The following is a guest post by Akinduyo Eniola. Akinduyo is a content marketing expert and blogger at Guruscoach, where he helps develop effective content strategies that generate leads for businesses. This post focuses on ways to increase followers on Instagram.
Without a doubt, we can all agree on the power of social media lately. There is a significant distinction between a company that uses social media and one that doesn’tt.
Instagram, one of the most converting social media platforms, serves as a hub for eCommerce businesses and influencers.
But Instagram goes beyond a place to post pictures and enjoy comments that gush over your beauty. If done correctly, you can connect with prospects and build a solid global business. That, however, is no easy task.
When building a business around Instagram, it’s important to go the organic way. If it’s not organic and you do something shady, you risk being shadow-banned (people will be unable to see your account), which defeats the purpose of having an Instagram account in the first place.
In the following guide, I’ll be focusing on these 11 proven ways to increase your Instagram followers organically and avoid shadow bans:
Table of Contents
- Optimize Your Instagram Account
- Create an Instagram Hashtag
- Write Longer Captions
- Use Instagram Reels
- Plan and Create a Content Calendar
- Run an Instagram Contest
- Engage With Instagram Accounts in Your Industry
- Experiment With Instagram Live
- Cross-Promote Your Instagram Account
- Leverage an Instagram Growth Service
- Collaborate With Influencers
How to Increase Followers on Instagram
1. Optimize Your Instagram Account
Optimizing your Instagram account can be done in many ways. The first step will be to fill out all required information and upload a profile picture! People assume it’s a bot account when there’s no profile picture, so make sure you include one.
The next thing you want to do is fix your Instagram bio. This is the first thing people look at when they check out your account.
People follow accounts they find interesting to them. So, take a look at your Instagram bio and write a short and captivating bio that speaks to your target prospects. Your Instagram bio should tell people what you do and how you can help them.
Take a look at TheChrisDo’s bio below:
Incorporate hashtags into your Instagram bio to help more people find your profile during searches.
Also, include niche-related terms into your username to increase visibility – for example, Yourhealthguide.
Whenever people search for terms related to your niche, you can easily show up for words included in your username and caption.
Lastly, don’t forget to add a clickable link in your bio to help people find out more about you and your business. The link can point to your blog.
2. Create an Instagram Hashtag
Your brand identity is crucial as it helps people differentiate you from your competitors. It could be by your brand name, logo or colors. These are usually the first factors that come to mind.
But brand identity can go much further.
You can decide to own a brand hashtag on Instagram. This requires you to create a personal hashtag and use it on all your posts. It’s also good practice to encourage people, possibly family and friends, to make posts using your hashtag.
Humans are generally curious. They will want to find out what a hashtag stands for when they see a new one. Perhaps doing this, you’ll get more people to visit your profile, and increase your Instagram followers.
It’s always vital that your hashtag is unique and says something about your brand. Once it gets people’s interest, you do not need to ask before including your hashtag in your posts.
A brand like BellaNaijaWeddings on Instagram has a culture of posting wedding pictures with the hashtag #BellaNaijaWeddings. Couples who want to get featured on the page eagerly use this hashtag.
If you already have a brand hashtag that you use on other social media platforms, it’s best to use it on Instagram to stay consistent with the brand.
3. Write Longer Captions
Writing lengthy captions for your Instagram post helps in different ways.
A lengthy caption helps you convey your message to your target audience perfectly. It also gives room to include hashtags and terms that your target audience might be searching for.
Captions don’t have to be challenging to write. When you take on the story angle as you write your captions, it becomes easier. Remember that no one can tell your story better than you do.
What is the reason for the post you made? What came to your mind that prompted the post? Once you can answer these questions, writing captions becomes easier. See it as a way of conversing with your friends (online community).
You can also take advantage of AI copywriting tools like Conversion.ai that help in writing short copy. They can come in very handy for writing captivating captions for your social media accounts.
Once people bond with your story, they compelled to click the follow button and perhaps even recommend you to their friends.
4. Use Instagram Reels
One thing to love about Instagram is how they continually improve their platform with new features.
You are late to the party if you don’t know about Instagram Reels. Reels first came out in late 2019 and started gaining popularity in mid-2020.
So what are they?
Instagram Reels are 30 second videos that enable you to publish with music. The best thing about this feature is that Instagram is pushing and giving it more prominence. Posting a Reel makes it more likely that your posts will appear on the explore page. This will increase your visibility.
Once you post a Reel on your page or feed, be sure to put it on your stories. Most times, you will see that your Reels gain more activity than regular posts.
Instagram Reels are usually fun to create. Now, you can increase followers on Instagram organically while having fun.
If you have been sleeping on Instagram Reels, you’re missing out! The goofiness of Reels is what captures interest… and it may turn people who see them into followers.
5. Plan and Create a Content Calendar
You’ll struggle to increase followers on Instagram if you don’tt have a content calendar. The goal is to ensure that you have an interactive account so it can be relatable.
