Do you have to be famous to get a massive Instagram following?
I used to think so…
But then I stumbled across an article by Neil Patel, and realized that the reality is actually very different.
According to Patel, he himself was having a hard time gaining a significant fan following on Instagram.
I mean c’mon it’s Neil Patel!
It was then that he studied and learned how to increase followers and the likelihood of people finding you on Instagram and following you back. I’ve included a few tips from him that I thought really work and added a few of my own that I gathered along the way.
How to get more Instagram followers
So, here’s what you need to do to increase your Instagram followers, leads, likes, or comments:
1. Use popular hashtags and relevant keywords
Hashtags are amazing!
Not only do hashtags categorize content, but they also give your photos higher visibility and a chance to be found. Also, the more popular the hashtag, the higher the chances of gaining a follow back (or at least a like).
If you’re looking for the latest and most popular hashtags, check out Hashtagsforlikes – a tool that allows you to search and analyze trending hashtags in your niche.
You can also use hashtags like #FF (Follow Friday), #instafollow, #followback, #l4l (like for like), and #tagsforlikes that are specifically used for the purpose of gaining likes and followers.
Make sure you include these tags within your photo captions along with relevant keywords. Also, don’t forget geotagging! Geotagging pushes your content to automated pages of those specific locations (and hence increases the chance of people finding you through the location page).
2. Connect it to other social media accounts
This technique will help your friends “discover” you as an Instagram user and instantly start following you. Obviously, this is the first thing you should be doing when you sign up, but you can also do it afterwards. If some new Facebook friend decides to join Instagram too, you’ll know where to find them.
I’d like to add a little bit of my own two cents to this advice: If you’ve already connected your accounts and you’re still looking for more Facebook followers, a simple way to get their attention is to post your Instagram photos on Facebook, or other social media accounts (i.e. Twitter). By promoting your Instagram profile on other social media accounts (with awesome pictures, sneak peeks, discounts, etc) you are not only signaling where else they can find you, but also what to expect when they follow you.
3. Keep an eye out for what works
The popular tab is the best place to start when you’re searching for what gets people’s attention.
Whenever you find something that was insanely popular (without having to be a Kardashian), find out what it was about the photo that made people tick. There’s almost always a pattern you can notice.
For example, the popular tag is full of photos that are beautiful, with bright colors (multiple), strong contrasts, unique perspectives, or pretty ladies. Try to have your own versions of such photos and see what works.
It’s important to note here that Instagram followers tend to love photos that are simply beautiful. You want your images and videos to be aesthetically pleasing and perhaps even artistic. Random, low quality photos of your dog, food, drinks are not going to cut it if you really want to stand out. So,try to be very, very selective when choosing which photos you want to upload.
4. Follow people or like their photos
One of the most obvious ways to get people’s attention is by doing them a service: following them or liking their photos.
According to Neil, for every one hundred likes he did on random photos, he generated 21.7 likes on his photos and got 6.1 more Instagram followers.
As per his experience, you don’t even have to follow people to get this response.
However, if you don’t mind taking it up a notch to garner a response, there’s no harm in following random people around and waiting for them to follow you back. By following other people, you stimulate curiosity within a user and (more often than not) lead them to your own profile. If this user likes what they see on your Instagram profile, there’s a high chance they’ll follow you back.
You don’t have to worry about having too many “followings” before you can actually get a significant amount of “followers” for yourself. Filter out people who didn’t follow you back and unfollow them.
5. Offer discounts, coupons and prizes
If you’re running a business, you have one of simplest ways to gather likes and follows at your disposal.
Nothing attracts likes, comments, and Instagram followers like contests and coupons do!
Offer people a chance to “win” a product or a discount coupon by entering a contest simply by liking your photo or following you. Some of the most successful brands have used this technique to increase their Instagram followers, get more likes and comments, and increase brand visibility.
Check out last year’s best Instagram campaigns for more ideas.
6. Use popular filters
I’m not a hundred percent sure this one works, but according to Neil and the Track Maven’s Fortune 500 Instagram report, the filters you use on your photos could make a difference.
According to Track Maven, Mayfair is the most popular and effective filter to use. Neil, however, suggests that Normal, Early Bird, X-Proll, and Hefe are the top most popular filters.
Closing it out
Lastly, I’d like to add another effective tip that is often overlooked: don’t be spammy! Try not to go overboard with your attempts to gain more Instagram followers and post too frequently, or in ways that annoy people.
Also, use only the most relevant, relatable, and attractive photos to share and maintain your Instagram followers interest. The trick is to get people’s attention first, and then make an effort to maintain it as well.
TIP: If you are too busy to grow your Instagram followers, you can always hire an expert or freelancer on Fiverr.
I hope these tips help you maximize your likes and Instagram followers and create a hit Instagram account! Let me know what you think in the comments.
Guest Author: Sharon Stuart is one among the top expert dissertation writers of Dissertationmall.co.uk who have contributed to many online portals related to education and career development. Get in touch with her on Google+.