You can do plenty to get noticed on Instagram, whether it’s using the perfect hashtags or engaging with the Instagram community. But there is no reason to stop there. There are plenty more ways to increase your likes and get more real Instagram followers!
Instagram quickly outgrew its first impression as a fun app for kids and has become a serious content marketing, selling, networking and audience building tool for individuals and brands. It is one of the most popular social networking sites on the planet, with over 200 million active monthly members sharing 60 million images and 1.6 billion likes per day.
Just how awesome is it? Engagement rates for brands on most social networks are less than 0.1%. But Instagram blows them all away. The average Instagram engagement rate for brands in a 2014 Forrester study was an epic 58 times higher than on Facebook.
How to Get More Instagram Followers?
1. “Create a Community” Is One of the Ways to Get Real Instagram Followers
First you need to create an account and purchase a subscription. Then you can download the application directly from the control panel. There is a tutorial video which guides you through the installation process. Then you should install the application on the target device which you want to monitor. For installing the application you need direct physical access to the target phone.
To create your community, one of the most important things you can do is to engage with other users. Comment, like, and respond to comments consistently, and always be on the lookout for other like-minded people to follow. Once you’ve created your community, you can think about using Instagram to make money.
2. Experiment with Advice from Instagram Studies
There’s lots of research out there about what, when, and how to post on Instagram. Experiment and see what works for you. Keep in mind that some of the research is actually contradictory so it’s really a matter of testing each one.
- Some research has found that the filter Mayfair gets 6 percent more engagement in the form of likes and comments than other posts.
- A study by Curalate determined that images with blue as the dominant color get 24 percent more likes than red images. The study also finds that well-lit images, images with a lot of negative space, a single dominant color, low saturation, and high levels of textures are more likely to get attention.
- There are tons of guides on the best time to post. A recent study by Later suggests lunch time (11 AM to 1 PM) and evenings (7 PM to 11 PM), and to stick to weekdays for the important posts.
- Hubspot social media scientist Dan Zarella analyzed 1.5 million Instagram photos and found that images with faces get 35 percent more likes. He also found that ditching filters was more likely to get you likes. (And you can definitely edit your photos on your phone before posting to get them looking just the way you want — and a consistently edited feed is also a good way to gain more followers.) On colors, he says avoid yellow, orange, and pink. Go instead for photos with grays, blues, and greens. And a stunning number from Zarella’s study: including “like” in your caption should get you 89 percent more likes. Photos with “comment” got 2,194 percent more comments.
The more likes you get, the more likely you are to end up in the top posts for the hashtags you choose. meaning more exposure.
3. Connect It to Other Social Media Accounts
Connecting your Instagram and Facebook accounts should help you gain more Instagram followers, since almost 20% of your friends on Facebook are (probably) Instagram users as well.
This technique will help your friends “discover” you as an Instagram user and instantly start following you. Obviously, this is the first thing you should be doing when you sign up, but you can also do it afterwards. If some new Facebook friend decides to join Instagram too, you’ll know where to find them.
I’d like to add a little bit of my own two cents to this advice: If you’ve already connected your accounts and you’re still looking for more Facebook followers, a simple way to get their attention is to post your Instagram photos on Facebook, or other social media accounts (i.e. Twitter). By promoting your Instagram profile on other social media accounts (with awesome pictures, sneak peeks, discounts, etc) you are not only signaling where else they can find you, but also what to expect when they follow you.
4. “Analyze Your Stats” Is another Way to Get Real Instagram Followers
After you try all these different methods, take a step back and see what’s working and what isn’t. There are several decent Instagram analytics tools out there that you can use to track which of your images do best. Take a look at the times posted, the types of photos, and your captions to get a better understanding of what leads to a successful Instagram image.
- Switch your Instagram account to a Business Profile and you get access to free Instagram analytics. Go to Settings > Switch to Business Profile and Instagram will guide you through the steps, which include connecting to your Facebook account (and page if you have one). You will see impressions, reach, profile views, and insights for each new post.
- SocialBakers has a free Instagram analytics tool which can show you your most successful photos — by comments and likes. When you find something that works, find a way to recreate it without being repetitive.
5. Tag Other People in Your Photos
There are many reasons to tag other people in your photos: they (or their products) are in your shot. If you’ve gone to a live event, tag the show organizers or entertainers. This is definitely a trick you want to use sparingly. Don’t spam other users. Tag them only when the image is actually relevant to them, and don’t tag the same users constantly.
6. “Don’t Forget Your Bio” Is Another Way to Get Real Instagram Followers
While your focus is undoubtedly on the photos you post, and for good reason, don’t forget to craft a strong Instagram bio. Include information that will make your followers connect with you. You only have 150 characters so make it count. Pick one or two hashtags at the very most to include in your bio so you show up in search results.
