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Get more followers on Insatagram E-book

Get More Followers On Instagram – The Instagram Growth Hacks

Instagram is one of the most loved social media platforms without any doubts.

It has over a billion users. From common people to marketers, everyone is using Instagram like crazy.

If your target audience is young adults, Instagram is a goldmine for you. 70% of Instagram users are people under the age of 35.

There is no better time for marketers or businesses to start using Instagram for growth than now.

What do I mean by Growth? I mean, more followers, more engagement with your brand, and ultimately more sales or customers.

Using Instagram wisely can make sure-

  •  your brand or business never runs out of customers.

  • Your blog or landing pages keep getting tons of traffic from social media

  • and you have a community of people that listens to you (this is the best part, once you have

    followers that listen to you, you can sell to them anything.)

I know it’s not easy to make your brand go viral on Instagram but it is not hard either.

If you will read this E-book to the last, by the end you will be all set to make your brand or business go viral on Instagram.

This Handbook on Instagram will provide you so much value that by the end you will be confident enough to call yourself a social media marketer.

This is the most comprehensive Instagram Growth tutorial on the Internet so keep reading.

Enough talks, let’s see some, not some, but rather a lot of Instagram hacks that you could start applying now and get followers like crazy.

Note: Reading this E-book will only give you a lot of knowledge and knowledge is power but immediately applied knowledge is a superpower. So as you read, keep applying the tips on your Instagram.

Understanding Instagram algorithm

Like most of the social media platforms and search engines, Instagram also uses an algorithm to decide aa lot of things like which posts should be shown on a particular user’s feed, which posts should appear in the explore section, etc.

These things all sums up and indirectly defines your post reach on Instagram.

Earlier when Instagram was not as famous, It used a relatively simple method of deciding things. But now Instagram has a machine learning-based algorithm which is relatively complex.

Earlier, user feed was created based on reverse chronological order. This reverse chronological order based generation of feed was not up to the mark so Instagram changed it in 2016 and started using an algorithm.

Now, the user feed is created based on the interest of the user and the profiles they follow.

Now Instagram is using an algorithm to decide a lot of things.

The drawback of this algorithmic model is some of the posts never get seen if the user does not scroll long enough.

Facebook uses the latest posts model but Instagram does not.

What does this Instagram algorithm consist of? what factors does it include?

Nobody knows the exact factors that Instagram takes into account while generating feeds or showing ads but there are a lot of things known to people. Let’s see them each.

3 main factors that Instagram uses for user feed creation and suggestions:

  • Relations and Engagements- In a user feed, the Instagram algorithm shows a post from accounts that the user likes, shares, or interacts with. If a user likes and comments on a post by DoneDigital.in then, chances are when we post the next day, it will be shown in that user’s feed, and most likely on the top of the feed.
  • Interest- Instagram uses its efficient machine-learning algorithm to define user interest and content accordingly. For example, if you like and interact with motivation posts and hashtags, most likely your feed is going to be full of such posts. You get what you are interested in, no crap.
  • Timeline- Recent posts are shown to users on a priority basis. And for the same reason, posting at the right time is important. What is the right time? When most of your target audience is online. We will talk about it in detail later.
  • User following- If you follow thousands of accounts, Instagram can’t show you all the posts from all the accounts (if you are not willing to spend 5 hours scrolling). So what the algorithm does is show only top hits based on user interest, engagement, and post timeline. On the other hand, if you follow only dozens of accounts, you would be able to see all the posts from all the accounts you follow without having to scroll for hours.

Now we know how the Instagram algorithm works and on what basis a user feed is generated, we are now better equipped to learn about the hacks.

Yes, the hacks to grow your following on Instagram like crazy. Let’s get started.

As told earlier, we are going to talk about organic ways to grow Instagram.

1. Work On Your Instagram Profile

The first step towards positioning yourself as a brand on Instagram is optimizing for the same.

Don’t let your Instagram account look like an amateur or just another Instagram account. Optimize it.

How to do that?

Make sure your profile photo reveals what your brand or you stand for. If you are a photographer, your profile photo should reveal you are a photographer.

If you are proud dad, upload a photo of yours hugging your best son.

If you are a digital marketer like me, upload a photo that signifies your expertise.

Get creative and think of ways you could make your profile photo optimized for visitors.

