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How to get more followers on Instagram

Posted on: by Kate : 26 Comments
Home » Blogging » How to get more followers on Instagram

how-to-get-more-followers-on-instagramI wanted to share for my readers that are bloggers and online influencers how I went from about 2000 followers to 4000+ followers (and growing!) in less than two months without buying a single ‘like’! I downloaded the Instagram app about two years ago and just let it slowly grow on it’s own. With two blogs and lots of friends on social media it crept up to about 1000 without even really trying.  As my blogs grew I made sure to link instagram where I could and did my best to engage – and my followers continued to grow. I had several readers ask me about how to get more followers on Instagram and really, I hadn’t thought much of it.  It seemed to kind of stall out at about 2000 – this is where I started getting a lot of spammers (most of which wouldn’t stay), but not a lot of real growth and it was all of a sudden really frustrating.  In all honesty, I don’t do much to try to grow my social media accounts, but for some reason I really wanted to keep up with the Joneses when it came to Instagram.  I wanted to grow my Instagram fast so I was ready to invest a little bit more time into actually trying to make that work.  I am excited to share that I gained just over 2,000 Instagram fans in about 7 weeks time that have stayed with me in addition to the just over 2,000 Instagram followers I had before.  Why do I want more Instagram followers you may ask?  Honestly, because as a professional blogger and social media influencer – higher authentic numbers mean a little more money I can put in my pocket.  If you want to to how to get more followers on Instagram you might find some great tips that will help you here!

When I first wanted to start growing my instagram I was searching for bloggers with tips. I saw a lot of posts about doubling instagram – only  to check it out and see that person is excited that they doubled their Instagram following from a couple dozen to a few hundred in a month or two.  I’m not saying that isn’t progress – but it simply wasn’t useful to me.  So I decided to try a bunch of things I was doing anyway and just put a little more effort into it.  I am here to share how I doubled my instagram in less than two months from just over 2000 authentic followers to over 4000 authentic followers – I have maintained and am still growing!  The best part is I know I can put the following tips into practice again when I want to grow again!  My hope is to pass the 5,000 mark before the end of the year – and I think that is totally doable!

Below are 11 tips that helped me grow my Instagram.  If you are trying to get more followers on Instagram I highly suggest giving some or all of these ideas below a try!  There are probably at least a couple you are not taking advantage of and it might help your Instagram grow!

Get more followers on Instagram

  • Follow back.  Realizing you are not an actual celebrity is really going to help.  I know many businesses and bloggers want to have more followers on Instagram than they are following.  They want thousands of followers and they want to be following seventeen people, because they think that makes them look elite.  It doesn’t make you look cool, it makes you look like you don’t care about anyone other than yourself and who really wants to follow that?  If someone follows me and they are not a private account, I will often follow them back.  Restrictions apply to brand new accounts, multi level marketing silliness  (sorry, I have less than 0 interest in seeing your clients saggy tummy and then slightly less saggy tummy in much more flattering lighting in my feed…. this is nothing against saggy tummies, mine isn’t in the best shape – I won’t show you mine, you won’t show me yours – deal? Or your clumpy mascara, your oils, charm bracelets, etc), spammers trying to sell likes, and anything I deem above a G rating – but pretty much everyone else I follow.

 

  • Being careful with what you post. Instagram seems more personal than any other form of social media.  While some of my instagram feed is sponsored, I really try to keep that few and far between.  I typically post one or two ‘peeks into our day’ type posts a day.  If we are out on a fun outing or I am on a really cool behind the scenes press trip I will probably share more, if my day is just lounging at home I may not share at all.  Posting too often or too little might cause followers to drop off.  This isn’t to say that everything I post is a perfect representation, but I try to be really mindful of what I post – that it is visually interesting and that it really is my ‘brand’.

 

  • To piggy back on that last one – remember it is more personal and know that people are more likely to engage with something you authentically love than an obvious product placement.  I occasionally will shout out a company that sends me something on instagram – but I REALLY have to like the product and it has to have been a really long time since I have done that.  I personally unfollow feeds that are just pictures of the blogger’s hand holding something they got in a swag bag with a gush.  While that may work on twitter, I don’t want to see it on Instagram – personal choice? Maybe….. but I have noticed pictures of products, especially those that are not thoughtfully displayed are the ones that get the least engagement. What do people really like?  Pictures of you and your family.  Instagram is more personal so followers want to see a bit of what you truly love.  I personally feel I could have more engagement if I posted more pics of my kids…. I just don’t like to do that.  I know that is silly, my kids pictures are on Instagram and those are typically where I get the most engagement….. but I try to not make that the main focus.  Everyone has to decide where they are comfortable – but I thought it was something that needed to be pointed out – pictures of kids get likes and follows. In conclusion here – less pics of stuff you buy at the store, more pics of relationships, love, and highlights of every day life.

