9 Of The Most Effective Ways to Gain Insta Followers
Tips to Gain Insta Followers #FollowMe
Instagram is one of the largest and fastest growing social media platforms with 400 million active users. Gaining followers presents a huge opportunity to reach a large audience of people who are active daily on the platform. 57% of Instagram users visit the site daily, and engagement per post is higher than Facebook.
Here are some tips to optimize your account and gain more Instagram followers. Use all or some of these tips consistently for a few months, and you will see your traffic start to grow significantly.
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1.Optimize your profile picture and bio
Your Instagram biography and picture are the only two things people see when they are scrolling through account and follower lists and must be fun, different as well as capture your account’s essence to get noticed and followed. There are 400 million Instagram accounts in the world, and while this is good news for you because you can reach hundreds of millions of people in essentially any niche, it also means your account has to stand out in some way if you want to gain followers.
When scrolling through other account followers, all people see is the picture, account name, and bio.
Try experimenting with C a P i T a L letters, emojis ❤️🐶😍 , and spacing, to make your bio name stand out. If no one notices you, no one will follow you, so make sure your bio, name and picture are positioned to be noticed.
When people end up clicking on your bio, because you strategically positioned it to catch their eye, or followed one of the other strategies below, you want your account to be a reflection of the unique excellence of your brand so people will be excited to follow you. You also want your followers to be not the general population of all 400 million Instagram users, although 400 million followers sounds great, you want your followers to be obsessed with you and your specific niche. This is where your theme comes in.
2. Pick a theme in advance and stick to it
Pick a theme that will resonate with your core audience. For example, if you’re a dog trainer, my recommendation would be to post cute photos of dogs, either amazing ones you find online or ones of dogs you train personally. If you sell furniture, you should pick a theme of posting beautiful interiors of houses with furniture or pictures of your own furniture in customers homes. You get the idea.
If your audience is entrepreneurs and you want to post pictures of inspiring quotes about determination and business growth, then do that and stick to it. Don’t post selfies or photos with you and your family at the beach, your dog (although I’m sure he’s adorable), or cat videos.
People may like those in other contexts, but you want to be attracting and retaining your core audience with pictures and videos that resonate with this audience in a consistent way.
Your audience will grow to expect your content and view you with trust as a thought leader in their vertical, which will benefit you when the time comes to sell something, if that time comes for you. There is no need to sell anything on Instagram, however there is a lot of opportunity to sell to your audience after you have created a sizable following that associates your brand with excellent content and trust.
Sticking with a theme, excellent content, and posting schedule will establish this trust with your audience, so they come to view you as a high quality, consistent thought leader in your niche that they know, recognize and trust.
Accounts that post several times per day tend to see the highest engagement levels and higher amounts of followers, according to Buffer research.
It is similar to building any relationship with a person, you need to see them on a consistent basis, do what you say you will, and be a positive part of their life. This goes hand in hand with responding to users who comment on your posts. Comment back! Have conversations, be friendly, and build a relationship with your audience. This is the #1 way to grow their trust and gain devoted, loyal followers who will also recommend you to their friends through tagging other accounts on comments and mentions on your posts.
3. Post AMAZING content
Posting only the best content goes hand in hand with the first two tips. Nobody will follow you if your content is only ok or average. There are 400 million other accounts to follow if people were only looking for mediocre content. This is the difference between accounts with millions of followers and accounts that can’t break the 100 mark no matter how many other follower techniques they use.
You need to be carefully curating and creating ONLY THE BEST content to post because this is the #1 reason people will decide to follow you or not. They might notice your awesome bio and profile picture, causing them to click on your account, but they will glance at your recently posted content to decide whether or not to actually follow you.
A good rule of thumb is to only post pictures you would want to see in your own feed. Post your own excellent content to keep followers happy or even content that is just average or mediocre, and especially if it is just plain bad. People will also unfollow you if you post spammy content or advertise for other accounts. Grow your account and keep your followers by posting the best of the best content. An added benefit of this is you can have fun scrolling through your own feed if you ever get bored.
4. Follow other Instagram Users
Follow other Instagram users to gain more followers. All users get a notification when someone requests to follow them, whether they are a public or private account. Private accounts get a request they have to manually approve, and public accounts get a notification that User A is now following you. Going back to tip #1, this is another place where your awesome bio and picture come in. People will see these in their notification, and if you look interesting they will click on your profile to check out your content and decide whether or not you are worth following.
Users decide whether or not to follow you based on your content, and the industry average is a 14% followback rate. With insanely good content that fits a theme, I’ve seen followback rates up to 35% on some of my own accounts.
Sure, you can randomly follow as many people as you want, but that’s not what you want to do if you are trying to build a loyal following in your niche. The best strategy is to find accounts that are your direct competition by searching for account names, keywords, and top posts in your specific vertical. For example, if your niche is dog training, search top Instagram accounts for dog training usernames, hashtags and top posts, then find the accounts that have both a lot and a medium amount of followers.
Then, follow the users who are already following these accounts by clicking on your competitions followers tab and following individual users. The reason to pick medium and large accounts is that if your account is starting out smaller, you will want to follow followers of smaller accounts because that indicates they are more open to following accounts who are new with fewer followers. You will likely see a higher follow back rate from the smaller account followers until you gain a sizable following yourself, no matter how excellent your content is.