Until unless you are a company or organization, don’t use a logo, illustration, or similar. People can relate to you better as a person when they will see your photo.

2. Choose your username wisely

If you are an organization or company, you have the liberty to choose your brand name as the username. Most probably, it would be available to use but if it is not, using your brand domain name could be a good idea (We did the same).

For personal brands and individuals, choose your username wisely. If possible, make sure your name is included in the username.

Pro tip– It would be great if you can use the same username you use on other social media handles like LinkedIn and Facebook. The benefit of doing so is your Facebook followers or LinkedIn connection can easily find you on Instagram.

Also, it is best if you could include a word about your profession or brand in your Instagram Name. I said name, not username.

Like if I am a fitness trainer, I would love to use- Rohit Fitness Trainer or Fitness Geek Rohit as my Instagram name.

3. Add a link to your website or blog

As an organization, add a link to your favorite landing page. As an individual, add a link to your blog or maybe the link to chat with you on Whatsapp (in case you don’t have a website).

If you are on Instagram with the intention of selling or becoming an influencer, we highly recommend you get a website built for yourself.

4. Optimize your Bio

You need to make sure you leave an impression in the minds of your account visitors.

Your bio should not look like bio of just another Instagram account. Optimize it for the best. Consider writing and rewriting it multiple times, until it looks perfect to you and your followers.

Here is an example of a good bio. This bio encourages ladies and fitness enthusiasts to follow.

Get more Instagram Followers - an example of good bio 5. Create a character sketch of your ideal follower

No don’t pick up those brushes, you don’t have to draw a sketch. What I mean to say is- keep in mind or make a note of what your ideal followers look like, what interests them, what kind of posts they want to see and what makes them happy, what makes them sad, and similar stuff.

Once you are clear on that, move on.

6. Post relevant content around your Brand

Don’t post stuff you like, post what your ideal followers want to see. If you are a fitness trainer, posting your vacation photos would not help (until unless you are flaunting your physique in the photos).

Post photos and videos that help your followers or make them feel informed and excited.

The content you post should be so related to your profession or industry that when a user visits your account, he or she should be able to guess about you or your brand from your content.

For example, when you visit a model’s Instagram account, you will be able to recognize she is a model by looking at her photos.

Make sure, your content tells your brand story and the visitors don’t have to read the bio for the same.

7. Make it personal

You should often post content and videos of yours if you are an individual. When you post content and videos of yours. People will be able to connect with you and the next time they discover you, they will feel as they know you. They will feel connected.

When you post videos of yours, talk a bit about your profession, brand, and yourself and a bit about your followers.

8. Be honest

Don’t be phony on Instagram, people are clever when it comes to recognizing phony people. Don’t try to flaunt yourself as the leading photographer if you are not.

Be honest, tell your followers honestly about yourself. This will establish a solid relationship between you and your audience. And on Instagram, relationship matters. For example, if you are a fitness trainer, don’t say you make your clients lose tens of pounds in a matter of days, better say- you work hard with the clients to deliver results as fast as you can.

If you are a marketing agency, don’t say- we will bring you hundreds of sales from the very next day you sign a contract with us. Better say- we will use our years of expertise to promote your brand and augment your sales steadily.

In short, be honest if you want your followers to be like your family. Building a community is the key.

9. Make your posts look professional

If you are really serious about growing on Instagram, consider spending some time refining your photos and videos before you post.

You don’t always need a DSLR to click photos, but make sure to edit the photos you click with your phone.

If you are a company, consider investing your time and money in good graphics. Use the same color patterns that define your brands every time you post some graphical content. This will build your brand aesthetics.

10. Inform and attract

This is highly relevant for brands and companies. If you want to grow on Instagram, do your best to provide value to your followers or random users.

You don’t have that “let’s make a friend” advantage that personal brands and individuals have.

Only business-minded people want to connect with business accounts.

How can you overcome this huddle? Give something to the people so that they follow you. Give them some reason.

The easiest way of doing so is by sharing knowledge and information. While sharing information, you should try to post information related to your industry. This will make sure, you retain your brand identity on Instagram.

It’s okay to post off the theme content some times but not always.

11. Post regularly

I can’t stress this more. If you want to keep getting followers on a regular basis, post regularly.

If you are okay getting followers on only weekends, then it is okay to post only on weekends.

