With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms today. Gaining followers on Instagram can seem like a daunting task, but there are several effective strategies you can use to grow your audience organically. Here are 15 proven ways to get more Instagram followers:
1. Post High-Quality, Engaging Content
Posting compelling content is key to gaining followers on Instagram. Ensure your photos and videos are high-quality and relevant to your niche. Use captions that encourage engagement through questions, polls, or prompts. Post consistently and use relevant hashtags so your content is discoverable. High-quality content that engages users will organically attract an audience.
2. Leverage Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories have 500 million daily active users. Leverage this popular feature by sharing unique photos and videos that give followers a behind-the-scenes look at your brand. You can also use interactive elements like polls, quizzes, and Q&As to engage your audience. Posting daily Instagram Stories makes your brand more discoverable and humanizes your profile.
3. Go Live on Instagram
Broadcasting live video on Instagram is an highly engaging way to connect with your audience in real time. It gives followers a spontaneous look at your brand. Announce your broadcasts ahead of time to drive tune-in. During the broadcast, interact with viewers by responding to comments and questions. Live video creates excitement and helps attract new followers.
Using targeted hashtags makes it easier for users interested in your niche to find your content. Identify relevant hashtags with high search volume but low competition. For example, instead of just #food, use #comfortfood or #homecooking. Mix top hashtags with several niche ones in each post to expand your reach. But don’t overdo it, 8-12 hashtags per post is ideal.
5. Run User-Generated Content Campaigns
User-generated content campaigns encourage your audience to create branded content and share it. For example, you can invite people to post photos of themselves using your product with a custom hashtag. Featuring user photos on your account will motivate people to continue creating UGC in hopes of being featured. This content also adds variety to your grid while showing social proof.
6. Collaborate With Micro-Influencers
Micro-influencers in your industry with 1,000 – 100,000 engaged followers can help increase your brand’s visibility. Identify relevant micro-influencers and collaborate on giveaways or branded content campaigns. This introduces you to their engaged audience, helping you gain new followers. Make sure to only work with influencers whose audience aligns with yours.
7. Host Giveaways and Contests
Giveaways and contests create excitement around your brand. Require entrants to follow you and tag friends to increase reach. Contests with user-generated content requirements, like posting a photo with your product, also spur organic content creation. Announce the giveaway across your social channels and have influencers help promote it for maximum impact.
Using geotags and location tags helps users in specific areas discover your brand. If you have a physical location, tag its location in your posts. This puts your content in front of local users. You can also use other local geotags related to your niche to increase local discovery. Location tags allow you to geo-target your content.
9. Post at Optimal Times
Analyze when your followers are most active on Instagram and schedule content for those high-traffic times. Typically Wednesday around 11 AM, Friday afternoon, and Sunday evenings tend to see high engagement. Test different posting times and analyze your analytics to determine when your audience is most responsive. Time your content for when they’re most likely to see and interact with it.
10. Engage With Your Audience
Reply to comments, like photos, and interact with followers regularly. Ask questions to spark conversation. This level of engagement shows existing followers you value them while humanizing your brand to attract new followers. Make engaging a priority, setting aside time each day to like content from your niche and respond to your followers.
11. Promote Your Instagram Across Channels
Don’t just rely on discovery via hashtags and the explore page. Promote your Instagram profile across your other social channels, website, email newsletter, and anywhere else you reach your audience. This drives existing contacts to follow you on Instagram, increasing your followers. Add Instagram follow buttons to your website and emails to facilitate cross-promotion.
12. Run Instagram Ads
Once you build engagement and have high-quality content, invest in Instagram ads. You can create highly targeted ads to promote your posts, Stories, profile and more to very specific demographics and interests. Ads also help content get discovered beyond just your current followers. Start small to test them out and create effective ads that convert.
13. Partner With Brands in Your Niche
Find complementary but non-competing brands in your industry and propose creative partnership opportunities. For example, co-create content like an educational guide or engage in cross-promotion through giveaways, takeovers, and posts. This exposes each brand’s audience to new, relevant content and accounts to follow.
14. Make Your Bio Link-Worthy
Your Instagram bio only allows one active link. But you can optimize it to drive clicks. Refresh the link regularly to promote new content from your blog, popular products, lead magnets, or important campaigns. Intriguing links entice visitors to click and check out your site.
15. Analyze Your Performance
Use Instagram Insights to analyze your audience growth, engagement, and content analytics. See when your followers are online, which posts resonate, and your top traffic sources. Use this data to inform your strategy. Define key metrics and optimize your approach to continually improve it. Measure progress over time.
Gaining Instagram followers takes time, consistency, and strategy. But leveraging these organic methods can help you build an engaged audience that grows your brand’s reach and visibility over time. What strategies have you found most effective for getting more Instagram followers?