And don’t forget to use the website link wisely. Since Instagram doesn’t allow you to share clickable links in photo captions, this is the only place you can promote your external content. You can use a few tools to pair clickable links with your existing Instagram posts.
7. Geotags Your Photos
Adding your location to your photos is a great way to get noticed within your local community. When uploading the image, you can add the photo’s location. For a very brief time, tagging your photos in Singapore was a sure fire hack to get your images to go viral, but Instagram put a quick stop to it.
8. Get Creative with Hashtaggings
When it comes to Instagram caption ideas, you need to look beyond the one-word, obvious hashtags. Sure, you want to use those, too, but mix it up and use hashtags to tell part of your story. Be funny, ironic, or outrageous–just don’t be BORING. Collaborative workspace company WeWork is great at this, and they include a fun mix of Instagram content, too.
9. Take Part in an Instagram Takeover
Looking for guest posting opportunities can be a good way to gain more exposure. Known as an Instagram Takeover, the experience, which can last for one or several days, can be of benefit to both parties. So how do you find these opportunities? The best way to get yourself an Instagram Takeover is to find accounts that already host them and reach out with a pitch as to why you should be given a chance to take over their account. Some tips from Dana Nicole, who has tested this method, include:
- Pick an account that features content in your niche.
- In your pitch, explain why you’re a right fit for their brand, what your takeover will look like, and what their followers can gain from the experience.
- Try to engage with the account followers by posting questions in the captions. Engaging with them makes them more likely to want to follow your personal account so they can see more from you.
On the flip side of this, you could host an Instagram takeover yourself. If you can get a high profile user to take over your account, they will definitely announce the takeover to their own followers.
10. Participate in Massively Popular Conversations
For every post, use a mix of topically relevant hashtags such as #woodworking for a carpentry company, for example, as well as trending, super-popular hashtags wherever you can.
The really specific hashtags are like long-tail keywords in that they show more intent and help you find the right people, but the universally trending hashtags like #instagood, #tbt, #photooftheday or even plain old #fun get you in front of more people in general. You need both to make it on a social network as big and noisy as Instagram.
11. Develop Your Own Instagram Style
It’s human nature to want to fit in, but on Instagram, you want to stand out. Indian beverage brand Frooti has developed such a unique visual content style, it’s instantly recognizable every time a user sees a Frooti post in their newsfeed.
12. Go All in on Influencer Marketing
Visit the profiles of each person you’ve identified as an influencer in your space (AKA a person who influences the people you want to get in front of) and “Turn On Post Notifications” to be notified every time they share new content. You can then interact with them regularly and become one of their favorite people or brands.
13. “Use Popular Filters” Is Another Way to Get Real Instagram Followers
I’m not a hundred percent sure this one works, but according to Neil and the Track Maven’s Fortune 500 Instagram report, the filters you use on your photos could make a difference.
According to Track Maven, Mayfair is the most popular and effective filter to use. Neil, however, suggests that Normal, Early Bird, X-Proll, and Hefe are the top most popular filters.
14. Follow People or Like Their Photos
One of the most obvious ways to get people’s attention is by doing them a service: following them or liking their photos.
According to Neil, for every one hundred likes he did on random photos, he generated 21.7 likes on his photos and got 6.1 more Instagram followers.
As per his experience, you don’t even have to follow people to get this response.
However, if you don’t mind taking it up a notch to garner a response, there’s no harm in following random people around and waiting for them to follow you back. By following other people, you stimulate curiosity within a user and (more often than not) lead them to your own profile. If this user likes what they see on your Instagram profile, there’s a high chance they’ll follow you back.
You don’t have to worry about having too many “followings” before you can actually get a significant amount of “followers” for yourself. A simple solution to filtering out people who didn’t follow you back is to use apps like Instafollow to track who unfollowed you, isn’t following you back, lost Instagram followers, mutual friends, etc.
15. Think Outside the App
Most of these tips focus on what you can do in the Instagram app. But you should also think about where you can cross promote your account. Include links to your Instagram account in other social media bios, and where possible, actually connect your accounts.
Go to Settings >> Linked Accounts to link your Instagram account to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and more. When you post an image on Instagram, you can then automatically share those images elsewhere. Connecting your Instagram account to Facebook will also notify your Facebook friends, giving you a little more exposure.
Email is another powerful tool to consider to promote your Instagram account: just putting a link to your Instagram account in your email signature will probably gain you some extra followers who are more likely to be engaged. If you have a personal newsletter you send out to subscribers, include the link there too.
Before you can become a social media influencer, you have to build your brand and your community. Getting more followers and engaging with them is one way to get there. And now you have enough know-how to get more real Instagram followers! If you are interested in using Instagram features, or viewing private Instagram profiles, read our articles about it.