Back for more? Awesome! As promised from last week, here are the remaining 4 tips that I know will help grow those Instagram followers of yours. So, let’s just jump right into it.

4. Give a Little Lot

This one, although painstakingly obvious, is actually something that I think a lot of social media users forget. It’s called social media for a reason, people. Though the degrees and levels vary, all social media platforms are about engagement ― how you engage with others, and how others engage with you. Please, take note of the fact that I prioritized your engagement in the previous statement. Why? Well, because everyone is waiting for other Instagram users to fall at their feet, liking, commenting on, and following their every move. That’s a dandy thought and all, but what exactly are you doing to deserve it? Listen, every entrepreneur, brand, and company on Instagram is hoping for the same thing ― to gain the attention of a vast, engaged audience so that they can gain credibility, popularity, and success. A huge part of your job in attracting and receiving this attention is to first pay credit where credit is due.

Help out other people in your niche by liking their photos. If they post something valuable, tell them. Write them an appreciative comment on their post, thanking them for the inspiration or responding to a question they left in the photo’s caption. If you love their content, follow them. If they’re someone who’s sharing content within your niche, they’ll likely be more than happy to follow you back, especially since they’ll dig your considerate, thoughtful vibes. Similarly, if users comment on your posts, always respond to them. Etiquette, peeps. It goes a long way.

Despite the fact that they are increasingly popular, try to stay away from spammy, automated bots such as Instagress. Yes, I know it can be time consuming to personally ‘like’, comment, and explore Instagram, but nothing ― nothing ― beats authenticity.

5. Know Your Data

Instagram, along with other leading social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, has developed its own data analytics tool, Instagram Analytics for Business. Considering how very free it is, it provides a fairly thorough and in-depth analysis of your profile’s compiled data. With it, you can check out your weekly impressions which refers to the total number of times your posts have been seen. You can check out your reach which shows you the number of unique accounts that have seen any of your posts, as well as your website clicks which tells you how many times users clicked on the link in your bio (See, I told you that link was important). Last but not least, you’ll have insight about daily prime times to post new content, as well as intricate details about your followers’ demographics.

All in all, it’s a pretty handy little tool that will definitely help you better understand both your audience and which native content is most fruitful. With this knowledge, you can make appropriate adjustments to your content in order to not only drive more traffic to your profile, but drive more of the right traffic to your profile.

Of course, there are other analytic tools out there such as Iconosquare which offer valuable data insights. The down side? It costs $56 per year and its data is somewhat less comprehensive. The upside? They offer a  free 14-day trial if you’re curious to give it a go!

6. Effectively Use Hashtags

Okay, so this is a big one. I can’t express enough how crucial it is to use relevant and appropriate hashtags in your Instagram posts. Tagging your posts with niched hashtags will make you far more discoverable, leading to increased followers, likes, and overall engagement. According to a study by Simply Measured, posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than those without. Currently, Instagram allows you to tag your posts with 30 hashtags, so I greatly encourage you to take advantage of this. Now, if you’ve tried to do some research about how to gain followers using hashtags before, it can be a bit overwhelming. Let’s break it down.

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t suggest that you use every single popular hashtag know to man ― any hashtag that has 100K+ photos. Everything in moderation, my friend. The reason is simple. If a hashtag is used 200 times per minute, it’s not going to take long before your post is washed away into smithereens. Instead, use a mix of very popular and less popular hashtags as this will give you a better chance of staying visible for a longer period of time. Examples of very popular hashtags that you may want to look into are #instagood, #photooftheday, #instamood, and #tbt. 

So, how do you find hashtags that are semi-popular and niche-relevant? I suggest finding igers within your niche and using hashtags from their posts. For example, if your target audience is travel bloggers, you will find specific hashtags on their posts that they commonly use and search for such as #travelbug, #travelgram, #backpacker, and #wanderlust. Another suggestion that I recommend is to download the free app called TagsForLikes which provides you with hashtags that are routinely tagged within various niches. It’s going to take a bit of research to find those golden nugget hashtags for your niche but, trust me, it’ll be worth the effort.

7Participate in Loop Giveaways

This one tends to draw lines between Instagrammers. While some (like myself) find loop giveaways, or giveaways in general, to be an awesome way to gain brand exposure and followers, some find it spammy. While I agree that it can be spammy if you participate in them too frequently, participating in a couple every year is certainly worth a shot. If you’re unfamiliar with what loop giveaways are, they’re essentially giveaways that are executed between 10-30 bloggers. Generally, the more bloggers that participate in the loop, the larger the prize will be since everyone pools their money together to purchase the prize. I’ve literally seen Instagram accounts gain over 1K followers in a single day by taking part in a loop giveaway. I mean, c’mon, that’s impressive.

It goes without saying that if you are the participant with the lowest number of followers, you have the most to gain. If you have 3K followers and you’re teaming up with 19 other bloggers, all of whom have a following between 10K-50K, you will likely gain many of their followers on top of the followers you’ll gain from entering the giveaway itself. What’s more, when you start to attract followers in high volumes, Instagram’s trusty algorithm will notice this and hike up your posts’ relevancy in the ‘Explore’ section.

While giveaways are a useful way to take, they’re also an incredible way to give back. They can create a stronger sense of community between you, your followers, and your fellow niche-ers. On top of that, giveaways are a thoughtful way to send some love and appreciation towards your faithful supporters. Although a lot of time and effort needs to be put into either creating a loop giveaway or participating in one, it is plausibly the most powerful and effective way to increase your following.

Well, there you have it! I hope that you found these 7 tips on how to grow your Instagram followers helpful. If you’re feeling frustrated or confused about why your follower list hasn’t been growing, try out some of my suggestions. I guarantee that you will see steady growth if you stick to these tips consistently. Remember: Consistency is key when it comes to the success in any area of your life, and successfully building a solid audience on Instagram for your brand is no different.