How to grow your Instagram following

By February 21, 2020 Blog, Marketing

How often do you sit back and ask yourself “why is the number of followers on my Instagram page still low?” There are ways for you to grow your Instagram following and we will talk about some easy ways.

With over one billion signed-up users, over 500 million people use the network every day and share more than 95 million photos and videos on average –Crazy stat! 80 % of accounts follow a business on Instagram and this is where you come in. It seems like marketers might be more penetrative than ever. But what are you going to do to grow your Instagram following?

Instagram, with all its users, definitely presents a huge marketing opportunity more so it opened up its photo feed to advertisers and rolled out a “Shop Now” button. The platform continues to dominate in the consumer marketing space therefore to get more sales on Instagram you need to have a huge following.

Did you know that a better approach to growing your audience or your brand on Instagram is all about creating micro-connections that gradually accumulates into an active and engaged community on the platform?

To begin your push at building a presence on Instagram, you first need to build an audience and learn how to promote your business without turning people off. Instagram can be a highly-targeted, visual marketing channel for your brand and an opportunity to build a loyal audience that grows with your business.

Want to know how to grow your audience on Instagram? Here are reliable ways to build your audience and get your business seen on this growing social network.

 Use the right Instagram Hashtags.

Hashtags are now used everywhere in the online social world but they do play quite a more important role on Instagram than any other social media platform. The right hashtag can expose your photo to a large and targeted audience because it is easy for people to find your photos, even if those users don’t follow you. Load up on relevant hashtags that your target audience might be following. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per photo and 10 on Stories.

Many users take advantage of this and maximize them out. Research shows that around 11 hashtags work best for optimal engagement. Here are some of the popular hashtags that you can use; #love, #instagood, #photooftheday and many others however the hashtags you use should be relevant to your post. Iconosquare and webstagram are some of the online tools that can be used to search for relevant hashtags.

An example of the use of Instagram Hashtags

Follow Similar Users

Follow and engage with targeted users to attract attention and new followers. Instagram is a social network, therefore you have to comment and like other people’s posts if you want them to do the same as well, you will do better when you comment and like other photos instead of just posting and being silent. One strategy to gain followers is called “follow, like, like, like.”

Search for specific users using hashtags that relate to your business and your customers. Follow the users of the top photos you find and then like the last three photos they posted. This shows the user that not only did you follow them but you dug a little deeper and like what they are all about. This strategy helps you engage with users that might be interested in your brand and you could earn a few new followers in the process.

Relate with these similar users and they will return the favor – this is most definitely going to increase your engagement, and in turn grow your Instagram following.

Post frequently and consistently

Being consistent with your posting and messaging is a key to success in marketing, and that holds true when growing an audience on Instagram. Research shows that the average Instagram user posts once a day. It also states that users with the highest number of fans make 2 to 3 posts per day. This data suggests that if you want to gain more followers then you should post with higher frequency.

Use the Right Instagram Filters

Did you know that using the right filters can actually lead to more views and engagement? Research shows that filtered photos are 21% more likely to be viewed and 45% more likely to be commented on than unfiltered ones.

Filters that create high contrast, warm tones, and higher exposure that tends to inspire more engagement this is because they make ordinary photos look interesting, dramatic, fun and inspiring. There are 10 most commonly used filters including; Clarendon, Ludwig, Mayfair, hefe and many others. You can use iconosquare to understand and review your performance in order to know what is working for you and what is not working for you.

Post on Instagram at the right times

Consider the timing of your posts, this approach will help you analyze what has and has not worked for you in the past. By visiting IconoSquare’s optimization section or using Instagram analytics can help you highlight the best times of the day and days of the week to post.

You may also want to consider using a social media scheduling tool to schedule and automatically publish your posts for when your audience is the most engaged however according to research the best time to post on Instagram is Sunday 10 am -2 pm, Monday 9 am -5 pm, Tuesday 8 am -7 pm, Wednesday 5 am, 11 am -3 pm, Thursday 5 am, 11 am -4 pm, Friday 5 am, 9 am – 10 am. 11 am – 1 pm, 2 pm -4 pm, Saturday 9 – 11 am.

