How to Increase Followers on Instagram - Ultimate Guide
Jan 23, 2021• Proven solutions
With 800 million active users on the platform, you'd think the answer to how to get more followers on Instagram would be easy. But, even with so many people to engage with, many businesses are finding it hard. Changes to the algorithm have affected how many people are shown each post, and the introduction of Instagram business accounts is reported to have had a negative impact on those unwilling to pay for exposure.
Finding out how to gain followers on Instagram is well worth an investment of your time. Research has shown that users want to engage with you in meaningful ways, such as calling you, visiting your website, or seeking directions to your premises. In fact, more than 120 million Instagrammers do this every month. If you don't care about how to get IG followers, you're missing out on a golden business opportunity.
Our ultimate guide to how to get more followers on IG is designed to help you explore new ways of connecting with interested parties. There's no guaranteed method of how to increase followers on Instagram, but there are ways you can increase your potential for attracting new fans. Here, you can find insightful top tips on how to get more followers on IG so that your business can start to make ripples in your industry.
Top tips on how to gain more followers on Instagram
Here we'll bring you our very best top tips on how to get more IG followers so that you can leverage the full power of the world's biggest photo-sharing platform.
1. Make it easy for users to find you
You could have the best images, the most insightful content, and work as hard as you like on your account, but if users can't find you, it will all be for nothing. If your fans don't know you're there, they are never going to follow you.
To increase your visibility, use the tools you already have in place. If you have a fan base on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network, cross-promote your Instagram page with those people, encouraging them to follow you. Consider paying to boost these posts to ensure even more of your existing fans are driven towards your Instagram account.
You can also place a link on your website to help visitors find you on Instagram and could consider including a link in your email signatures and other public-facing profiles. When you're keen to discover how to increase followers on Instagram, maximizing the use of existing resources is a no-brainer.
2. Optimize your profile
You want your profile to be a powerful piece of marketing, so don't scrimp on your time investment here either. Make it look professional, describe who you are and what you do, giving them a good reason to hit the 'follow' button.
For a start, you need to ensure your username is easy to find. Using your business name is ideal, but if it's already taken, you'll need to get creative. Keep your business name in the first part of the tag, so those searching for you will still be able to find you. For example, if your business is called James Retail but @jamesretail is already in use, you could use @jamesretailUSA or @jamesretailofficial.
Choose a profile picture that's brand focussed; your logo is a great choice. Fill your bio with engaging information about your brand, but sprinkle in a bit of personality too. Add a link to your website but consider a shortened customizable link from a provider such as Bitly to make your profile as tidy as possible.
Tweaking your profile can make all the difference when it comes to how to get IG followers, so it's a good idea to review what yours says on a relatively regular basis to ensure it's up to date. Take a look at the profiles of some of your competition to see what's working for them, then you can make improvements to your own.
3. Tell a consistent story
Consistency and regularity are the keys to how to get more followers on IG. Think about your brand story and purposeful content that will get your audience truly engaged. Instagram is a highly visual channel that needs perfect curation to get the very best results.
Maybe you're all about your products; showing off how they look, demonstrating the problems they solve, or enlightening customers as to how they get made. Or perhaps you're a service-based business, more interested in inspiring your customers with aspirational posts and motivational ideas. Whatever your brand represents, ensuring a reliable image is presented throughout all your posts will help you attract new followers, and keep them.
This doesn't mean you have to limit your Instagram content in any way, but your posts should have a clear message and consistent ideas. Your visuals should be instantly recognizable at a glance and should present a cohesive narrative across this social channel.
4. Use hashtags
Hashtags are one of the best ways of how to increase followers on IG. Good use of powerful, relevant hashtags will expose your posts to people who are not followers of your page, but who are interested in the kind of content you are producing. When you start using hashtags, achieve success quickly by:
- Checking out the most popular: Have a look at popular hashtags for your industry. What are your competitors using? What about influencers in your niche?
- Using niche tags: Getting niche with your tags will grab the attention of a narrower audience, but one which is much more engaged with your business.
- Create your own tag: Use your own branded hashtag with your posts and promote it with contests and on other channels to get people starting to use it.
- Use enough hashtags: You can place up to 30 hashtags on any one post but using all 30 every time is probably a little too much. Research shows that between 9 – 11 hashtags tend to be the optimal number, but this will vary by industry.
- Avoid spammy hashtags: Don't be tempted into using #like4like or #followback type tags, as although you may find you get more followers, they will be low quality and not really interested in your content.
Find out more about using hashtags in our guide on how to use hashtags on Instagram.
5. Pick the right time to post
Posting consistently is one hurdle to overcome; refining the times at which you post is another. An analysis by Tailwind looking at how to gain followers on Instagram, they found that brands who posted at least once a day grew their fans four times faster than those who only posted once a week.
Posting when your users are most active on Instagram is key to success. When your followers see your post, they'll be compelled to interact with it with a like or a comment. This will then expose your content to more people, generating more interaction, and even more exposure. Finding out what time to post on Instagram is not always easy, but as you learn about your customers and what their schedule is like, you'll become more aware of good times to post.
