September 18, 2014

How to get more followers on Instagram

This blog post is a part of my “how to get” series. I will cover how to get more likes, views, shares, fans, followers and other such vanity metrics.

Step 1: Deciding on a theme for your Instagram

Out of all the different methods I have selected, NEITHER of them work, if you do not have a set theme for your Instagram account. For myself, I decided that my Instagram should be about digital tactics with simple advice on why and why not to do different things when working with digital marketing.

Regardless of your theme, you need to have one, otherwise all of your efforts will go down the drain.

Step 2: Getting the right tools for Instagram management

There are mainly two tools I have found useful for managing an Instagram account properly.

Followers for Instagram – an app that gives you the opportunity to see who follows you back and who doesn’t, which gives you a way to unfollow those who do not follow you back when you start exploring the different hashtags.

Gramfeed – A web application that connects to your Instagram account and gives you the opportunity to do your work – except the posting – from a desktop computer.

Statigram stats – Use statigram to know when Instagram is experiencing high traffic for your account. You will then know when you should post your Instagrams in order to get the highest engagement rate. Imply log in and click the statistics option in the top navigation.

Step 3: The best practice regular advice on how to build an Instagram audience

  1. Share things people like – yeah… right
  2. Share at the right times – actually a really important one, see above for tool
  3. Use relevant hashtags, but not too many – yes, but it really only helps your like count
  4. Follow others – best one as you can see below, important that they are relevant
  5. Host contests – SUCKS
  6. Complete your bio – yes, if you add things like “I follow back”
  7. Ask questions in captions – good one if you want comments – which engages more people
  8. Use call to action in caption – good one if you are a SPAMMER or if you want to drive traffic elsewhere, doesn’t help for getting more followers
  9. Use filters and apps – yes! especially to edit your photos well and to post collages etc. again – for likes, not for followers
  10. Consistency – Yes. Worst thing is to surprise your followers in the wrong way.

Step 4: The fast track tactics of how to build an Instagram following

The goal for this test was to reach 10.000 Instagram followers. The below tactics are the ones I used and I started out at 514 followers.

1. The LIKE a desperate hashtag on Instagram tactic

There is one tactic that works considerably well for building Instagram followers. That tactic is the “follow desperate hashtags” tactic. Basically, you sort out the hashtags where people are the most desperate for a follow, and then you start interacting with them. Basically, you can get a ton of likes and followers, simply by following the feed and liking the photos they post.

Here are some of the best desperate hashtags at this point in time – please add more in the comments section:

#shoutout #shoutouts #shout #out #TagsForLikes #TFLers #shoutouter #instagood #s4s #shoutoutforshoutout #shoutout4shoutout #so #so4so #photooftheday #ilovemyfollowers #love #sobackteam #soback #follow #f4f #followforfollow #followback #followhim #followher #followall #followme #shout_out.

Method result: Extremely good

2. Like photos on relevant hashtags on Instagram

So. I got another tip about how to get more Instagram followers, and that was to use the “Like relevant and irrelevant hashtags”. Those hashtags that are relevant to me is #socialmedia, #seo, #marketing etc.

Method result: Good method if I post consistently

3. Mass follow on relevant hashtags

The main concept behind this tactic is to find popular people within the niche you are building your reputation. Then you follow all the users who like whatever the popular person is posting.

Method result: Extremely good outcome if you have relevant content on your Instagram profile

4. Growth through Twitter usage

This tactic is a bit more tricky to setup, and it does require some software.

You start out by creating a completely new Twitter account. Secondly you try to find at least 10 sources with RSS-feeds that are relevant to the topic/theme in which you want to grow. Let’s say animal puppies. You go out and find ten blogs and instagram accounts publishing photos and posts of and about animal puppies.

Do NOT name your Twitter account “Animal Puppies”. But rather name it “Annies Puppy” or something cute, yet possibly real person alike.

Now you go ahead and combine the RSS-feeds using Yahoo Pipes. Now! Do some research about all the hashtags that are used for Animal Puppies such as #cute #puppies etc. Just check out what is trending at the moment. Great tool to do that is Twitters own search engine.

Next step is to generate a new RSS-feed through Yahoo Pipes, and posting the aggregated RSS-feed to IFTTT. NOW! You connect your IFTTT to Twitter, generating an auto posting Twitter account. Let it post for a day or two to start collecting your first followers.

Now you are ready to go buy some followers to this account. Yes! Buy them. Remember, this tactic is for Instagram and not for Twitter. You need the followers in order to pass the Twitter radar for following too many people at one time. Just remember to buy them at a slow pace of about a hundred a day.

Once you start accumulating bought fans, you should start adding fanns using TweetAddr or some other such tool where you can search for a hashtag and create an auto follow function.

NOW!! The magic detail! Put the link to your own Instagram account in the bio!

The only next thing you will have to do is to clean your following list from time to time. You will see your Twitter account grow fast, but you will also see a lot of those followers moving over to Instagram as well.

Method result: Works really well as long as you stay on topic, which the automation does for you, for long term growth

5. Facebook push

If you have a Facebook page, the easiest way to build an audience on Instagram is to push traffic towards your Instagram account, simply by telling your fans that you have an Instagram account and what it is that you are using it for.

I would post something like this: “Hey guys! Just launched on Instagram. I will post photos from my travels, the people I meet and from days in the marketing industry – http://bit.ly/1lE81sE

You might call this a silly tip amongst the others, but seriously. I hadn’t done this one myself and it is one of the first things I recommend my clients to do, AND it is a really good one :).

Method result: If you have a Facebook page – do this regularly! It really helps

This article will be updated as I discover more tactics on how to build more Instagram followers.

2 Comments
  • Jonathan, September 19, 2014 Reply

    Nice!

    How many are you allowed to massfollow per day nowadays? I tried autofollow & unfollow a bunch one day, but got banned..:D

    Autolike works like a charm though. I made a robot for webstagram that autolikes photos of specific hashtags, and the like-back and follow-back ratio was quite good if you had relevant picture to the liked hashtag as your first image on your account! (http://instagram.com/kitesurfersblog) :)

    • Jesper Åström, September 21, 2014 Reply

      If you are going for a mass follow program, you really need to buy a lot of followers to begin with. That screws up their algorithm & filter completely. ;) Otherwise I would keep it to 100 follows per day - max! You still want quality on the ppl you follow in order to make your following relevant.


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