In the digital age, the thirst for followers (and elusive likes) is very real. However, outside of our social circles, it can be difficult to add followers in order to promote our brand or simply stroke our egos. That said, there are plenty of easy ways to gain more Instagram followers. You may not garner as many likes as Selena Gomez anytime soon, but these helpful tips should bring your page to a broader audience.
Remember to hashtag
One of the easiest ways to increase your followers is to simply use hashtags. Using popular hashtags will make your photos more accessible to those who utilize the search feature. Lucky for you, we created a list of some of the most popular hashtags, which should make daily hashtag incorporation even easier.
Engagement is crucial to increasing your follower base. While liking images is an easy way to engage users, commenting on photos and responding to others on Instagram adds a little personality to your profile. Be genuine in your interactions, and comment on photos you truly like. Start by looking up photos with hashtags you’re also using to interact with users of similar interests and styles.
Timing is everything
Although Instagram no longer displays posts in chronological order, when you post on Instagram still matters. You should try to post when you know your followers are more likely to be online, such as lunchtime and evenings after people get off work. Instagram’s algorithm looks both at how much and how quickly people engage with your post in order to show it to more people, so it stands to reason that you’ll receive more and faster engagement when more people are online. You can use the Later app to plan and schedule posts for these peak times.
Follow other thirsty folks
Don’t worry, you aren’t the only person out there attempting to unabashedly amass followers. You can easily search for other thirsty Instagrammers using #followforfollow, #followme, and #likeforlike. These individuals may be willing to barter a follow for a follow. However, don’t be surprised if they unfollow you days later — it’s simply part of the game.
Form a pod
In keeping with that last tip, consider forming or joining an Instagram “pod.” Just like pods of dolphins form groups to brutally rule the seas, so too do aspiring Instagram stars form their own secret groups. These cabals work together, liking and commenting on any post one of the members makes. They do this because Instagram’s algorithms favor posts that show a lot of “engagement,” but the algorithm probably can’t tell whether that engagement is authentic. It may seem sleazy, but if you form a pod of like-minded friends around a similar theme — say, you’re all into landscape photography or fashion — the engagement between members can actually be authentic. Do note that this strategy is dependent on Instagram’s algorithm; if the service ever shakes things up, you may have to adapt.
Add a bio
Filling out the bio portion of your account is another easy way to boost your page. For entrepreneurs and artists, this allows you to clearly express your brand message and link to your other professional web pages.
It’s important to utilize your full social network when trying to increase your Instagram following. You can connect your Instagram account to your contacts list and Facebook, which will allow you to quickly add friends, family members, or all those acquaintances you marginally care about.
Similarly, to maximize your existing network, it can be helpful to link to your Instagram page via your other social networks — meaning LinkedIn might actually be good for something after all. Also, if your Instagram page is pertinent to your professional life, it can be helpful to list the account on your business card and website.
With an app based on the visual appeal of images, anything that gives your photos a little extra pop can increase the odds of engagement. Beyond Instagram’s built-in filters and editing controls, there are several other apps to help make your posts stand out. Instagram’s own Layout app (iOS and Android) allows you to create collages, helping your photos stand out in a crowd. VSCO offers a professional set of classic film styles that you can apply to your photos. Adobe Spark Post lets you create collages, add effects and text, and even add animations, with preset templates for various Instagram posts sizes, including stories.
Get descriptive and tell a story with your post
Pictures may be Instagram’s bread and butter, but if you want to amass followers, you’ll want people to feel a deeper engagement with your posts. When you post a picture, add a thorough description, quote, or other information that adds context and builds a narrative they can follow.
It sounds obvious, but people on social media have a tendency to follow the leader — hence the spread of memes and repetitive jokes. If you want to become an Instagram celebrity, though, imitating the style and content of others will only help you so much. Develop a distinct style with your photos, and a distinct voice with your comments, so that when people see your posts, they will instantly recognize them as yours.