A Basic Guide To Boosting Your Instagram Followers

After only a little over a decade, the extremely popular photo-sharing site Instagram can now boast one billion active users worldwide.  With 95 million photos and videos posted per day, it quickly became the social platform to have an active presence on.  And with over 80% of accounts following a business, it’s essential to have your Instagram engagement game on point these days.

A Basic Guide To Boosting Your Instagram Followers

1. Hashtags

Don’t use too many hashtags in one post.  Identify hashtags that relate to your images and only ever use a maximum of five in one image.  Don’t always go for the most popular hashtags either, as your image will just end up among a wall of other pictures.  Be specific and descriptive.  Don’t necessarily tag a picture of your dog with #dog.  Tag it as #beagle or #yorkie so that you’re targeting a more closely set group of people.  Then, look for people using those same hashtags and follow them.

2. Interact and Connect

Engaging on Instagram will get you followers quickly.  Just like in real life, when you interact with people, you tend to make more friends.  Connect up your Instagram account with your other social accounts so that your friends (and their friends) see your images and start following you.  Be sure to comment on other people’s photos within your niche to attract attention and ultimately gain more followers.

3. Know What’s Up

Harness the power of trending topics to attract more casual followers.  Also, see what your most popular posts have been in terms of likes and engagement and use that as a guide for future ideas.  It helps if you’re creating images that have a potential for human connection: emotional, thought provoking, and interesting content does well on Instagram.

4. Geo Tags

Instagram users are more interested in photos from locations they know.  On top of that, as you post geotagged photos, Instagram will bring up other photos from that location.  It also doesn’t hurt to find that area’s hashtag and tag it with it as well.  #springfieldil

5.  Easy Does It

Pace yourself and don’t dump all of your photos into your feed at once (unless you’re going for that sort of thing).  If you have multiple photos that you want to share, spread them out over a few days.  There are a number of apps that will allow you to “drip”, or schedule the photos out or you can use an additional app to combine pictures into one to share.  The last thing you want to do is clutter up your follower’s feed with your photos.

6.  Start A Contest

For a business, an easy way to get people to engage with your account is to host a photo contest.

  • Set clear goals so you can measure the effectiveness of the event, be it likes, comments, tags, etc.
  • Set a time frame.
  • Create a hashtag specific to the contest so you can easily reference all of the entries later.
  • Decide how contestants should enter.  By uploading a photo?  By following you?  By tagging you?
  • Choose a prize.  This is important, as it provides the incentive for people to engage with you.  You need something attention-getting and tangible.  No one outside of reddit is interested in bragging rights.
  • Set conditions.  How will winners be picked?  How many times can one enter?  Is there a theme?  These conditions need to be spelled out and easily accessible for new entrants.  Consider making a photo of these regulations to supplement the kick off of the contest.

7.  The Right Look

Filters can make all the difference when it comes to gaining likes and follows.

The 5 most used filters on Instagram:

  1. Normal (#nofilter)
  2. Clarendon
  3. Gingham
  4. Juno
  5. Lark

The 5 filters that get the most likes, however, are:

  1. Clarendon
  2. Juno
  3. Valencia
  4. X-Pro II
  5. Lark

8. Add Captions

A good caption can turn a mediocre photo into a great one.  Captions can help grab the viewer’s attention and if you can make them smile or laugh, you’ll retain more people as followers.

9.  Timeliness

The time that you publish your content is just important on Instagram as it is anywhere else.  Be mindful about when your audience uses Instagram.

  • When brands post videos: 2-3pm
  • When brands post images: between 9am-8pm; peak time: 2-3pm
  • Most effective time to post videos: 8pm-8am (people tend to watch videos after work hours)
  • Most effective time to post images: anytime.  Overall  effectiveness seems to be the same no matter what time of day, however, peak time is 2-3pm
  • Most effective day to post:  Overall  effectiveness seems to be the same no matter what time of day, however, the peak day is Thursday
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