Instagram Followers: Real Way to Gain in 2021 (2/2)

Instagram followers

Keep reading for more real ways to gain Instagram followers in 2021.

11. Aim for the Explore page

The Explore page is what you see once you click on the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the Instagram app. According to Instagram itself, this is where “yow will discover photos and videos that you might like from accounts you don’t yet follow.”

The Explore tab features posts, Stories, and IGTV on Instagram. Users first see a grid of content showed by the Instagram algorithm. They then can choose to dive deeper into specific  content topics using the topic channels at the top of the screen.

Half of Instagram accounts go to Explore every month. That’s an enormous opportunity for brands trying to grow their audience.

So, how can you get your content to be shown on the Explore tab? It’s not easy. Luckily, we’ve got a complete article dedicated to helping you figure it out.

You may also pay to get into the Explore feed by selecting Explore as an ad placement.

different examples of the Explore page and Ads in the Explore feed

Source: Instagram

12. Tag your location

Any time there’s a clear location factor in your post or Story, it’s worth including a location tag. It’s one more easy method for people to seek out your content on Instagram.

If your business has a physical location, ensure to tag it and encourage customers to do the same. Users can then tap on that location and see all photos and Stories posted from your store, restaurant, or office. This can help expose your brand (and Instagram account) to more Instagram users.

For instance, here’s what you get whenever you seek the location of Van Wonderen Stroopwafels in Amsterdam:

Amsterdam location tag page on Instagram with top posts

Source: Instagram

13. Tag relevant users

You’ll be able to tag Instagram users featured in your photos with an @-mention in your caption or by utilizing Instagram’s tagging functionality within the post. Either way, they’ll get a notification when you do so.

Hootsuite Instagram post tagging a partner in the caption (as an example of how to get more Instagram followers)

Tagging someone encourages them to engage with the post and share it with their own following. Your post will also appear on the Tagged tab of their Instagram profile.

You can also tag related users in your Instagram Stories. Then, they can re-share the content to their own Story with just some clicks. If they do so, everyone who views their Story sees your username and can click via to your account.

Hootsuite Story that tags a user

You’ll notice we’ve mentioned you should only tag relevant users. Tagging someone just to get their attention isn’t an excellent idea. Only tag those who are featured in your photo or are related to the content of your post.

Some potentially related users to tag might include:

  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Other relevant businesses
  • Colleagues or employees
  • Somebody who taught you a skill or told you about something you share within the post
  • Anyone who appears in the photo

14. Follow relevant accounts

You’ll be able to follow anyone you like. And if you follow a user on Instagram, there’s a chance they will take a look at your feed.

In case your Instagram feed is filled with compelling content that’s relevant to their interests, they’re more likely to return the favor.

Social listening is a great way to find conversations related to your brand.

Instagram’s “Suggested For You” section can also be an excellent resource for finding relevant accounts to follow. This will be shown in your feed between posts, or on the right side of the screen on a computer.

However, remember that you shouldn’t follow too many other accounts too quickly. Your follower ratio is essential for credibility. Your follower ratio is the number of people that follow you compared to the variety of people you follow.

And don’t play the game that you follow people just to get their attention, then unfollow after they follow you back. This isn’t good for your Instagram reputation, as it’s really a jerk move.

15. Work with influencers in your niche

Here’s an essential stat for anyone thinking about getting more followers on Instagram: 60% of customers say they’d follow a brand on Instagram after seeing it promoted by an influencer they trust.

We’ve got a whole guide on Influencer marketing that will help you out.

16. Collaborate with other brands

Don’t be afraid to reach out to other brands to see if there’s a method that you can work together on Instagram. The right kind of collaboration may help everyone involved get more Instagram followers.

Think about brands or other businesses you already collaborate with within other methods, like in a local business enhancement association or shopping area. How could you work together on Instagram?

One common choice is to host a contest featuring products from multiple companies, like Rocky Mountain Soap Company did with Annika Mang of @borntobeadventurous.

17. Embrace Instagram Stories

We’ve talked about Stories in several of the tips already, however, it’s worth calling this feature out specifically. Simply put, if you need more Instagram followers, you should use Instagram Stories. Half a billion Instagram accounts use Stories every day, and 45% of the most-viewed Stories are from businesses

People who use Stories are highly engaged. According to Instagram, one in three stories results in a direct message.

Use the hashtag and location features in your stories to expose them to people who don’t already follow you. This is still an underused way to get followers on Instagram for free.

18. Use interactivity features

Instagram Stories offer plenty of interactive features to get users engaged, like a poll, question, and chat stickers.

Polling stickers increased three-second video views in 90% of Instagram’s beta campaigns for this function.

get more Instagram followers by using interactive features like polls

Source: Instagram

If users come across your Story from a hashtag or location page, that immediate opportunity to engage is an effective way to make them want to learn more about your brand by giving you a follow.

19. Take advantage of Stories highlights

Stories highlights let you introduce your brand to people who go to your profile. Pack those highlights with a great deal of great info and content to show new visitors exactly why they need to click Follow.

Make great use of the cover photos on your highlights, too. Porter Airlines does an incredible job with custom icons featuring their cute mascot.

Porter Airlines Instagram story highlights

Source: @porterairlines on Instagram

20. Try an IGTV series

IGTV videos can be up to an hour-long, allowing you to discover topics in-depth. You may also create an IGTV series, which encourages viewers to follow your account rather than simply watching a video and moving on.

IGTV posts appear four times larger than photos on the Explore tab, then new potential followers will more likely to click on your content.

21. Post consistently

Your existing followers need to see content from you. That’s the reason why they followed you in the first place.

As we’ve already talked about, when users interact with your posts, the increased engagement gives you some good algorithm love. So giving your existing followers something cool to interact with can help bring you more new Instagram followers too.

How typically should you post? An analysis by Tailwind found that everyday posting will “grow followers four times faster than posting less than once a week.”

22. Post at the right time

Yes, Instagram makes use of an algorithm rather than a chronological feed. However, timing is still essential, as it’s one of the signals the algorithm considers.

Start testing various times and measuring results. If you’re a retail brand, for instance, you may need to check posting during lunchtimes.

23. Schedule your posts and stories

Scheduling your posts in advance lets you plan a cohesive Instagram grid that tells an overarching story. It also lets you dedicate time to writing excellent captions, rather than trying to come up with something witty on the fly.

24. Run contests

Contests on Instagram may help you get more followers if your entry process includes asking people to follow you and comment on one of your photos by tagging a friend.

The tagged friends may also see your post and will choose to follow your account as well.

Encouraging user-generated content as a part of your content can also allow you to reach more people. People will learn about your contest from their friends’ posts. That is an effective strategy to build trust with new followers, and get more eyeballs to your page.

25. Consider promoting on Instagram

Instagram ads can be a highly effective way to reach new followers, quickly, by getting your content in front of people who would otherwise not see it.

Target your audience by location, demographics, and even key behaviors and interests. You may also create a lookalike viewer based on the people who already interact with your business.

Apart from the feed, you can advertise in Instagram Stories and the Explore feed. For all the details of creating and post an Instagram ad campaign, take a look at our detailed Instagram ads guide.

26. Learn from Instagram Insights

Instagram analytics tools will give you data on impressions for each post, along with reach, engagement, top posts, and more. You may also find demographic information about your followers, including gender, age, and location.

Insights dashboard

Reviewing this data regularly might help you identify areas where you can adjust the strategy that will help you get more followers on Instagram.

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