Instagram is a great platform for both business and pleasure, you can look at beautiful pictures, follow inspirational people and discover new places/products you didn’t even know existed.
Instagram has recently announced it had hit the 1 billion users milestone, as well as introducing their newest feature IGTV. It is clear Instagram is a platform that is changing and evolving constantly. New algorithms have made it even harder to grow followers and for your photos to be seen, so we wanted to share our top tips on how to grow your following on Instagram, without buying them! It is so much more important to have an organic and engaging audience than a huge number at the top of your profile.
Like and comment on photos that you like on your feed! This will mean that those accounts will show further up on your feed. By building relationships with people who you like the content of and relate with, they will hopefully return the likes and comments. This not only boosts engagement but it grows a loyal following too.
Another way you can interact on Instagram is to click on certain hashtags and interact with the posts, this will identify people who you may want to connect with and expose your account to them too.
People LIKE interaction, and the higher the engagement, the more people are going to see your posts.
A more short term way to gain followers is to set up a competition or giveaway on your profile. You can do this by offering a prize for people to follow you, like the giveaway/competition post and tag someone in the comments (this exposes your account to more people as well). In some cases, a brand may wish to collaborate on a competition/giveaway where they would then provide the prize.
You can also use Instagram stories as a way for people to repost your image and share your handle, this shares the competition/giveaway with more people who will then find your profile.
Hashtags are a great way for new people to find your profile and then hopefully follow you. We like to use hashtags related to the picture in the caption, then more hashtags that are popular in the first comment of the picture.
Try to use hashtags your target audience would use, to increase the chance of people finding your posts.
Post in the Morning (or when your engagement is highest)
We have found that our engagement is best in the morning, as our target audience use Instagram more at this time. If you have a business account, you can check when your followers are most active, which usually indicates you would have better engagement if you post at these times.
Twitter Follow Trains
I know it is odd that we are talking about Twitter on an Instagram post, but Twitter follow trains are a good way to find new accounts to follow and hopefully then gain new followers. It works by someone posting an initial post that would then be replied to with your Instagram handle, you then follow the accounts you like the look of in the thread. Don’t feel as though you have to follow every single one as you want to make your feed full of accounts you love.
Quality over Quantity
It is a well-known fact that better quality images always perform better than those with a low quality. People want to see nice photos, not just something thrown together. Ensure you are sharing a photo you are proud of. It is much better to post less, than post every single day with photos that are not the best they can be.
Teresa likes to post every day on her Instagram, but this does not mean you have to. If you decide you are only going to post every other day, or twice a week, this is fine as long as you are consistent. Make sure you are targeting your target audience, show them something they will be interested in. Also, make sure you know why you are posting, and what you want people to take away from your post.
By being consistent, you are showing your followers that you active, real and they will expect to see you.
Make your photo captions interesting, give people a reason to read to the end of your caption and even better, comment and interact. Inspire your followers to want to interact with your post, this boosts engagement and more people will then see your post.
Make sure you have a “call to action” in your caption, ask a question or ask them to respond to the image. This also encourages engagement and interaction.
Whenever you post an image or Instagram story, always make sure you have tagged the location (not your personal address though!). This reaches more people as they may search that location and then see your post, exposing your account to new potential followers.
Post more of you
Instagram is becoming more and more transparent, people want to see more realness, and want to see your personality coming through. Posting photos of yourself may be out of your comfort zone, but that is the best way to show people the person behind the profile. In a world of curated images, it is inspiring to see people being themselves. Your followers are much more likely to engage and interact with you as they can relate better and feel more connected to you as a person.
What is your favourite thing about Instagram?
Also if you have you tried any of our tips, then please let us know how it went. You can find THW Marketing & Social Media on:
Or Teresa on