The number one question I hear from both my coaching clients and followers is always, “How can I get more Instagram followers?” While there’s no easy answer, there are several new strategies you should implement in 2017 to consistently grow your account.
But first…don’t do this…
Please don’t ever buy followers, or sign up for a tool to automate engagement. I often refer to these as “bots” because you can spot them from a mile away.
While many brands try to gamify the growth process using bots, they can actually be harmful because they don’t actually help you connect with your ideal customer, therefore leading to lower engagement.
The truth is that if you want to attract real people then you need to leave real, genuine comments. A bot leaving random comments on miscellaneous posts and “buying” followers is a waste of both your time and money. Remember, it’s more important to attract the right follower not more followers.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way we can dive into the good stuff…
1. Strategically comment
Start by listing 10-20 people or brands who have a similar audience. Keep that list in your phone somewhere to refer back to. When you have time to actively engage, go to each of these accounts and leave genuine comments on their most recent posts.
By being the last person to comment on their post, anyone else who comes to that post in the future will see your username. If your comment was interesting enough, they might just click over to your account to have a look.
Avoid leaving generic comments, such as “nice pic.” Instead, make an effort to leave genuine comments. You can even leave a little bit of your personality in the comment with some fun emojis. What’s most important is that you are staying true to your account and not posting spam.
2. Use Instagram Stories for a chance to be recommended
As I’ve discussed in my previous blog post, Instagram Stories are a new, fun way to foster stronger connections with your audience. But in addition to the opportunity for relationship building, using Instagram Stories well gives you the chance to be recommended by Instagram.
Pay attention to quality here. The better your stories are, and the more they speak to a specific audience, the higher your chances are that Instagram will add your account to the recommended stories at the top of the explore tab.
3. Share tutorial videos for a chance to be recommended
I know, video tutorials might not be your go-to content. But you can’t deny that tutorials are great pieces of content to share if you want to crush it on Instagram. Forget boring how-to videos. Let your personality shine and provide followers another perspective on your business.
Whether you’re getting ready for a big sale or event, invite your audience to follow along. Much like Instagram Stories, Instagram’s algorithm will recognize as you receive more engagement on your videos which could lead to a big boost in the explore tab.
4. Focus on algorithm maximization
Instagram now uses an algorithm to determine the order in which posts are shown in the newsfeed. If your content is not showing up close to the top of the newsfeed when your followers log on, then you’ll get fewer likes and comments on your posts leading to less exposure to people who don’t already follow you.
Focus on maximizing your exposure by working to overcome Instagram’s algorithm. Tactics like posting at optimal times, and fewer photos than you might be used to will help. Use Instagram analytics tools to determine your optimal time to post. And remember, sharing content consistently doesn’t matter if your followers are not seeing your posts.
5. Make your account public
Even after five years teaching Instagram, it still surprises me when I stumble upon Instagram business accounts set to private. Keeping your account settings private means that only your followers can see your content…yes even if you use hashtags.
Unless someone already knows who you are, they’re not going to follow you if they can’t see your full profile. So open up shop and make your account public.
Growing your Instagram audience is always a work in progress
As you start to map out next year’s business plan, make sure to keep an eye out for more in-depth tutorials. In the meantime, you can also download my free Instagram strategy guide. From hashtags to perfecting your bio, you’ll find a full outline of the strategies necessary to build a strong Instagram presence and gain more followers.