Originally posted on venturebeat.
Since Instagram initially launched, it has gone through many changes. As with any social media giant, as time went on, Instagram morphed into an amazing opportunity for brands, businesses, and individual users alike to market themselves. It may have begun as an entertaining distraction/social network, but it has turned into a tool for brands to use to increase their value and reach more people.
Businesses may use Facebook or Twitter for marketing, but the numbers show that those engagement rates pale in comparison to Instagram marketing. Same brand, same kind of posts, with a huge difference in numbers.
Instagram is a tool that brands can use to greatly expand their reach. It offers daily interaction with their demographic and can elevate a brand to the next level. In today’s world, up-and-coming brands can live and die by their social media presence.
This all points to the fact that Instagram likes are extremely important. There are many ways to get more followers, improve engagement, and get more likes. Getting free Instagram likes is easy, but getting real Instagram followers is a challenge.
Below are the ten best ways that you can get more Instagram followers. Although we recommend getting your followers organically, you can also use online services to buy Instagram followers.
1. Join the right conversations
There is always something trending. Look at what is trending in your particular niche. Chances are that there are conversations going on with relevant hashtags specific to your industry. If so, incorporate them into your own posts.
By doing that, you make your posts visible to more people. Instagram users that search that popular hashtag can come across your post and you may wind up with a new follower. If you choose to use a broader, trending hashtag, you can get even more exposure.
Put your best foot forward and make sure your post is solid before you use hashtags that will get you in on a popular conversation. First impressions are key with getting real followers.
2. Put time into hashtags
Before you write out a hashtag, stop and think. There are plenty of overused hashtags. Look at your post and what kind of style or attitude your brand embodies. Come up with a creative and memorable hashtag that reflects your creativity.
A good hashtag is an opportunity to compliment your post and punctuate with that extra bit that could get you a follower. Many brands use brand specific hashtags and that is a great way to get in some extra marketing. Strive for standout hashtags that are fun, funny, or memorable.
You can also use hashtags in Instagram stories, so make sure to add that to your posting schedule.
3. Cross promotion is key
Instagram is a great way to promote your brand. It is not so great, however, when no one is prompted to head to your Instagram page. Take your handle or hashtag and put it on a flier, billboard, or any kind of ad that money can buy.
It takes no time for someone to dig into their pocket and look up the hashtag or account they just saw in an ad. You could also shoutout or repost other bloggers, including their quality content and top posts, as part of your Instagram strategy, which will in turn help with your follower growth and brand awareness.
4. Take your time with captions
Captions are a big part of a post, since you do it on a regular basis. It can take time to figure out your strong suit in writing Instagram captions. They can appeal to the reader and get them more invested in the post. If you look at accounts with many followers, their caption game is usually ironclad.
You can use a caption to tell a story, be funny, or strictly provide information. It can show your brand’s personality and allow you to get more Instagram followers.
5. Be strategic with your bio URL
Carefully consider where you are sending your prospect followers with your bio link. The obvious choice is to link to your homepage. That is not a bad idea and can be done, but you can mix it up and continually change the link to your most relevant content.
It is not something that may come across a lot of people’s minds, but it is well worth while.
6. Use influencers to your advantage
Each individual niche on Instagram has its own influencers. They are the people killing it in their particular corner of the social media platform. Many people rely on Instagram influencers and the accounts closely related to them to get information. They have tons of followers, get plenty of likes, and all of their posts get a lot of engagement.
You can get in on that action with influencer marketing. Pay close attention to the influencers that are a part of your Instagram community. Turn on notifications or look out for new posts. If you interact with their account, you can become visible to many more users. Some influencers also use the assistance of services like Buzzoid, who help grow your Instagram’s engagement and get you more real Instagram likes to your photos.
Get on some of your favorite influencers’ good sides and you may get some interaction going. That way, you will appear to their followers and you can win some of them over.
Translate that into a higher follower count by following the previous steps in this list.
7. Show your style
People respond to individuality. As popular as trends are, people really respond well to unique styles on Instagram. Make it so that your posts have a style that is a breath of fresh air. Post video content from time to time to change things up. Curate your content in a style that best represents your brand.
Develop a style that will stand out amongst the herd. When people scroll through their Instagram feed, the posts can start to blend together after a while. Make posts that have a distinct visual style to stop Instagram scrollers in their tracks.
They will hopefully want to see more of what you have to offer. The only way they can do that is by following you.
8. Manually add photo tags
Put as much control in your own hands as possible. Go into the settings on your Instagram account. You can easily set it so that tagged photos of you can only be added to your account manually. This gives you the chance to carefully screen anything that could hit your account and turn off followers.
9. Hide tagged photos you are not proud of
Sometimes, your target audience will tag you with a photo that unbeknownst to them is not very flattering. Even if that is not the case, you may just simply want your Instagram account to only be associated with photos related to your brand or up to your own standards.
Not everyone that has it in their mind to tag you in a photo may be thinking about that. That is okay, and you can take care of this without losing a follower. Simply go to the post and select “Remove from Instagram profile”. You won’t have to worry about that picture anymore.
10. Call to action
One of the best ways to get followers is by using a call to action with your Instagram content. You have probably come across them thousands of times before through all of the social media platforms. An example of a call to action is “like or retweet” or “share this with your friends”.
A call to action is essentially when an account takes advantage of their captions to request that the reader does something specific. A good call to action asks the reader to engage further with the post. The numbers show that calls to action work.
Do something clever with your call to action. Try to come up with a call to action that you have never seen before or don’t see that often.
One way to liven up a call to action is to make it part of a contest. Make your contest easy or fun by saying “like to win” or “share to win”. This gets more eyes on your post and can win you some followers.