The best times to post on Instagram

Steal your competitor’s followers on Instagram

One of the best ways to find and attract a new following is by seeking out your closest competitors’ Instagram accounts and engaging with their audience. Mischievous –yes, but very workable! These people have already shown some level of interest in the products you carry simply by following your competitors’ accounts.

You can steal your competitor’s followers by engaging with them through following a user, liking a photo and commenting on their photos. Remember the more work you put in the more followers and repeated engagement you will get out of it. Stealing is probably not a fancy word but if you intend to grow your Instagram following, you need a few aces up your sleeve too.

Use Emojis

Depending on your target buyer persona, the use of emojis may be a way to build Instagram engagement and followers. You will often see smiley faces, hearts, animals, people and other small images that convey an emotion. They are colorful.

They have become a universal method of expression. Instagram reports that nearly 50% of all captions and comments on their platform have at least one emoji. If it’s right for your audience, try adding emojis to a few posts and see if they help to earn you more engagement.

Host a Photo Contest

Contests can help you grow your Instagram following. Planning and implementing a photo contest is a great way to bring followers, engagement and exposure to your brand on Instagram. Using specific hashtags dedicated to your contest makes it easy for people to enter and easy for you to manage the contest.

During the photo contest, ask the people to comment on their entry and tag one other person that should also enter. Doing this drastically increases not only the contest’s reach but the reach of your brand.

Utilize Videos

Instagram videos and live videos allow you to connect with users through more than static photos. When the video first rolled out, you were limited to just 15 seconds. But Instagram quickly realized longer was better, and we can now upload or record up to a minute!

While videos have become more popular, there is still plenty of room to grow. Becoming more comfortable with videos will allow you to take advantage of it as a marketing strategy to grow your Instagram following, and you will be ahead of the curve when it becomes more mainstream.

Marketers are just now beginning to understand the usefulness of using Instagram videos when promoting brands. It can drive website traffic, purchases, brand awareness, positioning, delighting customers and more.

Use geotags on Instagram for local discoverability

Using geotags helps you make your Instagram posts and Stories discoverable by tagging your location, it can either be the city you’re in or the venue where the photo or video was taken. This can help to engage with the local followers since they find it easy to discover your post.

Organize your Stories into Highlights

Organizing your stories into highlights communicates what your account is about. Stories on Instagram have a shorter life span of 24 hours this clearly indicates that some of your audience can miss out however if they are organized into highlights they can have a second life span for a more longer time this will entice more others to follow you so that they don’t miss out on stories next time.

You can use highlights to promote your products through pictures, videos and using the swipe up links, organize your stories into themes for example countries visited and travels made.

Ask for more followers

Don’t be afraid to occasionally ask your audience to follow you the same way YouTubers ask their viewers to follow them at the end of their videos, you can also ask viewers to follow you for more content. Sometimes people might really enjoy what you put out on Instagram, but they need to be told before they actually follow you.

You just need to remind the users of a platform that they can subscribe to get more in the comments of a post. This can be done by pitching what your audience will get if they follow you or hinting at content that’s coming up that they wouldn’t want to miss.

Use the Instagram tools at your disposal

Instagram tools help you to lay a good strategy on how to manage your page, build your audience and engage with them over time. here are some of the tools that can help you; Later, this help to schedule and automatically publish your Instagram posts using a mobile phone or computer, Iconosquare this information concerning analytics and insights into your account and followers, Webstagram which helps to find the best hashtags for your posts and people for your sponsored posts.

In conclusion, focus on engagement, not just followers. Set aside time each day to execute this strategy it can be between 30 minutes- 1 hour or any amount of time you have. Instagram growth needs a good amount of effort and time input, otherwise, Instagram will be a great home for your product and the brand that will lead to a healthy stream of revenue for your business.


This 2020, in October, MonkeyPesa will be launching a one-stop business management tool and solution set to address accounting, marketing tools and practices, social media handling and performance and a Social Media management tool. Under this tool, you will be able to optimize content going to which particular media platform and at what time. For more updates on the product, SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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