 

  • Facebook group networking.  Instagram follow trains are great! Yes, there are people there that take advantage – but most people are authentically there to scratch each other’s backs.  Find the niche that suits you – food bloggers / etsy sellers / mom bloggers /etc.  Facebook blogging support groups are where I have met some of my favorite people and when we can all join in on a follow train that is a great way to get a boost and support other’s in the field at the same time! Win win!

 

  • Hashtag like a crazy person.  Hashtags make you more visible but make sure to hashtag the right things.  I used to go to a hair salon that wouldn’t just use hashtags about the techniques or the salons name – but also #Sexy #HotGirls #SexyHair and other stuff that got them likes; but cheap likes. I think that is embarrassing and did nothing for the integrity of their salon…. but they never asked me. If you want that – cool, but I don’t think most people do. If you want to use hashtags it can absolutely help, but as in anything – quality over quantity…. but you can totally do quantity too! Use hashtags, and lots of them but know that likes and follows is also a quality.  When we are at Disneyland for example I will use the following hashtags #disneyland #disney #disneyblogger #instadisney #DisneylandCA #disneylandresort #Disneyland60 #DisneyFan- and then whatever it is that I am taking a pic of – say it is a picture of princess Aurora and my daughter – I will also hashtag #Aurora #BriarRose #DisneyAnimation #DisneyCharacter #princess #pink #IknowyouIwalkedwithyouonceuponadream #myfavoritemovie #DisneyClassic ….. I am not even kidding. *shrugs*  it works.

 

  • Be generous with likes and comments in the right places.  Don’t be spammy, but genuine.  Engage with your own niche, friends, and network group first.  Again, you aren’t a Kardashian, so leaving a bunch of comments are her feed will get you no real engagement from anyone other than other spammers.  But engage with the people you know and the real people you want to know.  There are plenty of post floating around about how you should be stingy with your engagement on social media….. those posts are not for bloggers.  Engage like it is your job – because it is.  Bloggers like other bloggers that engage.  Brands like bloggers that engage.  It’s a no brainer – spend a couple minutes a day liking everything in your feed or liking and commenting on whatever is trending that day that aligns with your niche.  After a while you will see your followers and your likes and comments go up too!

 

  • Engage at events!  As a family lifestyle blogger we attend fun events from time to time. Most of the time, I am meeting new people for the first time.  The first thing I do is check the event’s hashtag and I do my best to follow everyone there.  Not only do I follow, but I make it a point to like and make comments specifically about the event.  That makes the host happy and it is a great way to make new friends.  Win win again.

 

  • Engage during promotional / partnering virtual events!  We are an adoptive family and love to share adoption related posts on our site a few times a month.  Making sure to participate in hashtags like #WorldAdoptionDay helped me find fun new adoptive families to engage with and it also helped them find me!  When a special event is going on with Disney (new movie released, new ride opens at a park, etc) I make sure to engage.  If you are vegan, a gardener, a fashion blogger, faith blogger – no matter what – there are official and unofficial hashtags and calls to action that will again grow authentic readers.

 

  • Follow people in your niche and hope they follow you back.  I do this for travel, Disney, adoption, etc.  It tends to work like a charm.  Once a week or so I go through Unfollowers.com and drop away those that don’t follow back.  No biggie, not everyone wants to play the game.  That isn’t to say I would drop everyone who I follow just because they aren’t following back – but in general I hope most will.  I want to point out it isn’t a good idea to follow just anyone – if a random restaurant in a far away State or a model in Ukraine or a political blogger (all actual people who followed me in the past) I honestly don’t follow back – because while they might be nice people, I just have no interest in that in my feed.

 

  • Make it a generous bonus entry to your giveaway to follow back / engage.  I don’t put a ton of stock in this personally because I find that as soon as the giveaway is over we lose many of those followers.  This is really only one step above ‘buying’ likes I suppose – I do maintain some of the followers, but not many.  I consider this more of a way to get followers to sample our instagram feed – if they like it ‘Yay!’, but I know they just really want a bonus entry to that giveaway so I don’t expect many to stay.

