How to grow your Instagram Followers in 2019

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If you’re reading this, you’re wondering – how to gain more followers on Instagram? You’re also wondering if it’s possible to gain more followers on Instagram and you might have read more than just a few posts about the same. Some old, some new and almost all of those telling you the same things. However, I promise when you finish reading this, you will have more actionable ideas to up your Instagram game!

So here are 5 things you should do to gain more Instagram followers

1. Post when you’re active

Instagram works differently as compared to the other Social networks. If you’ve tried understanding the Instagram algorithm, how it works and how to work with it to keep growing, you know that your posts need to get good engagement early on and you need to respond to the comments as soon as you can. So, what’s the best way to do it? It’s to post when you’re active and around.

Here’s what you should do

1. Post on your feed. A nice image, a caption and the right hashtags to go with it.
2. Search for one of the hashtags you used in the explore section.
3. Like and leave genuine comments wherever you can.
4. Keep replying to ALL the comments on your post.

This routine will help you grow faster than anything else. Don’t trust me? Try it for yourself.

IBM shows how to show timely love!

2. Leverage the power of Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are HUGE and they’re here to stay! So, if you haven’t jumped on the Stories bandwagon yet I’d suggest you do it right away. As a brand, you might have to think a bit and strategize your daily stories but start with a simple hi, add some GIFs and stickers and start posting.

Instagram stories are a great way to give your audience a peek into what goes on behind the scenes, how you do what you do and not to mention, they also take personal interaction up by a notch. For B2B companies, stories could help you talk about your clients, the events and a lot more that happens. The idea is to keep your stories raw and real, people dig that kind of stuff. And most importantly, be consistent. Strategize!

Instagram has a tonne of stickers to help you create a variety of content. So much that it deserves a blog post of its own. You can host quizzes, take survey polls, engage with your audience by asking them questions and what not!

Not just that, you can also be featured on the Explore tab if you use your location or a popular hashtag! Wait…what??? Yes! That’s possible.

Additionally, always make it a point to add the right stories to your highlights. This will help your potential followers, who land up on your account, get to know you better!

Love how Dribble uses colours and GIFs in their stories to make them attractive!

Look at those Stories highlights by Mailchimp, now who can ignore those!

So the idea is to not use stories sloppily but to really leverage them to your advantage.

With the power of Stories, you can even beat the Instagram algorithm by increasing interaction with your audience. And you know what does that mean? It means higher reach, more likes, comments and new followers! Oh, the sweet fruits of hard work!

3. Be authentic

An Instagram expert might tell you that your feed needs more authenticity while the other might tell you that there’s no such thing called authenticity on Instagram. It’s up to you to believe whichever you wish to. However, here are a few things

Time has changed and even if cohesive, beautiful timelines look great, it has become really simple to create those. The latte arts, the perfect coffee mug, the flowers in the backdrop and almost similar pictures are now becoming a bit boring. The world wants to see more real, raw and unfiltered photos. Also, if you’re a B2B company, it might not be possible to have pretty pictures ALL THE TIME. And let’s face it, images with no context are pointless.

Post pictures that speak about you, pictures that mean something to you and your business, the picture that isn’t heavily edited. Post genuinely helpful posts and raw and real pictures. Or GIFs. or Videos.

Slack getting raw and real!

4. Embrace the power of hashtags

No one is too cool for hashtags. Unless you’re Beyoncé.

{Now, hashtags again is a topic that deserves its own blog post and don’t worry folks, that’s coming soon.}

So as I was saying, hashtags are a great way to get your photos seen by people who aren’t following you. To make sure that your post is seen you can’t use generic hashtags like #love, #happy, #life, just imagine the number of posts getting posted every single day on Instagram, actually don’t imagine – 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram per day. So generic hashtags won’t do any good to your posts. You need to find the right set of niche hashtags to be discovered.

How to find the right hashtags for your Instagram post?
One word – Research.

You can use tools to find hashtags, however, research will help you find that perfect set to help you become Instagram famous 👑

  • Take some time out to check out the hashtags popular accounts in your niche are using.
  • When you discover a unique hashtag, check out the number of posts under that hashtags and what the top 9 grid looks like.
  • Find other hashtags from these top post and research those too.

You’re allowed to use 30 hashtags and I’d recommend you use them all!

Make sure you use a good mix of popular and niche hashtags so that the probability of you being featured on the top 9 grid increases. Being featured on tp 9 grid has its own perks… (yes, likes and comments and followers!)

Crowdfire using a mix of niche and popular hashtags!

5. Engage with your Community

They say as you sow, so shall you reap.

If you like and comment, like and comments you’ll receive.

It’s simple as that. For individuals it sounds usual, however, it’s equally true for the brands and small businesses. If you’re a digital marketer for a brand, you need to especially take some time out to like, comment and sometimes even follow few accounts. And you NEED to do it on a regular basis. If you think you’ll forget or miss out on this, add it to your to-do list and do it religiously.

The way Instagram’s algorithm works, Instagram decides who they will show your photo to. If you leave a like and comment, they’ll most probably do the same and your post will be shown to a higher audience.

Now doing all that for gaining followers is all good and all but..but…but… don’t do it just for the number game. The idea behind any Social Media strategy is community building and brand awareness. When you engage with your audience, that’s the goal you achieve.

Genuinely engaging with your audience will make your brand stronger, lead to word of mouth and it will act as a pillar for your Instagram presence.

Do it because you really care.
Do it because you want to listen to your audience.
Do it because you appreciate their presence.
Do it because they make you, YOU.
Do it because that’s the most human thing to do.

Learn it from LinkedIn!

Conclusion

With higher engagement, a number of possibilities and ever-growing user base, Instagram is the place to be. To leverage the power of Instagram use these 5 ideas and work your way up!

If you have any more strategies, tips or ideas for better growth on Instagram, I’d love to know about it in the comment section.

 

2 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing but I did all of this and it didn’t make a blind bit of difference. With over 2,000 followers I now have a reach of usually under 500. I do get hundreds of followers but 90 percent unfollow me after two or three days unless I follow back. Have used stories but get on average 30 views!! Not worth the effort of producing a good video to share. I use on average 25 hashtags, mix of types but never get into the top grid. I engage all the time – I rely to every single comment on my page and I get a LOT of comments. What am I doing wrong! Would value your thoughts on this issue.

  2. One of the most important ways to grow your audience and engagement rates on Instagram is definitely to use hashtags. And unlike Twitter, your posts are more likely to get more engagement if you use a lot of hashtags. I have found that the more hashtags a post uses, the higher the engagement rates.

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