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7 Growth Hacks to Get More Followers on Instagram

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@michielmuldersMichiel Mulders

Technical & marketing writer | Blockchain & backend developer

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You recognise the importance of Instagram when it comes to making e-commerce sales, you know Instagram gets more engagement than other social channel, and you regularly post content on your Instagram account, but somehow your company’s Instagram growth just isn’t as impressive as you’d like it to be — and you aren’t sure what to try next.

Growing a business Instagram account might seem hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are the top 7 Instagram growth hacks that can make any marketer’s job much easier and will also make both your numbers and engagement skyrocket.

1. Privatise Your Instagram Account

Since an algorithm on Instagram decides what content users see, the guesswork among account operators is huge: what strategies will lead to more reach and follower growth on the hottest platform today? Now the next growth hack seems to have been found. Operators of joke sites with millions of followers simply set their accounts to private - only those who follow will get to see the content.

In the past few months, some of the world's biggest jokes and meme Instagram accounts have been privatised by their operators. To give some examples: Factsdailyy (11.3 million subscribers), Bestvines (9.2 million followers), Advice (8.8 million followers), and many more. Users who want to see the contents of the accounts must request access. The respective account operator must first unlock it. They hope for greater follower growth on an increasingly competitive platform.

Reid Haley, founder of Doing Things, a media company that runs Instagram pages totalling 14 million followers, reports on the success of the strategy. One of his largest accounts grew by an average of 10,000 subscribers per week. After switching to private, the number jumped to 100,000. He now operates 75 percent of his accounts in private mode.

2. Have a Growth Strategy

As outlined in the introduction, you might be publishing content daily and have applied many Instagram tricks but still, your follower count is not increasing rapidly.

I’m not gonna tell you that you’re doing it wrong but you won’t get far with your Instagram efforts unless you define an in-depth strategy. Such a strategy should mainly consist of your monthly Instagram goals, target audience, and growth campaigns.

But more importantly, take your time reviewing competitors of the same size. What kind of campaigns are they running? What are they doing differently? Are they targeting the same audience?

You might find out that they are using influencer marketing, third-party growth tools, or focusing on user-generated content. 

In short, try to learn from your competitors and see what they do differently or better.

3. Use an Organic Instagram Growth Service

According to Instagram, personal connections is one of the key tips to grow your profile. However, building these connections requires a lot of manual effort. You will be talking with people, looking for relevant users to follow, and trying to engage with new followers. 

It’s much easier to outsource such tasks to an Instagram growth service who can take care of all this manual work so you can focus on content creation and strategy. Make sure to pick a service that is compliant with the Instagram terms of service (ToS). 

For example, Kicksta is an Instagram growth service that is compliant with the Instagram ToS as they do all the manual work for you. Many other services exist, but make sure to always check out the terms of use for such services. Using a bot that is not compliant with the Instagram ToS can already get your account suspended.

4. Grow Faster With User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is a great way of quickly growing your brand on Instagram. For example, women’s clothing company Aerie runs a hashtag

. This hashtag is used by buyers that are wearing clothing made by Aerie. It’s a great way to humanise your brand, and letting others do the marketing for you.

The best way for gathering user-generated content is by holding a contest where users have to post a photo with your product and accompany it with the requested hashtags. 

5. Hashtag Generator

No hashtags, no popularity. Instagram tags are the main way to find interesting profiles for the majority of the users, so if you don't use them for your brand promotion — you lose a lot.

By using hashtags, you will reach many more people and gather more likes for your content. According to the research conducted by Sprout Social, posts that contain at least one hashtag get a 12.6% better engagement rate than those who don’t.

That doesn’t mean you should exaggerate your use of hashtags.  Using an abundance of hashtags won’t attract the right audience and can come across as spammy behaviour. Try to focus on your target audience by picking more refined hashtags. For example, don’t use

but use instead

If you’re not quite sure what hashtags you should be using in your posts, try using an Instagram hashtag generator, and it doesn’t cost any money.

6. Influencer Marketing

This might be one of the oldest tricks in the book. Influencer marketing has been an integral part of social media for promoting products or brands. The credibility an influencer has engages users to try out a new product. Some estimate that the influencer industry will grow to an astonishing $8 billion industry by 2020.

However, many smaller Instagram profiles just don’t have the funds to go big on influencers. That’s why micro-influencers are your go-to option! Micro-influencers are not as big as celebrities, but they can be perceived as influencers within very specific niches. This is great news as they are cheaper and target a very specific audience that might be very relevant for your profile.

7. Go Live on Instagram

Since 2018, Instagram allows users to live broadcast on the platform. Users love live streams as it allows them to directly engage with the creator of the profile and ask them for guidance. Live streaming allows you to rapidly grow a brand with your followers in real-time.

An ‘ask me anything (AMA)’ session is one of the most popular forms of live broadcasts. Also, it is very common that users will do a live stream to discuss important news related to their industry or just hold an open talking session.

Source image: TechCrunch

The Bottom Line

Having a clear plan is the number one priority for growing your Instagram profile. Besides that, many tools can be used like micro-influencers, hashtag generators, third party growth services, etc.

If that’s not enough, you can decide to broadcast a live stream or run competitions to increase the amount of user-generated content. The main idea is to motivate users into engaging with your brand or product. Building connections is key!

This article has been created in cooperation with Kicksta.co. They are experts in Instagram marketing and helped me writing this article. Thanks!


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