Instagram is a huge deal these days. I mean, it’s absolutely massive. It recently hit 800 million monthly active users and shows no sign of slowing down.
Along with an algorithm update that rewards engagement rates, it’s inevitably led to a flood of people trying to find success on the platform. It’s packed with all sorts of brands, influencers, and creatives looking for an audience.
Some have tried buying followers outright. Others have used Instagram automation tools, which can be pretty helpful. There are a lot of methods that you could use to get more followers. Here’s a list of five hacks that I’ve found to be particularly effective.
1. Use tagging to its full potential.
It’s surprising how little people use Instagram’s tagging features. There’s a lot that you can do with them.
For instance, you can tag up to 20 other users in your photographs. I wouldn’t just start filling it with anybody, though. You should make sure that the accounts are relevant to the post. The obvious place to start would be any person or brand product that’s actually featured in the image. After that, you can tag any accounts that tend to regram similar content when tagged.
The result of doing all that is that your posts will appear in the accounts’ tagged pages. So any fans or followers browsing that page will be led back to your profile. There’s also the chance of being directly regrammed by the user, which is always a good thing for exposure.
Here’s a bonus idea: try a “tag-to-win” giveaway. You can ask all participants to follow your account and tag their friends in order to qualify for the prize. This will hopefully encourage their friends to join in too.
2. Pay attention to regrams.
So, what are regrams? Simply put, it’s when somebody reposts content from another account. Also, it’s considered basic Instagram etiquette to credit the other person while doing so.
Regrams are great because they spread awareness to other users who possibly didn’t know about you before. However, I don’t think people take advantage of them enough. There’s a lot that you can to do to get more engagement from them.
If somebody regrams you, go and check out the comments. Strike up conversations with the people you find there. You can also visit their profiles, give them a follow, and leave comments on their posts. Hopefully they’ll start doing the same in return.
Interaction is often the best way to gain followers. After all, Instagram is primarily a network for socializing and making connections. The people on it tend to appreciate it when others give them recognition and attempt to reach out.
3. Diversify your hashtag selection.
Hashtags are absolutely essential to your visibility on Instagram. If you’re hardly using them, then that’s a major reason why you aren’t getting many followers.
Instagram’s search function can only find three things: hashtags, geotags, and usernames. Nothing else in your post or captions will show up. So hashtags need to be manually added to make your content discoverable. You can include up to 30 hashtags with every post.
This is where some strategic thinking pays off. Some people will mistakenly gravitate towards using the most popular hashtags that can apply to their posts. It makes sense, right? Surely that’ll get the most eyes on your content.
Actually, it doesn’t quite work out like that. The biggest hashtags are somewhat of a gamble. There’s more people using them, but there’s also a lot more content to compete against for attention. That’s why it’s better to diversify it a bit.
Do a little research before you start choosing your hashtags. My suggestion would be to take note of them and categorize them by their result sizes. You can do small (tens of thousands or below), medium (hundreds of thousands), and large (millions). An equal mixture of all three should bring in audiences from both broad and niche demographics.
4. Get involved locally.
As previously mentioned, Instagram allows you to search for locations through geotags. This is a great opportunity to see what’s going on in your area.
Browse around for awhile and see what you can find. Talk to some locals, especially the ones you think you might have something in common with. Perhaps that’ll lead to the two of you giving each other a follow.
You can also try to find some events that you can participate in and take pictures of. Maybe you could even attempt to hold your own event through the geotag and a unique corresponding hashtag.
Don’t forget to geotag your own photos. Doing that will make them appear in the search results too, so others can find you too.
5. Team up with other users.
This is one of the most enjoyable ways to get more followers. Just take a look around Instagram and find people whose sensibilities mesh with your own. Then take the time to reach out to them and develop a partnership.
There are a lot of different types of collaborations that you can do together. You could exchange shoutouts and regrams, for starters. You could invite them to do a takeover, where you give them free reign over what gets posted to your feed. Finally, hosting a contest together, where the two of you pick the winner, isn’t a bad idea either.
The goal here is to get your respective audiences to cross over and follow the other person. It can also spice up your feed with some much-needed variety.
The author has had a working or personal relationship with one or more companies mentioned in this article in the past. Access to mentioned company’s management and information was made through the author’s personal network. All information was vetted prior to posting.
This essay is not intended to be a source of investment, financial, technical, tax, or legal advice. All of this content is for informational purposes only.