Instagram is the perfect platform to grow your brand. There are more than 1 million people who use Instagram every month so you’ll gather a huge following on the platform alone. However, there are also 1 million other accounts you’re competing with.
It can be daunting to find ways to grow your Instagram followers by scouring the world wide web for and sifting through thousands of lead generation strategies to get more followers on Instagram. Lucky for you, we’ve got our tried-and-tested tips to guide you. And we’ve updated them to suit all the new additional features Instagram released just this year.
Check out our tips and hacks to get more followers on Instagram below.
In this article
- 1. Run Giveaways and Contests
- 2. Create Shareable and Authentic Content
- 3. Post Viral Videos on Instagram Reels
- 4. Optimize Your Profile for Search
- 5. Promote Instagram Content on Other Platforms
- 6. Go Live on Instagram
- 7. Use a Branded Hashtag
- 8. Write Longer Captions
- 9. Run Instagram Ads
- 10. Work with Micro-Influencers
1. Run Giveaways and Contests
Running an Instagram giveaway is the most popular and fastest way to get more Instagram followers. An Instagram giveaway allows you to offer a giveaway prize for free in exchange for an Instagram like, comment, or other pre-determined requirement.
When done correctly, Instagram giveaways can help you establish your brand on Instagram, increase your Instagram followers and share your impressive products or services with a larger audience than you could organically.
Asking users to tag a friend is one of the best kinds of comments you can get on any social media post, not just Instagram. The best way to get your audience to tag their friends is by running an Instagram giveaway that encourages your audience to tag a friend and follow your account.
For inspiration, here’s an example of a successful Instagram giveaway from Woorise that incentivizes people to tag a friend and follow its account for the chance to win a new AirPods Pro.
Running your own Instagram giveaway will help you to:
- Attract followers faster.
- Entice both current followers and prospects to engage.
- Build stronger relationships with your existing audience.
- Tease an upcoming product or feature release.
- Encourage followers to share and submit user-generated content (UGC).
Running a successful Instagram giveaway requires planning and a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish as a result.
Woorise is a great giveaway tool that can help you organize and track your Instagram giveaways. With Woorise, you can run a powerful Instagram giveaway and view all the entrants on your dashboard.
You can even add multiple social actions and reward your users for following your Instagram account and engaging with your content such as liking and commenting.
Be sure to follow Instagram’s promotion guidelines and any legal requirements for running an Instagram contest that applies in your country of operation.
2. Create Shareable and Authentic Content
Authenticity may be a marketing buzzword, but there’s no denying that it’s an effective way to build a connection with your followers and build your brand.
Whether you have 1000 followers or a million, being true to your brand will resonate with your audience and help you grow your following.
To reach a wider audience, create authentic yet shareable content. Content is king on Instagram and it is the best way to spread your message.
Authentic content could be as simple as sharing your struggles starting up your business or your morning workout routine. When you’re being real with your audience, your followers will sense it.
Writer Jamie Varon isn’t afraid to share her deep thoughts and musings with her followers. She wears her heart on her sleeve and her followers can relate to the problems she is facing in her life. Because of this, her followers share her content and repost it on their Instagram stories.
Instagram’s algorithm favors posts that get a lot of engagement, so when your posts are shared, it will bump the post up on peoples’ feeds. If a post has a ton of engagement, it could potentially be featured on the Explore Page and introduce you to new followers.
When creating shareable content, it’s important to have beautiful and eye-catching artwork. Use a creative tool like Instasize to keep your content on-brand. Instasize grants you access to over 100 premium filters, unique backgrounds and advanced beauty tools to transform your posts into shareable works of art.
3. Post Viral Videos on Instagram Reels
You’re missing a huge opportunity to reach new audiences if you’re not using Instagram Reels for business.