Imagine posting once in two months. You will have far less content to engage your followers and you may risk losing some.
You don’t need to post 20 times a day. But there is a need for a rhythm or regularity when putting out content on Instagram.
Planning a content calendar involves scheduling regular posts at appropriate times: posts should be put up when people are online. Understandably, it might be hard to know what the best time to post is.
From research, evenings appear to be the best time to post. This is when people are relaxing in their homes. Use an automated post schedule to ensure that you do not forget to put out content at that specific time.
6. Run an Instagram Contest
Who doesn’t love getting freebies? Once you decide to run a contest or giveaway on Instagram, you give yourself a real chance to increase followers, since following the host on Instagram is usually one of the requirements for winning an Instagram contest.
If you’re running a contest, be sure to include this in your criteria. This can really create a rapid increase in Instagram followers.
You can go further by telling contestants to tag people to follow your page. The person who gets the highest engagement becomes the winner. With such an idea, your follower count will see a surge.
Suppose you had 200 followers before the contest. You can be sure of getting about 2000+ followers by the end of the game, assuming your contest prize is compelling.
Accounts that organize giveaways usually have more buzz than other accounts. They also have higher interactions.
You can also start fun challenges and get others to join in the fun. This became a popular act on social media in mid-2020. Since people are usually out for fun, we saw lots of different challenges.
#BussItChallenge and #DontRushChallenge were some of the contests that went viral. The accounts that started the challenge and those that participated got an increase in their follower count.
7. Engage With Instagram Accounts in Your Industry
Nobody is an island, as they say. If you are serious about Instagram growth, you must interact with Instagram accounts in your niche. If you do not interact with these accounts, how will people find out about you?
It was earlier mentioned that you need to determine a niche when you create an Instagram account. This also gives you a guide on accounts to follow. But the work does not stop at following such accounts.
You need to interact with these accounts by dropping comments or sharing some of their posts. From there, you can get some of their followers.
People get to notice you from the comments you make and go to your profile. Once on your profile, if they love your content, they may well press the follow button.
When you relate with industry accounts, you get to join them in online seminars and much more. They may also mention you in some of their activities. All these and more play a role in increasing your Instagram followers.
8. Increase Followers With Instagram Live
According to this analysis, customers who have an emotional relationship with a brand are more likely to recommend it. This also applies to your social media followers.
One of the best ways to organically grow your Instagram followers is by ensuring that your audience has a personal feel of the brand. You cannot achieve this if you stop at making posts only.
Why not experiment with going live on Instagram. Interestingly, many people haven’t tried this.
You can do many things when you go live on Instagram. On some occasions, ensure that whatever activity you do has to do with your niche. Other times, you can goof around and have fun.
You can share your playlist with your audience when you go live. You can also organize game shows. Once your audience sees that it’s interesting, they may invite other people… and in this way, you’ll grow your followers organically.
If you’re selling products, you can show your audience how to use the products. If you write tutorials, why not give a live example? These are ways of engaging your audience and getting your follower count to grow.
9. Cross-Promote Your Instagram Account
If you have multiple social media accounts, you can cross-promote your Instagram account on them. This way, you can get people from other platforms to follow your Instagram account.
You must target buzzing social media platforms when you want to do a cross-promotion. Thus, platforms like Tiktok, Twitter, and Facebook should come to your mind.
When you make tweets, you can attach the link to your Instagram account. It can also be on your Twitter bio.
Remember… never underestimate human curiosity!
There is a high chance that some will click on those links, thus bringing them to your Instagram account.
2020 and the pandemic saw an increase in the number of TikTok users. Do you have a popular TikTok account? Link your Instagram account to Tiktok. This would help your followers find you on Instagram.
If you do not have accounts on other social media platforms, it is time to create them!
10. Leverage an Instagram Growth Service
Many Instagram growth services can help you grow your followers organically. You can use them if you do not have the time to follow other highlighted options.
You can also use these services even when you are following the above steps. These services help you reduce the work involved.
Stellation Media, Social Sensei, and Kicksta are a few of the many available Instagram growth service options that provide manual assistance in growing your followers.
11. Increase Instagram Followers by Collaborating With Influencers
Still, on the idea that no man is an island, you can collaborate with influencers. Influencers tend to have a high follower count that may turn out to be useful for you.
Imagine a major influencer posting your account on their page. If this were to happen it would likely result in their followers checking you out and following you.
If you have influencer friends, it is time to get them to promote your services and account. Even if you have to pay these influencers, it may be worth it.
Do not ever feel stressed when it comes to growing your Instagram account. Many organic options are available (buying Instagram followers shouldn’t be an option).
With all these highlighted steps, you should never think of buying fake followers. You should also remember that taking steps to increase followers on Instagram should be a planned and methodical process.
Do you have any further tips to increase followers on Instagram? Drop me a comment below so we can share knowledge and grow together!