Genuine Ways to Get More Instagram Followers

Let’s be honest. Deep down we’d all love to get more Instagram followers. We know that it’s really just a vanity measure, and the number of followers you have is not a true guide to your influence. Yet, to many people, it seems like the more followers you have, the more status you attain. 

It is easy to be tempted by those ads promising to send you a set number of followers for a relatively small price. But, as we’ve explained previously, buying Instagram followers is a really bad idea. It is far better to use genuine ways to get more Instagram followers. It may take longer than buying fake followers, but your earned followers will make much better followers and you don’t risk damaging your account and reputation.

The following ideas are in many ways a package. Sure, you may gain a few followers from implementing any one of the following ideas, but you will get the best results by trying out everything on the list. You need to have a clear plan on how you are going to increase your Instagram followers and expand your account’s popularity.

Genuine Ways to Get More Instagram Followers:

  1. Create an Optimized Bio

Your bio is very important. It is often the first impression that people have of you. More importantly, it contains the only clickable link you can use (with a couple of exceptions in Stories and shopping posts). Treat it like prime real estate.

One of the biggest marketing crimes that businesses do is to use their bio to link to the home page of their website. A website home page is a general page that people find when they choose to go directly to your site. It usually features multiple links and can take your visitors to virtually anywhere on the site. You want to be more strategic than that. It is far better to create a dedicated landing page, solely designed for visitors to your site from Instagram. You can adapt the look of this page to show whatever message you want at any time.

  1. Decide on a Consistent Look and Feel for Your Page

The best Instagram accounts have a distinct look and feel. Their profile page and every image shared have a similar style. It may be the use of pastel hues – or bright colors. It may be the use of your logo. It could be that you use designs by the same artist, or perhaps photos of a certain type. You could use the same filter every time you share an Instagram Story.

Source: Hopper HQ

Your aim is to create a unique visual style, making it obvious to your followers that a post is yours when they glance it in their feed. You could perhaps share images of behind-the-scenes at your firm, perhaps video clips of the making of your product, or images showing your staff at work. You could focus your posts showcasing the lifestyle your customers aspire to have. You could turn your posts around and showcase the achievements of your customers.

Whatever you choose as your look, make certain that you remain consistent across all your posts.

  1. Use Popular, but Relevant Hashtags

Hashtags are important on Instagram for expanding the number of people who find your posts. Quite a few Instagrammers search for content on topics of their choice by searching for posts that use a particular hashtag. The more people who search for a hashtag, the greater the chance that they will encounter your post, and like it sufficiently to want to follow you.

Don’t restrict yourself to the boring obvious hashtags, either. Use some lateral thinking. You want to appear in the feeds for as many relevant hashtags as possible – the emphasis being on “relevant”. Think about interesting hashtag terms that are sufficiently close to the topic of your post that searchers will stop and look at your creation.

You need to use a mix of long-tale ultra-specific tags that will only attract a small number of searchers (but for who you have produced the ideal content), and mass, universally trending hashtags that may only be peripherally related to your organization (but which will result in many people seeing your post).

Another common use of a hashtag is to create a dedicated hashtag for your campaigns. You can promote its use virtually anywhere – even on roadside billboards if you like. If you work with influencers encourage them to use your dedicated hashtag on each post in their campaign. You can also tie it in with competitions and giveaways, to link all the entries. Encourage all your stakeholders to use the custom hashtag – you can even print it on your till receipts and use it in your radio advertising.

  1. Define Your Target Audience and Engage with Them

A crucial part of your Instagram account strategy is to know precisely the types of people you wish to focus on. You need to define a target audience for your posts. There is little point following every Instagram account you encounter, in the hope that they will follow you back. Not every follower is of equal value to you. 

Ideally, the types of people who follow you on Instagram should match the target customers for your product. You need to design your bio and then make posts that interest that type of person.

Think about their key demographics – their age, sex, where they live, the types of jobs they do, the ways they use Instagram and the problems which you are hoping to solve with your products. You could even draw up personas of your ideal customers – who will, in turn, be the types of people you try to attract as Instagram followers.

  1. Follow the Important Accounts in Your Niche

Visit the profiles of all the important people in your niche, follow them, and turn on post notifications. These are usually the true influencers in your market sector. 

Whenever you get the chance to interact with these people. You want them to ultimately think of you as one of their favorite brands. That doesn’t mean spamming them with bland “nice post” comments. You need to participate in intelligent, thought-provoking conversations with them.

