10 Tips to Increase Your Instagram Following

Written by: Jason Bayless | September 16, 2016

Social media can be a great tool to market yourself or a business. With enough hard work, you can even make money by posting on Instagram. But how? The first step is to increase your following in order to reach a larger target audience with each post. Boosting your following in the large world of Instagram can seem like a daunting task, but here are 10 tips to help increase your following.

1) Identify Your Target AudienceKnowing who you are trying to reach can be half the battle. Decide what groups you want to attract attention from and begin following those people/businesses/groups. Reaching your target audience can make or break your success on Instagram, so choose carefully and directly. For example, if I were starting a knitting Instagram, I wouldn’t follow every sports team in my area. Instead, I would follow other knitters, shop owners, favorites from Etsy, etc.

2) Know and Use the Correct HashtagsHashtags aren’t only for adding humor to your photos. Use them to your advantage by using known hashtags in your target audience, ones that increase followers (#followback), and others pertinent to what you are marketing.

3) Engage Your FollowersEngaging your followers can and will lead to new followers. This can be as easy as captioning a picture with “Tell me what you think” or asking a question. This prompts sharing of ideas and more traffic to your picture.

4) Tag a FriendCaptioning a picture “Tag a Friend” can double your following overnight. This prompts your current followers to tag a friend who, hopefully, isn’t already following you. It is a quick, easy way to engage followers, attract new ones through a tag, and often, give a little bit of humor. You can also tag a friend in your picture. This guarantees that they see it and will most likely give it a like, which in turn promotes the post.

5) Use the Later AppFollowers need consistency: knowing that there will be a new post draws more people to an Instagram account. Later allows the account owner to schedule posts for a later time, so even if you’re having an extremely busy day, your Instagram followers are taken care of. This also means you’ll consistently pop up in suggestions, searches, and hashtags. Now, Instagram does not allow auto posts, so a notification prompting you to confirm the post will appear on your phone. In order for Later to be helpful to you, you must have access to your phone. Make sure to schedule your posts at a time in which you can confirm.

6) Host a GiveawayHosting a giveaway draws followers in fast! You can collaborate with other accounts and have them tag you in the giveaway post, or you can do it on your own. Many giveaways require entries to share the post, tag two friends, follow their page and use their hashtag. This is free advertising at its finest!

7) Create Your Own HashtagA hashtag is as specific as a brand. Research hashtags in your target market and brainstorm ideas. Before committing to a hashtag, search it. Ensure it isn’t already in use and will be unique to you and your account.

8) Like It UpLike other posts in your target market. While it is a competition of sorts, liking someone else’s post will not hurt you, but instead, it will help you. It puts your name out there for others to see and can draw them to your account.

9) Use Less FiltersStudies have shown that photos without filters consistently get more likes. This doesn’t mean you have to post an unfiltered selfie if you don’t want to but relax on the filters with other images. Allow what you are posting to show its true colors.

10) Do Your Research

There is plenty of research out there to help the budding Instagram marketer. Check them out! This can increase your following, likes, and cash flow. Forbes put out an extensive list backed with facts and figures. Check it out here.