When it comes to staying competitive in the digital marketplace, social media marketing is key. Knowing how to promote your brand across multiple social media platforms is the most effective way to get your brand out there and boost your site traffic. Instagram is hot right now and it’s my favorite social media platform because it can produce higher post engagements, compared to Twitter and Facebook, and has been extremely beneficial for me when I partner with brands. As visual posts are more popular and produce the most engagement, knowing how to get more Instagram followers can be hugely beneficial to your social media marketing strategy especially if you’re a blogger.
Below are 11 unique ways you can get more Instagram followers.
1) Shop at Small Companies
Not only is it trendy to shop small and support local businesses rather than big-box stores, it can also be a great source to regram your image. Small businesses are unlikely to constantly have fresh content to post, so they are usually more than open to regram your images, which can benefit you both: the small business gets fresh content, and you get your brand posted on another account which exposes your account to a brand new audience.
2) Create an Instagram Hashtag Strategy
With Instagram’s recent upgrades, now is the ideal time for those wanting to market their brand to update their Hashtag strategy. Using the right hashtag (or combination of hashtags) in your posts will definitely expose your account to large and targeted audiences. Your chances of attracting new followers, getting more likes, and increasing engagement are vastly increased by the use of hashtags.
People can also follow hashtags so putting some time and effort into your hashtags is a good habit to be getting into. Following the conversations, interactions, and hashtags that are relevant to your brand or your target audience is essential for applying a dedicated hashtag strategy.
Finding out which hashtags to use can often times be difficult. A good rule of thumb is to stick to your niche and avoid gimmicky hashtags (ex: #followforfollow, #likeforlike) as well as hashtags used a million or more times.
This Instragram Hashtag course by Alex Tooby really helped me develop a hashtag strategy that has massively increased my engagement. Definitely check it out if you’re still struggling with hashtag research.
3) Tag All the Brands Featured in Your Image
Tagging all the brands that are featured in your image is one of the best ways to potentially increase your followers. If you tag a large-scale coffee company in your image in a beautifully-lit well-staged photo, that company, who likely has a much larger following, might just regram it. This gets your name and brand out there, capitalizes on the larger audiences of large-scale companies, and potentially builds your Instagram account.
I do this for every photo that features a brand, whether big or small. This photo below got me over 100 followers and over 300 likes when LORAC Cosmetics regrammed it. All I did was tag them in the photo.
4) Hack Your Instagram Stories with Hashtags
One of Instagram’s coolest features, ‘Stories’, is a great way to interact with your following in a more personal and engaging way. Inserting a hashtag within one of your stories will not only allow people who are not following you to search and find your content, people can also follow you by your hashtag using the new ‘Hashtag Follow’ feature. However, adding too many hashtags doesn’t read well, but a hack that can allow you to include more than the average one-to-two hashtags per post is to hide them in your images.
Hide it by using your index finger and thumb to make your group of hashtags super tiny. That way, your post is well-received, relevant, and the extra hashtags can bring in more views, potential likes, and followers.
5) Hack Your Instagram Stories by Adding a Location
Instagram’s ‘Location’ feature is super-handy as it allows you to Geo-tag where the content was shot. Whether in a shop, restaurant, museum, or art gallery, geo-tagging your story with the location adds your story into the location’s story bank. Assuming your content is interesting and well-shot, the location might bring more people to your content and lead to potential likes and follows. This is especially beneficial for someone who owns a local business.
6) Get Featured On Curated Specialty Accounts
Another way to gain potential Instagram followers is by setting your sights on unique user-based speciality accounts. These accounts are very particular and target a specific audience and occupy a definitive niche. There are tons out there: coffee, fashion, makeup, travel, entrepreneur…you name it! These sites are brimming with regrams that suit their audience, so if you are out and about and find a specialty account centered around a certain theme you plan to post on, tag them so they can regram you too.
7) Be strategic with Instagram Comments
Just like all things social media, comments are evolving too. Bland generic comments of ‘Cool’ or ‘Nice pic’ just don’t cut it any more, not if you are trying to engage and get more Instagram followers. Find a manageable list of Instagram accounts with a similar brand or following that you have and make an effort to leave genuine, thoughtful, and engaging comments. That way, you will get a throwback from them, plus the benefit of people in a like-minded audience engaging with you and your brand through your comments. The main thing to remember is to try and infuse your personality into every single comment. There is only one of you so work your own originality.
8) Partner Up for #FollowFriday
The weekly #FollowFriday hashtag is a great one to join. Joining a general thread is an effective means of getting your account exposed to a brand new audience that can help make new connections you might not have interacted with otherwise.
Another great strategy for building your niche-specific followers is to approach another business in your niche and offer them an exchange: you’ll post something of theirs and they’ll post something of yours. If each of you caption the post with why your audience should follow the other, you are effectively sharing and swapping audiences. This is also a great networking opportunity and way to learn from others in your chosen area. Just make sure the account you approach has a similar amount followers than yours.
9) Share Engaging Videos
The new Instagram gives priority to posts with higher engagements. So the more likes and comments you receive, the more likely your followers and potential followers will see your post. Videos are fun, personal, and interactive. They also tend to get high engagement so it makes since to add them to your marketing mix. With the release of Instagram Stories, Live Video, Video Channels on Explorer, and now IGTV, it’s safe to say that Instagram is heavily invested in video content. So if you want more followers on your Instagram account, you should get with the times and make regular video posts.
10) Create A Curated and Consistent Instagram aesthetic
The look of your Instagram account is the sum of your images. Colors, patterns, textures, and common groupings all play a role in cultivating your Instagram aesthetic. As a picture is, indeed, worth a thousand words, imagine what large groups of relevant and consistent commonly-themed images can do. Your Instagram aesthetic should speak directly to your brand, your target audience, and your chosen niche.
11) Get Featured Off of Instagram
Getting your account featured on Instagram is a great way to dramatically increase your followers, but there is also something to be said for getting featured off of Instagram. Don’t be afraid to reach out with your account on other social media platforms. The more platforms you are featured on, the more different audiences you will be reaching.