Instagram has a limit of around 7,500 users each account can follow, so after you are following the limit, you can start unfollowing users. Then you can repeat the process to continue gaining notice and followers. This can be a very manual, tedious process, especially with the limits Instagram currently has in place, however it can be one of the most effective strategies, especially for small accounts just starting out.
I have taken accounts from 0 to 10K followers in a few months alone using just the follow-unfollow strategy combined with excellent content and stand bio information. An example of an account that I’ve grown using this method is my @eye_so_beautiful Instagram account for my corresponding color contact site colorfuleyes.org.
5. Share for Share – Partner with other accounts
One of the most effective ways to gain followers is through promotion by other accounts. This can be done through Share for Shares, or S4S in Insta slang.
S4S means sharing another accounts photo as a post on your own Instagram account while they share one of your photos on their accounts. Proper etiquette includes tagging the other account in the picture and with an @ symbol in the picture’s description as well.
The amount of time you have to keep this photo on your account as well as how long your photo is posted on the other account depends on the agreement you come to with the other account. If it is a quality photo, many accounts will keep it up indefinitely, however it is much more common for an account to post your photo for an hour or two then take it down.
At first you may be too small for any accounts to take you up on a share for share offer. If this is the case, you can still pay some accounts to share your posts.
Once you get to 10K+followers, you can stop paying for shares and trade shoutouts with other accounts with similar nubmers of followers. You’ll keep growing, but now at an exponential as opposed to linear rate, and with less effort. Then you’ll be at 20K, 30K, 50K and can start partnering with larger and larger acocunts for shoutouts to gain more and more followers.
To contact accounts for S4S you can comment on their photos and direct message (DM) them asking for a share for share. Sometimes accounts will post their email address or Kik (a messaging app username) in their bio, which you can use to contact for paid shares or free share for shares.
It’s best to contact accounts in your niche so you’ll both be sharing relevant content and targeting relevant, interested followers.
6. Utilize Hashtags
Using hashtags allows users to find and like your pictures that include those hashtags. They can also click through and follow you when they see one of your hashtagged pictures that they like.
Research hashtags before you use them. There are apps that show the top 10 used hashtags a day. This is great for general volume, not so great for targeted niche volume, so I’d generally stay away from these.
First, I’d brainstorm a list of keywords and then research their Instagram hashtag volume. Do this by going to post a photo then typing in a hashtag # and start typing keywords. Instagram will show you the volume.
Then you can research what the top performing content of relevant high volume hashtags in your niche are. To do this, go to the explore section of your app, type in the hashtag, and the top 9 results will be the highest performing images for these hashtags. Use these images for ideas and guidance of what your audience will like and what you can post to have high performing content.
7. Post at the optimal times
Analyze your own content engagement at different days of the weeks and times to find the optimal posting time for engagement. If you don’t have enough data yet, feel free to use the data of others as a starting point.
2am, 5pm, and 10pm are all hours of the day with relatively high Instagram post engagement according to a Latergramme study.
They also found Wednesday to be the best day of the week to post for engagement. You can start posting Wednesday at 5pm, and compare that to engagement when you post other days of the week at 5pm or other times. Your audience may be slightly different, but posting at the best times can have a big impact on engagement.
Posting at the right time is even more important since Instagram’s new algorithm update as of this June 2016. Now, if your post doesn’t get engagement right away, Instagram will push it to the bottom of your follower’s feeds, and vice versa if it’s a hit right off the bat it will show up at the top of their feeds.
Posting at a time when people are naturally engaging will allow your content to start at and stay at the top of user feeds for longer as well as be seen by more people. If you post your content at an off time, Instagram may disregard it and your users will never get to see it.
Hootsuite found slightly different results than Latergramme, recommending 8pm posting times. You’ll have to experiment with your own feed and see what times your users are engaging the most with your posts.
Once you know your optimal times, pick a content posting schedule and stick to it
expl here how posting at least once a day is also optimal, preferably more than once if you have time for it
8. Cross-promote your Instagram Account
Use your existing assets to promote your Instagram account. Utilize your current audience as the base for your Instagram audience. You can do this by linking to your Instagram account on your website. If you have a WordPress site, there are many plugins available for this. I use Simple Social Share for its clean social icons.
Put your Instagram link on all your other social media account bios including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, etc. Make sure to post on all your social media accounts at least once with a shoutout to follow your Instagram account. This will help your existing followers know your account exists and encourage them to follow you.
If they already know and like you and if your Instagram content is outstanding, then there is no reason why they wouldn’t.
9. Run a Contest
Run a contest where users share your contest image for an entry into the contest with you hashtag + word contest in a post. this take advantage of your follower’s audiences as well. the bigger the initial audience when you start this the better, but even with small audiences this can make an impact.
The prize can be free for you, ie simply a regram of the winning user’s post onto your own account. You can also give away a physical prize such as a camera, a free trial of your software, or anything you would like to give away. Bonus points if it is relevant to your niche and user interests! Then you’ll be gaining and promoting to more people who are in your target audience instead of random people who want an Ipad (if that was your hypothetical prize).
Contests can be huge for exposure, and are similar in concept to a share for share, except even better for your account. Even better because your followers are doing all the sharing, while you get all the benefit of being seen by their follower accounts.
There are a bunch of strategies and techniques you can use to grow your Instagram account, and I’m sure we’ve only scratched the surface here. Let me know if any of these techniques work for you or if you have any other suggestions in the commments!