Instagram is a powerful social media platform that helps businesses and individuals reach a wider audience and build their brands.

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One of the main indicators of success on Instagram is the number of followers the account has. While getting good followers on Instagram can be difficult, there are many growth strategies that can help you increase your follower count and increase engagement.

In this article, we will examine 9 ways to increase Instagram followers that you can start using immediately. These tips will help you create a great social media presence by optimizing your profile to engage with your target audience.

How To Get More Followers on Instagram ?

Identify Your Target Audience On Instagram

When it comes to building a strong presence on Instagram, it’s essential to understand your target audience. Knowing who your audience is and what they are interested in will help you create content that resonates with them, ultimately driving engagement and increasing your following. Here are some tips on how to identify your target Instagram audience:

  • Start by defining your target audience by considering factors like age, gender, location, income, education, and interests to create an ideal customer persona. Once you’ve identified your audience, tailor your content to their specific needs and preferences to increase engagement.
  • Use Instagram Insights to analyze your current followers, gaining a deeper understanding of their characteristics and interests, which will help you adjust your content to resonate better with them.
  • To reach a broader audience, use relevant hashtags that your target audience is likely to follow. This will increase the visibility of your content, boosting the likelihood of engagement.
  • Create high-quality, compelling content that speaks to your target audience by using images and videos that resonate with them, and writing captions that are both relatable and engaging.

Create a Solid Instagram Content Strategy

Creating a solid Instagram content strategy is essential to building a strong presence on the platform. A content strategy will help you define your goals, identify your target audience, and plan your content creation and distribution for ultimate social media marketing.

Here is how to achieve this:

Be consistent

Have a consistent message, and post a lot.

Foundr – an educational company based in Australia that aims to teach and inspire entrepreneurs around the world – posts content on Instagram twice a day.

Nathan Chan, who founded the company in 2013, describes Instagram as having a snowball effect. “The more you post, the faster you grow.”

As well as publishing content everyday, they also respond to comments and interact with other users. The reward is a very high engagement rate.

Their posts often receive thousands of likes, proving that this hands-on marketing has been hugely successful. So, how do you stay consistent and publish as much as Foundr does?

You can schedule your posts, with tools like Publish by Mention. This makes it far easier to plan your content ahead of time. The great news is that Publish allows you to schedule content up to one month ahead, and it’s completely free.

As we’ve seen, posting often is an important way to increase engagement, grow Instagram followers, and eventually acquire more customers.

Have a theme for your account

Decide on the types of content you will create, such as product photos, behind-the-scenes footage, user-generated content, and more. Create a content calendar to help you plan out your content themes and stay consistent.

Companies also need to be consistent in their message, and whatever your industry, your account needs to match the interests of your target audience.

According to Nathan, your theme should look like what your customers aspire to.

Foundr is a magazine for young entrepreneurs. For them, engaging content includes quotes and motivational images that “trigger some form of emotion”. They post ideas from famous business people, quotes from film and television characters, and prompt a response from their audience, who are real active followers.

Create visually appealing content

Instagram is a visual platform, so it’s essential to create visually appealing content that stands out.

To get noticed, you need attractive content. The best social media platforms have a clear color scheme and consistent topics. So make sure to use high-quality images, videos, and graphics that are consistent with your brand.

What if you don’t take great photos? Not everyone can be Annie Leibovitz.

Foundr doesn’t even have a full-time graphic designer on staff, so they use very few original photos. Instead, they use tools like Wordswag, Phonto, and Typorama to create quote images.

These tools make it easy to create the kinds of content that Instagram users love. With a bit of text and a few mouse-clicks, you can easily turn words into images.

Make sure your content is optimized for the platform by using hashtags, tags, and geotags to increase visibility and reach.

Use video

Nathan strongly suggests getting into video marketing.

66% of consumers prefer watching and engaging with a short video, as we’ve seen through Instagram Reels and TikTok videos.

Foundr uses video to promote their other (non-Instagram) content. They also share inspirational clips from movies and fun animations. This way, they have a variety of content types and a more interesting feed.

Stories are also incredibly popular.

For one, Stories sit at the very top of users’ feeds, and allow you to share your publications for higher visibility, as well as include links to your products. You can also save your best Stories to your highlights.

They give you a chance to take a few risks and experiment with different content, without everything needing to be perfect. For brands wanting to have fun and not seem too corporate, Stories are ideal.

Analyze and Adjust

Regularly analyze your content performance to see what’s working and what’s not. This will allow you to adjust your social media strategy accordingly, to improve your results.

With Instagram Insights, you are able to see how many people have liked, commented and saved your content, which allows you to share more of what works and increase your popularity on the platform.

Write a Clear and Concise Bio

When you first get started, you’ll need to set up your account and bio, and you’ll want to make sure you’re using your bio link correctly. Since Instagram only gives you one clickable link, it’s up to you to utilize it to its full potential.

You may be tempted to send Instagram users straight to your website’s homepage, but you’d be missing out on opportunities to gather information and create longer-lasting relationships.

Build a landing page with an offer for your Instagram followers. This could be a free ebook, a video you know they’ll love, or the opportunity to subscribe to your newsletter.

It could also be a special discount – 10% off your best-selling product, for example. Now, you’re using the extra attention from Instagram to drive conversions.

Foundr changes its bio link constantly, but always with the same goal: to add to its email list.

Note: Since Instagram is a mobile-first platform, these landing pages need to be mobile-friendly. Nathan has tested this extensively and finds that short content and easy opt-in are essential.

If you don’t wish to redirect your Instagram followers to a landing page, make sure you have included clear contact details in your bio. And if you’re short on ideas on what to put in your bio, you can try using an Instagram Bio Generator.

