How To Build An Instagram Following Tip #1: Consistency
Consistency In Frequency Of Instagram Posting
If you are interested in building up your Instagram following, consistency is KEY.
You could adhere to all the following tips perfectly, but if you are not posting to your Instagram feed on a regular basis your followers will lose interest. Without a regular stream of quality content your account is unlikely to be followed. On the chance that you do get new followers, the retention rate will be low and you’ll likely get the axe as people try to clean up their follow lists.
Without a consistent stream of (hopefully) quality content, you become forgettable in a sea of more active social media accounts.
So how often is often enough?
Generally speaking, you should aim to post something to your feed at least once a day. Don’t forget about your Stories, either. As we’ll discuss later on, Instagram Stories are a great way to engage your audience and increase your following. Make sure your Instagram Stories are getting consistent TLC as well.
Consistency In Style Of Instagram Posts
Have you ever been scrolling aimlessly through your feed, skipping past all the fluff, and then BAM, an image of one of your favorite accounts catches your eye?
Why did it catch your eye? How did you know in that split second that you wanted to reverse your scroll and look at the post more intentionally?
Chances are, the answer to that is style.
Whatever the account is, they have a recognizable style that is pleasing and invites you to engage. It makes you excited when you see it pop up in your feed or stories, right? That, my friends, is gold when it comes to building a following.
Let’s say an Instagram user is scrolling through the Explore page or checking out a hashtag and one of your images catches their eye. They click on it, like what it has to offer, and then go to your account to see if there’s anything else of interest there.
But, womp womp, they look at your feed layout to see that it’s a bizarre hodgepodge of random, unrelated images and topics with no aesthetic appeal and spotty posts over time.
Unless that first post that caught their eye was REALLY amazing, they will most likely not click the “Follow” button and move on their way.
But let’s say that they glance at your feed and see a beautiful and carefully curated layout with consistent image quality, related topics, and an aesthetically pleasing color scheme or filter selection that tickles their fancy.
Without having to go through and examine your content, they can see that you are an Instagrammer dedicated to producing quality content — content that they want!
Users will be far more likely to follow you, and if you’re posting good content on a consistent basis, they will keep following you! Yay!
Just like everything else in life, first impressions really matter, so make yours count!
How To Build An Instagram Following Tip #2: Post At The Right Time
Did you know that it’s not always what you post, but when you post?
Certain days of the week and times of day are more likely to get good engagement than others. You don’t want to go to all the work of creating a really excellent post, only to not get the optimum number of eyes on it.
There’s a couple different ways to target when you should post.
The most basic (and free) way to glean insight is to use Instagram Analytics for Business accounts. (You do need to have a business account with Instagram to use this.) This is found by going to your account page and clicking on the three lines in the upper right-hand corner. You can then click on “Insights” which will give you a summary of activity from your followers, including the times they are most active on any given day of the week.
If you’re looking for something a little more robust, you can use a service such as IconoSquare to track the optimization of your past posts. Analytic tools such as this can help you see when your audience is most engaged. This will allow you to formulate a plan for future posts so you can get as many eyes as possible on your beautiful handiwork.
How To Build An Instagram Following Tip #3: Poach Followers From Your Competitors
Sometimes the followers don’t come to you as quickly as you’d hope. So instead, go find them!
However, you don’t necessarily want to head onto Instagram willy-nilly in hopes of following a bunch of people so they’ll follow you back.. This is an instance where we need to keep in mind quality over quantity.
The good news is that it’s relatively easy to find Instagram users that have the potential to turn into high quality, engaged followers. You just need to know where to look for them.
So what’s the secret?
Shamelessly steal them from your competitors!
Instagram users who follow your competitors are the best place to look for new followers. You already know they have an interest in the type of content you’re offering. This makes them more likely to be quality, engaged followers that stick around, rather than flighty “follow-for-follow” type arrangements.
To recruit new followers, check out the follower lists from some of your competitors. Find accounts that look interesting to you, and then engage with them. However, the important thing is quality engagement. The more engagement you provide, the more likely they are to turn around and follow you.
For example, simply following an account is good and will sometimes yield results, but sometimes it won’t. A follow AND a like is better. But for the very best results, a follow plus a like plus a good comment will be the most likely to recruit a new follower.
Make this practice a regular part of your Instagram routine and you’ll be able to see a return on your time investment.
Likewise, regularly engaging with your Instagram followers will help ensure that they stick around so that you keep growing in the right direction.
How To Build An Instagram Following Tip #4: Host A Giveaway
Fact: Everyone loves free stuff.
