A quick five minutes on social media and you would come across a number of contests run by brands, influencer and others. For me, running interesting contests are one element that gives you a chance to explore new avenues, interact with like-minded people and come up with crazy pioneering ideas. I’ve run a number of contests on my social media platforms. Facebook and Instagram are the two widely picked platforms for contests on social media.
This time around I decided to solve the riddle of how to grow Instagram followers along with my followers. The contest was to come up with three super creative hacks and the winner was to receive a free copy of my book ‘101 Content Marketing Tips for Social Media.’
T0 my surprise, I received hundreds of strategies and worthy tips that can really make a difference to the follower count.
My initial plan was to announce 3 best answers as the winners, but seeing so many amazing and practical answers, I just couldn’t pick 1 or 2.
So here is a compilation of 50 amazing tips, tricks and hacks that were shared. These are in no particular order.
1. Get the basics right!
People follow an Instagram page if they think that page makes their life more comfortable and better. For example, if the niche is food or dress, make it look gorgeous and attractive with good colour psychology, and if your niche is innovation, technology or any service, help your audience to understand it better, and easy to adapt and use it. A page of unique value with frequent content as posts and stories is the most excellent strategy for any niche!
-@Latha Karthigaa, PhD
2. Be patient and follow the right practices:
It takes not just one, but a series of strategic and consistent efforts to grow one’s Instagram audience. Here are some techniques that can help other marketers out there!
- Use the right hashtags and tag relevant handles (for maximum post visibility)
- Be human; post visually-appealing and relatable/resourceful content.
- Plan your content strategy to trigger humour/positive emotions/curiosity/nostalgia/admiration & occasionally find ways to plug-in your brand content or offerings
- Do all it takes to interact, recognize and grow a community that believes/resonates with you as a brand or an offering.
3. Follow your Niche:
Following niche brands or reposting their posts in your timeline is a great way to increase engagement.
Follow Popular Person/Brand/competitors (Like & Comment on their all post). Create Campaigns & Challenge Others. Don’t forget to reply or heart all your comments.
5. Post valuable content:
Post/Share 4-5 stories at a time when there is maximum engagement. The stories should have valuable info., a CTA, a minimum of three hashtags & location tag.
6. Criticize and create controversies:
I think creating some constructive criticism/controversies would help in increasing the followers. When people see the criticism/controversy, they will comment, and that post will bring more and more impressions as well. This way, you can get link-minded people to follow you.
-@Jyoti Prakash Pradhan
7. Use Carousel wisely:
Use the Instagram carousel feature on Instagram wisely. Using the swipe feature most creatively engages the audience.
Tips to increase Instagram followers 1. Create and promote dedicated hashtag for your company. Promote that hashtag on your website, other social media websites and via email marketing. 2. Use popular hashtags and that should be tell about your Instagram post. 3. Create an Instagram advertisement 4. Post Attractive images and elaborate the content relevant to the image. 5. Post daily once or twice a day. 6. Retweet other post content.
9. Pull relevant crowd with contests:
I will run a contest. For example, if I am handling a makeup brand’s Instagram handle, then I will create a simple contest like “Guess the celebrity” (Will blur the image). Guess the celebrity and 3 lucky winners will get Lakme foundation worth Rs.599 something! Also, I will set the rule like – Share this post as a story and tag our Instagram handle. Why this strategy and how will it affect? Who doesn’t like Freebie? And in this case audience need to just comment the right answer and share the post on a story and in return, they will get 599 INR product for free. The lucky winner system will ensure that the contest is unbiased. Also, I will make sure to take testimonials of winners and will post it afterwards, resultantly more trust and engagement next time. Besides all this, hashtags and all which is obvious.
10. Have a proper strategized plan:
A sequence of trials/strategies is required to increase follower’s growth. Sharing a few methods that can help a brand/marketers to increase their follower growth organically. 1. Setting up the account (which includes a neat bio, public account) 2. Plan your Editorial Calendar (Let’s say an event, contest, tips, any campaign with a series of related posts) 3. Target your right audience before you post. 4. Optimize posts with dedicated/relevant hashtags. It would boost your account if the brand is publishing more than two posts with the same themed campaign. Create highlights with a set of themed posts. 5. Interact with users through likes, comments, and shares that will automatically increase your engagement. 6. Cross-promote your page with the users similar to your page. Promote the content on your linked accounts. 7. Use trial tools for Analytics and find out the graph.
-@Kalaivani Krishna Moorthy
11. Make stories your strengths:
Be sure to come up with different types of stories. Make use of polls, the engagement bar, ‘ask a question’ feature, photos/videos and live video options.
