Getting just a few likes for the effort you put into your Instagram posts can be discouraging. So I’ve written this article which gives you 20 ideas to grow your Instagram followers and encourage them to interact with your posts. Many of the ideas are focused on increasing engagement, but that’s because lasting engagement naturally leads to followers.
Use the strategies below, but keep in mind that there’s no substitute for regularly posting creative, engaging and relevant images that your audience will love.
- Use popular hashtags so your images get found in search. Some include #photooftheday, #love, #tbt, and ones that are known to increase followers are #instafollow, #followback, #FF (follow Friday), #l4l (like for like)
- Make sure your bio is complete. Include relevant keywords, and a link back to your site, or a page that you are promoting e.g. your latest blog post.
- Promote your Instagram account on your other social media pages. Tell people what they can expect once they’re following you (e.g. promotions, behind-the-scenes photos, etc.)
- Share your Instagram account with your mailing list. Put an image from your Instagram into your newsletter with a link to your account.
- Try using the Mayfair filter. Track Maven’s Fortune 500 Instagram Report states that it’s the single most effective filter for marketers.
- Use calls to action by asking them to take further action (e.g. “Let me know what you think in the comments”), and ask questions to encourage engagement.
- Follow your suggested users. Go into your settings and click “Follow and invite friends”, and then “Suggested”.
- Add a location to your posts when applicable. When you do this, others who search that location will see your post come up. This is great for local businesses.
- Engage! All the tips and tricks in the world can’t compete with engaging on Instagram. Be intentional with liking photos and leave thoughtful comments. Find new people to follow regularly and engage with them.
- Some research suggests that photos of things that are blue get 24% more likes than photos that are orange and red.
- Tag people in your photos when relevant. This means those photos will show up in those users’ feeds, and makes it more likely they’ll engage with them.
- Use faces in photos. Dan Zarella found that images with faces received 35% more likes than those without.
- Come up with your own hashtag and encourage your followers to use this. This gets fans to engage with your brand, whilst increasing visibility.
- Follow your Facebook friends on Instagram. Simply go to your settings, “Follow and invite friends”, and then “Contacts”.
- If you’ve been at a live event, upload photos and tag well-known Instagrammers for increased visibility and sharing.
- Use Canva to create beautiful designs and graphics.
- Plan, prepare and then act. As with most things in life, being intentional is your best chance at success. Make a plan for how you’re going to use Instagram, and then create a schedule to keep yourself on track. My social media content calendar may help.
- Post image quotes. Image quotes on social media are a great success. Overlay inspirational, motivational or humourous quotes over your images using Canva.
- Network with Instagram influencers. Search for relevant hashtags and find users with a high amount of followers. Leave comments on their posts and start developing relationships.
- Arrange co-promotions with other users. Find users in a complimentary niche who have a similar follower count and arrange mentions or shout-outs to help build each other’s audience.
These 20 tips will help you build your audience and facilitate lasting engagement with your followers that leads to conversions over time. What’s your best tip for increasing Instagram followers? Share below!