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How to increase your Instagram Followers effectively?

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https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-get-more-instagr

03 February 2021
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Want to know how to get free Instagram followers? First tip: follow relevant users. When you do, there's a good chance they'll look at your profile.
To use Instagram effectively, you need to build a solid base of Instagram followers. But it can be tricky for brands to figure out exactly how to make that happen.
The days of shortcuts like buying followers or using bots are over. These tricks might boost your follower count for a short time, but they won’t do you any favors long-term.
That’s because the only truly valuable Instagram followers are real people who care about and engage with your brand. A false follower count might boost your ego, but it won’t help your Instagram strategy.
How to get Instagram followers for free:

1.Have a thoughtful Instagram strategy

To use any social network effectively, you need a clear plan. Getting more Instagram followers is a great goal to start with. But followers alone won’t give you a successful Instagram account. Gaining followers needs to be part of a larger plan that connects to your business strategy and social marketing objectives.
Think about the reasons why you want more Instagram followers. What do you really hope to accomplish? Maybe you want to:
•    increase brand awareness
•    boost product sales
•    drive traffic to your website.
Staying focused on these business-oriented goals will help keep your Instagram account consistent. It will help you tell a compelling brand story that appeals to new profile visitors and helps build (and keep) a loyal following.

2. Define your target audience
Ask yourself some questions about who you are trying to reach:
•    How old are they?
•    Where do they live?
•    What do they do for work?
•    When and how do they use Instagram?
•    What are their pain points and challenges?
Answering these questions will help you craft the right kind of Instagram content to reach the people on Instagram who are most likely to give you a follow.

3. Create a consistent brand story and aesthetic
Maybe you want to satisfy curiosity by showing off how your product is made. Or share an employee’s perspective to humanize your brand. If you want to position your brand in an aspirational way, you could try showcasing the lifestyle or achievements of your customers.

4. Use keywords to appear in searches
Before people can follow you on Instagram, they have to find you. Not a lot of the text on Instagram is searchable. In fact, only two fields on Instagram contribute to search results: name and username.
Your username is your Instagram handle. It’s a good idea to make it consistent with the handle you use on other social networks, since this also makes it easier for people to find you. Use your brand name or a variation of your name that people are likely to use when searching for your brand.

5. Use relevant hashtags to reach new users
We just said that the text of your Instagram posts isn’t searchable. But hashtags do appear in Instagram search. That means using hashtags thoughtfully can be a good way to get followers on Instagram for free.

6. Craft a great bio and profile
Two-thirds of Instagram business profile visits are from non-followers. Those new visitors are all potential new free Instagram followers—but only if your bio and profile convince them to click the follow button. They won’t do so if your profile is unclear, incomplete, or unappealing.

7. Share engaging, high-quality content
This might seem too obvious to mention, but it’s actually a critical point when thinking about how to get followers on Instagram. Every post on your Instagram grid needs to be of high quality and visually engaging.

8. Write compelling captions
 Writing great Instagram captions plays a big role in helping you get more reach and engagement.
Here are some key strategies to keep in mind:
•    Put the most important words up front.
•    Ask a question.
•    Try emoji.
•    Try different caption lengths.

9. Pin your best comments.

10. Promote your Instagram account on other networks
The most important way to get followers on Instagram for free is to make it easy for people to find you.
Your Instagram profile should be easily discoverable. If you’ve already built a following on another social network, let those fans know about your Instagram account.

11. Embed Instagram posts in your blog
Each embedded post is clickable, and allows users to head directly to the relevant post, or to the Instagram profile.

12. Post content that’s meant to be re-shared
While you’re thinking about content that might help illustrate your own posts, think about content that other people might like to share, too.

13. Share your Instagram account in other communications
Think beyond your social channels when sharing your Instagram account.

14. Use the Instagram nametag
Your Instagram nametag is a scannable code that allows Instagram users to follow you instantly. 

15. Aim to get featured
Feature accounts are simply Instagram accounts that curate and re-share other users’ content based on a hashtag or tagging. Some of these accounts have a huge following, and having them share one of your posts (along with your handle) can send a new stream of Instagram followers your way.

