#CheatSheet How to Get Instagram Followers (Faster than The Competition)

How successful is your Instagram?

Do you have enough followers to claim authentic #InstaFame? Is your audience engaged and devoted to your brand? Can you rely on your fans to share your posts and spread awareness?

If you hesitated to say, “Heck Yeah!” to any of those questions, then it might be time to learn how to get Instagram followers in a hurry.

A lot of companies and individuals alike assume that there are only two options to earning Instagram followers. You can either:

  1. Buy your Instagram followers and risk making your profile a #GhostTown
  2. Spend years building your credibility until your ‘Gram grows organically

We’re here to offer you an alternative option.

Here’s your cheat sheet guide for how to get Instagram followers fast (without the risk).

How to Get Instagram Followers Step 1 – Create the Right Content

Ever wonder why some people seem to have the perfect profile, the ideal bio, and an excellent all-around brand – but no attention on Instagram? Usually, the problem is in what they’re posting.

There’s more to success on Instagram than sharing an endless stream of #Boring photos and uninspiring videos. If you want to know how to get Instagram followers, then you need to create content that’s both ideal for the platform, and right for your target audience. So, how do you do that?

  • Find your audience: If you don’t already have a user persona, now’s the time to create one. Decide what kind of customer you’re looking for on Instagram, and what sort of content would appeal best to them. Ask yourself where they live, what kind of age they might be, and what their hobbies are.
  • Search through #Hashtags for inspiration: Once you know the kind of things your audience is interested in, search for that content on IG and see what other people are sharing. This will give you a great source of inspiration. You might even spot some competitors that give you ideas for your #IG strategy you hadn’t thought of before.
  • Keep up with the trends: Watch what’s trending both on Instagram and on other social channels. You can even follow the hashtags that are mot relevant to your audience, so you’re the first to know when new content emerges that might help your brand grow.

While creating the perfect content strategy is easier said than done, if you want to how to get Instagram followers, the first thing you need is an in-depth understanding of your audience. The more you know about the people you’re speaking to, the more confident you’ll feel about the posts you share.

Screenshot of the #Trending hashtag

How to Get Instagram Followers Step 2 – Look for Attention Off Instagram

The idea of getting off Instagram to get more attention to your profile might seem a bit perplexing but bear with us.

Sometimes the best way to give your content more reach on Instagram is to start by developing your presence elsewhere. This is a particularly good strategy for people who eventually want to get #Verified on Instagram because it gives you greater credibility.

Rather than funneling all of your time and attention purely into your IG profile, go back to PR basics and look for exposure on other channels. This means:

  • Writing guest blogs for websites that interest your target audience.
  • Spreading your Instagram hashtags over other social channels like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Submitting press release content to local and national media outlets
  • Taking part in industry podcasts, videos, and interviews

Whenever you get a chance to generate more attention for your company off Instagram, remember to plug your profile and guide people back to that content. You can even do this on your blogs if you want to just get more link juice going to your profile for SEO purposes. For instance, Deutsche Bank posted their press release guiding people to their IG page.

Screen shot of the Deutsche bank press release

Notice how they threw in the #NoFilter hashtag for fun too.

How to Get Instagram Followers Step 3 – Engage with your IG #Community

Think you need a more significant number in your Instagram follower count?

Think again.

Learning how to get Instagram followers isn’t just about being able to tell people that you have a million fans on your Insta. One of the biggest mistakes that anyone can make on social media is to forget the importance of engaging with their audience.

Real, authentic engagement with your community is how you drive more traffic to your account and get more value out of the people who do follow you.

When you give your Insta followers a great experience online, they tell their friends about you, and they tell their friends, and so on, ad infinitum. As we all know, there’s no quicker route to the top than word of mouth marketing.

So, how do you get real engagement on Instagram?

Easy! Connect with people.

Follow influencers, celebrities, and everyday people, and leave valuable messages on their content. When people start to follow you back, thank them for their interaction by responding to their questions and engaging in genuine conversations.

If you’re worried about your “following” number being bigger than your “follower” number, just use a tool like InstaFollow to find out who isn’t following you back and remove them. Simple.

How to Get Instagram Followers Step 4 – Hack Instagram Stories

Want to know how to get Instagram followers pronto?

Use the Story format. Agencies suggest that consumers engage 2 to 3 times more with Instagram Stories than they do with any other content. In other words, this is a great way to generate some real attention for your profile.

Instagram Stories also represent about 50% of the daily active users on Instagram, so you’re more likely to boost your following here than anywhere else.

So, how do you make sure that your Instagram stories stand out? A good option is to infuse them with hashtags. As you probably already know, Instagram hashtags help consumers to find you by categorizing your content. You can now add tags directly to your Stories in the form of stylized text and images. Here are a few ways to use hashtags in Instagram Stories:

  1. Geographically: The location tag is great for any brand or individual with a local following. By adding geographical tags to your Instagram stories, you show your audience that you’re genuinely “one of them.”
  2. Supportively: Use your Story hashtags to support your brand campaigns. Add branded and niche hashtags to your stories, and link back to other posts on your IG page to bring your content strategy together.
  3. Creatively: Use your hashtags to demonstrate your brand personality and tell a narrative that’s sure to resonate with your customers. For instance, #TBT or #ThrowbackThursday is a great way to unlock some nostalgia in your followers.

Screen shot of the #TBT Hashtag

How to Get Instagram Followers Step 5 – Earn some Influence

One of the reasons why gaining IG followers naturally takes so much time is that you need to earn some respect and credibility before people will take you seriously.

However, you could always use someone else’s existing credibility in your industry to springboard your brand or identity. All you need is a connection with the right influencer.

Influencer marketing is one of the most popular ways for small companies and personal brands to get their voices heard in today’s cluttered marketplace. After all, who better to give your business a #ShoutOut than someone who already has the trust of your target audience.

Use hashtags to find out who the top influencers are in your field by checking through the top and trending posts. Once you’ve found someone who seems to fit the bill, go onto their profile and verify that they don’t just have a big follower number, but some genuine engagement from their audience too. Once you’re happy, hit the “Turn on Post Notifications” tab in your settings:

Over time, you’ll need to build a relationship with the influencer you choose to convince them that they should help you out. Don’t just jump straight into asking them for favors. You can also try bribing your way to some #Love with free samples of your product or service.

Screen shot of the turn off notifications option

How to Get More Instagram Followers – #Cheat

If you’ve tried all the options above and you’re still looking for ways to accelerate your follower count and your engagement levels, then there’s always another option.

While buying followers doesn’t work, boosting your Instagram presence with paid ad campaigns and the support of a team like Upleap will help you to accomplish your #Goals much faster than you might think.

With Upleap, you’ll get a dedicated account manager on-hand to help your presence grow faster than all of your competitors. All that, and there’s a free three-day trial to get you started. Why not take the simpler approach to #InstaFame?

By Rebekah Carter

Hi! I'm Rebekah, a full-time writer specializing in the spaces of digital content, business, social media and tech.

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