Reels is Instagram’s newest feature that has taken center-stage of the main navigation bar. The feature lets you record up to 30-second clips and music on Instagram
It’s no surprise that Instagram is highlighting Reels with the popularity of short-form video apps like TikTok. They want to capitalize on this trend and you can take advantage of this.
What is great about Reels is that your video has the chance to go viral. Unlike stories and photos on your feed, Reels can be seen by anyone on Instagram.
You’re able to share your Reels not just on your Feed but on the Instagram Explore Page. This not only maximizes your reach but gives you a high probability of going viral.
On Reels, you can play with AR effects, add audio clips from Instagram’s music library, make your videos move in slow-motion, or simply add a filter. You have an artbox of tools in your arsenal to create viral videos.
Now is the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon and create fun 30-second videos. Competition is still low and Instagram is giving extra attention to Reels on users’ main feed and the Explore page. To maximize your reach and engagement, don’t forget the importance of posting at the right time to ensure your Reels get in front of your target audience when they’re most active on the platform.
Sephora uses Reels to create viral challenges with its makeup palettes. They collaborated with beauty influencer Ryan B Potter to create their second Reel on Instagram, which gained over 1.9 million views. He introduced a new challenge for all makeup lovers to join and post their own Reels.
Every time someone joins this challenge, it drives them back to Sephora’s Instagram account and helps them grow their following.
4. Optimize Your Profile for Search
Instagram recently announced that English-speaking users in 6 countries will be able to search on Instagram using keywords. This is a game-changer for your posts being discovered by new accounts.
Before this, users could only search for hashtags and usernames. For example, if you search the term “cooking at home,” only posts that use the hashtag or accounts that have the term as their usernames will appear. Now, the results will show public videos and photos that feature cooking at home, even those that do not use a hashtag.
An Instagram representative told The Verge that “the team considers “a number of factors,” including the “type of content, captions, when it was posted,” and more to surface relevant results. It also utilizes machine learning to “find the highest quality content that’s relevant to you.” For now, only grid posts will show up.”
Instagram mentioned that keyword search remains limited to general interest topics and keywords within Instagram’s community guidelines.
With this change, it’s now more important than ever to optimize your username and bio for search.
The text you include in your name field and Instagram bio are searchable on Instagram, and is prime real estate for keywords on your bio.
Maximize your bio by changing your Name field to something relevant to your brand or business. It’s an effective way to increase your chances of coming out as the top result when someone searches for your target keywords.
When filling out your Name field, think about what your niche is, which industry you belong to, and what solution you offer your target audience. You can even search for keywords and see if the results that come out are related to your brand.
Brand photographer Elana Loo makes the most of her bio by adding her occupation as “brand photographer” as part of her name field. She also adds additional keywords like “environmentalist,” “strategist,” and “photographer.”
5. Promote Instagram Content on Other Platforms
Cross-promoting your content on other platforms helps you get more followers on instagram by reaching new people you wouldn’t have been able to target otherwise.
TikTok and Pinterest are two social media platforms where your Instagram content can shine. On top of that, we expect these two platforms to be huge in 2021.
TikTok’s algorithm promotes the discoverability of new brands and content creators. Once you’ve connected your Instagram, your TikTok fans can find a link to your Instagram account on your profile page.
On your TikTok videos, you can show what you offer on Instagram and even tease Instagram content. Because TikTok only allows short-form videos, you can show shorts clips on more long-form IGTV content that your fans will love.
Pinterest is an awesome way to build referral traffic and score Instagram followers who are engaged and have a genuine interest in your brand.
The best way to take advantage of Pinterest is to claim your Instagram account, which makes it easy for users to navigate between both apps. When you pin your Instagram content on Pinterest, users will be redirected straight to your Instagram and potentially follow it. The user will have the same experience even if your Instagram content was pinned on another person’s board or even shared to other channels.
