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12 Ways to Get More Followers on Instagram

It’s mid-way through 2017. How successful is your business right now?

Any successful business owner knows how to adapt to the current culture. Instagram is today’s popular image-based social media channel.

It’s time for you to tap into this platform and take your business to a massive audience. They’re waiting for you right now. But once thing you need to know: this audience responds to visual stimulation.

Today I’m going to show you how to get more followers on Instagram by using clever methods & awesome pictures.

Photos and images speak volumes—if you let them. Instagram gives you the opportunity to let your images speak for themselves. If you can harness this technique and remain consistent in doing so, you will gain relevant fans on Instagram to whom you can market your product or service.

Balancing the Visual, the Textual and the Technical

Here’s something important you must understand: Instagram is a blend of visual, textual and technical marketing.

If you can understand and balance all three of these aspects you will get the marketing side of Instagram right!

I’ve broken this article down into three categories. Each one will help you get more followers on Instagram if you learn to balance them all properly.

  • The VISUAL aspect: What to do regarding your actual images.
  • The CONTENT aspect: How to leverage the content side.
  • The TECHNICAL aspect: What to do for more Instagram exposure across the web.

Visually Speaking…

1. Understand Image Psychology

Every colour carries its own message.

Each time you view branding in any context it makes you feel a certain way—whether you realize it or not.

If you can understand this dynamic between viewer and color, you can better create Instagram images that relay your message.

Do you want your brand to be seen as bold? Then RED may be the color for you.

Down to earth and eco-friendly? GREEN will relay the message.

Youthful and popular? ORANGE shouts out these adjectives loud and clear.

Sticking to a Theme

Not all of your images can be the same color. And you can’t exactly place a color filter on every image you create/post.

But when it comes to displaying your images on Instagram, remember to relay the right message. Color is an important visual aspect to any image.

If you want to make your audience feel a certain way, know how to invoke that emotion.

2. Create a Unique Theme for Your Unique Images

Let’s talk about filters for a minute. Personally I’m not a fan. But that’s mainly because Instagram users don’t know how to use them properly.

How Not to Use a Filter

Filters for your images can send a message of ‘this is fake’. If you use filters to alter your images too much, users will not engage with your images. If your aim is to fake an image or mask it somehow, you’re doing it wrong.

How to Use Filters Properly

Filters can be a good thing. If you use your filters to maintain a theme for every image you post you will create consistency. And every follower loves consistency.

Consistency gives your filtering process a purpose. So unless you’re using filters to help users identify you on their feed, stay away from them.

3. Tug on Those Heartstrings

emotional wedding photo of dad and step dad

Delia D. Blackburn - deliasphotos.com

The above is an image of a father at his daughter’s wedding. The man behind him is the bride’s stepfather. The biological father made a bold move at her wedding and insisted on them both giving her away because ultimately the stepfather had played an important role in the woman’s life.

Now if this image doesn’t move you emotionally, then I don’t know what to tell you.

We can learn a lot from this image. Let’s look at three important emotional aspects that every Instagram follower finds hard to resist.

Users Respond to People

This image contains two people. There’s something very real about that.

Your users will respond to this image because it allows them to connect with other human beings.

Users Respond to Emotion

The man in front is determined to do the right thing. The man behind him is truly humbled by the gesture. That’s some seriously hardcore emotion right there!

Users Respond to Stories

Although you may need a short description to know what’s going on in this picture, most of the story is pretty obvious.

This image paints a clear picture: Couple has a daughter. Couple gets divorced. Stepfather comes into the picture and does his part for his new family. Daughter gets married and enjoys the involvement of both her fathers.

This is a beautiful story!

4. Know When to Share

Sharing the images of others is what Instagram is all about. In fact a high percentage of images on Instagram are shares as opposed to originals.

The question you must ask is, “When should I create unique images and when should I share the images of others?”

It’s important to do both.

There’s no reason to miss out on other great posts that are relevant to your page just because you’re creating original ones yourself.

On the other hand, don’t neglect originals by drowning your page with shared images.

Textually Speaking…

5. Call to Actions

I want you to remember that Instagram is a powerful business tool. But no one is going to do what you want unless you tell them to.

Each time you post an image on your page, remember to do so with a purpose. One such purpose should be to draw Instagram users to follow a certain action.

example of call to actions

Whether you’re directly selling something, giving something away or trying to educate you audience, call to actions are immensely important.

When posting an image, ask yourself, “How do I want my audience to respond?”

Now include a clear call to action either in the image description or the image itself. If you want followers, tell your audience to follow you!

6. Text in Images: Dos and Don’ts

Using text or subtitles in an image is a great way to get a message across on Instagram.

But there are some pitfalls to this strategy.

What NOT to Do

If you continually use your images as an excuse to convey textual messages, you’re missing the point of Instagram—and users are likely to get tired of your posts. People want to see pictures. So if you can’t convey a message without words, you need to rethink your strategy.

Another pitfall is using text in images only to display your poor writing skills. If you are using text in images, make sure you are being concise and accurate in your language usage. Instagram followers as well as other social media users have been known to unfollow pages where poor grammar reoccurs.

Creating Original Textual Images

To get the most out of text-in-image posts, be original. Customize posts to suit your niche and keep your audience interested & entertained with every custom image you create.