So if you offer the chance to win good free stuff on your Instagram account in exchange for a follow, you will see a good bump in your follower numbers. It’s just science.
There’s a few different options for hosting a giveaway. You could offer a product you provide – such as something from your clothing line or an original painting. You can also giveaway services you offer – such as a photography session or car detail service. Additionally, there’s the option of partnering with a brand to give away one of their products in a sponsored post. If you’ve got something awesome to give away, people will notice.
However, there are some techniques to making a successful Instagram giveaway:
- Carefully select the item/service you are giving away. You want to make sure it’s enticing enough that people will really want it, but you don’t want it to hurt your financial situation either.
- Choose the method for entering the contest. Remember the goal is to gain more followers, so you want your current followers to invite others to follow you. Generally, something along the lines of “follow X account and tag three friends” is a great start. Keep in mind that if it’s too complicated it will deter people from entering, so think simple.
- Determine a length of time for your giveaway contest. One day is too short, since you’ll have a limited audience to see it and enter in that timeframe. Usually 5-7 days is a good period of time.
- Create an eye-catching post to let people know. Launching an Instagram giveaway is exciting! You want your audience to feel excited about it too. Something colorful that clearly explains the contest parameters will do the trick. You can add it to your Stories as well. Don’t forget follow-up posts during the open entry time to remind people to enter!
- Pick a winner! When your giveaway contest has ended, tally up your entries and pick a winner based on the criteria you outlined previously. There are online random name-picking tools that can aid in the process.
How To Build An Instagram Following Tip #5: Use Stories To Engage Your Audience
Sometimes it’s hard to create daily, meaningful, interesting posts for your Instagram feed. However, disappearing from Instagram for long periods of time will hurt your follower numbers.
Regularly utilizing your Instagram Stories is a fantastic way to stay in front of your followers and maintain your follower base. Stories show up at the top of the feed, making it relatively easy to be spotted. Stories also show up at the top of the Explore page, enticing potential new followers.
Another bonus to using Instagram Stories is that there is more opportunity for engagement: polls, questions, gifs, stickers, music….there’s so many fun ways to engage with your audience and make people want to stick around.
Additionally, just like with your feed, you can use hashtags and geotags in your Stories to make your posts more discoverable. Read on to the next section to learn more about how this works.
How To Build An Instagram Following Tip #6: Use Effective Geotags And Hashtags
How To Use Hashtags To Grow Your Instagram Following
Hashtags are more than just a way to add a little wit or explanation to your Instagram post. They are a valuable tool that will help you connect with potential followers.
Instagram will allow you to use up to 30 hashtags per post. Research shows that using a minimum of 11 hashtags per post can bring up to 442% MORE engagement on a post compared to using none at all!
There is a strategy behind effectively using hashtags, which can get rather complex. Here are a few ways to get started:
- You can use hashtags in either the caption or a comment.
- Use the right hashtags! Make sure they are relevant to what you are offering. You can use a free tool such as Webstagram to help you narrow down related hashtags.
- Use the most popular Instagram hashtags sparingly so that your posts don’t get lost in a sea of images. You’ll want to stay up-to-date on what the trending hashtags are.
- Stay away from banned hashtags! Did you even know there were banned hashtags? It’s true. Using them can limit who sees your posts. Much like the most popular hashtags, make sure you’re staying current on the latest banned tags because they do change. (And many of them are ones you’d never expect!)
- Keep track of which hashtags you are using and which posts get the most engagement, and adjust accordingly.
How To Use Geotags To Grow Your Instagram Following
Geotags are very similar to hashtags. They make your post discoverable when you tag your location. It could be as general as a city or as specific as a particular venue.
How does this help build a following?
Geotags are most useful for local businesses who regularly post to these feeds. It makes it easy for business users to engage with other Instagram users in the area, potentially turning them into customers.
How To Build An Instagram Following Tip #7: Hire A Professional
While the above recommendations are things that anyone can do, there’s a chance that you’d rather leave it in the hands of a professional. Maybe you need more time to tend to your Bonsai trees. Maybe you’re allergic to your phone.
Whatever the reason, the good news is that there is help!
Kenji is an artificial intelligence Instagram bot that can quickly and easily help you build your Instagram following. The beauty of a bot is that it works 24/7 just for you to help you achieve your goals.
If you’re looking for a more personal touch, companies such as Upleap have the expertise to make building a large and engaged Instagram following a breeze. Their experts will do all the legwork, allowing you to spend your precious time elsewhere.
Whatever your course of action, when it comes to building up your Instagram following there’s a variety of options to get you on the path to success.