Stop scrolling for a moment, because you’ll want to pay attention to this. In today’s world, staying connected often translates to having a social media presence, and that means having an active Instagram account. For casual users, having your friends and family follow you is probably enough, but if you want to establish a business as a creator or for another venture, you’ll also want to have Instagram followers who don’t know you personally. It’s easier said than done. If you’re looking to build your Instagram following, here are the best tips to get more followers on Instagram.
Instagram has changed significantly since its inception in October 2010, and creators are having to keep up with the times. Now, there’s no one way to hack the algorithm — and even the best tips aren’t guaranteed to rake in the followers — but following these steps may help your followers count jump up a bit. Once you have an Instagram following, you can do more than watch the likes and comments roll in. It can also mean earning some extra cash with paid partnerships and bonuses, or a large IG following could even help you become a full-time content creator. There are so many benefits that come with having a following, you’ll want to dive right in.
The app has come a long way from static images in your feed that were filtered with Sierra. Now, it’s all about Reels and videos. Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced in July 2022 that videos are the future of the once photo-only platform. It’s clear that things are changing, and that means the ways you attract followers have evolved, too. As you try to keep your Instagram account worthy of likes and new followers, here are some tips for getting more Instagram followers.
1. Pick The Right Device
Step one to having a top notch IG account is perfecting your content. iPhones, like the new iPhone 14 Pro’s 48-megapixel main camera and 12-megapixel ultra wide lens, are ideal for posting high-definition photos and videos, according to a 2022 smartphone camera ranking on Tom’s Guide. That’s not to discount Android phones, though. The Google Pixel 7 Pro came in second in the rankings and is a stellar option for Androids with a 50-megapixel main camera for that ‘Gram-worthy snap.
2. Include An Interesting Bio
Keep it brief — about four or five lines — and make sure it's descriptive. Also, keep your use of emojis to a minimum. Adding key search words to your bio name will make your account more easily searchable and likelier to appear when someone is looking for content with a certain search term, according to Later, a social media management platform. For example, if your account focuses on food, you could add keywords like “food” or “foodie” to your bio.
3. Only Post Quality Photos
No one wants to follow an account filled with blurry pictures. Don't be afraid to play around with angles and lighting to achieve the perfect shot. When you post, make sure your photo is at least 1,080 pixels wide and an aspect ratio between 1.91:1 and 4:5, according to Instagram’s Help Center. This will help you get a high-definition photo on your feed.
4. Use Keyword-Focused Captions
Focus on captions over hashtags. According to a 2022 Hootsuite experiment, keyword-focused captions get more reach and engagement than hashtags. Hootsuite recommends using “descriptive words” to help new followers find your content. In the experiment, the user shared photos with a descriptive caption such as “Ah Vancouver, what a beautiful city skyline you have” compared to “#vancouver #vancouverskyline” and the captioned post performed better than the hashtags.
5. Use Highly Specific Hashtags
While hashtags aren’t as effective as they used to be for reach and engagement, don’t completely write them off. Mosseri said in a March 18 Instagram story, “In general, I wouldn’t try to think of hashtags as a way to get more distribution.” But, they can still help people discover your content. The Instagram Creators account recommends using between three to five “specific hashtags.” Popular hashtags like #explorepage might not be the best route because there are too many people using the hashtag, resulting in your post getting lost.
6. Only Post At Certain Times
When it comes to racking up those likes (and followers), timing is everything. If you have a professional profile, check Instagram Insights for the times your followers are the most active. As a rule of thumb, Hootsuite reported that as of July 2022, the best time to post is on weekdays between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET. You can use Instagram’s soon-to-come scheduling tool to help with this.
7. Post Frequently
You want to be consistent with posting to increase your reach and remind existing followers you’re active and relevant. Depending on your current following, Later found posting 14 times per week, or twice a day, will achieve the highest reach per post. If you have over 250,000 followers, posting once a week is just as effective for the best reach rate per post.
8. Don't Forget About Engagement
If people comment on your photos, make sure to write back. If you have some conversations going, other Instagram users will want to join in. According to Instagram’s Creators page, “The easiest way to turn casual followers into fans is by liking, replying, and resharing their responses.” They’ll be stans in no time. You can also interact with your followers by using Instagram Story stickers like Quizzes and Polls.
9. Try Different Kinds Of Content
You’ve probably already noticed, but you’ll be seeing more videos on your feed. Mosseri said in July 2022 that “Instagram is going to become video over time.” Per Instagram, “Sharing across formats (Reels, Stories, Instagram Video, etc.) can help you find new followers and expand your reach.” Adding speech-to-text captions will also make your videos more accessible. So, what are you waiting for? Lights, camera, action!
10. Team Up For Collaborations
Join forces with your favorite creator or brand. Now that joint posts are available on Instagram, collaborating with other creators can “expand your audience” and it “introduces your brand to their communities in an authentic way,” according to Instagram. Two heads are better than one.
11. Educate Yourself
Instagram has plenty of resources to help creators get started, namely the Creator Lab, which launched in March 2022. There, you can get info straight from successful creators about topics like creating a content strategy and how to define your voice. This information comes straight from IG creators like @plantkween and @kali.leder, who speak from experience. Practice makes perfect, as they say, so it can’t hurt to make sure you know all the ins and outs of the IG creator experience.
While there’s no secret sauce to winning the game of Instagram, you can try some of these tips to make your account as intriguing as possible to potential followers. As you sharpen up your Instagram game, Mosseri reminds users there isn’t “one formula” to grow your following. Take what you know now, go out there, and start posting.
This article was originally published on