On January 1st I set myself a challenge: I wanted to reach 27,000 followers on Instagram by my 27th birthday (April 7th). Now, with just under a month to go, I’m closing in on my target. But it’s going to be a tight race to the finish line. And, just to put things into perspective, I started the year having just reached 25K followers. So, whilst it was a manageable goal, there was a lot of work to be done.
Everywhere you look online there are tips for gaining Instagram followers. And I’ve tried just about everything that’s above board (I would never purchase followers or play the follow-unfollow game). But since the Instagram algorithm changed last year it’s become more difficult to predict what will be successful. The following three strategies have helped get my numbers up, however. So if you’re also trying to grow your Instagram following implement these techniques ASAP…
3 Tips for Gaining Instagram Followers Naturally
1. Interact With Other Accounts
“The time of day that you choose to post on Instagram is irrelevant right now,” photographer Jay McLaughlin recently told me. “It’s all about engagement with others. Instagram reward those who use their platform the most.” So, in other words, if you increase the time you spend double-tapping and leaving comments, Instagram is more likely to place your uploads right in front of your followers and make you visible to those who don’t follow you through the discover page.
I hated the idea of spending even more time on Instagram. But, as an experiment, I decided to leave thoughtful comments on at least three images in my feed every time I opened the app. And, do you know what? Jay was right. Engagement immediately increased on my account. My uploads received more likes and comments, and my following started growing at a quicker pace. Plus, I actually found that by interacting with other accounts I started to enjoy using Instagram more.
2. Focus on Your Grid
First impressions really do count when it comes to Instagram. So if you want to attract new followers you need to play close attention to your grid. It’s the first thing people see when they click on your handle, so it should look as cohesive as possible. Scheduling apps like Planoly and Mosaico allow you to plan your grid in advance, so your images blend together nicely and look beautiful as a collection.
You can also help your images fit together seamlessly by applying the same editing style and filter to all of your uploads. I edit my Instagram images on Snapseed, and then use the T1 filter on VSCOcam. And I also pay close attention to the colours in my photos, making sure there are touches of white and pink running through my feed at all times for continuity.
3. Write Engaging Captions
As I’ve mentioned, Instagram rewards accounts with high levels of engagement. So you should aim to get as many likes and comments on your uploads as possible. How can you do this? By writing engaging captions.
It’s not always easy, but before going with the obvious (e.g. “spring florals) think seriously about what you could say to get people talking. Share a story from your day, write about what’s on your mind, ask questions and seek advice. Instagram is a community, so if your followers feel like they’re getting a real insight into your life they’re far more likely to interact with you.
What are your tips for gaining Instagram followers? And will you be trying any of these strategies? Leave a comment below to share your experiences…