Here are some ideas for creating original image posts:

  • Memes are always a hit. Use common meme images and stick to the tone of the image. Now customize your meme to fit in with what your audience identifies with.
  • Comic strips can also convey a relatively long message. If you’re creating a custom comic, make it a good one—not a salesy one.
  • Inspirational quotes can tug on the heartstrings of your audience. Make sure to slip something in about your company or your message.
  • Videos are also suited to Instagram. If you can make a great custom video, your Instagram account will soon be a hit.

7. Creating an Awesome Image Description

Why should every image you post have a description?

Captions for your images will help users find you. They’re not so much for your current audience as they are for your future potential Instagram followers.

Descriptions are important because they work with Google to optimize your posts.

So what should each Instagram post include?

Keywords

You should find a list of relatable keywords relevant to your page. Use these keywords within your post descriptions and image captions to help others find you. This is one of the quickest ways to get more Instagram followers.

Links

Google notices links. Always link your alternative content platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter or any similar blogs you may have) to your Instagram posts—and vice versa. Chances are if someone is interested in your Instagram post, they will be interested to check out your other online activity.

Hashtags

I’ll talk more about hashtags in the next point. Suffice to say that hashtags should be included in your descriptions. This doesn’t mean you should use a lot of hashtags to get noticed. Quality trumps quantity. Remember that.

Great Content

You have a chance to describe your post to Instagram followers. Use it well. Write about 150 words and make them interesting. Great content on your posts will encourage engagement and get people commenting more readily.

8. 3 Types of Hashtags to Use

Hashtags are simple to understand. They categorize your posts with other posts that possess the same hashtag. If someone clicks on that hashtag somewhere else, they will come upon your post if the same hashtag has been used.

There are three important hashtags to employ in your posts:

  • Popular hashtags
  • Unique hashtags
  • Specific hashtags

Follow the Crowd

Popular hashtags will help your post get more likes by Instagram followers who probably never heard of you.

Use popular hashtags here and there. You don’t have to overdo it since these hashtags will get you loads of exposure.

Be Unique

It may sound like a contradiction, but you also need to be unique. Create a unique hashtag that’s your own.

Kim Saeed uses the hashtag, #ByeByeNarc as a way to help victims of narcissist abuse find her posts easily. You can also invent your own hashtag. If it’s catchy, Instagram followers will relate the post to you when they see it.

Be Specific

Specific hashtags that relate to location or time are also very helpful for getting more Instagram followers.

If it’s relevant to your post, signify with a hashtag that you’re in a certain place or speaking about a certain time. Holidays and places are great ways to generate interest for your posts.

But again, make sure you’re posting something relevant to those hashtags. Don’t use them for no reason as this will annoy your users.

9. Tell a Story with Your Images

storytelling example picture

We touched on story telling a little earlier, but it’s worth mentioning again.

I really want you to think about how your images can tell a story. This isn’t a quick, simple process. If you want your Instagram audience to engage your posts, put some thought into them.

How to Tell a Story

Before you can tell a story you have to actually HAVE a story.

So what’s your story? Get that together and then figure out how you can use images to relay that story. Think out of the box every time you want to relay a story on your Instagram profile.

Here’s some inspiration:

  • Create a comic book strip
  • Use multiple items in your photos to symbolize different memories or events
  • Use inventive backgrounds in your images to signify a recent event

You don’t have to always default to your image descriptions to tell your stories. Use the image itself and you’re sure to get more engagement and ultimately more followers on Instagram.

Technically Speaking…

10. Blogging and Instagram

When we look at the technical aspects of Instagram, we cannot miss the importance of blogging.

Blogging and Instagram go so well together. if you aren’t combining the two you’re missing out on a seriously powerful marketing technique.

Google loves blogs that contain images. And if those images are adhering to most of the points I’ve mentioned above, users are going to want to share them.

In turn, you can also add links to your blog in your image descriptions or captions. Always connect the two. You won’t be sorry.

11. Buy Instagram Followers

Instagram works with an algorithm that rates your popularity. If you’re popular your posts will be promoted to users who aren’t yet loyal Instagram followers of yours.

The question is: “How do I get popular when starting out on Instagram?”

There are ways you can buy Instagram followers for your page. These are real life Instagram account holders who will immediately like your page and engage on your posts with likes and comments.

Once you start getting more engagement it will create momentum for your page. More Instagram users who are interested in your niche will begin to notice you; and your followers will grow in number.

12. Other Social Media Channels

Google wants to see a network of activity between various social media channels. If you’re on Instagram, great!

But it’s important to be on other channels as well because this allows you to create multiple audiences and then share those audiences between your profiles.

Networking between various forms of content platforms will drive traffic to your Instagram account. This has been proven to work because internet users have content preferences.

One person may prefer reading a blog rather than following an Instagram account. But by bombarding blog readers with scintillating images on your blogs, they will eventually become loyal Instagram followers.

Just be sure to make your images sharable on your blogs by adding an Instagram plugin. This will allow your readers to instantly share images on Instagram.

The One Hour Challenge

You may have come across the article because you wanted a quick fix to getting more followers on Instagram. While some of these tips will help you do that, most of them require a little effort.

I’d like to challenge you to a one hour challenge every week day for 30 days. Try at least one or two of these techniques and alternate between them throughout one of the coming months in 2017.

Monitor your Instagram followers and gauge how many new ones you get in 30 days after implementing some of these strategies.

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.