For the majority of people who wish to grow faster, make sure you post each and every day and multiple times a day if possible.

Here are some of my tips to achieve consistency.

Keep some content always ready to be posted. Create content in advance.

If you have nothing to do for the day, why not create some content that you could later post on your Instagram?

Once you have content to post,

12. Schedule your posts

Keep some sort of calendar to remind you to post what on what day. Luckily, there are dozens of such tools available in the market that could help.

An Instagram post scheduler can automatically post content on your Instagram profile at your preferred time and date.

Posting at the right time is important and a scheduler makes sure you don’t miss that right time. Even if you will be offline, the scheduler can post on your behalf.

13. Post at the right time

In order to make sure your posts reach most people, post at peak times. By peek times, I mean times when your ideal followers are online.

If you will posts when everyone is sleeping, your posts would be seen by no-one.

Posting at the right time is very much important. Experiment and analyze at what time your content reaches the most people, and what time it rarely reaches.

You will be able to recognize the peek time with some hit and trial experiments.

14. Use Hashtags

This one is something that is advised the most often when you ask about Instagram.

The reason is simply that it works. Hashtags make your posts reach more people.

Every time you post, make sure to include hashtags that define your post or brand.

When posting, research and get some relevant hashtags with good reach and include it in the caption or the comments. Captions are where most people mention it and it is the best way.

Research and analyze what hashtags gets you the most visibility and consider using them often. Don’t use the same set of hashtags on every post.

Giving variety to your hashtags would make sure you reach a variety of people.

Pro tip: Why not create your own hashtag and promote it?

15. Write thoughtful captions

You don’t want your captions to be filled with only hashtags. It would be a good strategy to write captions thoughtfully. Asking questions to your followers in the caption, asking them to comment, or engage in any way is best.

You can also share your experience and story in the captions and maintain that personal connection with your followers. Write captions thoughtfully.

16. Make people engage with your posts

Engagement is the king when it comes to Instagram marketing. People only seeing your posts and stories is not enough, encourage them to interact or you will lose your place in their feed.

As told earlier, engagement is a part of the Instagram algorithm.

There are plenty of ways you can boost the engagement of your followers with your account.

Comments-

When you post anything on Instagram, ask your followers or viewers to comment about it, try to get their reviews and opinions.

For example, when posting a photo of yours with your dog, you could ask your followers- Is not my dog cute?, What kind of dog breed you like?, Do you have a dog? Are you a dog person or a cat person? etc.

Likes-

This goes without saying, the more likes you get, the better. Ask people to like your posts.

A lot of people do this- “Do you agree with me, like if you agree, comment if you don’t”. I know this is old school but it still works.

Shares and Saves-

If you have better ideas for making your post viewers comment, like, share, and save, try implementing them.

In order to get saves, the only shortcut is to create content that the user would want to look at again and again. (Meme accounts must be getting the most saves, as people want to read jokes time and time again. You have to do something similar).

Creating high resource content that the user would like to infer to again and again is the key. You could share such information in the captions or create a separate post for it.

Make them DM you-

When people message you directly, this is also counted as engagement with your account. So encourage people to message you directly.

Stories are a great way of doing so. We are going to cover the stories part sooner. In regular posts, you can ask your followers and viewers to ask about their confusion or questions.

If you are an expert in any domain, try disseminating free advice to the people in the inbox. It’s definitely a time-consuming process to reply to people personally but it would be worth it if you are serious about exploiting Instagram for growth.

Tag them and make them tag you-

Tagging your followers is a great way to boost engagement and getting tagged is yet another strategy that works.

Tag your followers in your stories and your posts.

Engage with Others-

When you have time in your hands, go and check out the accounts of your followers.

Like their photos and watch their stories. This might not be the best option for businesses but for individuals, it is definitely something you should try.

Find ways to engage with your followers in a natural fashion.

17. Pin Comments

Once you encourage people to comment and people start commenting, reward the best comments by pinning them on the top. This will not only help you but also help the person who made the best comment.

18. Share Your Instagram Account

Promoting your Instagram accounts on other platforms is something a lot of people ignore. But as someone aspiring to be a social media ninja, you should not.

Share your Instagram account on other social networking sites and ask people to follow or connect with you on Instagram.

If you own a website, put your Instagram link on it and ask people to follow you.

