With over 1 billion active monthly users and sky-high user engagement, Instagram has developed into an attractive social media platform for businesses of all sorts.
More than 60% of the Instagram users log in every day and spend an average of 28 minutes on the platform.
Did you know more than 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile every day?
That’s a lot of users in one place, waiting to interact with your business. Do you want to miss the boat?
While an increasing number of marketers and entrepreneurs consider Instagram a cornerstone of their marketing strategy, some of you may be new to it. So, let me quickly define what this platform is all about.
Launched in 2010, Instagram is a free photo-sharing app that offers incredible features to individual users and brands.
The idea behind Instagram was so successful right from its beginning that Facebook bought the platform in 2012. Besides, Instagram is the second most used social media network in the US.
Like all social media channels, a brand has to find the right context and tone of voice to build a profitable presence on Instagram. Unfortunately, the majority of businesses fail to do so, which leads to poor followership.
If you’re looking to grow your business on Instagram, fasten your seatbelt because this post is going to show you 20 strategies that will make it super easy for you to get more followers on Instagram, and, eventually, more revenue.
Read our pillar content piece here: How To Use Instagram For Business
Check out the best photo editing apps for Instagram that everyone is using right now. 👀👀
There are plenty of ways you can use this platform to share your brand’s message with a large, targeted audience.
How can you tell your brand stories in a way that gives you more followers?
Let’s dive deeper to find out proven tactics and Instagram tips to get more followers on Instagram.
1. Optimize Your Instagram Profile
Instagram is ideal for your brand, but it requires patience and lots of tweaking to make your profile look good.
First of all, analyze your Instagram profile to identify areas that need more work.
The objective is to ensure a visually and technically appealing presence so that your audience is happy to follow you.
Here is how to optimize your profile for better results:
Include a keyword with your name
People who already know your business name will use it to find you.
Therefore, your username must be easily searchable and recognizable. If someone else has taken your business name, be sure your business name is the first part of your username.
Putting a keyword in your name dramatically increases your searchability score and Instagram presence.
Think about the terms your potential followers might use to find your content.
For example, if you want to target a Texas-based audience, add the word “Texas” to your name.
Your Instagram page will show up whenever people will use the city name in the search bar.
Use a branded profile picture
Instagram is a visual platform, which means your images should look great.
Your profile picture, for instance, draws the attention of every Instagram user who visits your profile.
Ideally, you should use the same branded image such as a logo on all of your social media profiles to strengthen your brand presence. Take Apple, for example.
Write an intriguing Instagram bio
Many users look at the Instagram bio section after your profile picture and name.
This is where you can only use 150 characters to make an impact. Use this prime real estate wisely.
Pro Tip: Your bio should talk about your customers rather than your business especially if you are an Instagram influencer. More specifically, what you can do for your customers to make their life easier.
Here is an example of a good bio from NatGeo:
The bio doesn’t say, “We are a world leader in exploration, geography, and cartography”.
Instead, it says, “Experience the world through the eyes of National Geographic photographers.”
They talk about their followers and what benefits they’ll get by following their account.
Optimize bio link
You can only have a single link to place in the bio section of your profile. Because you can only have one link, it’s important to change it regularly to promote different campaigns.
You have to update the link and the CTA in your bio whenever you offer something new for your Instagram followers to check out. There are so many tools out there that help you optimize your bio link and do a lot more with it.
Follow a consistent style
When it comes to social media marketing, consistency is the name of the game.
To get a better idea, study some of the leading brands to see how they use a very consistent vibrant style.
When developing your brand aesthetics, think about your potential followers and their interests.
How do you want to make them feel? What style of imagery would resonate with them most?
Pro Tip: Make people recognize your business just by looking at your visuals.
2. Create High-Quality Content
Whatever you post on Instagram should be visually engaging and of high quality.
This might be too obvious to mention, but content is a critical factor when it comes to growing your followers on Instagram or any other social media platform.
Is your content powerful enough to make users explore more about your digital presence?
Your content needs to be inspirational so that your potential audience can’t help but click Follow.
Great content is the only way to get more reach and encourage your audience to engage with your posts. Consistency will help you ensure your followers stick around.
Here are some quick tips:
Keep a consistent content calendar
Posting content at random is probably the worst thing a business can do when trying to increase their followers on Instagram.
If you’re lucky enough to get some followers at the start, don’t make them forget they ever followed you.
While it’s important to keep a regular posting schedule, don’t post more than a few times a day to avoid spamming.
I’ll discuss more about the ideal time to post on Instagram later in the blog.
Have a dedicated content curator
It’s a good idea to have a dedicated content curator so you never fall behind in your efforts to post great content consistently.
This will keep your Instagram marketing efforts consistent and organized.
