A great Instagram account can give users the feeling of being amongst friends. It can also augment their lives through calming visuals and inspiring messages. This is something that Instagram influencers have perfected over the years, and what many Instagram users are constantly chasing—that dopamine rush one only gets after helping others and being thanked for one’s efforts.
Influencers have put in the hard yards and have honed their experience for years to gather huge followings to whom they share life-enriching tips and personal journeys of hope and fulfilment. You may have similar messages to share with your own unique touch, but despite everything you’re doing, you can’t seem to get your message out to enough people. How have these influencers amassed so many followers when you can’t?
There are a number of things that you can do to grow your followers, without having to invest money or participate in underhanded schemes. Getting followers interested in your Instagram account will take patience and practice, as most good things do. Taking the time to plan out your Instagram strategy will be a fun exercise that will help you decide on the Instagram visuals that best narrate your story and display your creativity.
Most Instagram experts use organic ways to grow their following, focusing more on the content and on giving users an authentic and inspiring experience. Here are five ways that you can increase your follower numbers in a way that enriches users’ lives.
1. Find your niche… and stick to it
You want to make your followers to feel like they’re on a journey with you, but you can’t do that if you don’t specify the destination. People have a vast number of interests and users visiting your Instagram page will be looking for what engages them. If they see too many ideas on your page, they are unlikely to follow you because they won’t know what to expect.
Start with creating a top-quality content strategy for your Instagram page. Choose one topic, not several, that will be the focus of your page. And once you have your topic, stick with it. An abrupt change in tone and style will be jarring for your audience and send them away.
Write your bio according to your topic and make sure to add how your page will help others. Keep it short but engaging. You will also want to add a link in your bio to your website or blog. You can use heatmaps to determine where on your site you want to send users from your Instagram account, so that your social media and website are working in sync to get you the most engagement.
It isn’t only the topic that needs to be consistent. Aesthetically, you need to hone your style. Choose a color theme, font, filters, and voice that will soothe and entice your audience. Use an online tool to design Instagram templates so you don’t need to create every post from scratch, thus saving time and energy. You can take a look at some social media graphic design tips to help you finalize your design style.
Simple Instagram templates like the above can make your account look attractive and help you effectively attract your audience.
2. Engage with your target market
Part of your strategy for Instagram will be to understand your target audience. Take the time to find out what they need from you, define who they are, and what you can do to improve their lives. So, if you are an LGBTQIA+ activism account, you should post graphics accordingly.
Though some influencers and top Instagram users have used out-of-the-box tactics to reach their audience—users with money have been known to invest in follower banks or powerlikes that can be bought for a few thousand dollars—that may not be possible for you to emulate, and will not give you or your followers an authentic Instagram experience.
The return on investment on such a scheme would not be viable either—the followers you buy will not engage with your content over time, which will affect your algorithms on Instagram. Your Instagram account is meant to give you peace of mind, and the best way to do that is through an organic approach to building followers.
If you buy Instagram followers, it may not make you an overnight success, but it may attract the attention of a potential customer and boost your visibility. Either way, it is a fact that you’ll have to create quality content to reach your true potential.
Thus, you should spend time engaging directly with your target audience. Follow accounts with a similar target demographic, like and comment on their posts, and look at reposting Instagram content from brands, influencers and users with similar interests to you. By doing this, your audience will see that you are an active part of the community and someone they should follow. This will also allow you to develop your own life skills, bringing you and your followers happiness beyond the Instagram page.
3. Be consistent
Instagram users check their feeds a number of times per day, so you will want to post at least once every day if you want to keep in contact with your audience. But it is best not to post more than once, unless your content is incredibly engaging and you are getting the likes and views you want. Too many posts a day can come across as spammy and will not make for a good experience for your followers. Post when it is relevant to your brand and audience, such as on Labor Day.
Attractive posts can visually enhance your social media marketing campaigns and give your followers something beautiful to look forward to on their feed. But don’t rely solely on photos and graphics to increase followers. Video content has become increasingly popular and provides a good change of pace for your Instagram page. Videos are also more likely to get higher engagement, especially if they feature people as human beings like to see other humans, and will thus do better within Instagram’s algorithms.
Alongside videos, you should regularly post Instagram stories and go on IG Live as these will help make you more visible on Instagram and give your followers a chance to connect with you. Instagram is all about the personal touch and by capitalizing on that, you are better positioned to help your followers.
Remember to always include a prompt to the link in your bio in your posts so that users can engage with your brand beyond your Instagram page. Analyze your web metrics to decide which page you should use as your link in bio—it is usually your landing page but, depending on what your followers need from you, the link in your bio may change.
When you optimize new blog posts or re-purpose old blogs for SEO purposes, look at using new visuals for the accompanying Instagram post, even if you have posted the same thing before. There is no harm in reusing old content as long as it is relevant. The important thing is to make sure you have content that your audience will enjoy seeing every day.
4. Choose your hashtags
Hashtags are an extremely important way to reach out to users. You should make a list of hashtags that are relevant to your topic and followers because the last thing you want is for people to ignore your graphics on Instagram because you aren’t using the right tags. You can also create your own unique hashtag which you can use to track your account’s growth.
You should try to use about five hashtags that have over 1 million posts, like #HappyFathersDay. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post but avoid going over this limit as that could get you into trouble with Instagram. Use your list of hashtags in various combinations in every post so you can increase your engagement and reach the people who will most benefit from seeing your posts.
5. Hold a giveaway
A great way to grow your following is to create a giveaway or contest. Life can be stressful and winning prizes makes people happy, so a simple giveaway where you offer a prize for people liking your account and tagging friends, can do wonders for your followers and your reach. Offer a product or service that will help your audience’s life, or you could also look at collaborating with influencers for more high-end prizes There is no harm in starting small; your account is about making a connection.
Giveaways can double up as a digital loyalty program for your Instagram followers, acting as an incentive for them to follow you and spread your word to their fellow users. Make it fun and easy to enter and watch your followers become happier every day.
Have fun with your Instagram account
Growing a following on Instagram is serious business but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun along the way. Plan out your Instagram strategy and create and share the content that you know your followers will love to see. That is how you stay authentic and make a difference to people’s everyday lives.