarantee you, it will help you grow.
#9. Nature Your Community
Interact with the followers that you already have. They are already following you.
Those are the people that you should be most grateful for. So interact with them, talk to them, ask them questions. When someone comments on your photo, comment back and reply to them. That helps in getting more engagement.
Suppose you post a photo. Within the first ten months, you get 10 comments. If you reply to each of those comments, that means there is a total of 20 comments on that image and Instagram will see that as a more popular post than if it only had 10.
Over time you will start developing relationships with your followers. For example, you have a follower that used to comment on your images time and time again, and you started chatting with him just because you both have a similar taste in music.
So if you find a new song or he finds a new song, you both will comment and talk to one another.
#10. Understand Your Analytics
Understand your analytics and find the best time to post your photo. This can make or break your photo as well depending on which time of day you post your photo.
The engagement which happens on your photo in the first couple of minutes is the most important. So try and get that engagement rolling as soon as you can.
To do that you can use the insights that come with Instagram to find the best time to post. But if you don’t have a pro account or you don’t have a business account, you can use third-party apps.
Being active on any social media platform helps to increase following and Instagram is no different, if you keep posting good quality content on your profile regularly; your audience will keep growing.
We have also seen that if you start following other users in your niche, they will follow you back.
However, as mentioned in the 1st point “what not to do” don’t use any app to follow others because your activities will look spammy. Start following other users and leave meaningful comments, the other users will start following soon.
Hope you find this article useful, don’t forget to leave a comment or suggestion in the comment section below.
Image Credit: Freepik