Stories with polls, questions or sliders is a direct call to action, asking people to engage with your profile and making them come back for the results.
12. Comment for follow:
Drop one comment on the same niche as your account by going into recent post hashtags. But feedback should be genuine only then he/she will follow us. So this conversion gave me a vast benefit plus a connection with the right audience.
Being a part of a niche community is always a great way to connect and grow your Instagram follower count.
13. Stay true to your work and passion:
Create content daily and constantly. Be focused on your work, and do what you like. You will gradually reach more people.
Many people start with enthusiasm and slowly fade away. Being consistent in the online space is the key to stay relevant and grow.
14. Focus of cross platform communication:
Link your best content from various social media sites, for people to get an idea of what type of content you produce. The best growing concept is ‘learn, teach and grow’. When you teach people something of value, they automatically form an emotional connection with you. With more valuable content, I guarantee you will increase your following base.
Value is everything when it comes to increasing follower base on Instagram. The higher the value you offer the more it will reflect on your follower count.
15. Go with the trend:
Staying updated with what others are doing in the game and applying what works and suits you the best.
Staying updated with Instagram’s and your competitors’ trends is vital.
16. Embrace the power of Synergy:
Collab with leaders/experts within your niche and also provide valuable content. This will bring a great reach and bring a quality audience to your page.
Getting in touch with a thought leader in your niche on your Instagram profile will bring a trust factor among your audience. Don’t treat your equals as competitors, but as partners.
17. Promote stories on other platforms:
Use the story features (poll, questions & live) and share the link on all the other platforms (WhatsApp status & Facebook status, broadcasts).
Cross channel promotion is one of the best ways to grow followers to check out your account.
18. Leverage the Emotions:
Post right content at the right time. Be consistent and use emotional triggers in the right places.
Update with posts and stories based on the time that it would get the maximum reach. Also, hashtags are a really great way to bring the audience to your page. Tools such as Instagram Hashtag Generator, All Hashtag, Ritetag helps you to generate the right hashtags for your niche.
19. Stay original, stay different:
Post original content instead of copying others. Update with new methods and apps. Organic traffic takes time to gain but be patient.
The trick to creating a brand around you is to come up with original content.
20. Make proper use of all the features:
Put every feature on Instagram to good use. Use the new feature like IGTV for Instagram.
IGTV is designed for long-form videos. It is a great way to feature product making videos of the brand or just to communicate directly with your audience in the most authentic way.
21. Promote yourself:
Tag yourself in the caption so that people can visit your profile when they see your post. Your profile bio must be more about your personality than your birthday or so.
The bio should be, explaining crisply and effectively what type of content people can expect from your account. Add a CTA by the end of the bio.
22. Stay relevant and original:
Create original, engaging and most relevant content. Make the content simple, short, relevant and easy to understand. Update your creative stories and posts regularly. Your content should solve the problem. Add bio and links on your profile. Share your Instagram post in relevant Facebook groups with a link to your Instagram account. Share your Instagram profile link on related websites.
Sync all of the stories on your accounts, namely Instagram, Facebook, website/landing page and other platforms. This way, you can divert all the audience which reaches one of the platforms to all of them.
23. Solve a problem:
‘Problem-solving is the Key’ according to my understanding & knowledge. For more engagement, we can use #hashtag and position the content in an excellent manner.
This is the thumb rule of Instagram. Giving away free solution now will lay the foundation for earning money via selling your solutions.
24. Consistency is the key:
Be constant at whatever you are doing. Stick to a theme. Drop on a call to action in your posts.
A themed page would get higher interaction than a page that doesn’t follow any style or theme. Concentrate on the grid styles, the colour palette, the tone of communication for all your posts.
25. Follow Contest:
Well, come up with contest giveaways and establish one rule of the contest is to follow your account. This will definitely help amp up followers.
This an age-old yet effective trick to immediately increase your numbers.
26. Engage in niche comments:
Select 20 niche accounts. Go to the comments section and answer to all those queries you find. The reply should be simple and informative. Do this on a daily basis to enhance follower count.
If you want to establish yourself as a person with the knowledge to share, this is a great way to start.
27. Fulfil a need:
Create videos on exactly what people want. Add your video title in the header section and your subtitles in the footer section, and promote the video.
Time and time again video content seem to work. If you perfect them they can really pull in a lot of audiences.
28. Believe in the power of paid:
Run sponsored ads that can reach the desired audience in a short span of time.
Ads are usually the best way to generate immediate attention in order to solve immediate goals.
29. Make your voice heard:
Participate in popular conversations.
Be a part of any big thing that is coming up in your niche. This will be a great way to reach the audience and keep yourself updated.