Besides, a content curator can draw a better picture of what’s working and what’s not based on data.
Don’t forget to use the right equipment
There’s a variety of equipment and online tools that you can employ to build a highly effective presence on Instagram and across social media.
For example, a small tool like a ring light kit with a stand will improve the quality of your photos.
Likewise, a good quality webcam will help you ensure professional-quality video streaming.
Check out these highly recommended tools to boost your performance on social media:
Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam – Full 1080p HD Camera
Audio-Technica BPHS1 Broadcast Stereo Headset with Dynamic Cardioid Boom Mic
Inkeltech Ring Light - 18 inches 60 W Dimmable LED Ring Light Kit with Stand
3. Have A Social Media And Content Marketing Strategy In Place
A social media marketing strategy looks incomplete without Instagram.
Your competitors are clearly ahead of the curve if you have no presence on this platform.
Wait! Do you have a social media and content marketing strategy in place?
Most businesses do have a social media presence, but they don’t have a plan.
Factually speaking, more than 40% of businesses don’t plan ahead when adding social to their online marketing efforts.
Don’t make this mistake.
A sound social media marketing strategy defines both short-term and long-term goals while addressing other important factors such as competition and audience.
Take a look at these basic steps that will help you develop a well-thought-out social media marketing strategy:
Set your goals: What do you want to have a social media presence? Why are you on Instagram? Set realistic, achievable, and measurable goals so you can justify your resources. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to business objectives.
A business might use Instagram to sell a product or share portfolio content so that followers can see products in action.
Define your audience: Define your audience before you use Instagram or any other network for marketing.
Factors like age, income, interests, location, gender, and pain points will help you draw your ideal customer.
Understand your competition: How are your competitors doing on Instagram? If you already know your competitors, start analyzing their presence and activities. If not, use your targeted keywords to find similar accounts.
4. Write Engaging Captions
Visuals are an inseparable part of Instagram marketing.
You have to put a lot of effort into generating great visual content for your account.
Your chances of gaining more Instagram followers depend on your ability to produce high-quality images.
But the story doesn’t end here.
You need to write captions to give your visual content a voice. A good caption explains what your photos are all about and moves users to take action.
If you’re not a celebrity that generates thousands of likes and shares without saying a word, use these tips to create great captions:
Keep the caption length ideal:
The maximum character count for a caption is 2,200 characters. But the captions are cut off in users’ feed after three lines.
Generally speaking, images with plenty of boring text don’t produce good results on Instagram.
But don’t hesitate to tell your story or details you want to share with your audience.
Brands often overlook the importance of writing long, valuable captions.
It’s perfectly fine to write a caption of 2,200 words, but make sure to grab attention with those first three lines that show up in users’ feeds.
Witty comments/audience-appropriate jokes, strong call-to-actions, hashtags, and relevant emojis are constituents of a winning caption.
5. Connect With Major Influencers
Try to partner up with both major and minor influencers in your industry to put your content in front of their audience.
If you’re a startup or a small business, find micro-influencers, people who aren’t big celebrities, but influential enough to help grow your followers.
Find influencers who are actually relevant to your business’s niche. It’s important for two brands to share some common values in order to develop successful collaborations.
Instagram makes it easy for you to find the right influencer. Search them using hashtags.
Use multiple hashtags that are relevant to your niche to build a list of potential influencers. Instagram displays posts with the highest engagement first, which helps find influencers.
The most challenging part is to get the attention of influencers and engage them. It’s hard because influencers are unique, authentic, and busy. They will only promote brands or products that they truly love. So, you have to make them like and share your content.
Once you develop relationships with influencers, you can cross-promote content and run co-branded marketing campaigns.
Remember, every person you make a relationship with counts, especially on social media.
Related Post: How To Become A Social Media Influencer?
6. Use Photo Editing Apps
The quality of your Instagram posts does matter. A few bad posts might not hurt your reputation on Twitter, but a bad photo on Instagram will.
This doesn’t mean you have to take a photography course to produce high-quality images.
All you have to do is use basic photography tips and photo editing apps.
Most of the photos posted on Instagram were taken from mobile devices.
While some businesses don’t hesitate to use professional photography to create great photos for their posts, it’s okay to use a smartphone.
But don’t forget to edit your photos before sharing them on the platform.
Instagram offers photo editing features, but they’re not powerful enough to make your pictures look great. Before you open your photos on Instagram, edit them using a good app. Here are a couple of great photo editing apps:
Adobe Lightroom Photo Editor
Instasize Photo Editor
Besides, create cohesive Instagram themes across your feed so that new followers can get a feel of your brand.
7. Have A Consistent Theme/Brand
Most Instagram users will follow you for what you’ll post in the future.
They don’t care about the things that you have already shared. So, what will your new followers get if they press the “Follow” button right now?
