If you haven’t joined Instagram just yet, you should consider giving it a shot. After all, aren’t you curious as to why the photo-sharing and video-sharing social networking service has accumulated 150 million users in just over three years? Does the fact that Instagram grew by 23% in 2013 sound appealing at all? Don’t you want one of your pictures to become one of the 16 billion images shared?
If you said yes to any of those questions, then it’s never too late to sign-up for a free Instagram account. But, what do you do after you’ve created an account? If you don’t have any followers who are liking or sharing your content, what’s the point of being on a social media network?
The good news is that acquiring more followers on Instagram isn’t too hard. It will take some time and little bit of effort. But if done correctly, you’ll have an increase in followers before you can say “cheese” as you snap your latest picture.
So, let’s get into it. Here are the 10 best ways to get more followers on Instagram.
1. Share Images That People Can Connect and Relate To
If you check out the most popular instagram accounts, you’ll notice a common theme. All of their photos are something that we all can relate to and connect with. They’re personal, unique, and original. By sharing these types of photos you’re establishing a connection with your audience, which is the absolute best way to attract people to your account.
In short, make sure that your Instagram account is authentic and original. That’s how you’re going to connect and relate with others.
2. Post at the Right Time
Prior to posting anything onto Instagram, consider what time zone the majority of your audience lives in and what time do they check their Instagram account.
Because of its mobility, there isn’t really a favorite time for Instagram users – engagement is high on Wednesdays between 5 – 6PM, while more people post on Thursdays. Regardless, a majority of Instagram users login when they have the extra time, such first thing in the morning, on their way home from work or school, or on Sundays.
Typically, a photo only has four hours before it gets lost within the news feed. To prevent this, try to post when you know that a majority of your followers have down time and have access to their accounts. For example, if your demographic are high school students, then you should post your photos in the afternoon when students are either on their lunch break or home for the day. If you have a strong following of professionals in Chicago, then you would want to post images during rush hour CST when people are on their way home from work and checking their account while on the “L”.
3. Use Popular and Relevant Hashtags
Either search Google or Webstagram to discover popular hashtags, which are used to organize photos. You can then use the trending hashtags that are relevant to you or your industry to gain more visibility for your photos, which should generate more interaction. For example, the top 10 hashtags are: #love, #instagood, #me; #like, #follow, #cute, #photooftheday, #tbt, #followme, and #tagsforlikes.
While hashtags are an important asset when attracting new followers, you don’t want to go overboard. Instead of posting an entire paragraph that is full of hashtags, try to select one to three hashtags per photo. Anything more than three will make people think that your photo is too spammy.
4. Follow Others
If you want to follow others, then you’re going to have to follow them. This is just a simple rule of reciprocation that is common on all social media formats. So, instead of just uploading photos and expecting people to come to you, you also have to put yourself out there. In other words, you have to be active.
Search for users and brands that share your interests and comment, like and share their photos. Follow Instagram stars and influencers and engage with them, or even ask for a shout-out. You could even just look for tags containing something like: #shoutout, #TagsForLikes, #ilovemyfollowers, and #follow.
It’s very simple. The more you engage, the more exposure you’ll receive.
5. Host Contests
One of the most effective ways to boost engagement and gain new followers is by hosting a contest. It’s a proven tactic on any social media network. However, since Instagram is so popular, it has become a favorite platform in particular to run contests.
Contests are easy to create and get up and running. Take an amazing picture and add captions that inform people that there’s a contest underway, like a giveaway. Also, make sure that you also use #contest to make your contest easy to find. And, make sure to share your contest on other social media sites like Facebook.
6. Complete Your Bio
Your bio should be used to feature a call-to-action, branded hashtags, and Web links, which is kind of a big deal in the quest for new Instagram users. It’s this section where users will discover who you or your brand are and whether or not they will follow you.
Don’t, however, plead, sound desperate or come across as spammy. For example, do not include “Follow People Who Follow Me!” in your bio. You want to let users know who you are and why they should follow you. Make sure this section is updated when needed. If you were running a contest, you could mention that piece of information in your Bio.
7. Ask Questions in Photo Captions
A simple and effective way to receive more likes on your photos is to simply ask a question in the photo’s caption. Not only will this increase your amount of likes, it can increase comments. And, as we’ve mentioned numerous times already, engagement is the best way to increase the amount of followers on Instagram.
8. Remember Why You Are on Instagram & Have a Call to Action
Before you get carried away and start posting all sorts of content onto Instagram, take a step back and remember why you joined in the first place. Why do you need more followers? Do you want to boost your ego? Are you looking to gain more exposure and feedback for your photography? Do you want to use Instagram as a promotional tool your business?
Understanding why you joined Instagram can help you attract new followers because you’ll know the audience you want to target. This means that you’ll be searching and interacting with people in your niche, as opposed to casting too wide of a net.
Another solid tactic is by creating a call to action. By having a clear CTA, such as “Double-Tab to Like! ” people are more likely to engage with your posts since they’ll be aware of what you want from them. Again, when you have more engagement, you get more exposure, which in turn, gives you the opportunity to get more Instagram followers.
9. Post Frequently, But Not Too Much
If you want to retain, or attract, new followers, how can you keep their interest? One of the easiest ways is to post relevant and attractive photos on consistent basis; usually a few photos per day is just fine. If you have hundreds of images to share, spread them throughout several days. If you flood followers’ feeds you will not only have people unfollow you, your account won’t be attractive to new followers.
10. Use Filters and Apps
Do you remember what made Instagram so unique and popular in the first place? Filters. It gave people the chance to personalize their images. And, the more original and captivating your photos are, there’s a better chance that people would be willing to share and follow your account. Since Instagram has 20 filters included in its app, there’s really no excuse for your photos to be filter-free.
On top of filters, you can also make the most out of the various photo-editing apps available to doctor-up your photos before sharing onto Instagram. Here are 12 apps that can provide you with the ultimate Instagram experience.
How many followers do you have on Instagram? What is the best tactic you have used to attract followers?
Image Source: Chankai via Flickr