1. Optimize Your Instagram Account
When you’re trying to get more Instagram followers, one of the most important steps is to have your account fully optimized. Think of your brand’s Instagram bio as the “homepage” to your account.
Without a bio, image captions, a proper username or profile image, how will people know the account belongs to your brand? It might seem silly, but many companies don’t fill out their bios or use a link to a landing page. This is your one spot to drive Instagram traffic to your site, so optimizing your account is essential.
If you’re uncertain where to link, try marketing or product pages that relate to specific keywords, hashtags or campaigns on your Instagram account. Linking to your homepage is OK–but why not give users a cohesive experience when moving from your bio to a site?
Additionally, keep your username as search-friendly as possible. If your business name is longer, shorten it to something your audience would recognize. Don’t add numbers or special characters to your username.
2. Keep Content Consistent
The worst thing you can do to get more Instagram followers is to irregularly post content. If you’re lucky enough to get users following you in the beginning, the last thing you want to do is make them forget they followed you in the first place.
To combat this, keep to a regular posting schedule. Typically, brands shouldn’t post more than a few times a day, but whatever your cadence, keep it consistent. Approximately 200 million Instagram users log on daily, so to cast your net even wider, try publishing a few times throughout the entire day.
In fact, our very own research on the best times to post to Instagram recommended Wednesday at 3 p.m., Thursday at 5 a.m., 11 a.m., and 3 to 4 p.m. and Friday at 5 a.m.
Sticking to a schedule will help you build a consistent experience for your followers and keep them in the know of your brand. But if you’re wondering how you’re going to remember to publish at these different times in the day, we’ve got you covered.
3. Schedule Instagram Posts in Advance
While the Instagram algorithm has changed to show users more content they like, posting at the right times can still give your posts more visibility.
There’s a lot your brand can do, and now with Sprout Social, scheduling Instagram content is one of them. With our newest tools, we can help your brand schedule content through an easy process.
4. Get Other Accounts to Post Your Content
When you’re learning how to get followers on Instagram, it’s important to know the value of your audience. The larger your follower count grows (organically), the more buyers and interested customers you will have.
The best way to get customers to follow you is to get in front of them and be present. It’s critical to be present on your own Instagram as well as others. Try sponsoring user-generated content to get your brand in customers’ feeds. You can also hold Instagram contests to get your brand out to a larger audience.
Another way is to get your handle in front of a much larger audience. Try to work with larger Instagram accounts in your industry to share your content to their audience. And it doesn’t have to be only on Instagram.
Just make sure you’re providing something of value. The last thing you want to do is seem too salesy. Find marketing collaborations and co-marketing plans with other businesses to build your Instagram audience.
There’s always the possibility your Twitter has more followers than another brand, which you could leverage, trade mentions or share content.
5. Know the Difference Between Fake & Real Instagram Followers
There’s a huge difference between an Instagram account having fake and legitimate followers. It might seem tempting to simply purchase Instagram followers, but the backlash outweighs the perks of organic follower growth.
Fake Instagram followers tend to:
- Deceive new followers: If users come to an inactive Instagram feed with tens of thousands of followers, things feel deceiving. Don’t trick people into following you. Build trust and long-lasting relationships for better engagement.
- Have no ROI: It might seem easier to buy followers, but your acquired bot or unmanned new followers won’t be purchasing anything. People follow brands on Instagram for a reason–they like what you’re posting or your company in general. These are actual spenders and bring monetary value to your business.
- Create little-to-no buzz: If you have 10,000 fake followers, how many are going to comment, like and share your content? More than likely, these bot or fake accounts will be cleaned up by Instagram, deleted and make your posts seem like engagement graveyards.
Real people have the ability to share, like, comment and engage with your Instagram posts. Additionally, these users enjoy when there’s someone on the other side responding.
For example, Lush Cosmetics takes the time to answer various product questions, which results in users coming back, following or possibly sharing with others. These interactions will always have more value than a set of inactive followers.
6. Showcase Your Instagram
How are people going to find an account unless you promote your Instagram? Make sure your Instagram account is listed with your website and other social networks.
Creating visibility and awareness is one of the best ways to get discovered. If you truly want to get more Instagram followers, let people know where to find you. You could add social media buttons to your website and blog to help promote social shares across all your networks as well as show people where to find you on Instagram.
However, make sure that you’re not just asking for a follow. Instead you should try to promote unique content on your Instagram so users have a reason to follow you there. Luckily with Instagram video, you have a great opportunity to build followers through creative content.
7. Post Content Followers Want
While this is easier said than done, it’s smart to learn what content your followers want to see. You’ll quickly find on Instagram that some content performs better than others. This is why testing is so important.
Whether it’s filters, captions, content types or post times, the smallest detail can make all the difference. Keep your ear to the ground with new Instagram trends so you know you’re posting popular content.
To take your analysis a step further, your brand should invest in Instagram analytics tools. This will make it easier to track, benchmark and analyze Instagram content across accounts.
Be confident in your content strategy by analyzing different filters, captions and more to see what works best with your audience. If you’re unsure where to start, try analyzing your competitors.
You shouldn’t directly copy your competitors, but it’s smart to take notes on what they’re doing or posting that drives engagement. A little competitive research can go a long way. You can use our Instagram Competitors report to get a look at what’s working for other brands in your industry.