  1. Use Thoughtful Calls to Action

Any marketer will tell you the importance of Calls to Action. Infeed, many content marketers test a range of Calls to Action to determine which works best for their audience. This is no different for Instagram than it is for any other marketing means. 

You want your Call to Action to clearly tell people what you want them to do while keeping things interesting. While saying “Click Here” may be specific, it isn’t particularly effective, as it doesn’t give any indication of why they should bother. You can often use your Call to Action to encourage people to share your posts.

  1. Host Competitions and Giveaways

People like a good competition or giveaway. You can combine a competition with your custom hashtag to add to the engagement.  Engagement grows even further if you structure competitions to encourage user-generated content. For example, you could ask people to photograph themselves using your product in some creative way or some exotic location. You could even issue a challenge, which if it takes off could boost your follower numbers dramatically.

You can also reach a wider audience if you partner with another account for your competition. This can be a win-win if people follow both accounts.

  1. Share Engaging Content

When it comes down to it, the most important of all the thugs you can do is to create interesting posts. There is little point sharing posts that interest nobody. Too many firms share ads for their products, but few people are going to take an interest in your self-indulgent advertising posts.

You want people to follow you because they believe that you offer them something valuable. It doesn’t really matter what sector you are in; you still need to find content that will interest people enough for them to want to follow you. Even firms in boring industries can make posts that will help their followers. If you’re an accountant, you can share posts showing people how they can handle their taxes. Landscapers can share videos showing people how to care for their lawns. All takes is careful thought as to what topics will interest and engage your target audience.

  1. Create Posts Feature Accounts Will Want to Share

One way your account can become visible to many people is if you can encourage a feature account to pick up and share your content. Feature accounts are popular accounts that curate other people’s content. You can do this my adding suitable hashtags or tags to your posts.

There are feature accounts in virtually every niche. Instagram itself runs a Weekly Hashtag Project feature account which has many followers, who may take an interest in your post and then follow you.

  1. Tag Your Location

Some businesses sell to a set local market. If being local is important to the successful operation of your business, remember to also feature it in your Instagram posts.

If you target a specific area or neighborhood in your ads, make sure to geotag your Instagram posts, to emphasize to your followers where you base yourself. 

  1. Don’t Ignore Your Captions

Sure, most people who look at your posts are interested in the images or video clips you share. However, the caption is very important too. As good as modern image recognition programs are, it is still important to have good captions for search purposes.

Also, some people take a real interest in what you write in your captions. You can use them to tell the story of your images/videos. 

  1. Adjust Settings so You Must Approve Tagged Images

It’s usually a good idea to encourage your followers and fans to share content about your business. However, you still want to keep some degree of control over this content. Not everybody plays nicely. You don’t want to have to go into damage control because somebody has posted nasty images about your business, tagging you for everybody to see.

You can easily solve this problem by going into your Instagram options, selecting “Edit Tags: and removing those you want to remove. You can select “Hide from Profile” and those posts will no longer show up for people searching for your tag.

You can have even greater control by altering the setting to require you to approve any tagged photos before they can appear on your profile. (Options- Photos of You – Add Manually).

  1. Cross-Promote with Similar Accounts

You want as many relevant people to find and follow you on Instagram. You can help this process by promoting your Instagram account on your other social networks, your website, emails, and indeed anywhere you have access to direct people to your Instagram account. This is particularly important if you already have a sizable following on another social network. Leverage those people to increase your Instagram numbers.

  1. Use Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories has become one of the biggest success stories of Instagram in recent times. They may have been “borrowed” from Snapchat, but they are now substantially more popular than the channel from which they originated. If you use Instagram Stories like an expert you can generate interest in your account, and people who want to see more will opt to follow you. 

Instagram Stories has another advantage over normal Instagram posts. You can add a link to a Story that people can access by swiping up.

Those who take interest in Instagram Stories tend to be more engaged than the average Instagrammer, which is an added bonus as you acquire them as followers.

About the Author
With over 15 years in content marketing, Werner founded Influencer Marketing Hub in 2016. He successfully grew the platform to attract 5 million monthly visitors, making it a key site for brand marketers globally. His efforts led to the company's acquisition in 2020. Additionally, Werner's expertise has been recognized by major marketing and tech publications, including Forbes, TechCrunch, BBC and Wired.