You enjoyed my last article on Instagram best practices. Since that date, there havebeena lot of developments on this platform… I even consider Instagram to be the most effective tool today to make a business visible. But no matter how many years pass, everyone always asks me “how to gain more followers on Instagram”.
So I’m going to tell you what you hear everywhere: it’s the ENGAGEMENT that matters and NOT the number of subscribers. And that’s perfectly correct.However, YES, the algorithm ALSO takes popularity into account. So you still need to reach a strategic number of subscribers to see your account grow. How much? So that’s the million-dollar question baby!
The answer will depend on a whole host of factors specific to you: your universe, your activity, your content, your audience, etc.
For me, if you had to give ONE number, I would say that from 500 followers, the algorithm starts to wake up for you. And that from 1,000 followers’ things become easier. As long as you understand how you got there, of course. The only way to duplicate your best practices is to continue to progress…
Short. I have listed below the 12 major tips that help you gain more followers on Instagram. Be careful, I’m not saying that you won’t have to work hard to achieve great results! I tell you that these are the basic best practices that you can use to grow your account.
1. Think content strategy!
First of all, you must ask yourself about the needs and questions of your target audience. You absolutely must have a real content strategy. Instagram is NOT a showcase but a social network where we first talk about community. So never just show off your products or services without knowing:
- if you show them to the right people
- if these people are interested in what you do
- and if you use the right medium (image only? video? Reel?)
Harmonious content also goes through a graphic charter dedicated to your Instagram account, and in the choice of themes for your photos. It is more and more trendy to insert graphic visuals into Instagram feeds. This helps to ventilate them and easily express your ideas. The go-to tool for doing this is Caneva.
The important thing is to keep a real consistency in your posts and your Instagram feed. Thus, you will more easily retain your subscribers and you will gain in engagement.
On the other hand, with stories, you have a host of varied tools to create interaction with your subscribers. Take the opportunity to ask them as often as possible about what they like about your account. You will gain in efficiency and the algorithm will appreciate it.
2. Use the (right) hashtags
On Instagram, you now know to use hashtags. Still need to use the good ones! Because it’s THE way for your posts to be visible to accounts that don’t know you yet.
When choosing your hashtags, you must take into account these 4 major criteria:
- the size of your account: the smaller your account, the more you must also use hashtags adapted to your size (less than 100 Kora 500 K)
- your activity: your hashtags must explain who you are and what you do
- the content of your post: very logically, your hashtags must be related to the visual and the caption
- your audience: using your customers’ hashtags will allow you to be seen by them
You only have 30 hashtags per post, that’s more than enough! Above all, don’t go adding 30 more in the comments to “over-optimize” … On the other hand, it is often elegant to put hashtags in the first comment. Many planners (including Later, Panoply, Tailwind) offer this possibility.
Experiment and note which ones work best for you! Once your main hashtags have been defined by the area of interest, save them somewhere and copy/paste them on each new post, adapting to the context.
3. Follow influential accounts in your niche
When you have defined the general orientation of your Instagram account, it is in your interest to subscribe to influential accounts in your theme. This will bring more visibility to your posts.
On the one hand, you will have the possibility of being seen by their subscribers. And to follow them in turn. But above all, you will “educate” the algorithm which needs to fully understand what you are doing to show your account to the right people.
To gain more followers on Instagram, you can also ask these people for mentions (still they have to deserve it!). Or that they post a publication on your account (and vice versa). A miracle is always possible… (Yeeeeha #OMG I got a like from Rihanna!)
4. Interact like a human with others
As much as possible, seek contact with others, and in particular your subscribers, even and especially if they are not very numerous!
Did someone comment on one of your photos? Like the comment, and always reply (with more than just an emoji!) Engage in conversation, show interest in the person back, etc. Go to his account, like his photos, comment too, and even subscribe.
Keep in mind that Instagram is certainly the friendliest social network there is! And you are expected to behave humanely and sociably.
5. Follow Suggested Accounts
This new feature has been available in France since the end of 2015. It is part of the evolution instigated by the Facebook parent company… The (same) type of algorithm is implemented on Instagram: we suggest that you follow similar accounts to yours, that is:
- you have the same interests (example: you often like photos of flowers)
- or you follow your friends’ Instagram accounts, then Instagram will offer you to follow your friends’ friends’ accounts
You are probably asking yourself the question: what is the point of subscribing to the suggested accounts? Well, that’s one of the best ways to get followers: become one yourself. Most of the time, if your interests match and they like your photos, the accounts you subscribed to will follow back.
Caution! This assumes that the algorithm has a good understanding of your branding intentions on Instagram.