 

  • Join a ‘loop’ giveaway – typically a group of bloggers (or instagrammers) that give something away together.  This was an amazing way to grow followers in our niche (we gave away something Star Wars themed) – everyone had to follow everyone in the ‘loop’ to qualify.  Even with a dozen bloggers participating it does take quite a few steps and it is almost inevitable that someone will whine about how much work it was to enter.  For this reason I only participate in something like this a couple times a year – but let me tell you….. it is a great way to grow!  I gained nearly 1,000 followers in a two week giveaway (I actually gained more but lost a couple hundred followers after the giveaway was over – but KEPT just under 1,000 – what?!).  A loop giveaway is another way you can engage – show other bloggers that you want to work together and you all grow!

 

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I think the bottom line is if you want to know how to get more followers on Instagram it is easy – but if you want engagement, you have to be willing to engage yourself!  If you found this helpful would you be so kind as to pin it on pinterest and of course I hope you will follow me on Instagram too!

Until Next Time ~ Kate
26 Responses
  1. Katie says:

    So helpful! Love the insight and opinion.

  2. Kelly Ratcliff says:

    I am going to print out this post, I am just getting started with a new blog and trying to grow in all areas of social. Thanks for a great post!

  3. Kim @ 1200 Miles Away says:

    Kate, such excellent tips and tricks. I especially like the theme of authenticity. That is really something I strive for as a blogger but also look for in others. I currently struggle with my feed being cluttered with in home distribution but you gave me a bit of permission to say no thanks in the future. Saving these tips for growing my audience!

    • kate says:

      I am glad it was helpful! I feel like my feed is a bit crowded but I don’t let things that I honestly wouldn’t follow crowd it anymore (no sales peeps, no people with negative messages, of course no PG+ pics, and no pics of ‘i love this product’ only type feeds) – best of luck to you and thank you for reading!

  4. Sigh–I’m torn on leaving a bunch of hashtags. When I see other people do it I get annoyed, so I’m hesitant to leave *too* many and look like I’m trying too hard. I might have to try experimenting with it and see how it works out!

  5. Samantha says:

    Wow! Great tips! Thanks for posting 🙂

  6. Cara says:

    I loved these tips so much! Authenticity is something that I also look for bloggers that I love to read about; to me, it’s one of the main cores of blogging (apart from passion, among other things).

    • kate says:

      thank you! I agree -I feel like you can EASILY grow it even faster if you don’t care about authenticity – but you can grow it authentically too! =) It’s a bit tedious but I feel like it is worth it.

  7. Monika says:

    These are great tips! I use Unfollowers.com to manage things too. I also try to leave thoughtful comments and engage with those that have accounts that are related to my blog and interests. I don’t mind the product placement as much since I know some people rely on that to make a living but I agree I prefer personal touches more.

    -M

  8. Thanks for the tips. I haven’t really paid much attention to Instagram until recent months but I’m trying to work out what works and what doesn’t. It’s good to hear what others are doing.

  9. Chantal says:

    I just joined Instagram this week so this is very helpful, thanks!

  10. Yaya says:

    Good tips that I want to start using to grow my business Instagram. And I’ve been thinking about joining a loop giveaway for that exact reason.

  11. Marie says:

    This is great. I’m still very new on Instagram and I haven’t quite figured it out yet. Thank you for the tips.

  12. Melissa says:

    This is such great info- its hard to know which direction you should focus, especially if you are just starting out like me 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  13. Thanks for all of the tips! For some reason I’m having a lot of trouble growing my instagram. It seems to be the platform where I lose followers almost as much as I gain them.

  14. Tiffany says:

    Really great tips. Most of these are very actionable. I just have to find the time to interact now!

  15. Great tips! Sharing with my friends. 🙂

  16. Cymone says:

    Thank you for this post. Really want to grow my Instagram. I think commenting & liking will be key.

    xo, c.
    The Block is Haute

  17. Tish says:

    Great tips. Thank you.

  18. That’s really helpful. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  19. Ashley says:

    I love these tips! I really want to work on my Instagram growth the rest of this year and next year so I’ll be putting a lot of these to use soon!

  20. Carey says:

    Great info.Thanks!

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