30. Entertain your followers:
Don’t always post about your product or service, keep your audience engaged. Post some memes that they might enjoy.
While you prepare your content bucket, streamline it accordingly so that it has different content every day.
31. Come up with quirky hashtags:
Get creative with your hashtags. Be funny, ironic or outrageous; but never boring.
Hashtags are a great way to create your own follower base. Creative hashtags can help a great deal.
32. Stick to your niche:
Post niche content every day until you die!
Rule of thumb here 80-20%. 80% niche and 20% you.
33. Deliver more:
If you have a lot of content to deliver, post 3-4 updates at the interval of 3-4 hours.
This is a fine line between overstuffing of content and giving relevant content regularly. If you feel you aren’t getting enough traction, chuck one or two posts off.
34. Think as the reader:
Use your alt+text to define your content. Do not post anything that you wouldn’t want to read on Instagram.
There is a lot of junk content that is repetitive and old. So, curate content that is highly relevant and interesting.
35. Be a little personal:
Share your personal experiences with your audience. Reply constantly to DMs and go live often.
Constant contact with your audience establishes that you are ready to offer value.
36. Make the most out of Instagram metrics:
Check post insights and see how people are reacting to your post or story. Work on what worked best.
Insights are a great way to tell what your niche audience prefers. This will help you create more relevant content and maximize reach.
37. Be Brand-centric:
You have to keep your brand theme in mind while running ads as well. This is for the scalability parameters.
Keeping your brand value and your theme intact while running ads would make the audience relate to the ads and connect better with your brand.
38. Collaboration is the way to go:
Start collaboration with influencers.
This is an era of influencers and you gotta catch up with the influencer marketing trends.
39. Be there for your followers:
Your profile must stick to two-way communication between you and your audience.
Anything is a two-way street these days. The more you give the more you’ll receive.
40. Make your feed attractive:
Create video content and try to post it in a properly aligned format on your page. Try posting a video, a photo and a video again so that your row looks eye-catching and attractive.
Play with your account post template. You can stick to patterns that are engaging and impressive.
41. Focus on quality content:
Targeted follow, unfollow to provide your initial momentum and then focus on vital content and hashtags to reach the explore page.
Reaching the explore page can be a great way to increase the traffic to your page.
42. Connect with your audience:
You must have a questioning session where your audience can clarify doubts.
This is a great conversation starter. You can start a live and let a few select audiences join for a questioning session. People would be able to notice the value that you can offer.
43. Know what works for you:
Good content + low compilation hashtags that have higher engagement in 60 min will definitely help to grow Instagram followers.
Use the hashtag generator tools that can generate trending hashtags related to your niche. These hashtags can pull in the immediate traffic for your post.
44. Use long-haul ads:
Run a full month video advertisement on why should people follow you? And target your desired audience.
If you are an instructor or a professional, this would be a great idea to introduce yourself within your niche. Run the same video ad on both Instagram stories and feed. This will help you gain a lot of traction.
45. Plan your approach:
To increase followers, you should have a proper social media marketing plan. Create an appropriate calendar and post regularly. The calendar should be appropriately made, keeping in mind all the festivals and events in the upcoming dates and months. E.g. informational, promotional, contests, videos/gifts etc . Post stories that would fetch an overall engagement. For example, the use of polls, questions and answers would increase the overall engagement on the page.
Create long term content buckets and stick to the schedule. This content bucket creation goes for your posts, stories and your IGTV videos.
46. Don’t hesitate to ask for a shoutout:
Appreciate the works of other people in your niche and shout out to them in your posts or videos. This way, you might get a shoutout back from them and gain the visibility of their audience.
A random shoutout wouldn’t make sense though. Select the top players who are in the same league as you are and then start to talk about their projects in your posts/stories.
47. Run contests regularly:
Contests are one of the most engaging parts of today’s marketing era. You can run 2 to 3 contests each month or a regular basis it will help users to engage with your content. Alert them before the contest, and you can run a campaign for promoting a contest. Also, after the contest ends, announce the results on Insta, and share pics of the winners. It will build trust, and more people will start to follow you and encourage them to share your content with their friends. Implement this strategy regularly, it will build trust and as well as it will increase your follower count.
48. Use the reach of online blogs:
Embed Instagram posts on your blog. It will help you to increase your followers.
49. Share and reshare:
Using user-generated content rocks! It is a great way to encourage the audience to tag, share and interact.
50. Follow the trends:
Follow hashtags and like recent post.. it will help to increase Instagram followers
These are a few hand-picked ones that have proven to work for me as well. Take note of all these useful tips and start growing your follower count ASAP.