Want more Instagram followers — real ones? Want to drive higher engagement, perfect your hashtag game, and funnel droves of users to your Instagram profile? Discover the new strategies that ACTUALLY work if you want to get more followers on Instagram in 2018!
Has your Instagram growth stalled? Are you regularly posting great content, yet your follower count continues to stay the same?
If so, then check out my top 15 hacks to achieving Instagram stardom faster than you thought possible!
1. Partner up with another Instagram user in your niche
Reach out to Instagram users who have built a following in your niche or industry to talk about cross-promoting each other.
For this to work, you’ll need to find users who have a similar size audience, as well as a similar or complimentary target market.
Some ways you can use this strategy include:
- Arrange a “takeover” – where you each take over the other person’s account for a day
- Share each other’s posts
- Co-host a contest
- Tag each other in your posts
Remember, your goal for this strategy is to build your audience – so be sure to offer your BEST content to attract as many targeted followers as possible!
2. Use popular and trending hashtags
You probably already know how important hashtags are in your marketing. If you don’t, you may want to stop and read this post first!
In short, using hashtags on Instagram will allow people outside your current pool of followers to find you and follow you.Using hashtags on Instagram will allow people outside your current pool of followers to find you and follow you. #InstagramTipClick To Tweet
There are three main strategies for using hashtags to get more Instagram followers:
- Use popular hashtags that you know your target audience is using. This will help you gain much more targeted followers. This is the strategy I recommend if you want highly targeted followers!
- Use extremely popular hashtags that get searched for most often (e.g., #love, #photooftheday, etc.)
- Use hashtags that are designed for getting likes and followers (e.g., “like4like”, “follow4follow”). Use this strategy sparingly, as the quality of these followers probably won’t be the best!
For more tips on using hashtags to get followers, check out my post. Top Instagram Hashtags For Gaining New Followers.
3. Use the optimal number of hashtags
So, what IS the optimal number of hashtags to use?
Advice ranges from 2 per post all the way up to 30 per post; however, the most recent research seems to indicate that 8 hashtags is the sweet spot for attracting likes – which can ultimately lead to greater reach and more followers.
If 8 hashtags seems like a lot to you, I’d suggest starting off by using as many as you are comfortable with, and then testing out more to see what works best for you.
QUICK TIP…make a list of your hashtags, perhaps even two or three lists, on your phone so that you don't have to “remember” them when you go to post on Instagram. It will be as simple as cutting and pasting them into your Instagram post.
4. Embed Instagram posts onto your blog
A great way to entice your website visitors to follow you on Instagram is by embedding your Instagram posts onto your website or blog.? ? A great way to entice your website visitors to follow you on Instagram is by embedding your Instagram posts onto your website or blog. #InstagramTipClick To Tweet
This allows your visitors to see your post and interact with it right on your page. And by clicking the Instagram logo on the post, they’ll be taken to Instagram where they can check out your other content…and potentially follow you.
NOTE: If your Instagram post is set to private, embedding won’t work for you. If you want to share your posts on your site, be sure to set those posts to “public” first!
5. Try posting to Instagram once or twice a day
Recent research seems to suggest that posting just once or twice a day is optimal for increased reach, likes and shares – and therefore followers as well.
Just remember, this is based on averages…which means some accounts will do best when they post 10+ times a day, while others will get best results posting 2-3 times per month!
Here’s a simple experiment you can do to see what works best for you: Start by posting once a day, and track how much engagement you get for each post. It’s also important to track your corresponding follower growth.
Gradually move up, trying different posting frequencies. Go as high as you’re comfortable with!
Choose a frequency that gives you the biggest growth, and that’s also sustainable and enjoyable for you!
6. Like other people’s photos
Liking other people’s photos is one of the best ways to get more Instagram followers. The key to using this strategy successfully is to like photos of people who are in your target market – rather than just liking a bunch of completely random stranger’s photos.❤❤Liking other people’s photos is one of the best ways to get more Instagram followers. #InstagramTipClick To Tweet
7. Run an Instagram contest
Instagram contests are a great way to increase your exposure and reach, especially as your followers tag their friends to let them know about it.? Instagram contests ? are a great way to increase your exposure and reach, especially as your followers tag their friends to let them know about it. #InstagramTipClick To Tweet
In fact, research done by Tailwind found that accounts that use Instagram contests grow their followers an average of 70% faster than those who don’t!
Some strategies you can use to make the most of your contests include:
- Requiring entrants to follow your account in order to enter
- Asking for user-submitted photos as part of the contest…and requiring them to use a branded hashtag
- Requiring entrants to like your contest post
Of course, be sure to follow Instagram’s official contest rules so your contest doesn’t backfire on you!