Having a consistent theme and posting schedule is as important as other strategies.
Your bio and last nine posts will create a first impression. If your content reflects some degree of consistency in terms of filters, layout, colors, and personality, new visitors are likely to follow you.
The layout of your grid is a great way to get creative with your feed while ensuring consistency and rhythm. There are some tools that can help you plan out the look and layout of your feed. It might take some time before you develop your unique style.
Pro Tip: Be yourself and share the content your audience expects from you.
8. Get In Front Of The Right Audience
Regardless of a social media platform, it’s essential to get in front of the right audience. Build a social community to attract a wider audience and expand your visibility on Instagram.
Your presence on Instagram has the power to build a reputation, drive sales, enhance credibility, and increase brand awareness.
Live video, Instagram ads, and giveaways are some of the useful tactics that help brands get more exposure on the platform.
Once you start attracting Instagram users, be sure to have a plan to nurture new relationships. Instagram Stories polls are a great way to keep your followers engaged and entertained.
They not only grab your audience’s attention but also give you a chance to hear directly from your followers.
In addition to answering their questions and concerns, you can go to their pages to understand their needs and priorities. This tactic performs well when the goal is to grow the list of loyal followers.
To perform better in the future, use Instagram Insights to know which of your posts performed well, or shared most.
9. Be True To Yourself, Always
Every time you write, post, respond, launch, write, or interact with others on social media, your actions reflect your brand voice.
To be successful on Instagram, you need to tell authentic stories through your posts. It’s the only way you can stand out and make an impact.
The key is to communicate naturally, whether you have one-on-one conversations or share something with your followers. Instagram Stories and Instagram Live are two valuable features that help brands tell their stories in a fun and authentic way.
The message you send to your audience has an impact on how they choose to interact with you down the road.
Your messaging, therefore, should resonate with your audience so that you build long-lasting relationships. Whatever you put out there on Instagram and other platforms reflects your core values and beliefs.
Pro Tip: Share behind-the-scenes photos of your brand, events, and people.
10. Run Instagram Ads
Sometimes the most effective way to get more followers on Instagram is ads.
While paid search and social media advertising can generate good ROI, today is not the right time to ignore Instagram.
If you’ve already run paid campaigns on Instagram, you’re likely familiar with how paid advertising works on Instagram.
If not, start with the basics to learn how to create Instagram ads in Ads Manager.
Some experts are of the opinion that Instagram ads have higher engagement, but this can cost you.
Since Instagram ads are highly targeted, you could end up spending as high as $5 as cost per thousand impressions (CPM).
However, you can control how your budget is allocated.
In case you’re wondering how much Instagram ads cost, the answer depends on various factors ranging from demographics to ad placement and mobile device you’re targeting.
Get more of your Instagram ads with these tips:
Be smart when picking your objectives
Name your campaigns within the ads manager
Don’t target everyone
Create custom audiences based on pixels placed on your site
Use Instagram Stories ads
11. Optimize For Relevant Hashtags
You wouldn’t be able to grow your followers if you’re not using hashtags properly. Instagram users often get around, clicking from hashtag to hashtag.
When you use irrelevant hashtags like #life and #happiness, you’ll get some exposure but you wouldn’t be able to connect with the right user.
The objective should be to get targeted followers, people who’re likely to care about your brand, or do business with you.
Think of hashtags as a catalog
When you post something, you need to use a relevant hashtag that best describes your content.
For example, if you’re a wildlife photographer and post your picture of White River National Forest, you may use hashtags #picoftheday #animalphotos, #discovertheforest, #whiterivernationalforest.
Anyone interested in wildlife photography or visiting White River National Forest can find your post by using these hashtags.
Here are 3 of the best Instagram hashtags in 2020: #love, #Instagood, #photooftheday.
You can use hashtags specific to your brand, product, location, campaign, event, or anything else to attract a specific audience.
Use hashtag best practices
Your image caption should look clean and simple.
Hashtags often make things look messy and hard to understand. So, use them in a comment, rather than in the actual photo.
The purpose of hashtags is to help users navigate content.
When you use specific hashtags, you have a better chance of getting better engagement. Be specific, but don’t be ultra-specific. So far as the number of hashtags in a comment is concerned, you use up to 30.
12. Set A Posting Schedule
There’s no way you can get more followers if you don’t post anything. So, set a posting schedule and stick to it.
But how many times should you post to get the best results?
Neil Patel, an undisputed marketing guru, recommends to post 1-2 photos or videos, add 5-30 Instagram stories, and 1 live video per day.
There’s a direct relationship between how often you post and how many followers you get. Just make sure you’re consistent in posting great content every day. Tools like Later can automate your Instagram scheduling.
13. Follow At Least 25 New Users Per Day
If you start following your audience, many of them will follow you back.
