How to grow your Instagram following

We’re often asked about how to grow your Instagram following. Unfortunately, there isn’t a tool you can, or more appropriately should use, to grow your following overnight. Being honest, apart from your profile showing thousands of followers, what’s the point if they don’t actually do what you want them to, which is most likely to convert in some way, whether that’s a sale, sign up or appointment scheduled.

Over the past 12 months, Instagram has introduced a lot of changes to the app, with more coming this year, sometimes it can be hard to keep up. One of the most important updates that is being rolled out currently is the new Instagram ‘Checkout’ facility where users can make purchases directly within the app. A game changer for a lot of businesses and definitely potential, for smaller businesses who perhaps can’t invest in a website.

So, how do you grow your following? As I said, there is no exact method but below are some top tips and things you should definitely be doing.

First off, let’s talk about the Instagram Algorithm. The algorithm, like Google and Facebook, can change overnight, we don’t always know when an update is coming but we can certainly, sometimes feel the impact of when it has.

The Instagram algorithm determines how “good” a piece of content is by taking into consideration factors like the amount of engagement a post receives, or how many comments it gets. If a piece of content is deemed good, Instagram will show it to more users. But if it’s deemed bad or unpopular, Instagram will limit the number of users it gets shown to.

Instagram Algorithm factors to bear in mind:

  1. Interaction - the algorithm favours content from accounts that generates a lot of interaction, this could be a comment, a like or tag for example.

  2. Like other social platforms and Google, Instagram to tries (sometimes, like them all not very well) to determine what is important to a user, this will be based on their past behaviour and using tools such as image analysis. I recently shared on Twitter, Google’s new Image Analysis Tool that showed results after it read my image.

  3. Newer posts appear first, it’s important to remember this when posting and to use your Instagram analytics to drive when you share a post.

  4. Spammy practice can see your account penalised and your posts nowhere to be seen.


Tips to boost your Instagram exposure

  1. Post consistently. Whether that’s twice a day, every day or once a week - consistency is key. It should also be noted, when you increase the amount you post, you should see an increase in followers and engagement. Remember though, quality over quantity.

  2. Utilise Video. By posting engaging videos whether it’s via IGTV, Live, Stories or a post - your audience is likely to spend more time engaging with you and your content.

  3. Use Insights. I mentioned it above, use your Instagram Insights to inform decisions. Within your insights, you can see peak times when your audience is online, on a particular day.

  4. Run a contest. Can you and another like-minded brand team up and offer a great prize? If so, this is a great way to boost your engagement and potentially grow your following at the same time. Just make sure you have good quality content, a plan and a good prize.

  5. Unique content. Be personable, tell a story that reflects you and your brand. Users don’t want the sales pitch and jargon, they want real stories, opinions and moments.

More Useful Instagram Tips

  • Encourage people to engage with you, such as comment below, share their story etc.

  • Geotag your posts

  • Use video - we’ve already talked about it but Instagram stories popularity has grown so rapidly, it is definitely worth trying a form of video on your page.

  • Engage with your followers - if someone leaves you a comment, reply! Also, engage with other posts that are relevant to your followers and your brand.

  • Use user-generated content - do customers send pictures, or tag you? If so, tag them and encourage more people to share them with you.

If you want to chat more about Instagram or social media in general, feel free to get in touch.