8. Leverage other social media connections
Don’t forget to let your current fans, followers and email subscribers know you’re on Instagram!???? Use an Instagram badge or Follow button on your site, and ask your subscribers and fans to follow you on Instagram. #InstagramTipClick To Tweet
Share popular and interesting posts with your email list, Facebook fans and blog readers, and ask for their input, feedback or thoughts.
You should also let them know why exactly why they should follow you on Instagram. For instance, “Follow us to be notified of special deals”, or “Follow us to find out about new contests or promotions’.
9. Leave thoughtful comments
Liking other people’s photos is great, but leaving thoughtful comments can be even better. As you interact with people’s content, they’ll be more inclined to interact with you and to want to know more about you.
DON’T ask people to follow you! Instead, leave a comment stating what you like about their photo; this will make your comment stand out from all the cookie cutter remarks and generic likes.
My friend, Sue B. Zimmerman, Instagram expert extraordinaire, recommends taking this strategy a step farther, by making sure your commenting is strategic.
Here’s what she suggests:
Find 10-20 people who have a similar audience as you, and make a habit of leaving well thought-out comments on their most recent posts. As the most recent commenter on these posts, people are more likely to see your comments, and are apt to click through to your account – but only if your comment is actually interesting, entertaining or unique.
In other words, “cool picture” probably isn’t good enough!
10. Post image quotes
If you follow me on social media, you know I’m a HUGE fan of image quotes!
They’re quick and easy to create, and can have a big impact on your audience. They can be used to educate, inspire, motivate or simply entertain…and they’re GREAT for getting shares, likes and follows.
Not sure this is an effective strategy?
Foundr Magazine decided to post image quotes on Instagram every single day. Because they were trying to reach entrepreneurs, they posted quotes they knew entrepreneurs would relate to.
And the results?
In 5 months, they grew from 0 to 110K followers!
11. Filters matter
Using filters has been proven to increase views and likes for your Instagram photos – in fact, filtered photos are 21% more likely to get viewed and 45% more likely to get commented on! (source).➡ Using filters has been proven to increase views and likes for your Instagram photos – in fact, filtered photos are 21% more likely to get viewed and 45% more likely to get commented on! #InstagramTipClick To TweetBut are all filters equal?
According to research from Hopper, the best filter for getting likes and comments (and ultimately follows) is Gingham. The Clarendon filter is your next best bet.
However, the most effective filter for your posts may also depend on what industry you’re in. According to Bustle, while Clarendon and Gingham are indeed among the most effective filters overall, the most effective by category or image type are:
Nature posts: Valencia
Fashion posts: Kelvin
Food posts: Skyline and Normal
12. Engage with your competitors’ audience
You will need to tread carefully here, but reaching out to your competitors’ audience can be a great way to gain new, targeted followers.
In an unofficial experiment posted on eCommerce University, one marketer set out to determine how many of his competitor’s followers would follow him back if he engaged with them. The results?
- Of the people he simply followed, 14% followed him back.
- Of the people he followed and liked, 22% followed him back.
- Of the people he followed and commented on, 34% followed him back. ***
Seek out other businesses in your niche, follow their followers and then start interacting with their pictures and videos!✳ Seek out other businesses in your niche, follow their followers and then start interacting with their pictures ? and videos ?! #InstagramTipClick To Tweet
13. Create a branded hashtag
A branded hashtag is simply a hashtag that’s unique to your business or brand. It can be used to spread awareness of your product, event or contest, or simply to encourage your followers to engage with your brand in a fun and unique way (like asking your followers to share pics of them using your product).
The more people who use your hashtag, the more visibility it will get, and ultimately, the more followers you’ll get.
Some good rules of thumb when creating and using your hashtag:
- Make sure it’s actually unique. Using an existing hashtag will defeat the whole purpose of what you’re trying to do!
- Keep it short and sweet. For instance, #WinJane would be preferable to #JaneClothingCoContest2018.
- Make sure to monitor your hashtag and share, like and comment on posts that use it.
14. Use geotaggging
This is particularly important if you want to attract local followers.
When you geotag your photos, other users who have also geotagged their photos with the same location are more likely to see your posts (and to potentially follow you).
It will also mean your posts show up when someone searches for that location, giving you greater exposure and helping you build up your local follower base.
15. Tag people in your posts
Tagging is something that should be done carefully and strategically, because the last thing you want to do is spam people.
But when done right, tagging relevant users can help you create new connections and get new followers.
Some situations that merit tagging include:
- When you post a picture of someone else’s product
- When you’re at an event where someone else is speaking or attending
- When someone else is actually IN your photo (obviously)
- When you post something that you know would be relevant or interesting to a certain person
So there you have it! My 15 easy as pie ways to get more Instagram followers!
I hope these strategies have motivated you to get out there and strategically go after some new followers.
Need some more inspiration or motivation? Check out these posts:
What’s YOUR best tip for getting more Instagram followers? Share with us in the comments below!