For instance, if your audience is mainly working people, they are likely to be busy checking emails and planning their days between 9 – 11 am, so that's not a good time to post. Stay at home mums, however, may well be browsing Instagram around 9 – 10 am after the school run. B2B companies will surely find a sweet spot around 12 – 2 pm when people are on their lunch break.
Find your optimal posting time by testing posts at different times of the day. Use a scheduling tool to plan and organize your posts, but also make sure someone is available to respond to comments when the post goes live.
Check our When is The Best Time to Post on Instagram Guide to know more.
6. Tag other users
Adding a specific user's tag to your posts will encourage them to share it too, helping to expose your business to more new people. When working on how to get more IG followers, engaging with specific influencers is crucial. However, don't just go randomly tagging them, as this is unlikely to get the desired response. Engage with them through their own posts, and then use this relationship to help grow your own following.
You can also get users to tag other users in your posts. Captions such as 'tag someone who feels like this on a Monday' or 'tag the person you'd love to be on this beach with' will get people tagging their friends like mad. Suddenly you're exposed to many other Instagram users and have started to build your following even more.
7. Run a competition
Contests and competitions are one of the best ways to find out how to get IG followers. There are many ways you can run your contest, from getting people to use a specific hashtag to asking them to comment, like, or follow your account. You don't need to be a multibillion-dollar business to run a competition successfully, but it does need to be of high enough value to encourage interaction.
Some ideas for a competition could be:
- Win a fashion voucher by sharing images of the perfect work outfit
- Win a camera for sharing pictures of inspirational locations
- A draw to win an iPad which is entered by liking / following your account
- A merchandise goody bag for tagging a friend you'd bring to your restaurant
Competitions can be great fun, so get creative and think of some exciting offers and engagement opportunities for your specific brand.
8. Get to grips with live video
Livestreaming is huge right now, on all social platforms, and Instagram is no different. It's the ideal way to share coverage of a conference, a trade show, a training opportunity or to run a Q&A session. You could showcase your factory, do a tour of your offices, cover the opening of your new store… anything really.
Live streams on Instagram appear at the top of your follower's feeds, making it an ideal way to engage deeply with those who already follow you. Encourage viewers to tag their friends, perhaps by running a giveaway as part of the video. Users who are online when you start broadcasting will be instantly notified of your live stream, making it a great way to really grab people's attention.
You can choose to have your stream disappear as soon as it's been completed or to have it available in your brand's story area for 24 hours. Your story also appears at the top of your follower's feeds, offering you a great opportunity to engage with those who missed the live stream itself.
You May Also Like: How to Go Live On Instagram >>
9. Use Instagram ads
If you're serious about how to get more followers on IG, making use of Instagram ads is going to be important for you. These allow you to reach out to new followers rapidly, presenting your carefully crafted content to people who may never have heard of you before.
Using the advertising tools built into Instagram, you can make your ads highly targeted too. Pick who you want to see your ads based on interests and behaviors, demographics, geographic locations, and a swathe of other parameters to help you reach the right people. You are able to advertise in both Instagram feeds and in stories, so explore all your options and test different strategies to see what works best for your business.
10. Use Instagram insights
Instagram was the last social network to really get on board with providing data, but thank goodness they do now, and we should all be using it to discover how to gain followers on Instagram. The analytics and insights provided by Instagram are absolute marketing gold dust, so take the time to get to grips with what you can discover to continue to grow your following.
You May Also Like Instagram Analytics Tools for Better Tracking Your Metrics >>
You can view insights for your whole account using the chart button on the top right of your profile page, or for an individual post by navigating to that post and clicking 'view insights' in the bottom left. When you visit Insights for your account, you'll see:
- Impressions: How many times your ad or content appeared on feeds
- Reach: How many unique users have seen your posts
- Clicks: A count of the times people have clicked any link you've added to your business profile
- Visits: How many times your profile page has been looked at
- Followers: How many followers you've acquired or lost in the last week
The 'followers' section will also tell you what times of day your followers are most active, which is highly informative when it comes to planning your posting times. If you choose to view insights for a particular post, you'll be able to see:
- Likes: How many like your post generated
- Comments: How many comments were left
- Saves: How many users saved or bookmarked your post
- Actions: How many actions were taken, such as visiting your profile, following you or clicking a link to your website
- Discovery: This metric shows where your post was seen the most, including how many accounts were not following you when they first saw you post
As you can imagine, when you start drilling down into these metrics and keeping a record of data over a period of time, it's easy to see patterns beginning to emerge. These patterns will be crucial to tailoring your strategy as you move forward, and to ensure you know how to gain followers on Instagram ongoing.
So now you know some of the right ways of how to get more followers on IG. However, there is one way of how to get IG followers which we have not mentioned, and that's by buying them. We absolutely cannot recommend this tactic for how to gain followers on Instagram, as it's not good practice and won't help you in the long run.
Growing your following organically is a much better strategy, and while it does take time and commitment, it's not the hardest thing to do. Knuckle down, do things right and you'll be growing your Instagram fanbase in no time.