The answers to how to get Instagram followers are here! (With updates current for 2021).
Instagram Growth Apps
New app recommendation (if you don’t already have it installed on your desktop Chrome browser) for conversing on Instagram. It’s called Desktop for Instagram, and it’s by Devanco. I’ve been using this app to upload my images, but also to comment on others’ posts to engage with others.
I highly recommend this app because I’m trying to get away from using my thumbs on my phone, and only spend a certain amount of time on social media each day.
Besides capturing amazing pictures that create a theme, it’s simply important to be social and comment on others’ posts, as well, without spamming their photos with your services. Make your comments genuine and authentic. Be appreciative of their work and effort and you may just see some improvement in your Instagram follower count.
Is Your Audience Actually on Instagram?
If you feel like Instagram is where your audience primarily resides, then by all means put in the effort to establish a following. Some people make the mistake of following a bunch of people in the hopes that they’ll follow back. This only works to a certain degree and isn’t what I would consider a long-term strategy.
Instagram has an element of social-ness to it, so it’s important for you (and others) to remain social and engage. Others will appreciate the effort, and you will, too, once those comments and hearts start rolling in. Remember, you’re starting from the ground up, and the way you follow on how to get instagram followers is going to determine just how long (or hard) it’s going to be.
How to Be More Social on Instagram
To be more social on Instagram, you’re going to have to use your words. Yes, comment. Don’t just like, but leave comments. And frankly, this is hard for me, even, being an introvert.
Here are some tips. One, don’t try to do comments on your phone. It takes way too long to type everything in or get your audio corrector to understand what you’re trying to say. Use a desktop/laptop computer or your iPad / tablet to key everything in. Two, leave more than just a few word comments. Third, make your comment meaningful and positive. If you can’t say something nice or ask a thoughtful question, find something else to say or move on. Finally, don’t spam or promote yourself within your comment. It’s entirely rude to do that.
How to Not Spam on Instagram
I don’t know what happened but somehow marketers got so needy that they feel the need to inbox you with their promotional content. This is not being social; this is being an Insta-spammer.
It’s much better just to start a regular, human conversation, and get their consent before pitching your offer in someone’s inbox. Otherwise, it’s the quickest way to get blocked, reported, and lose your account
It’s Not for Technical Support or Formal Brand Collaboration Requests
I’m not on Instagram much at all anymore. I’ll post an Instagram or pretty picture here and there, but it’s not where my true audience is. They’re on Pinterest.
Follow the Contact Guidelines
If you’re doing business with someone or made a purchase with the shop, follow their contact guidelines for getting customer support. Please don’t use Instagram for that, especially if the account isn’t super active but rather there for posterity’s sake. Follow the contact guidelines such as a contact form or a direct email provided to you by the brand.
Do you know how hard it is to do technical support via a messaging app? Difficult. Especially if you need to show someone a screenshot, list out steps… c’mon, we’re talking about a mobile app here. It’s not designed for technical support.
Don’t Get Yourself Blocked on Instagram
If you want to grow your account, don’t get blocked by brands or other accounts for repeatedly messaging them for things when you’ve been instructed already on what to do and where to contact. In the past I’ve had people email me, Instagram direct message me, tweet at me, Pinterest message me, all within 5 minutes of each message, before allowing me to get to the email. Don’t be that person!
One message. On the contact method the brand designates. If that happens to be Instagram, great. If not, don’t use Instagram for stuff like that and jeopardize your account. (Unless they’re following you your messages will get sent to ‘requests’ anyway!)
You can’t send contract documents via Instagram, so be sure to have these types of arrangements and contracts done outside of the platform. It wasn’t designed for that; rather, for pictures, commenting, and following/unfollowing. That’s it!
Be sure to provide a link to your social page on your website in your bio. I use a simple “Social” page on my website.
Tips for Growing Your Instagram Account
Here are a few tips I’ve learned while building my own Instagram account.
- Use Instagram stories – specifically ones that are animated.
- Don’t buy followers – Instagram cares about your engagement rate and will bury your posts if you buy followers. They don’t benefit you anyway, and are just ghost accounts, so why even bother?
- Create a theme and a pattern for your images
- Curate your posts based on your interests and those your followers would be interested in.
- Comment on others’ posts daily. Not just sporadically.
- Make an effort to comment 25-30 images at a time to break up your quota in a given day. It’s really simple and easy to do once you get the hang of it.
- Ask to reshare and tag people.
- Stay positive.
- Research hashtags and avoid ones that are in the millions – use niche hashtags to truly find your following, and comment on those instead.
- Stop worrying about trying to be an influencer before you learn how to walk on two feet on Instagram. And for Pete’s sake, don’t put yourself into debt just to reflect you have a fabulous life. It’s SOOOOO not worth it.
If you’re feeling like your engagement rate is low simply because of a bunch of ghost accounts following you, here’s an app I recommend to get rid of and block the ghosts: Cleaner for IG. Trust me, you’re better off having fewer followers and a higher engagement rate than a ton of them that never comment because they’re not “vested” in you.
Using a combination of automation and a hashtag search, you can easily get 200+ people to follow your Instagram account.
Starting a Bullet Journal
Here’s the catch: you’d have to do this Every. Single. Day.
Now. What I typically do is just keep things automated using my SEMRush account so that it posts automatically after I batch my images. When you’re figuring out how to get instagram followers, it’s hard to start from the ground up. But if you want an extra boost to get things moving, here’s what you need to do. It’s perfect for boring days when you have nothing else better to do or are putzing around Instagram.
- Set up your SEMRush account. After hooking up your Instagram account in services, add a list of hashtags by group in your favorite list app. I tend to use Artful Agenda for my lists, usually because it’s open all the time for me to click through my tasks for the day.
- Do a search for hashtags your account is most affiliated with. Find 50-70 pictures that are deserving of praise and commenting and write some genuine comments on them. You’ll find gratitude from the account owner on most occasions with a follow. Don’t just leave emoji comments or “Cool”. Genuine comments that actually help them are more than 7 words long. They’ll appreciate it. This will take you about 2 hours of time.
I recommend step 2 ONLY if you have the time to do it and are really doing a push of a product or signup. If you’re like me, a super busy person who needs 8 arms and hands just to make coffee in the morning and are surrounded by loud little people (children), then step 1 is definitely more of a long-term solution for you. But popping onto Instagram 1-2 times a month to give shout-outs is definitely recommended, and something I do when I have genuine time to do it.
Happy growing, my friends! If you want more information on how to grow an authentic Instagram account, I recommend the following reading:
Also published on Medium.