19. Re-post

There is a sort of content that we call evergreen. Re-post that top-performing evergreen content.

For example, a post on elections is not evergreen. You would not want to re-post your post on the 2018 elections in 2020.

The key is to find content that you think is even relevant and useful to date and re-post it.

You could re-post your old photos which you think are relevant to the present times.

If you are a brand, you can re-post your best testimonials.

Think and re-post the best performing content. Only re-post your top-performing content. There is no benefit of re-posting content that you shared a year ago which did not gain any likes and shares then.

Re-posting is fine but don’t overdo it, your followers will get bored seeing the same stuff again and again.

20. Make use of Instagram Name-tag

A nametag is an Instagram feature that allows people to follow or find your account by scanning your unique nametag.

To locate your nametag, go to the menu on the top right and select QR code. This will display your nametag and QR code. You could show this nametag to people and people would be able to scan it and follow you instantly.

get more followers on Instagram, nametag feature

This is a fast way to make people you meet to follow you. No need to share your username, just ask the person who wishes to follow you to scan your nametag.

To scan a name tag, go to the menu at the top right of your account page, choose QR code, under the nametag you will see an option to scan.

21. Get seen in The Explore Section

When you appear on the explore page, you gain a lot of visibility and ultimately you get a lot of followers. So our target is to get on the explore page. But how to do that?

Instagram explore page features top hits like photos, videos, and even products. For each user, the explore page is created based on the user’s interest.

The explore page will show any user photos and videos that the user might like to see and products the user might like to buy.

The explore page creation for users is done by Instagram’s intelligent machine learning algorithm.

Here is our own pro tip to make it to the explore page-

Post at the best time

Post at the right time when your followers would be online. Ask your followers to react, like, comment, share, and save your post in the first fifteen minutes. Try to get as much engagement as you can in the first fifteen minutes.

Many experts believe it to be a good strategy to get on the explore page. Posts that get good engagement in the first few minutes of posting are often featured on the explore page.

Using hashtags also helps in getting to the explore page.

Some researches have shown that videos or visually appealing photos have more chances to make it to the explore page.

Another important thing to get the most engagement within the first few minutes is to see what kind of posts your audience interacts with the most. And then post the same sort of content often. For this, you will need to check your insights. We will be talking about this soon.

22. Make use of Geotags

Want to gain followers from a particular city, state, or area? If yes, then use geotags. This feature is best for local business owners on Instagram.

When you use Geotags, you have a good chance of getting discovered by the people within your city or area.

23. Use Instagram stories for the best

This tip is crucial. A large number of Instagram users watch stories on daily basis, so not making use of Instagram stories is a mistake.

On top of that, stories give you the power to take the engagement game to the next level with the help of stickers, polls, and Q&As. Though Instagram stories last only for a day still they are powerful in communicating with your target followers.

The Q&A feature is what I like the most, it enables us to know our followers better so that we can market them better. Not only that, but the Q&A feature could also help your followers engage with you. You must have seen those “ask me anything” stories. That’s all you need to boost interactions with your followers.

Two more such powerful feature is polls and quiz, these are as important as Q&A. Make use of them wisely to boost engagement and get useful insights more about your followers.

I have been following the Hubspot Instagram account for a while now, and what I have seen is that they make great use of stories in the form of polls, quizzes, and QnA.

The bottom line is don’t ignore stories and keep sharing your quick takes or photos through stories.

24. Exploit the stories highlights feature of Instagram

Instagram stories highlights is a great way to showcase your featured content or products to your account visitors.

When used effectively, these highlights will make sure none of your account visitors goes without interacting.

What exactly are Instagram Highlights? As we know, the stories that we share on Instagram are only live for 24 hours. But what if we don’t want to lose some of our stories even after 24 hours?

While there is no way to show any story for longer than 24 hours on our primary story block but Instagram has a solution.

Use story highlights to highlight your story.When you highlight a story, it remains live on your profile page forever. Highlighting stories that you think perfectly represents you or your brand is the key. These stories gain the most attention as they are located just below the bio on your profile page.

Here is how to start using them- Make sure you have Instagram stories archive turned on- This feature will enable storing of each and every story that you upload from your account. This way, you will have a record of all stories that you have shared to the date and you can check them anytime and highlight the best ones.

This feature also allows us to re-share shared stories once 24 hours have elapsed.