Whole Foods recycles their Instagram content on Pinterest. When users click on the images, they are sent to the Instagram page of Whole Foods and discover the slew of yummy content on their feed. If someone pins their post to their Pinterest board, their followers will also be redirected to @wholefoods — a win-win situation the brand as more people can discover and follow them on Instagram
6. Go Live on Instagram
Instagram Live is a great feature to gather new followers, drive engagement, and sell products.
In 2020, there were more than 1.645 billion hours of live streaming watched every month. Video is looking to be the future of social media, including Instagram.
Once you post an Instagram Live, your followers immediately receive an in-app notification and you’ll automatically be placed first on their Instagram Stories feed.
On top of the actual broadcast, your Instagram Live will stay on your Instagram Stories for 24 hours. This opens your video up to a much larger audience and you cross-promote your Instagram Live across different social platforms.
Because Instagram Live is unedited, you’re able to share authentic and unfiltered content that builds stronger connections with your audience. Viewers give shoutouts and make comments during the actual stream so you can interact directly with them and have a conversation.
Fitness trainer Charlee Atkins hosts training videos and Q&As on her Instagram Live. She’s able to connect with her followers real time. More than that, new audiences can find her and easily figure out if they want to follow her Instagram. The answer is most often YES!
7. Use a Branded Hashtag
Branded hashtags are hashtags unique to your business. It can be as simple as your company name, brand tagline, or the name of one of your campaigns.
Your branded hashtag can be used to spread the word about your brand, group together user-generated content, build a community, and help new followers find your account.
Fitness coach Joe Wicks started a video series called PE with Joe for kids who are now in a home school situation to get their daily exercise. Along with this video series, he started the campaign hashtag #PEwithJoe. Because of its popularity, the hashtags have been used almost 60 thousand times on Instagram and makes it easy for new followers to find Joe.
8. Write Longer Captions
Instagram used to be all about the visuals and maintaining our aesthetic; however, we’re now seeing longer captions as story-telling takes the front seat.
Influencers are using captions to share more of their world and point of view to their fans to build longer-lasting connections.
According to influencer marketing platform Fohr, The average caption length will be 405 characters — which averages out to be 65-70 words – in 2021.
With Instagram allowing users to search for specific keywords like “at-home workouts” and “healthy meals” for example, including keywords in your longer captions will help you get more eyes on your content.
Travel influencer Chelsea highlights specific keywords that people who will be interested in her content may search. She uses terms like “organic produce” to reach users. With more than 1 million followers, her strategy seems to have worked.
9. Run Instagram Ads
You can potentially reach 928 million users when you run Instagram Ads. With Instagram ads, you can promote your best content to accounts that have yet to discover your page. When setting up your ad, you have the choice to direct them to your profile, your website, or to your messages. To get more followers, direct them to your profile so they can see if you’re content is something they are interested in.
The power of Instagram’s Ads tools is its targeting. You are able to target your ad audience by location, age, and interests. With Facebook ads manager, you can target audiences more specifically using data from your website or creating a lookalike audience – an audience similar to people who have liked your social media pages or even performed an action on your website.
Inspirational content platform The Simplest Ride uses ads to drive traffic to their Instagram profile in order to get more eyeballs on their content and more followers.
10. Work with Micro-Influencers
At first, it may be tempting to work with big shot influencers with the shiny blue checkmark beside their profile name; however, a recent study by influencer marketing platform Markerley says that micro-influencers – those with 10k to 100k followers – offer the perfect mix of reach and engagement.
Tapping micro-influencers allows you to reach a really engaged audience as these influencers have fewer sponsored posts and are more known for authentic content. Micro-influencers often operate with specific niches so when selecting who to work with, ensure that they are in your niche or one that is associated with it.
Working with micro-influencers, in this way, is like running a targeted ad. You’ll be exposing your content to an audience who would be most interested in your brand.
Before getting too excited, come up with a game plan. Identify which of our hacks is the most possible and most effective for your niche. Create a marketing plan with your prospective budgets, timelines, and goals. Once you have this all laid out, you are ready to get more followers on Instagram.