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5 Strategies to Get More Instagram Followers

Whatever your goals are for Instagram, whether lofty (Drive web traffic! Get to 1 million in engagement by EOY!) or rudimentary (Start a brand account and post at least weekly! Start an influencer program!), you benefit from increasing your follower count.

Increasing your follower count leads to big downstream impact, like increased audience engagement, awareness, and web conversions. Here are five tried-and-true strategies you can use to get more Instagram followers.

1. Use Instagram Stories

Publishing Instagram Stories content regularly keeps your brand top-of-feed for users who already follow you.

But it also increases the likelihood that you’ll be discovered by soon-to-be-followers in Instagram’s Discover feature, and that your content will be recommended to friends of users who already follow you.

DiscoverFor more tips on how to put together Instagram Stories content that attracts and retains an audience, check out this blog post. 

2. Highlight Events + Partnerships

On Instagram, the more people you connect to, mention, and are mentioned by, the wider your net of awareness (ahem, followers) becomes. Is your brand active in any events and/or partnerships? Do you have customers who would highlight you (or would like to be highlighted by you) if you supplied the content?

Use Instagram to show the personality and authenticity behind your brand, events, and partnerships. Instagram is all heart and personal connection, so don’t just promote your event and/or partnership in a straightforward manner, i.e., “Come to our X event at X time because X will be speaking!”

Instead, tell a story that will spark interest, and ask your partners and event co-hosts to spotlight/mention your brand in the same vein whenever possible.

Events and Partnerships This is an effective way to increase brand awareness and followers in an audience with a likely interest overlap.

3. Tag Away

The more people and brands you tag in posts, the more likely they are to follow you back, and the more likely it is that your content will be featured in the Discover tab for people who follow those brands.

Tag PeopleWe’re not promoting spam tactics—don’t tag a brand or user simply to get their attention when the content is irrelevant—but if you have an opportunity to tag users, use it.

4. Use the Right Hashtags

Expand your Instagram follower base by using the right hashtags to attract the right people. You can do this by:

  1. Learning which topics and hashtags are trending with your target audience. Do this both on Instagram and across other social networks and forums. This is where a listening solution comes in.
Simply Measured Listening
Simply Measured Listening

2. Understanding the difference between hashtag types. The key to an Instagram hashtag strategy is, you guessed it, using hashtags on Instagram strategically! This means you need to know why you’re using the hashtag(s) you’re using. If you’re using hashtags to acquire a new audience, you want to use hashtags which are specific, relevant to your brand, and composed with an awareness/discovery focus (think more #yogalife than #lululemon). 

3. Segment your hashtags. One of the most useful attributes of the new Instagram hashtag follow feature is the ability to target smaller niche communities.

For instance, let’s say that your brand sells cookware. There are many different groups of people that buy cookware: moms, young professionals, young professional moms, bakers, vegetarians, meat lovers…and they all are interested in different topics related to your brand, which means different hashtags.

For more guidance on building out a robust Instagram hashtag strategy, check out this Social Media Today blog post we contributed.

5. Build an Influencer Program

Who are the influencers within Instagram’s niche communities? How can you identify influencers with audiences that would be interested in your brand and content, and want to follow you?

You don’t have to spend endless hours scouring Instagram and clicking through on hashtags to find out. Instead, you can use tools like Simply Measured Listening to track social media conversations and find the influencers who are already talking about your brand and/or relevant hashtags across multiple platforms.

 

InfluencersNeed more help planning out your year in social marketing and mapping your social goals to a solid game plan? Download the guide below. 

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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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