Welcome to Instagram. After a few days on the platform, you might notice (or you already have) how hard it is to gain your Instagram following if you’re not familiar with common Instagram strategies and updating as often as possible. Over the years, Instagram has become one of the most important social media platforms and being able to grow your Instagram following is becoming harder and harder. But don’t worry, there are many ways you can get those followers and grow your presence on the platform – it will just take time.
1. Post unique content related to your business
Regardless of everything else you do, this is one of the most important pieces of advice – content is still king. Your Instagram account should be an extension of your business and you should show your users what you’re about. If you’re a real estate agent, you should focus on showcasing your listings. If you’re working in fashion, post fashion-related content. If you’re in the food business, take advantage of food-making videos and professional food photoshoots.
Instagram content tip: Video has proven to be one of the most engaging forms of Instagram content – every once in awhile, post a video!
2. Post often and post daily
Many users now use the function where they clean up inactive followers or people they follow – if you don’t post daily, there’s a chance you won’t be showing up on their newsfeed. With ever changing algorithms for what’s showing on Instagram newsfeed, you should always be alert and make sure your content is constantly updated – if possible, post something new every single day.
Instagram posting tip: For the first few months, experiment when it’s the best time to post. Once you find the right formula that works best for your engagement, stick to it. There are several online tools available you can install to get more Instagram insights.
3. Spend an hour commenting on photos from the same niche
Make those comments real. Spend an hour each day commenting on other people’s photos. Recently, the popularity of Instagram software that allows you to post automated comments started to grow, but many content creators are aware of that. People appreciate genuine comments – send an encouraging, non promotional DM (or a regular comment) and just form genuine relationships with people in the same niche.
4. Use correct hashtags
One of the reasons people aren’t engaging with your content is because you’re not using correct hashtags to grow your Instagram following. Do a simple hashtag search on the app to see how many posts use the same hashtag. You can also find related hashtags at the top of the search which you should also add to your strategy. For example, if your hashtag relates to business, you should also add all relevant hashtags you can find in the related searches.
Hashtag tip: Create a spreadsheet with all important hashtags you should be using. You can also go through some of the accounts in your niche and note down those that feature content with a specific hashtag. Think about your own brand proof hashtag. For example, like LolaLiza did. They frequently use #LolaLizaFashion and #LolaLizaTogether. Each month the brand selects four pictures with the hashtag #LolaLizaTogether, and users with these pictures receive a LolaLiza gift card.
5. Engage with your comments
With the new Instagram update, you can easily engage and like a person’s comment, as well as reply to them. Do so even for automated comments – the person will still get a notification and come back to your account – it’ll hopefully make them rethink their automation strategy and genuinely engage to you.
Comment engagement tip: Always reply – even if it’s just to thank somebody for their comment or replying with an emoji. But really, like always!
6. Improve your info section
Let them know what you’re about. Add your website (avoid having bit.ly links and add your full domain if possible), and most important facts / mission on what you’re about. Edit your profile and optimise your name – pick three searchable words that represent your business.
Editing profile tip: If you want to put every sentence in a new paragraph, do it from your desktop – your phone app won’t allow you to go to new paragraphs.
7. Use Instagram stories
Instagram introduced Instagram Stories, and I am a huge fan! Use Instagram stories for a chance to be featured on the search page to other people in the same niche who aren’t necessarily following you. Everyone can use Instagram stories – if you’re a business, show behind the scenes of your company. Make sure you follow @LolaLizaFashion, they started using Instagram Stories a couple of weeks ago! In that way, you can stay up to date, related to the latests promotions and trends.
Instagram stories tip: Post daily! Customers love seeing behind the scenes of a business!
8. Improve your quality
As Instagram grew with popularity, so did its quality. Improve the quality of your photographs. The good news is, it doesn’t take much to do this – all you need is a phone with a decent camera, an editing app that allows you to make simple lighting corrections, and you’re good to go!
Photo quality tip: Take a few pictures before choosing your final one. Apps like Adobe Lightroom are excellent for some minimal editing before you post to your newsfeed.
9. Never use the follow – unfollow technique
Follow – unfollow technique is used by influencers who need to have a certain ratio between people they follow and people who are following them. Most people don’t need to use this and you shouldn’t. When you follow somebody just to unfollow them a couple of hours later, it creates terrible impression on your brand and does more harm than good. Instead of randomly following people, always make sure that the ones you do follow are bringing value to your newsfeed. Don’t trick people – you’ll gain terrible reputation.
Bonus advice: Don’t buy followers
If you’re thinking of ways to grow your Instagram following fast, you’ve probably thought about buying followers. Here’s a tip – don’t do it. Buying followers brings false impression and it absolutely doesn’t create anything else. Your engagement won’t improve, your conversions won’t improve and your other business goals won’t improve. The only benefit of buying followers is the illusion of having more followers. If you do want to purchase followers, make sure you do it through a trusted website and do some research beforehand.