This setting is located in the privacy and security menu with the name of story controls. Turn on the “save to archive” option and you are all set to never lose any story content. You can access your archived stories by clicking on the clock icon atop your account page.

Once you have your stories archive on, you can now select the best of your stories and highlight them. To add a highlight, you will see a highlight option below a circle on your account page, click that plus icon on the circle and you will be shown all the stories that you have shared in the past. Select the one you want to be highlighted and appear on your account page.

Once you are done selecting the story you want to highlight, give the highlight a name. You will be prompted to do so. Instagram would also ask you to add a cover for your highlighted story.

You have two options- either to select a thumbnail from the story or you could upload your own image to be the cover of that particular highlight.

The second option seems perfect if you want to guide the visitor what’s inside the highlight with the help of the cover.

Pro-tip: Use the same sort of covers for all your highlights to retain your brand aesthetics. If you are using icons for one highlight and image for the other, it may make your profile look a little amateur.

Think of your profile as a landing page, it should look and feel good to convert visitors into followers. To make the best use of highlights, consider following these tips-

If you are a brand that sells products, feature your best products in the highlights.

If you are professional or individual, feature your best work with the help of story highlights.

Only highlight stuff that your audience is interested in. If you sell pizzas, don’t highlight salad. 🙂

Consider highlighting your fans and followers that you think deserves it. It will help you engage more with the followers or help create a customer-centric image of your brand.

If you have some evergreen content that you think should get attention forever, consider highlighting it.

25. Share other’s content

Copying other’s content is bad but sharing is caring. Don’t flinch when you see a post and you think your audience should see this too, go ahead and share. Share in your stories and tag the original account.

This is a very good tactic to grow your audience without creating your own content, just make sure to tag and give credits. But keep in mind that re-posted content rarely makes it to the explore page. Post self-created content most of the time.

26. Go live and engage

Going live is an awesome way of boosting engagement with your audience. You should definitely make use of this feature.

Go live and interact with your followers, share insights with them, and make them know you better. This is very important if you want to be an Instagram influencer.

Brands and businesses can go live on Instagram and share information and knowledge with their audience.

27. Connect with Influencers

Connecting with influencers is a powerful way to boost your brand growth on Instagram. Business accounts should definitely make use of influencer marketing on Instagram.

28. Connect with similar accounts and cross-promote

I often see comments and messages like this- “Hey Rohit, Is saw your content, its amazing. I make similar content, consider checking it out.”. And I often go and visit their accounts and follow them if I feel like it.

So connecting with similar accounts always helps. Start connecting and engaging with accounts similar to yours. This also helps in getting featured on other accounts and thus leverage followers from similar accounts.

29. Try IGTV

IGTV videos are often found on the explore page. More than that, an option to watch IGTV videos is shown on the explore page menu.

Using IGTV can prove to be very beneficial for getting more followers. IGTV usage is only going to increase in the future. Try starting a series on IGTV. It could get you a lot of exposure.

A lot of brands are already using IGTV. To gain an edge over your competitors on Instagram, start using IGTV.

IGTV videos that appear on the explore page get 4X space and ultimately get the most attention.

30. Give Your Account a Unique Touch

You definitely don’t want to get lost among billions of Instagram users. The way to make sure you don’t get lost is being unique.

Make your account unique, post unique content, do unique stuff.

31. Share UGC

UGC stands for user-generated content. Find the best user-generated content and feature it on your account. Using user-generated content is a very good tactic that most people ignore.

Start sharing your follower’s content, this will also help you boost engagements and relationships with your followers.

When sharing UGC, always give credit to the original account or creator.

32. Analyze and improve

The insights feature on your Instagram is there for a reason. It helps people analyze and improve.

If you want to keep performing well on social media, you have to analyze and improve.

Keep analyzing your account activities. Get to know what type of post gets the most engagement. Analyze at what time you are reaching the most people.

Analyze how many followers are you gaining each day and are you losing any followers each day?

The key is to keep an eye on the insights and look for useful information. Analyze and improve- this is the key to excelling in any field be it social media or real life.

Final Words

That is all you need to start growing on Instagram. You might have already known most of the tips I shared in this E-book but keep in mind- it is not about knowing, its about applying.

So go and start using all these tips on your Instagram and your victory is certain.