Finding new and creative ways to get more, real Instagram followers can be difficult because most articles on the topic recycle the same outdated ideas over and over again. Not so with this article. Today, I give you 10 fresh ideas you can use to get more, real Instagram followers. By the way, a lot of these ideas can be used on other social media platforms as well.
- Get more engagement on your posts
- Reach a wider audience with hashtags
- Help others and they’ll help you
Get more engagement on your posts
One of the best ways to gain new, real followers is to have existing followers who are actively engaged. That means they frequently like and comment on your posts. Not only does this activity make others want to follow you (think “social proof”), it also helps with the Instagram algorithms to show your photos to more people. Below are some ways to improve your engagement and thus indirectly gain you more followers.
1. Ask your followers to dislike your photo
No, there isn’t a dislike option on Instagram, but if you post a photo that you know followers will either love or hate, don’t only reap the rewards from those that love it. Instead, ask those who hate the topic depicted to say so in a comment – or better yet, train your followers to do this on all your posts. This will net you more comments which means more engagement.
2. Add a heart to your photo
This is a trick I’ve been using that works great. Place a small heart somewhere in your photo or video. The heart is the “like” button for Instagram, so people seeing a heart in your post gives them a gentle (perhaps subliminal?) reminder to hit that like button. Bonus tip: Even better, play a game of hide and seek. Hide the heart in your photo so it isn’t readily seen. Then ask people to “double tap” on the heart if they can find it in your photo (since a double tap is a like on Instagram, them doing so likes the photo). This makes it a fun activity while also significantly boosting engagement.
3. Answer questions
Instagram isn’t usually thought of as a forum to do “ask me anything” types of posts, but doing so can be an excellent way to stand out and connect better with those following you. Not only do they get insight into who you are, you get insight into why they follow you and a photo with a lot of comments.
When you post on Instagram, only your followers will see it. Unless… you use hashtags. That’s the reason you often see lots of hashtags in Instagram posts.
Instagram has a search engine and hashtags are the language you use to search. Use hashtag #cat, and your post may be found when someone searches for #cat. Use hashtags #cat and #kitten and you can reach even more cat lovers. So when you use hashtags, anyone in the world can find your posts, opening you up to a massive network of potential followers.
One of the great things about Instagram is that it’s a visual platform at its very core. This breaks down language barriers allowing you to capture the attention and engagement from people all over the world. Even if you’re only interested in local customers, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to appeal to a wider audience. Why? Because the more people that see your post, the more people that engage with it and as we mentioned already, engagement is key when it comes to reaching (more) people on any of the social media platforms.
So why limit your audience to just native English speakers? Throw in some relevant foreign hashtags and be amazed at how many more people you can reach.
If you have an interesting photo (and let’s face it, they should all be interesting in some way right?), instead of creating all the hashtags yourself, ask your followers to chime in with just one hashtag they would use for the photo and why. Not only are you giving them a fun little exercise, you’ll likely get great hashtag ideas to use in the future, plus you get a lot of great comments on the post as well. Did I mention engagement (comments) are important for reaching more people with your posts? Oh, yep, that’s right, I did.
Help others and they’ll help you
There’s a benefit to helping others out. It doesn’t happen all that often, so you end up standing out from the crowd. You get attention, which is a good thing. Comment, share and like other peoples posts – a lot. You’ll be surprised at how much it will end up helping you.
6. Like three or more of the same Instagram user’s posts
Don’t just like one post from someone and then move on. If the user is already getting a lot of likes on their posts, your like is going to get lost. Instead, like a minimum of three different posts from the same user. This will make it much more likely that your like doesn’t get lost and they might even take a moment to investigate who you are and return the favor.
7. Comment with a hashtag
When you comment, write something at the end like “I would have also used #(something) for this amazing photo.” By providing another quality hashtag for the post, your comment will stand out and be noticed because you’re actively helping the user gain more followers by using an additional hashtag. As an added bonus, few people use hashtags when they comment. This makes your comment stand out, perhaps catching more attention.
8. Comment with a question
Instead of giving your opinion on a post, ask for information from the person who posted it. This allows you to begin a conversation and your comment will most definitely be noticed by others as well, further increasing the chances that you will get some follows.
9. Comment with a story
If the photo reminds you of a significant event in your life, share it! People love stories and can’t help but feel a personal connection after reading them. This also gives you a chance to share more about yourself, which increases the chances of getting even more, targeted followers.
If you see a photo that you know one of your friends would love, tag your friend in the comment along with why you love it. Helping bring in new people without being asked will quickly get you noticed by any Instagrammer. They’ll be more likely to do the same for you or at worst, become your next follower.