Growing a large following on Instagram is no simple feat. You need the right marketing know-how, a good knowledge of your audience, and engaging content to rack up the views. With one billion active users every single month, it pays to have a good strategy that highlights you from the melding crowd.
Luckily, with the growth of the platform itself comes the rise of Instagram “growthhack” tools. These are online services or apps that help you reach your audience goals, while doing most of the heavy lifting.
This way, you’ve got a good chunk of your marketing taken care of, while you shift your much-needed energy towards making quality content for your audience. As you focus on developing your feed, these Instagram “hacks” focus on expanding your follower count.
If you’re looking to build a brand on Instagram, below are some of the best tools to get your audience base started.
Instagram Hack #1: Upleap
Upleap is an online Instagram agency committed to helping brands, artists, and influencers grow their social following on the platform.
By signing up, users are paired with their very own account manager. These virtual assistants are committed to growing your account by targeting profiles that fit your desired audience, engaging with their feeds and stories to get you noticed.
Over time, your account will see a significant growth in real, organic followers who are interested in your content. It’s a great Instagram hack for setting yourself down the road to “influencer” status, while saving time on finding the right audience.
If you’re still not convinced, the service provides a 3-day free trial for you to get a feel of their system.
Instagram Hack #2: Instagrowth
As the name suggests, Instagrowth is a convenient tool for helping you gain thousands of organic followers in your niche – without you needing to lift a finger (except to sign up, perhaps).
The online service works by firstly narrowing down your optimum Instagram audiences. They then follow, like, and comment on these profiles on a mass scale, getting your account seen by people within your niche.
Because 30-40% of people you follow, follow you back – this system racks up your follower count by the hundreds. Their 24/7 interactions area also effective for building an active presence in these communities, getting your content seen and thus, increasing your chances of getting followed.
And because no one likes meaningless, bot-like comments, Instagrowth ensures that each of its messages are 100% customized to the user it interacts with. They also “clean up” your account by unfollowing unengaged accounts every day, keeping your online relationships authentic.
Instagram Hack #3: Kenji
While Instagram users don’t take too kindly to bot interactions, these guys are incredibly useful as a behind-the-scenes growth hack.
Kenji is an incredibly powerful tool for helping you cultivate your perfect target audience. For newbies on the platform who are stumped on finding their ideal market, Kenji’s got your back.
Using your niche hashtags, the service finds you relevant followers who seek the same trends and content. Depending on your needs, it can also zero in on potential followers within a certain location.
Kenji uses data from popular accounts in your community, targeting their audience base and driving more people of similar interests to your feed.
The entire process is a great hack for organic Instagram growth, boosting your engagement rates over time. Those interested can get started with a free trial on any device.
Instagram Hack #4: Instagram Ads
Taking a break from some of the net’s best online tools, Instagram’s ads are also a great way to “hack” your growth – and it’s a feature already available on the platform.
The way these ads work is simple: the platform takes your photo or video and displays it on the feeds of targeted, potential audiences as a “sponsored post”.
To make the most of this strategy, look through your previous posts and take note of those with the highest organic engagement. Select a post that you’d like to use as an ad, and hit the blue “Promote” button.
The apps then asks you to fill out your preferences, including your call-to-action, budget, and target audiences. This request is then sent for review under Instagram’s guidelines. Once approved, your ad is ready to go!
By repurposing an already popular post as an Instagram ad, you’re reaching further audiences with content they already like. In turn, these eyes will hopefully convert into new loyal followers, boosting your Instagram growth.
Instagram Hack #5: Later
While not exactly a magical tool for immediate Instagram growth, Later provides Instagrammers with another strategy maintaining a consistent online presence: third-party scheduling.
Those busy with building an online business don’t always have the time to manually inject content into their feed. Fortunately, Later saves these users the hassle by providing platform where Instagrammers can visually plan and schedule their future Instagram posts.
Through a drag-and-drop user interface, users can simply upload their content onto Later’s media library, and schedule each piece onto the Instagram calendar provided. All they need to do is crop the photo, add a caption, and select whether they’d like to automatically publish the post or receive a prior mobile notification.
The tool also allows users to save frequently-used hashtags, add links, and bulk-schedule posts.
But how exactly is this an Instagram hack for boosting your growth?
Studies have shown that posting more leads to increased exposure, engagement, and thus, more followers. It’s important for users to keep to a consistent posting schedule, as sudden trails in activity can lead to engagement decline. Less engagement, coupled with less quality content to keep your followers interested, can lead to a gradual fall in audience numbers.
By pre-scheduling your content with third-party apps like Later, you’re ensuring your account maintains an active online presence. Keeping yourself in the Instagram spotlight gets more eyes on your brand, leading to higher profile growth in the long run. It’s not exactly a “hack” – but a mandatory strategy to keep your account visible and relevant in the community.
Instagram Hack #6: Iconosquare
Like Later’s third-party scheduler, Iconosquare isn’t so much a shortcut for getting new, instantaneous followers – but rather an online tool for helping users optimize their marketing strategy.
