With over 100 million monthly active users, 40 million photos shared per day, 8500 likes pressed per second and 1000 comments shared per second, there is no doubt that Instagram has a huge community for your business to tap into. But in order for your business to extract the most value from Instagram, you need to first get more followers on Instagram.
After studying people’s behavior and reading up a lot of blog posts about effective techniques to get more followers on Instagram, I wanted to share with you 8 simple and practical tips you can implement today. Here they are:
1. Share relatable, humanized photos.
One of the most important things I notice from popular Instagram accounts is that all their photos are personal, humanized, and relatable. What this means is to they take photos that their audience can emotionally connect with, including behind-the-scene shots, current activities they are doing, inspirational scenery, etc. The photos do NOT have to be perfect; the more important thing is to let the audience feel it was taken by another human being, not a “brand.” Social media is about connecting with your audiences, so if you give them great images they draw some sort of emotion to, they will like it, comment on it, and follow you for more great photos.
In other words, do not use Instagram as a platform for you to boast about things if you are looking to build a community of followers.
A beautiful image that captures people’s attention.
2. Connecting your Facebook account.
One of the simplest things often overlooked is to connect your Facebook account. Why does that matter? Well, since Instagram is part of Facebook, more and more Instagram activity gets streamed onto the Facebook wall with priority. That means everytime you take or like a photo, that story can be shared on your friend’s Facebook feed. That gets your brand account more exposure, and ultimately more followers.
Not to mention, Instagram helps you now auto-follow or find all your Facebook friends in seconds. By connecting your Facebook account, you make it easy for all your friends/network find you easily.
3. Use relevant, popular hashtags.
Every time you take a photo, you should hashtag it with a relevant or popular tag to get more exposure. Believe it or not, people search for hashtags on Instagram on particular topics. That being said, you should consider adding 1-3 hashtags per photo (more than that just looks like spam—and people don’t like that). When you do, you give the photo more opportunities to be found and interacted. The more people find and interact with your photo, the more likely they will check out your Instagram profile and follow you for more great photos.
Here are the top 20 tags on Instagram today:
#tbt (throwback Thursday)
Use relevant hashtags, but don’t over do it.
4. Types of filter matter.
The filters… the feature that made Instagram take off. Filters give beauty and uniqueness to each photo. By making your photo breathless, inspirational, or memorable, people will be more likely to engage with your photo, and want to follow you because they want more beautiful photos.
Did you know that the filter you choose says a lot about who you are? Check out the fun infographic below:
Fun infographic to see what filters say about you!
5. Timing is key.
Even if you snap the most beautiful photo in the world, it won’t matter or get any engagement if you share it in the middle of the night. After watching many people use Instagram for months, I’ve noticed that the two key times that people will check Instagram is either in the morning after they wake up or in the evening going home after work. (Why? My hypothesis is that at both these times, your brain is tired and all you want to do is see what your friends are up to and be inspired via photos—without needing to read or think.) According to the chart below, the best to share is on Wednesdays at 5-6PM.
You may want to consider sharing photos during these two times of the day because it will yield maximum engagement results. Other than that, you may also want to know that a typical photo on Instagram has a life of 3-4 hours before it gets pushed so far down the feed no one sees it anymore.
Wed. 5-6pm is most optimal time to share.
6. Have a call to action.
There are some very clever, yet subtle accounts that always have a clear call to action on all their photos. What I mean is that they post a photo and the commentary is something like “Double tap if you smiled…” or “comment with your favorite caption.” When you lay out clear instructions for fans to follow, they are 2x more likely to engage with the photo/post.
Again, more engagement = more exposure = more potential to get followers.
Unique way to encourage engagement.
7. Engage by following others and liking their photos.
If you expect people to engage with your posts, they expect the same as well. That means engage, engage, and engage with other’s photos. The more active you are, the more exposed your username/account is to the owner and the owner’s followers. I’ve found myself go to people’s Instagram account and follow them because they liked a photo of mine.
The main rationale behind that is if someone liked my photo, I feel my work is appreciated and want to show my gratitude back by following them.
Like & comment on other people’s photos.
8. Combine multiple images.
You know how they say a picture is a thousand words? What happens when you combine multiple images together? It becomes that much more powerful. I would consider using tools like PicStitch to combine multiple photos into a collage and then sharing it on Instagram. The beauty of this is you are automatically telling a “story” with multiple images at once. It’s no longer one image at one point of time, rather multiple images at multiple points of time. It encourages more interaction, commentary, and ultimately following.
Bonus: Use Tint to display Instagram photos on your website.
If you want to extend the reach and lifetime of your Instagram photos by displaying them on your website, you can check us out at http://tintup.com to do just that. You can think of Tint as the way for you to automatically share your Instagram photos onto your website so more visitors can see it and follow you. Want to see what it looks like? Just see the sidebar on this blog post above!
What effective ways do you use to gain more followers on Instagram? Are there methods you use that aren’t listed above? Or are there ones listed above that work particularly successful for you? Let us know in the comments below!