11 Tips to Seriously Grow Your Instagram Followers

Modern brands (and individuals) know the immeasurable importance of maintaining a presence on social media. It's imperative that the digital voices of today not only capture the intended voice of the person or business across multiple platforms but that their audience is maximized to reach the most potential listeners, supporters, and clients.

By staying current on Instagram, you can capitalize on the limitless exposure it offers while also continuing to captivate and engage those with whom you've already connected. At the end of the day, increasing followers is a waste of time if they aren't retained.

With these tips, you can ensure your Instagram strategies are directed toward your goals by expanding your following through targeted tactics. 

1. The Importance of Organic

Today, likes and followers are for sale in abundance via programs, businesses, and bots designed to add superficial fluff to any IG account's perceived presence. This shortcut is often taken but rarely rewarded with anything resembling actual results. Algorithmic safeguards regularly weed out these corner-cutting shortcuts, so it's not worth the trouble or money.

Any followers gained must be organic connections. What does the number of followers even mean if they aren't organic? Real fans are needed to advocate for brands or individuals or take recommendations and visit landing pages.

2. Optimize

Is your account on IG fully optimized? Does it include image captions, an appropriate username, and captivating images and captions? These facets of the page are foundational to identifying yourself and your brand. 

Links within the bio are an excellent opportunity to promote website traffic. You can also use regular posts as opportunities for promotional hashtags and keywords and link to pages you're proud to support. Hosting relevant content and links is crucial to follower attraction and retention.

Your username should be extremely search-friendly, so try not to deviate too much from the expected. Shortening is fine, but adding special characters and numbers can make it harder for people to find your page in a search. Names should be consistent across multiple social media platforms.

3. Schedule

Random posts are not as reliable as a constant calendar of consistent content. Don't allow followers to forget or get bored. Show them exciting things on a regular basis that follow a predictable schedule.

Don't overdo it by exceeding a few daily posts; this can come across as spammy or desperate. Keep a pace your followers can get used to while not missing opportunities to post at least a couple of times per day.

Research shows the optimal time windows for Instagram posts are around 9 am and 8 pm. Take some work and pressure off your own plate by scheduling these posts ahead of time. Notice what followers respond to and post more of what is well received. 

Advance scheduling lets you lean into the quality of the content and never feel rushed. Plus, once you settle into a regular schedule, you'll be much less likely to miss a day or post outside the optimal window.

4. Partner

Influencers know better than to underestimate the value of their audiences. As your follower base continues to expand, more presence will be necessary to keep them interested. One way to hold the attention of your audience is through productive partnerships.

Establishing a presence on other popular IG accounts and extending the same space on your own is a great way to double both of your audiences. Some other creative engagement campaigns include contests and highlighting content created by users.

Are there noteworthy influencers who operate in a similar space with whom you might like to collaborate? Do you know someone who has a solid social media presence and enjoys your brand or image? Using these connections for mutual benefits can be very fruitful.

5. Build Trust

Content always needs to be valuable. Excessive sales-driven strategies are transparent and off-putting. Building your audience should be based on authenticity. 

This tenet holds true for collaborations and partnerships, too. Followers never like to feel deceived or tricked, so don't risk lowering the credibility of your account by skimping on sincerity. Long-lasting online connections are the result of genuine, trust-building engagement.

6. Interact

Do you respond to comments and questions? Do you follow back? If your followers feel neglected, they're more likely to fall away. 

New traffic also responds to seeing a level of real interaction on your page. When followers have shared experiences with brands and people they admire, it creates memorable moments and boosts allure.

It may seem tedious, but make an effort to reply to comments and inquiries, as it could make a huge difference in gaining and keeping followers. Converting a first-time online passerby into a loyal, long-term follower can be as easy as acknowledging them. 

Conversely, losing an opportunity to gain a potential follower can be as simple as letting them go ignored.

7. Promote

Don't overlook any opportunity to link to your Instagram page. Your other networks and sites should all offer instant access to your IG. Without visibility, there can be no discovery; people must know where to find you, so make use of those little buttons and promote shares for ease of access.

Leveraging your own accounts to promote across platforms can also be helpful. You can boost your IG followers by promoting your profile on another page, like Twitter. 

Just be careful not to directly ask for follows, as browsers won't respond as well to such direct requests. Instead, use unique and fun content to lure them in on their terms.

8. Give Them What They Want

The key to giving your followers what they want to see is first knowing what that is. It's clear when some posts outperform others by a little or by a landslide. Little details--like captions, filters, hashtags, and more--can make a big difference in sharing creative content, so test regularly to prioritize and structure posts accordingly.

Keep up with current trends and think about investing in platform-based analytics tools. These can help with analyzing and tracking to reach your goals for your page. If you're in doubt, take a peek at your competitors' pages to see what works well for them (or doesn't).

9. Be Original

Never copy others. Noting successful strategies is different from outright plagiarism. There's no harm in competitive research, but if it goes too far, followers will notice unoriginality sooner or later. 

It's wiser to lean into sincere engagement by utilizing what you can learn from the example of others in your own original ways. The most popular types of posts are photos and videos, so Instagram provides a wide-open digital space to express and connect. 

Always pair these visuals with copy that captivates. Maintain your desired voice, and don't go stale or quiet. Being communicative and supportive can go a long way.

10. Hashtag for Success

There's a sophisticated art to the optimal hashtag. The key is identifying popular hashtags that aren't too oversaturated. It's similar to researching the most promising keywords for search engine optimization; you want terms and phrases that are popularly searched without being too popular.

It's easy for content to get swept away in a sea of posts, all sharing an overused hashtag. Assess how your hashtags perform so you can rotate them out for potentially better-performing alternatives.

Expanding your online community through hashtags is easiest when using them to promote your specific content in memorable ways. Within your unique audience, what hashtags are most likely to resonate or be searched?

11. People Please

Resist the temptation to post anything too needy or sales-y. A robotic tone is a deterrent to real connection. Sometimes, you may want to post something unrelated to your objectives simply to please your audience. 

Treat your followers like friends. Who doesn't love a great meme? Don't shy away from showing the shades of your page's personality. 

From reposts to inspirational, to artistic, educational, and beyond, you can credit lots of great external sources while sharing fun ideas and posts with your followers just to offer them a simple pick-me-up.

The Takeaway

Now a cornerstone of the digital world, Instagram is central to any person's or brand's online presence. Building a real, engaged audience doesn't always happen overnight, but when you apply these results-driven strategies consistently, you're sure to grow your instagram followers over time.