growing your instagram followersWant some Instagram ninja secrets on how to skyrocket your following and engagement on Instagram? These tips will show you how to blow up your Instagram following and increase engagement like never before.

In order to use Instagram effectively, you need to build a solid foundation of Instagram followers. But with the mass amount of information available, it’s overwhelming and tricky for brands to figure out exactly how to make that happen.

Well lucky for you, we’re going to walk you through step by step how to make that happen. Let’s get started.

Step 1 | Picking a Photo

This is where you have to pay attention to your audience and what they engaging with. Things like the types of photos you’re using and the format of the captions are important to track. Instagram is very personality and lifestyle driven. What do I mean by that?

Some Instagram profiles do better when their posts contain photos of the person behind the brand versus a stock image photo or professionally taken photo. People like to engage with people, hence the name social media.

Some company profiles are more lifestyle driven. Take YETI for example. They make high-end coolers to keep your food and drinks cold when camping, tailgating, or enjoying the outdoors. Many of their posts are photos of their products in outdoor environments being used by people. The product is not the focal point of the posts, it’s the people and the lifestyle that goes along with owning a YETI cooler.

gaining Instagram followers with photos

It all comes down to the voice of your brand and the lifestyle of the person or team behind the brand. As you continue to grow your Instagram followers, be sure to keep a pulse on what is working and what is not, and make adjustments.

To stand out further, try not to use stock photos. When possible, always use original photography that you or your team has taken. One suggestion to help with this is to set aside an hour or so 1 or 2 days a week to batch up photos. Once you have a pool to draw from, it’ll be easy to create your daily content or schedule out posts in advance.

Step 2 | Creating a Post Caption

Longer form captions that educate and inspire generally perform the best. Think of this as microblogging.

One easy way to keep track of your inspirations for content is to type them into your phone. If you have an iPhone, then you can use the native ‘notes’ app to jot down ideas that you are struck with throughout the day. When you get back to your desk or you have some downtime, you can go back through those ideas and start to formulate actual captions for your Instagram posts.

creating instagram captions that gain instagram followers

courtesy of Lifewire

As you’re writing the captions, be sure to separate the paragraphs or line breaks with a dot or period. This makes the content easier to read, digest and skim. Once the caption is complete, then add your group of hashtags at the bottom. Speaking of hashtags, let’s discuss those and how to select the right ones for your audience.

Step 3 | Hashtag Research and Use

Hashtags are an essential part of your Instagram content strategy. Very similar to the keywords used for search engine optimization, hashtags, if used properly, will ensure you are discovered by new people and other audiences much larger than your own.

There are a few online tools available to help you with hashtag research and optimization. Those two tools are Flick Tech (Paid) and Display Purposes (Free).

hashtag research to gain instagram followers

In this example we’re looking for hashtags related to #InstagramFollowers

You are limited to 30 hashtags per post, but the recommendation is to be around 20 to 25 per post. You want to rank for the smaller hashtags first because they are not as competitive. You also want to ensure that the hashtags are relevant to the photo used in your post.

At the same time, avoid using the same hashtags in each post, or your profile will get flagged as spam by the Instagram algorithm. This can be easily avoided by creating groups of hashtags. Those groups will be based on the categories or topics you post about. Here is the breakdown of how to build each of your hashtag groups. Each level below should contain 5 hashtags.

  • Under 50,000
  • Between 50,000 and 200,000
  • Between 200,000 and 500,000
  • Between 500,000 and 1,000,000
  • Hyper Relevant to your photo. These are going to be smaller niche hashtags
  • Mega Popular (over 1,000,000) These will be used for your stories

Once you have all your hashtag groups defined, save those as notes on your phone, so you can access them when posting from your mobile device.

The goal of building your hashtag groups and tracking the performance is to get into the top 9 posts of each hashtag you use.

Step 4 | Combine Your Caption and Hashtags

Now that you’ve got the caption written and your hashtag groups built, it’s time to put them together. If you’ve already got the caption written in the notes on your phone, you can then select the group of hashtags that are relevant to your post. Copy the hashtag group and paste it into the bottom area of the caption.

From there, open up your Instagram app and choose the photo you want to post. Then copy and paste the caption and hashtags into the post.

Step 5 | Always Add a Location

This is a simple but important step a lot of people overlook.

Click on add location within the post and either pick one of the predetermined locations or search for a specific location, then click add.

instagram location tagging

Step 6 | Add ALT Text

What is ALT text? ALT Text is for people who are visually impaired so that they can know what your image is about. Click on the ALT Text under advanced settings. In the ‘add alt text’ field, describe what the image is about. Nobody is going to see the alt text caption you use. Only people who are visually impaired will be able to hear that description.

The more information you add to your posts, the better. This will instruct Instagram where to place your posts in the feed in order to reach more people.

Step 7 | Tag Relevant Accounts

The next step is to tag all the appropriate accounts in the photo. This does two things for you. First, it pings the account you tagged letting them know that you tagged them. Second, your post will now appear in the “tagged” section of their profile. Doing this gives you increased reach by taking advantage of their audience.

Step 8 | Publish Your Post To Your Feed

Once you have your post created with the photo, caption and hashtags, go ahead and post it to your feed. As you create more content you’ll want to look into batching your time spent on creating your Instagram posts, and then use 3rd party software to schedule out your posts for the week. We like to use Buffer, but there are options for scheduling programs. Just determine which works best for you.

Step 9 | Publish Your Post To Your Instagram Stories

This is an important step as it notifies your audience that you have newly published content for them to see. When you share your post to your story, be sure to do the following.

  • Add your location so that the story is geolocated and easier to find a new audience
  • Add a mega-popular hashtag
  • Add 3 more hashtags with very large followings
  • Cover up the location tag and hashtags with a ‘new post’ graphic
  • Insert an arrow pointing to a headline
  • Add a ‘tap here’ graphic to the story

Step 10 | Engage With The Comments

Block off 30 minutes to 1 hour just to engage with comments. Like the comments left, respond to comments, and ask questions.

The more engagement your post gets in the first 30 minutes, the higher you will rank, and the more reach you will get.

How to gain instagram followers

Conclusion

The best part of these 10 steps to growing your Instagram followers is that it’s super intentional. Yes, it takes more time, but you’ll notice that you start to rank for the hashtags you selected and watch your audience grow. If you use this methodical approach when building your Instagram posts and stories, you will see the long-lasting effects of your work.

By Published On: March 29, 2021Categories: Social Media How-To

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