Everyone knows that having a lot of followers on Instagram is seen as a good thing, whether that’s for visibility, reach, authority or even your own personal pride.
Most importantly, though, follower count provides you with social proof. Visitors see your follower count and make a judgment about your product or service.
But it’s hard to get followers. Between algorithm changes and the number of businesses already on Instagram, it’s difficult to stand out and expand your following. There are a few things you should already be doing in order to grow your following:
Optimize Your Bio
Optimizing your bio is a great way to stand out from the crowd. Once potential followers see your profile picture and name, the next thing they’re going to look for is your bio. By adding a strong call-to-action and link, you can use your bio space to the best of its ability.
Utilize Strong Hashtags
Hashtags are an Instagrammer’s best friend! They are what make your Insta posts discoverable by people outside of your current audience. Use hashtags your ideal followers are already using to get the most bang for your buck.
Adding geo-locations is important especially if you’re looking for local traffic. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar business or an online business, adding geo-locations can help people who are looking for that location find you.
Publish Pictures Including People
A study carried out by Yahoo Labs revealed that photos with more faces are more likely to receive a higher number of comments than without. Together with Georgia Institute of Technology, they reviewed 1.1 million photos and their corresponding amount of comments. The study showed that pictures with more faces are 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more likely to receive comments.
Engage For Interactions
It’s not an easy tip, but engaging people to interact with the content you publish is a great way to increase your reach and grow your following. To set a simple example, you tag people in the image/comments and ask them what the image reminds them of or ask for an opinion. The goal is to get a little virality by using “forced” call-to-interactions.
Hopefully, you’re already using those five tactics. If not, make sure you start there. Unfortunately, those strategies won’t be enough. Here are five great tools to help you get more followers.
1. Kicksta for Instagram Growth
Kicksta helps you increase your follower count with real, genuine followers who want to be there. At first, this sounded skeptical, so let’s dig deeper.
When you sign up for a Kicksta account, you’ll provide some examples of accounts that already have your ideal followers. It seems they are using this as a metric for their bot to target people very specifically.
Once you specify your ideal target audience, they get to work! Kicksta will like a couple of photos for each of those target accounts’ followers you have defined. For me, it was hard to find a couple of related ‘ideal’ accounts, but it’s probably worth the research.
Those users will see that notification and hopefully check out your account — and follow as that’s the goal. Kicksta likes around 30,000 pictures every month, which really helps increase your organic reach. But also, this limit is said to not trigger the anti-spam algorithm. Instagram looks down on inflated follower counts that come from buying followers. Never do this, the goal is to have followers who want to follow you based on your interests and the content you share.
Pro Tip: Choose smaller niche target account. When you give us highly specific target accounts, the followers are much more likely to actually want to follow you, as well as the target account. The closer your target accounts’ niche is to yours, the better.
2. A Color Story For Photo Editing
A Color Story is one of the best photo editing tools for Instagram. Have you ever wanted your Instagram feed to look cohesive, but not like every photo was edited with the same preset every time? A Color Story can help you here. These filters help you to enhance the colors in each individual photo, giving you bright whites and rich colors. With over 300 filters and 100 effects, A Color Story will help you create a better feed.
Filters are wonderful, but they have their limitations. If you need to do some more minute editing that filters won’t cover, chances are there’s a more specific tool available in the app to make it perfect. Plus, you can add multiple filters to one picture to create the perfect layered look. Create a cohesive feed that will appeal to potential followers who find your account.
Why do I like A Color Story? They regularly post tutorials helping you to improve yourself when editing photos. For example, this is one of my favorite tutorials for making pictures really stand out by explaining you which filters should be stacked for specific types of images.
As you can see, the second (edited) image “speaks” much more and will very likely get more likes than the unedited image.
Pro Tip: If you spend a lot of time working on one particular filter, you might decide that this is it — it’s the one! You can save this as a custom filter for later reuse.
3. Hopper HQ for Scheduling & Analytics
Hopper is a fully automated tool that will post for you — all you have to do is schedule. And yes, they post videos! If you manage a few Instagram accounts, don’t worry, Hopper lets you control multiple accounts from one login.
Hopper’s drag-and-drop format makes for easy editing and scheduling, and you can easily preview your grid layout straight from the website. You can also invite your team to join and make sure your posting schedule never misses a beat. Consistent posting is one of the best ways to attract new followers.
Consistent posting is one of the best ways to attract new followers.
A small, but interesting feature is the First Comment feature for tagging people in the first comment on your image or add extra tags. In short, it’s an easy tool for managing multiple accounts and scheduling posts, nothing more.
Pro Tip: If you’re planning for the month, use Hopper’s bulk upload tool to save time and effort. This way you know you’ll have posts going out as often as you want them.
4. Unfold for Instagram Stories
Unfold is a unique app that lets you use templates to create beautiful, cohesive, branded Instagram stories. They’ll also provide stock imagery you can use in your stories, as well as your own images, of course.
Unfold gives you the ability to create the same type of look in your stories as you have on your grid. This cohesion is a great way to put your best foot forward when it comes to attracting more Instagram followers.
The tool holds many templates for creating cool posts (look at the images below). You can drag-and-drop elements, add layers, define the layout, text, … In my opinion, it is not too difficult to use and you can again create your own templates to be reused later.
Pro Tip: With templates like “ripped paper” and “film frames,” there are many styles you can choose from to best match your already-established look. It could also be a good idea to still include some imperfect, non-edited stories to mix things up. The choice is yours.
5. Hypeauditor for Instagram Analytics
Hypeauditor will help you make sure that your followers are real. Remember what we said earlier? About how Instagram doesn’t like accounts that have fake followers? Hypeauditor can help with that. Their goal is to make influencer marketing fair — so everyone can rest assured that the numbers we see are valid.
You can use Hypeauditor on yourself, too. Run your own Instagram handle and get documentation to prove that you have the following you say you do. Their free trial lets Instagram users check on themselves, and it even provides actionable ways to improve your Instagram. Make sure the followers you’re gaining are high-quality.
For those who want to see how a report looks like, they provide sample reports for top profiles like Cristiano Ronaldo (#2 at the time of writing) who has 106M followers with 3M authentic engagements.
Pro Tip: When you use Hypeauditor, they provide a report on the handle you searched. It covers lots of key metrics, like follower demographics, but it also shows you the engagement rate. You can compare your engagement rate with the rates of users with smaller and larger followings.
So there you have it — my five favorite tools to help you get more Instagram followers. Are there any tools you love that we missed, let me know in the comments and why it should be part of your Instagram strategy? Sometimes it can be hard to choose just five, but the combination of these tools will elevate your 2019 Instagram strategy.