Publish Your Content During the Best Time to Post on Instagram

To increase engagement and reach on Instagram, it’s crucial to know when to post.

However, the best time to post on Instagram may vary, based on your audience’s behavior and location. Hence, analyzing your Instagram’s account’s data is vital to determine the right time for your posts.

Here are some tips to help you identify the best time to post on Instagram:

  • Analyze your audience: Use Instagram Insights to gather information about your followers’ demographics, behavior, and location. This will help you understand when your audience is most active on the platform.
  • Experiment with posting times: Try posting at different times and days to find out which ones generate the most engagement. Although it may take some time to figure out the perfect timing, it’ll be worth it in the long run. You can also test Mention’s Interactive Tool to discover the best time to post on Instagram per country.
  • Don’t rely solely on timing: While posting during optimal times can boost engagement, quality content is also crucial. Ensure that your posts are visually attractive, relevant, and provide value to your audience.

Incorporating trending Instagram hashtags is a crucial aspect of using the platform, as hashtags allow users to discover new content. Here are some tips to do so:

  • Research Trending Hashtags: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends by researching popular hashtags. You can browse Instagram’s Explore page, follow industry influencers, or use third-party tools to track popular hashtags. Once you identify relevant hashtags, incorporate them into your posts.
  • Use Niche Hashtags: Niche hashtags are specific to your industry, product, or service. These hashtags may not have as much traffic as broad hashtags, but they are more targeted and can help you connect with a more engaged audience. By using niche hashtags, you can increase your chances of appearing in the search results of people who are interested in your niche.
  • Use Relevant Hashtags: Ensure that the hashtags you use are relevant to the content you are posting. Avoid using hashtags that have nothing to do with your content, as this can result in low engagement and a negative impact on your account.
  • Don’t Overuse Hashtags: While hashtags can help you reach new audiences, using too many hashtags can appear spammy and result in low engagement. Limit the number of hashtags you use to between five and ten per post. To discover how many hashtags you should be using, you can download Mention x Hubspot’s Instagram Engagement Report.

Work with Influencers

During a webinar, Nathan said: “building partnerships is crucial to growing your brand“. This is true in business and on social media, where a post from someone important can reach thousands of new users.

But how do you make connections?

Pay for a shoutout

If you have the budget, consider paying to work with influencers. The rates depend on the influencers and the amount of people that follow them. If you would like to know their pricing, you could either:

  • Approach influencers directly, by creating an outreach list, making offers, and being ready to negotiate.
  • Go through an agency.

Agencies pair paying brands with willing influencers, based on relevance. Tribe, The Shelf, and Forbes all provide this service.

You could also try the app Influential, which lets you create paid influencer campaigns from your phone. Offers are sent to social media influencers, who prepare a campaign and request approval.

Here’s everything you need to build a winning influencer marketing strategy.

Offer free stuff

If you sell a product or service, you can also woo influencers with free products.

Nathan gave the example of Morris Motley, a high-end men’s hairdressing studio in Melbourne. They offered well-known fashion influencer Nick Wooster a free haircut, in exchange for an Instagram post.

Provide something of value – time, shares, product, or money – and add influencer marketing to your arsenal.

Run an Instagram Contest

To engage your Instagram followers and attract new ones, creating a contest can be a fun and effective method. Follow these steps to get started:

  • Determine your objective: Before planning your contest, establish what you aim to achieve. Do you want to increase brand awareness, promote a new product, or engage with your existing followers? Knowing your goal will help you design a contest that aligns with your purpose.
  • Select a theme: Choose a theme for your contest, such as a photo challenge, caption contest, or giveaway. Ensure that the theme is relevant to your brand and appeals to your target audience.
  • Set the rules: Establish the rules for your contest, including entry requirements, start and end dates, and the prize(s) on offer.
  • Create a unique hashtag: A unique hashtag will help you track entries and generate excitement around your contest. Ensure that the hashtag is easy to remember, uncomplicated, and relevant to your brand.
  • Promote your contest: Spread the word about your contest by sharing it on your Instagram feed and stories. Encourage your followers to participate and consider collaborating with influencers in your industry to help promote the contest to their followers.

Use the Full Range of Instagram Features

This one comes from our webinar with Later, all about killer Instagram hacks. Taylor told us that the Instagram algorithm actually recognizes those accounts that use all of the features in the platform.

So if you want more people to see your content in their feeds, you need to work with a range of different features. That means using Stories, Highlights, video and carousel posts. The more variety you use, the better your content will perform in the algorithm.

Embrace Analytics

Use analytics tools to track what works for you and to find out where you’re falling short.

In particular, Foundr tracks their follower growth, the ROI on their influencer campaigns, as well as the users who are sharing their Instagram content.

To do this, they use the following tools:

SocialRank

SocialRank shows them who their top-ranked Instagram followers are. This lets them find influencers who already know them, making it easy to choose the right partners.

Iconosquare

The magazine uses Iconosquare to find the best times to post on Instagram. The tool also tells you how your content is performing, and your overall engagement rates.

Minter

Minter gives them detailed demographic information about their followers. It tells them their followers’ gender and geographic locations, and which content performs best on Instagram.

Bonus Tips to Get Real Instagram Followers in 2023

By applying By applying all the the tips mentioned above, you will be growing your Instagram followers in no time. But if you want to go the extra mile, here are 3 extra tips:

  • Make sure your profile is complete: Use a profile picture that is recognizable and relevant, write an engaging bio, and make sure it represents your brand or personality.
  • Engage with your followers: Respond to comments and direct messages, and engage with your followers by liking and commenting on their posts. This will help you build a loyal community and attract new followers.
  • Run Instagram ads: Instagram ads can be a great way to reach a larger audience and attract new followers. Use targeting options to reach users who are likely to be interested in your content.

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