Growing an Instagram following takes a lot of effort. So much so that it can feel like a full time job. While it's going to take some serious effort to amass tens of thousands of followers, there are some simple tactics that when put into place can make the job much easier.
We'll take a look at five tactics that we've used to professionally grow Instagram followings for our clients. They've proven to work time and time again for us, and have become an integral part of our strategy. For the full list of 8 Tips for Instagram Growth, download our free e-book.
DO YOUR HASHTAG RESEARCH.
First of all, you must use hashtags to grow! It's the best way for people to find you. If you are a new account with only a few hundred/thousand followers, target mostly hashtags with less than a few hundred thousand (or tens of thousands) of posts. Keep highly popular hashtags to a minimum when you are still a small account. Yes, they have more searches. But to rank for them in Instagram's feed you will need to get thousands of likes, which is nearly impossible for a new account. Less popular hashtags are easier to rank for in Instagram's search feed, and when you rank in search for a post you get more exposure to people searching those hashtags.
GEOTAG YOUR PHOTOS.
Tag your location in as many photos as possible. Location searches are another way for people to find your posts (and then follow you). The goal is create as many ways as possible for new followers to find you.
DON'T BUY FOLLOWERS.
When you buy followers, 90% of the time you end up with fake followers. They will kill your engagement rate on future posts. Instagram's algorithm uses the engagement rate metric to decide who to show your posts to. Let's say you average 60 likes per post, and you have a total of 600 followers. That's an engagement rate of 10%. Then you buy 2,000 fake followers. You will continue to receive about 60 likes per post (fake followers aren't active), but now you have a total of 2,600 followers. That's an engagement rate of 2.3%. A low engagement rate tells Instagram that you have low quality content, and that it should be shown to less people. Going forward, your posts will now reach a smaller audience.
LINK YOUR OTHER SOCIAL PROFILES.
Do you have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or Snapchat? Link out to your Instagram page on these profiles! You've already found people who are active on social media and enjoy your content, make them your Instagram followers!