Getting people to follow you back, engage with your content or visit the links in your Instagram bio can be a challenging process. I think the biggest issue most people have is not knowing how to build an Instagram following effectively and get them to engage with their content.
I have a few strategies that I believe every single person who wants to build an audience on Instagram should implement. These strategies do work, and I’ve tested them personally for an entire month.
It is quite a lot of work and can be time-consuming at first but once you get the hang of it, it becomes a habit and actually kind of fun when you see results every day.
I enjoyed watching my followers, likes, and comments go up. It was kind of like an addiction. To actually get people to follow you and appreciate/find value in your posts is so satisfying. Plus it improves your chances of monetizing from that audience.
So here are the strategies that I believe will help you build an Instagram following and actually deliver results. It worked for me and I’m sure it’ll work for you:
Tips to Build an Instagram Following
Write a Compelling and Descriptive Bio
You might be wondering, how is this going to help me get more engagement and followers? Well think of it this way, why would anyone follow you if they don’t know what your page is about?
On the other hand, if the page has a descriptive bio that explains what content and type of content is being produced on the page and that person relates with the content or it applies to them, then they’ll be more willing to follow the page than one without a bio.
If they can’t relate to the content or it doesn’t apply to them why would they follow the page? So, include a bio that tells people how they’ll benefit from your page and content.
I think this is one of the most important strategies you can implement when trying to build an Instagram following. A lot of people online start an Instagram page with the idea that people will automatically come running to their page and consume their content.
That is not the case unless you go viral, but you’ll actually have to go out and engage with people.
When I ran my dummy account and actually commented and liked other people’s pages I started building small relationships with them. It’s about becoming quite familiar with the other person.
As soon as you build that small amount of trust and little online friendship with the other person they’ll be happy to follow you back.
This process isn’t once off. If you want to build an Instagram following, you’ll have to continue doing this on a consistent basis. Yes, it’s a lot of work but that’s what it’s going to take.
This was probably the most successful strategy. It really helped me build an account with 100 followers in just one month and I’m talking loyal followers, not those fake accounts.
For example, accounts who follow you so that you follow them back, just so that they gain new followers and then unfollow you again.
It’s loyal followers you’ll need.
One thing I should mention is, don’t go and comment the same comment on 100 accounts every day. When you comment on someone’s post, be real. Comment because you actually want to comment, you don’t want to come off as a robot.
Be you, people will notice when you are just being nice to gain followers. You have to really build relationships. That’s what worked for me.
Become friends with people in your niche and become part of the community. That’s how you get loyal followers, not by following thousands of people or just waiting for people to find you. You have to get involved.
Participate in hashtag events or create your own
A lot of popular accounts online host hashtag events each week or at the end of the month where they ask their followers to perform a specific action.
For example, a photography page called Avi Photography may ask their followers to share an Instagram pic of their best-captured pic on camera and include a hashtag like #Avisnaps and in turn, they’ll feature the top 5 best snaps on their page.
These accounts usually do these hashtag events to get more exposure for themselves with the hashtag, but it also helps smaller accounts.
Think about it if you participate in an event like this and your pic gets featured and mentioned on an account with roughly 10 000 followers. That will surely give you some exposure and extra followers.
I saw this in action. I become quite close with another person on my dummy account and she posted in the same niche as I did. We both participated in a hashtag event where the best snaps were to be featured.
She came second and was featured on an account with 15 000 followers and she went from 167 followers to 237 in a single day!
These events really do help with exposure! So whatever content you’re creating on Instagram find similar accounts that host hashtag events and participate. It’s totally worth it.
Remember to participate only in events that relate to your content. Otherwise, you’ll get followers you don’t really need or want. You want people who want to see or consume your content. Niche down and stick to your niche.
Later when you have a bigger following, you can even implement this strategy and create your own hashtag events. This will also help you with exposure and free marketing of your page by your followers.
It’s simple and effective and your followers create content for you, which is a bonus!
Use hashtags in your posts
Hashtags are very important for your posts. Especially when you are a brand-new account. It can really help build an Instagram following in the beginning. When you make use of hashtags you enable the search engine to find or rank your post in the specific field of that hashtag you used.
That’s why it is so important to use relevant hashtags for your post otherwise your post on photography, for example, will get ranked in niches you don’t want it to rank because you used the most popular unrelated hashtags just so you could reach more people.
Rather focus on gaining the followers who want to see your content. It’s better to have 500 loyal followers who will buy the products you promote and consume your content than 10 000 followers who don’t know why they follow you or just don’t care, they might just follow you because you have a lot of followers and look popular.
I’d recommend you use between 10 – 20 hashtags per post. Remember these hashtags should be relevant to your post and niche. Hashtags are one of the most effective strategies I experienced when I ran my dummy account. It helps get your page and content out there, making it easier for people to find you.
I experienced that I got more engagement on posts that included hashtags and almost no engagement on a post without hashtags.
If you want people to follow you, you have to keep your page looking fresh and alive. Post consistently. Test it out at the beginning and see what times you get the most engagement. Stick to those times and try not to skip a day. If you want to build an Instagram following you’ll have to be active every day, in my opinion.
Also, don’t post too much and spam people’s feeds. I’d say keep it between 3 – 5 posts a day. If that doesn’t work for you then post more or less, whatever you feel works for you.
Remember you can break the rules sometimes, as long as it’s benefiting your strategy.
Check out our post: “The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media“, an insightful post on how you should approach social media.