Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms today with over 1 billion monthly users. This, obviously, represents a big opportunity for marketers and brands to tap into this user pool.
However, it is not that easy to build your Instagram presence and gain followers overnight. It is a process that takes time, but with a little help, you can see the results faster. Here are 12 tips for getting more Instagram followers that are genuine and relevant for your brand.
How to Get More (REAL) Instagram Followers in 2021:
- 1. Write a Compelling Bio
- 2. Develop and Maintain a Unique Instagram Brand Personality
- 3. Use Relevant Hashtags
- 4. Create and Promote Your Own Branded Hashtag
- 5. Optimise Your Captions
- 6. Participate in Popular Conversations
- 7. Monitor Your Tagged Photos
- 8. Get Local
- 9. Add CTAs Everywhere
- 10. Leverage Influencers
- 11. Run a Contest
- 12. Invest in Instagram Ads
1. Write a Compelling Bio
The first thing anyone sees when they visit your profile is your bio and therefore it is a crucial part of making the first impression on your audience. You need to write a compelling Instagram bio to encourage people to follow you.
Apart from the basics like adding your contact details and website link, you should also tell your brand’s story in an engaging way. Simply saying what kind of business you have won’t make you stand out. You need to give people a reason to connect with your brand and follow you.
Here’s an example of a good Instagram bio from adventure gear brand, Yeti.
2. Develop and Maintain a Unique Instagram Brand Personality
Your Instagram feed is the next thing that a person who visits your profile will see after your bio. And, the impression that a user gets by looking at your feed is important in determining whether they like your brand or not.
It is also important to maintain consistency in colours, types of posts, tone of voice, etc. as these are what determine your brand’s personality. And, it should be such that if anyone sees your post, they should immediately associate it with your brand.
Here’s an example of a soft drink brand that maintains a clear and distinct brand personality.
3. Use Relevant Hashtags
Using hashtags is a tried and tested way to reach more people and gain more Instagram followers. You need to research which hashtags are trending in your niche and which are relevant for your brand and content. Then use a mix of these hashtags for all your Instagram content to reach people who follow those hashtags.
Also, remember to mix it up a bit and use popular industry-level hashtags, as well as niche ones for which you can actually stand out. Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags for each post and you should utilise this feature to your advantage.
4. Create and Promote Your Own Branded Hashtag
Apart from using popular hashtags, you can also create and promote your own hashtag. This could be specific to your brand or even a particular campaign. Brand-specific hashtags are a good way to improve your Instagram presence and promote your campaigns.
By creating a campaign-specific hashtag, you can also encourage people to use it in their Instagram content. This gets you free user-generated content as well as publicity, which can help you reach more people and get more followers.
Here’s an example of how Dove uses campaign-specific hashtags to generate user content and promote their marketing initiatives.
5. Optimise Your Captions
The captions of your Instagram posts give you a chance to engage your current audience and even encourage them to refer you to their friends. So, why not use that opportunity to your advantage?
There’s a lot that you can do with your Instagram captions like tag people, ask questions, start conversations, etc. The more you encourage your audience to comment, the more likely it is that they will invite their friends to join in on the discussion.
You can also provide discounts or offers and ask your followers to tag their friends and promote that offer. Also, remember to tell the story behind the picture or video that you’re sharing as that will get more engagement.
6. Participate in Popular Conversations
This is the other side of the story to what we mentioned in the previous point. You should not just spark conversations but also participate in them.
If there’s a discussion started by someone in your niche that people are taking an interest in, it would be good for you to comment and join in. Who knows? Some people might be impressed and decide to check out your profile and follow you.
7. Monitor Your Tagged Photos
Maintaining a good reputation is very important if you want to gain and retain more followers. One way to do that is to keep tabs on what kind of posts your brand is getting tagged in. People can see all of the posts that you’re tagged in from your Instagram profile. So, it is important to monitor who’s tagging you and in what type of posts.
To do this you can either use the “edit tags” feature or change the setting so that only the posts that you approve are shown in your tagged posts.
8. Get Local
Just like local SEO for websites, local hashtags and geotagging work for Instagram. You cannot underestimate the value of focussing on the local audience for your business.
Here are two ways in which you can do that.
Geotag Your Posts
By adding geotags to your Instagram content, you can attract local users on Instagram. A lot of people search for local content using Instagram’s search feature and adding geotags can help you rank for those searches. It is similar to local SEO, but for Instagram.
Add locations to your posts and get featured when someone searches for Instagram content using a location search. That way you can attract local people to your profile and get more Instagram followers.
Use Local hashtags
Local hashtags also solve a similar purpose, in that you can reach local people who are interested in a particular niche. A lot of people on Instagram follow local hashtags and by using them you can get access to that audience.
9. Add CTAs Everywhere
Instagram provides several options for you to add calls-to-action in your content and you should utilise all of them. Whether it is a simple “swipe up to know more” on your Stories or “shop now,” CTAs can help you get your audience to take the desired action.
If nothing else, you can add a CTA to your captions by requesting that people share your content, visit your profile, or whatever action you want them to take.
Check out this example of how Staples encourages people to share their content by adding a simple CTA in the caption.
10. Leverage Influencers
Influencers are people with a significant number of followers who are loyal and engaged, a quality that everyone covets in their audience. You can leverage influencers to get access to their loyal followers and convert them into your own followers.
The one important thing to keep in mind is that the influencers should be from your niche and relevant to your brand. As long as those criteria are met, you’re good to go as influencer marketing is a sure-shot way of getting more Instagram followers.
There are numerous ways to use influencer marketing to gain more followers, and that would be well beyond the scope of this article. So, do your research and utilise the power of influencer marketing to broaden your reach.
11. Run a Contest
This might seem like a cheap trick, but it is a tried and tested way to gain Instagram followers. A lot of brands and marketers use this technique and see immediate results.
All you need to do is run a contest and ask people to follow you and tag their friends to participate. And, write your caption in a way that it encourages people to tag only relevant people who might be genuinely interested in your brand.
Below is a perfect example of how these things work and how you can get immediate followers by using this tip.
12. Invest in Instagram Ads
No list of tips to get more Instagram followers is complete without the mention of advertising. After all, it is the traditional way of getting more leads (followers in this case) for companies that are willing to invest in it.
Unlike your posts and Stories, which are visible only to your current audience, Instagram ads are shown to a much broader, relevant audience. You can reach a large number of people of a certain demographic or target segment by investing in ads.
These are some of the best ways to grow your Instagram presence and gain more followers. Use these tips to see visible growth in your Instagram follower base and build a strong presence on the platform.