But you can’t overdo this - there’s a limit to how many people you can follow on Instagram.
You can follow a maximum of 7500 users. You might lose the privilege of following more people in the future if you follow too many of them within a certain time period.
So, what should you do?
It takes only a few minutes to follow 50 users. However, it’s recommended to follow 25 new users per day.
Don’t just follow people, go to their pages, and interact with their content. For example, you can comment on other users’ pages at least 25 times every day.
Tell them to share back their growth with you.
If you’re good at posting and providing value consistently, you’ll start attracting a following.
14. Follow Your Competitors
Following and studying your competition is another best practice for how to get more followers on Instagram.
Take a look at how your competitors are using the platform to grow their followership online.
Learn from it.
Analyzing their accounts will expand your understanding of what your ideal customers want and what type of content they best engage with.
You might come across influencers you haven’t reached out to.
Most importantly, observe which of their posts performed well. This will improve your content creation efforts.
There’s plenty to learn from your competitors, what kind of followers they have, and what kind of content they post.
You have the same target audience as your competitors do. So, feel free to swipe the hashtags they’re using to expand your reach. If a strategy is working for them, you can try it too.
One of the effective ways to steal your competitors’ followers is to let them know that you have what they’re looking for.
15. Run Giveaways & Contests
Running giveaways and contests are great marketing tactics to grow your Instagram following quickly. Give away something free in a contest or giveaway campaign, and people will rush to join it.
But it requires a considerable amount of strategic thinking and planning.
What type of contest will be ideal for you to run on Instagram? How many users can take part in your giveaway? What should be the prize? How will you choose the winner?
What should be the entry criteria? Follow to win? Like to win? Enter your email to win? Answer these questions before launching the contest.
If your target is to get more followers, you can run a contest and ask the potential entrants to follow your account to enter the contest. This will quickly boost your number of followers on the platform.
Offer a prize that is closely aligned with your business to attract relevant audiences. For example, if you run a business coach, your prize can be a motivational book.
Don’t forget to promote your contest on all of your social media platforms and website because your campaign needs as much traction as possible.
16. Follow Trends
Social media and its usage has evolved rapidly over the years.
Instagram is no exception.
New updates and changing Instagram algorithms make it necessary for marketers to stay on their toes.
A technique or tool popular today might go obsolete tomorrow.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest Instagram marketing trends that should be a part of your Instagram marketing strategy in 2020:
Tweets and memes
Instagram Reels, for instance, is an innovative way to create and discover amazing videos.
Keep yourself up to date with the latest trends and features to take full advantage of the platform.
17. Use Geotags
Besides hashtags, tagging your location can also make your content discoverable.
You get more visibility by adding a location to your photos. Every time a user searches for photos taken within an area, your photos will show up.
In fact, your post can receive 79% highway engagement when you tag them with a location.
Instagram offers a list of possible locations to choose from. But you’re free to type in any location you want to.
18. Cross-promote Across Social Media Platform
You can use other social media platforms to promote your Instagram posts.
This could be an annoying experience for your brand loyalists who follow all of your social media accounts. They don't want to see the same content twice or more.
Nonetheless, cross-promotion does make sense in a number of situations.
Try to create unique messages for each social media platform to connect with each platform’s unique user base.
For example, you can promote your Instagram posts across the likes of Twitter and Facebook to improve your reach.
Since each platform comes with its own unique requirements and best practices, make sure to tweak your posts to align them with the nature of social media platforms.
Let’s say you want to share your Instagram photo on Facebook.
While Instagram tends to go heavier on hashtags, you might need to craft a different description for your images posted on Facebook.
But be consistent in terms of brand voice, whatever platforms you’re going to use for this purpose.
19. Use User-Generated Content
User-generated content is any form of content created by people, rather than businesses.
You may use content created and shared by your brand advocates, site visitors, customers, or followers.
This technique can increase your following by 300%.
From greater engagement to more sales, user-generated content can make your life easier.
20. Implement The #R3MAT Method
Sending out the right message at the right time and to the right audience improves the way you find, attract, and warm up new and existing followers. Knowing when to post on Instagram is just one aspect of #R3MAT.
Use data to implement #R3MAT and produce timely content for your audience.
For marketers, there has never been a platform as prolific as Instagram. Any business that puts in the right strategy and efforts can make a big difference on the platform.
Instagram can be a great place for your brand and products and can lead to an expanding stream of revenue.
For more tips on turning this social media platform into a profitable channel, check out our post
But there's plenty of noise which makes it difficult to have your presence felt and get more followers.
Make your life easier. Use these 20 Instagram tips to get new Instagram followers with great ease and speed.
If You Want To Master The Art Of Instagram, Make Sure To Read These Books: