It’s no secret that Instagram has significantly gained popularity as a social media platform. It has an amazing reach and people use it several times a day. It is now a highly prioritized channel to grow your brand, small business or personal blog since it boasts sky-rocketing engagement levels.

Instagram Following
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Keeping that in mind, you might be searching for non-shady and authentic tricks to increase your Instagram followers. Use these effective 27 proven tactics to attract new followers, retain old ones, increase their engagement, and beat the cruel non-chronological algorithm.

1.    Create your unique aesthetic

Instagram is all about aesthetics. You should explore all the possible ways to make your Instagram account look aesthetically pleasing and unique. Whether it is your personal or business account, do not forget the importance of having a distinctive look. Play with contrasting themes – but not too much or you will deviate from your actual artistic touch. Explore the chess board style of posting your content. It is very eye-catching and attracts users to go through your feed.

Create your unique aesthetic
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2.    Use high-quality content

No one likes bad quality images and low resolution videos. You have to make sure that you stand out! Research about different angles and photography equipment. Learn the difference between different types of devices used. Food photography will be completely different from portrait photography. Whether you are using a professional DSLR or your phone camera, the main focus should be on the right techniques to take pictures. Same goes for videos – keep your videos short and less wordy if they are about products and services. If they aren’t product related, then the length may vary. No matter what the type of content, quality over quantity, always!

Use high-quality content
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3.    Up your editing game

If you want to succeed on Instagram, you need to learn more about image and video editing. Use different softwares for this purpose. Adobe Lightroom, Vsco, Snapseed and A Color Story are some of the widely used softwares that can help you achieve great editing results.

editing game
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A pro tip to achieve a consistent editing style to compliment your theme is to save presets. Play with the filters and figure out what works the best for you. Apply a cohesive look to your Instagram account so that it looks like an actual photo gallery – that is what people on Instagram really enjoy. Don’t be afraid of experimenting at the beginning and once you figure out your style, grow into it.

4.    Don’t use too much text

Let’s be realistic, no one logs onto their Instagram profiles to read a lot. They just scroll through their feeds. The key here is to create such content that makes a user stop scrolling and see what you have posted. Keep use of words and phrases minimal and be more illustrative. Whether you are posting product information, a tutorial or an info-graphic, make it more self-explanatory by using strong images.

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5.    Be as active as possible

Don’t get this wrong, being active doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to post on Instagram every day. It actually is about being interactive. Be responsive – it doesn’t just make people feel heard and seen, but also attracts them towards your account. Comment on other people’s pictures and videos. But don’t just spam their comment section with excessive usage of emoticons etc. Make the interaction meaningful.

6.    Interact with the right community

right community
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Stay in touch with the relevant communities. If you are a make-up brand, interact with beauty experts, beauty bloggers and makeup enthusiasts. This tip is very useful for building a strong presence in your industry. Regularly share, comment and like what your community members are posting and help more people find and follow your account.

7.    Use the right hashtags

Using hashtags on Instagram really helps you increase your reach. If used strategically, your post can end up in the explore feed which is basically everyone’s goal. Use relevant hashtags and do not be afraid of using too many (maximum 30 allowed in Instagram captions and 10 on stories). They just have to be pertinent and compatible with your brand and identity.

If you are a brand, craft up a short and catchy hashtag just for your brand. Use it for all the content you share. Make it visible on other networks and on website/online stores also.

8.    Optimize your bio

your bio
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Whenever someone visits your Instagram profile, the foremost thing they see is your bio. Use this area to tell them who you are and what you do. Insert a catchy phrase and relevant hashtags (1 or 2). Link any other networking accounts you have and your website is this section. There is an option to insert a phrase or word in bold letters – use this to elaborate the most important part of your account.

9.    Be creative with your captions

A strong caption is a significant accessory for every picture and video. Whether the captions are long or short, just keep them specific to the post. A thoughtful caption which relates to your audience will make them interact more. People tend to engage with you and your content on a personal level, not just as “engaging on the internet”. Think through your captions and don’t just pop a couple of emoticons in there just for the heck of it.

10. Post images with geo-location

Tagging locations is critical to increase reach on Instagram. If you develop an understanding for this option and implement it, you can easily be a step ahead of competing accounts.

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Content on Instagram tagged with geo-locations performs better than others. It tells your followers where you are and helps new users know more about you. It attracts new following with minimal efforts and also broadens exposure. People have been using Instagram to search new small businesses, restaurants, products and services. There are high chances for your account to pop up in the search tab if your tagged locations match with their GPS. To explore more, click on the location and you will find all the photos and videos which have the same location tagged.

11. Leverage following on other social media sites

social media sites
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Share and promote your Instagram username on other social networking sites to drive more people in. If someone shops from your website or is your YouTube subscriber, it doesn’t necessarily mean they follow you on Instagram. Let them know you are here too and ask them to follow. Promote your account name on your products’ packaging to increase account recall.

Also Read: How to See Someone’s Likes on Instagram (In Secret!)

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12. Share fan-generated content

Explore what your followers and fans are posting and repost it if it’s related to your account. For example if you are a skin care brand, repost reviews of your best-selling moisturizer. Beauty bloggers tend to post video reviews and applicative tutorials on Instagram. Make sure you dig them out and share your fans’ content.

13. Include Call to Action and questions

Asking questions in captions is a proven way to increase engagement on your posts, which ultimately increases your reach on Instagram. Even if you are worried you won’t get any comments and responses, still use some kid of call to action. It can be as simple a question as “What is the most productive thing you did today?” with a catchy picture of your journal.

To increase following, take advantage of this unique feature. Tagging other accounts in your posts increases the relevance of your brand, blog or company in the industry. For example if you post an amazing picture of yourself wearing your favorite soccer team’s jersey, tag the players of the team, the official team account and other relevant accounts. Who knows, if you are lucky, you might get featured by one of them and you know how beneficial that can be for your following!

15. Stay on the topic

Stay specific. Keep your content aligned to your offering. It will increase recall of your account in users’ minds and will assist them in grasping your reason to exist. You are allowed to experiment as long as you stay close to your core.

16. Trend-jack

Use trending topics in your posts. Stay updated on popular TV shows, movies, video games and current affairs and post accordingly. Be sure to stay relevant here and choose such a trending topic which relates to your account’s identity.

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17. Switch to a business account

Believe it or not, switching to a business account really helps your Instagram popularity. It enables you to gain insights about your followers and keep track of all the actions being taken on your account. A business account allows you to add call to action buttons like contact, visit website etc. to your profile. It has an option to mention your industry in your bio to help your target audience quickly recognize who you are. This also helps develop an understanding of your existence on the networking site. With a business account, you are also able to boost your posts to gain more engagement and drive traffic to your account. These options are not available and applicable on personal accounts.

18. Use the “Swipe Up” option on Instagram Stories

Since there is no option to put workable links in captions, use this feature in Instagram stories to drive your followers to others networks and sites where you exist. This has amazing engagement turn around that also increases followers.

Instagram Stories
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19. Create categorized ‘Highlights’

categorized  Highlights
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Share important stories in your highlights to keep them visible forever. To fully utilize this feature, categorize the content into multiple highlights to make them elaborate and easily accessible.

20. Go Live

Go Live
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The main advantage of this feature is that it makes your “Live” story appear first and foremost in your followers’ feed and also increases the chances for you to appear in explore section.

21. Post more videos

Videos are crushing it on social networking sites these days. High amount of usage time has been associated with watching videos. Make sure you don’t miss out on exploiting this feature!

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22. Keep a content calendar

It is essential to know when to post what content. Usage patterns vary according to many factors which include user’s location, time zone and region. Develop a content calendar at the start of every month. See if there are any public holidays or major events coming up which might effects your audience’s usage behaviors. Figure out the best time to post. See what the nature of the content is. For example, if it is an educational insight, you might want to put that up in the afternoon when relevant audience is online. Similarly, if you are posting a new cover song, do it at night when people are using Instagram in their leisure time and your video will be more likely to get higher number of views.

content calendar
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23. Collaborate with other accounts

Collaborating and creating cohesive content with your friends, partners or compatible business accounts will attract followers cross-dimensionally. Get friendly!

24. Hold contests

Hold contests
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Ask people to like, comment on, repost and tag your content in return for an exciting giveaway. In case you already are a popular account, give a free shout out. Lately, Instagram contests have been becoming increasingly popular as a medium to enhance number of followers and engagement on posts.

25. Must use Instagram insights

To get more knowledge about your target audience and followers’ usage patterns, you must develop an understanding of Instagram insights. For this, you will have to switch to a business account. This can easily be done by going into settings and selecting the “switch to business account” option. This form of account provides insights about where your followers are from, when are they online, how well your posts are performing, number of views, comments, likes, clicks – the list is quite long.

Instagram insights
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Basically insights is a comprehensive report of your account’s performance and followers’ preferences. This can really aid you in planning your strategies and gaining engagement and followers.

In the Instagram captions, links do not work. They are not clickable and it can be very annoying for Instagram users to find a link which does not work. To avoid making your followers angry or confused, avoid pasting URLs in the captions of your Instagram photos. Instead, you can add the link in your bio.

27. Strive to get verified

This seems overwhelming but it never hurts to aim high. Getting verified on Instagram is not easy. It has certain requirements about engagement levels, account performance, number of followers, and the popularity of the Instagram account. But steady steps towards getting better and performing well might eventually lead to your account getting the attractive blue tick.

Instagram users tend to follow verified accounts without even reading the bio. The verified badge assures them of the uniqueness of the person, brand or whatever the account is about.  

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You must have come across the option of buying Instagram followers at some point of your Instagram journey. Yes, it is possible and true. But let us warn you, it is a spam in most cases. You are likely to get the increased number of followers but majority of them will be fake accounts and will do no good for your reach and engagement levels. Also, Instagram has a way of detecting accounts which have many followers but no comments or likes on their posts which leads to deactivation of the account by Instagram authorities. Buying Instagram followers is a waste of money and you’ll do far better if you invest real effort and time into your account to gain more followers and increase engagement levels.

A lot of things cumulate to explain the number of followers you have on Instagram. Regular creative ideas, thoughtful captions, and well-used artistic elements are essential for increasing your following. Be smart and use the tips and tricks we shared with you to build a top-notch Instagram account!