Is your Instagram stuck in a rut? You’re posting every day and getting a few likes here and there, but beyond that, it’s pretty dead over there. You want more activity on your Instagram page and more importantly, more followers! 

Today, we’re stealing (okay, borrowing) the top tips that influencers and brands with massive followings use to grow their own account and showing you how to take your Instagram from abandoned town to party central. 

1. It’s social media, be social.

When you follow someone on Instagram, you’ll notice instantly that a dropdown box appears with other suggested accounts to follow. Ever wondered how Instagram picks which accounts to show there? It’s simple - they pick the people who are actively social and share interests with you.
 
Instagram follow recommendations 



Not only is this one of the best ways to get exposure and new followers, it’s super simple to achieve. All you have to do is to use Instagram the way it was intended. Scroll through your feed daily, like and comment on the posts you enjoy, tap through the Stories at the top of your feed, and don’t be afraid to start (non-creepy) direct messaging conversations with followers based on their posts. Instagram is the one social media platform where that’s normal, and, in many cases, welcomed.

2. No, we mean really social. 

Everything above is all about interacting with the people you already follow, but if you really want to maximize your Instagram growth potential, you’re going to have to step outside of your box and start following others outside of your existing network.

When you go to Instagram’s search page, you’ll notice they already have some recommendations for posts that you might like. Be sure to look through these regularly to find new folks worth following. You can also use this section to search for hashtags and geotags you may be interested in, and find great people to follow that way. Be sure to click on the top left circular image to see all the Stories related to the hashtag as well!

The key here is that when you follow people who share similar interests, they will clickthrough to check out your account, and, if they like what they see, they’ll follow you back.

3. Goodbye still images. Hello photo animation.

When users click on your account to see your feed, you want to make sure that they stick around. The best way to do this is to have a great feed. Amazing photos and a cool grid effect will surely pull them in, but if you really want that wow factor that they haven’t quite seen before, you’ll want to try out Enlight Pixaloop.

Enlight Pixaloop is an awesome app that adds animation effects to your still images to make them look like they are moving. It’s so simple to use you might get a little addicted - just upload your photo to the app, draw in arrows where you want movement, set the timing, and voila! Not only will you wow your potential followers with these stunning graphics, they’ll definitely want to follow to see more.

4. You won’t believe it, but post more selfies.

Yep, you read that right. Apparently, people really like seeing faces on Instagram - so much so that photos with faces often get 35% more likes and comments than other photos. Be sure to silence the selfie haters with that little statistic the next time someone says no one likes seeing selfies.

You may not be in the mood to post a selfie every day, and that might be a bit of overkill, but you should definitely be sharing some every few posts. Use it as an opportunity to showcase your lifestyle and interesting things you do throughout your day. And don’t worry if you’re not feeling selfie-ready, you can always use Facetune 2 to handle edits and touch-ups.


 Facetune2 [Source: Macworld]

5. Hashtags and geotags for the win.

Hashtags and location tags play a huge part in getting found by your “tribe” on Instagram, especially since they are the primary method we use to search. 

Instagram gives you an allowance of up to 30 hashtags per post. Use them! The more relevant hashtags you have on your posts, the more likely you are to get seen in the hashtag search feed. And since folks can follow hashtags, you can show up in their feeds as well. Just make sure the tags are relevant to the post and not so popular that you get lost in the noise. Adding a location to your posts can also help you get found by people who live in the area, or, in the case of travel, people who wish to visit.

Don’t just limit hashtag and geotag usage to your feed - your Stories should have them too! Instagram gives you a geolocation and one hashtag sticker, so you might think that’s all you’re limited to, but it’s not! Just add more hashtags in a regular text cloud. Of course, 30 hashtags in text can ugly up a great Stories post really fast, so here’s a great tip to hide those hashtags in plain sight.

Wrapping up

Growing your Instagram following may seem like a bit of work, but it shouldn’t be! Once you get used to all these tools and tips, you’ll be doing them without thinking. Most importantly, remember this is all in the name of fun. Having a banging Instagram is great, but if it’s too much of a chore, is it really worth it?