16. Aim for the Explore tab
The Explore tab is what you see when you click on the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the Instagram app. According to Instagram itself, this is where “you can find photos and videos that you might like from accounts you don’t yet follow.”

17. Tag your location
Any time there’s a clear location element in your post or Story, it’s worth adding a location tag. It’s one more easy way for people to find your content on Instagram.

18. Tag relevant users
You can tag Instagram users featured in your photos with an @-mention in your caption or by using Instagram’s tagging functionality within the post. Either way, they’ll receive a notification when you do so.

19. Encourage others to tag you
Another way to introduce your Instagram account to a new audience is to ask other Instagram users to tag you. When they tag you in a post, their audience sees your handle and can click on it if they want to learn more.

20. Follow relevant accounts
You should only tag people in an Instagram post when the content is directly relevant to them. But you can follow anyone you like. And when you follow a user on Instagram, there’s a good chance they will check out your feed.

21. Engage with existing communities
Like all social media networks, Instagram is about the communities built within it. You want to engage with those communities.

22. Work with influencers in your niche
Here’s an important stat for anyone thinking about how to get more followers on Instagram: 60% of consumers say they’d follow a brand on Instagram after seeing it promoted by an influencer they trust.

23. Collaborate with other brands
Don’t be afraid to reach out to other brands to see if there’s a way that you can work together on Instagram. The right kind of collaboration could help everyone involved get more Instagram followers.

24. Embrace Instagram Stories
We’ve mentioned Stories in several of the tips already, but it’s worth calling this feature out specifically. Simply put, if you want more Instagram followers, you need to use Instagram Stories. Half a billion Instagram accounts use Stories every day, and 45% of the most-viewed stories are from businesses

25. Use interactivity features
Instagram Stories offer plenty of interactive features to get users engaged, like poll, question, and chat stickers.
Polling stickers increased three-second video views in 90% of Instagram’s beta campaigns for this feature.

26. Make the most of Stories highlights
Stories highlights give you an opportunity to introduce your brand to people who visit your profile. Pack those highlights with loads of great info and content to show new visitors exactly why they should click Follow.

27. Try an Instagram Live collaboration
Instagram is the perfect place to take advantage of live video, a trend that is continuing to grow on social media. Through interactive features like questions and comments, you can engage with viewers in real time, creating more of that precious engagement that can help boost your reach.

28. Try an IGTV series
While both of the series mentioned in the previous tip are presented on Instagram Live, they are also posted to IGTV after the live conversation ends.

29. Post consistently
Your existing followers want to see content from you. That’s why they followed you in the first place.

30. Post at the right time
Yes, Instagram uses an algorithm rather than a chronological feed. However, timing is still important, as it’s one of the signals the algorithm considers.
Hootsuite worked with Unmetric to determine the best time to post on Instagram based on your industry. To figure out the best time to post for your own brand, consider your audience. What does their typical day look like? When are they most active on Instagram?
Start testing various times and measuring results. If you’re a retail brand, for example, you might want to test posting during lunch times.

31. Schedule your posts and stories
Is the best time to post not a convenient time to be on Instagram? Use a social media management tool like Hootsuite to schedule and publish directly to Instagram.
Scheduling your posts in advance allows you to plan a cohesive Instagram grid that tells an overarching story. It also allows you to dedicate time to creating excellent captions, rather than trying to come up with something witty on the fly.

32. Run contests
Contests on Instagram can help you get more followers if your entry process involves asking people to follow you and comment on one of your photos by tagging a friend.

33. Consider advertising on Instagram
Okay, this isn’t exactly a way to get free Instagram followers. But Instagram ads can be a powerful way to reach new followers, fast, by getting your content in front of people who would otherwise not see it.

34. Learn from Instagram Insights
Instagram analytics tools will give you data on impressions for each post, along with reach, engagement, top posts, and more. You can also find demographic information about your followers, including gender, age, and location.

35. Create an AR filter
AR filters for Instagram Stories are photo effects Instagrammers can use to modify photos taken through their mobile phone’s front and back cameras. Those posts with puppy ears? Those are done with an AR (Augmented Reality) filter. Those “which [vegetable/pizza/emoji/etc.] are you?” posts? Those use AR filters too.

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