As we all know, with a good marketing strategy comes greater engagement, leading to higher follower counts.
Iconosquare analyzes the data from your Instagram account and displays information on when your followers are most active, helping you post at times of the day your content can perform best. You’ll also discover the best performing hashtags in your niche that’ll help further extend your audience reach.
Another important feature provided is Iconosquare’s ability to do competitor analysis. This is helpful in finding popular accounts within your genre that engage with the type of audiences you do. By analyzing their Instagram strategy, you can implement some of their tried-and-tested tactics to get discovered by untapped audiences.
While it isn’t a quick trick to gain followers overnight, it’s a convenient tool for behind-the-scenes insights that can help improve your Instagram marketing. Maintaining a savviness for the platform and knowing your way around the ever-changing algorithm will ultimately pay off in the long-term, helping a loyal fanbase grow in the most authentic, organic way possible.
Instagram Hack #7: Engagement Groups
Engagement groups aren’t the most well-known practice in Instagram. This is because they are, in fact, exclusive groups that require a personal message (and perhaps even an entrance fee!) to be added into.
They’re initially tricky to find, but once a part of one, a user can experience significantly higher rates of engagement – and thus, the potential for more followers.
Engagement groups (or engagement “pods”) work by ensuring that everyone in the group comments or likes on the content posted by all other members, in exchange for their posts getting liked or commented on, as well.
This sudden burst of engagement within the first few hours of a post’s lifespan signals the Instagram algorithm to rank them as “top”, notable content. Once they get onto the top ranks of the app’s “Discover” feed, this results in even more organic engagement and followers.
These groups are a little-known, yet effective secret of the platform as they’re essentially an algorithm hack for quick, easy Instagram growth. However, there isn’t a 100% guarantee that Instagram won’t notice any “shady” activity taking place. The system doesn’t take too well to users who try and cheat the algorithm, so it’s best to be wary with these practices, lest your account gets shadowbanned.
Instagram Hack #8: Visative
Visative is another Instagram service that takes the reigns on your community engagement, helping you grow in organic followers by the month.
By signing up to the service, users are given a virtual social media manager that narrows down their optimum target audience, interacting with their posts to improve your account visibility.
This service also places a great importance on the power of Instagram hashtags. By extracting all the relevant hashtags related to your target audience (accumulating over 180), Visative ranks them by competition and discoverability, ensuring you have only the most effective tags on your content. All that’s left is to copy and paste the hashtags you’re given!
By carrying out real engagement with real people in your niche, your account is set to grow organically over time. The service doesn’t promise a concrete set of followers gained each month, as these are dependent on content and niche.
However, clients are expected to see about 1,000 to 3,000 new followers – all real and eager to support your content.
Instagram Hack #9: Magisto
Fun fact: a 2019 study released by Hubspot and Mention analysed nearly 50 million posts from over 300,000 users – among other statistics, their data revealed that video posts received double the amount of engagement from other post types.
This goes to show how important optimizing Instagram video can be for budding new users. If you want to grow your following successfully, it’s important to incorporate some video content into your feed or Stories.
But because videos involve a tad more effort to create than the image post, going about video content can be intimidating for those new to the media.
Fortunately, Magisto is an A.I. video marketing tool that helps you create eye-catching, emotive Instagram videos in minutes.
Once you upload your images and video clips onto the platform, their automated video-editing software analyses the media given and tells your story through video in the best way possible. True to its name, Magisto works its auto-video magic in using the best clips, transitions, and audio to get your message across.
Your final movie will even have professional effects added to create more unique experience for the viewer, including zoom-ins, panning, volume and speech control, and more.
It’s an innovative, convenient option for any content creator on Instagram. You’ll save plenty of time while still ending up with a quality video that’s bound to boost engagement.
Instagram Hack #10: Ampfluence
For brands and influencers who want to focus their energy on creating great content, the Ampfluence agency takes over your account and does all the heavy marketing lifting for you.
Users who sign up undergo a detailed consultation process in which their experts determine all they need to know about your online goals and target audience. Taking your objective into account, they then set to work by maintaining consistent social engagement with your market, growing your visibility and connections on the platform.
Because their service is 100% human-powered, this ensures that the followers you accumulate are 100% organic. Their experts also help track your progress and will even schedule and create some of your posts for you – for an additional charge, that is.
It’s an easy option for a speedy growth in followers, albeit for a hefty $199 a month. However, the price tag may be worth for brands seeking an immediate rise in engagement and awareness on the platform.
Ready to hack your Instagram growth?
Keeping up a consistent schedule of quality content and maintaining regular interactions with your audience is always the ultimate way to garner authentic, genuine followers who support your mission.
However, sometimes Instagrammers want to focus on what they know best: content creation. Because marketing plays an incredibly vital role in growing your account, it can be taxing to juggle both responsibilities.
This is where third-party services and apps come into play. Thanks to tools like Kenji, Upleap, and the others listed above, users can sit back and let experts handle their Instagram growth, as they direct their energy towards creating more valuable content.
So save your time, energy, and research – and put these Instagram hacks to work.