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15 Ways to Get More Instagram Followers in 2019

June 18, 2019

Build a high-quality audience with these tips on how to get more Instagram followers in 2019.

Are you ready to get more Instagram followers right away?

Find out how to add tons of followers that engage with your brand and convert to customers.

In this article, we show you 15 ways to get more Instagram followers — and many of them don’t cost a dime.

Plus, every tactic drives genuine, authentic buyer personas to your Instagram account.

Up Your Social Media Game, try Sharelov for free!

How to Get More Instagram Followers

In this article, we show you proven ways to expand your reach and build an audience on Instagram.

All of the tips below help you reach real people who are a good fit for your brand.

By targeting your ideal customer, you invest your time, money, and energy into an audience that’s more likely to purchase from you. This raises your ROI, turning Instagram into a viable marketing channel (instead of a popularity contest).

1. Create an Engaging Instagram Profile

When people discover your content in the Instagram explore feeds, the first thing they do is tap on your account name, which brings them to your profile.

What’s in an Instagram Profile? infographic
Hubspot Instagram profile example
Source: Hubspot on Instagram

Your Instagram business profile includes:

  • Image
  • Business name
  • User name
  • Instagram business bio, which gives you 150 characters to:
  • Explain what your business is
  • Publish one external link
  • Publish a call-to-action
  • Show some personality
  • Add emojis (optional)
  • Include keywords
  • Add a hashtag
  • Show social proof
  • Action buttons such as email, phone, address, and shop.
  • Stories highlights: these are Stories that show up below your bio. They’re a great way for people to get to know your brand and its products, community, or social causes.

Find out how to add highlights to your profile and learn how other brands are successfully using Stories highlights in our free guide to Instagram Stories Highlights.

Polish up your Instagram profile so you can begin converting viewers to followers and customers right away.

Need help? Check out our guide to Instagram profiles for step-by-step instructions and examples from successful Instagram brands.

2. Launch Frequent UGC Campaigns

User-generated content (UGC) is the “holy grail” of social media because it helps you quickly achieve two of your most essential social media objectives:

  • Expand your reach
  • Boost conversions

UGC is when other people share mentions, images, reviews, and other content related to your brand – with their own audience.

In the example below, one person shares a picture of herself and a friend posing in a novelty coca-cola photo setting, including the coca-cola hashtags in her caption.

UGC for more followers on Instagram coke
Source: #Coke on Instagram

You can inspire UGC with contests, giveaways, and dedicated UGC marketing campaigns that require a mention or image alongside your campaign hashtag. Every time a customer shares content related to your brand, you get exposed to their entire audience of followers.

Good UGC campaigns not only expand your reach but also offer the type of social proof people look for before making a purchase.Click To Tweet

Make sure to repost your customers’ user-generated-content to your brand’s Instagram account to inspire more sharing!

3. Research Your Hashtags

Using hashtags in your captions and Stories puts your content in an explore feed where new followers can discover your brand.

There are several types of hashtags you can use to gain new followers, such as niche, industry, and location hashtags.

Random hashtags, though, won’t help you get genuine followers

In fact, you can actually chase new people away with the wrong hashtags, because random hashtags look like spam.

Learn how to research hashtags, how many to use, and what types are best for your business. Then, you can attract authentic followers with Instagram hashtags.Click To Tweet

In the example below, Sugarloaf Mountain uses only 3 well-chosen hashtags in its posts.

Sugarloaf hashtag examples on Instagram
Source: Sugarloaf Mountain on Instagram

Instagram hashtags are a highly-effective way to get your brand and its content in front of a new audience if you use them wisely!

4. Learn How to Use Mentions

Mentions tag other Instagram accounts, usually in the hopes that they’ll share the content with their followers.

Mentions are best-used to tag people and brands that are in some have contributed to or are related to a piece of content.

For example, Boxycharm promotes its upcoming subscription box and mentions the company that sells the product.

Instagram mention example

For example, mentions are used when you’re reposting UGC content or sharing other people’s content on Instagram — as a way to credit them as the original author (after receiving permission).

5. Promote Locally

If your business has one or more physical locations, Instagram is an excellent way to build local excitement about your brand.

Using location stickers or hashtagging cities and venues puts your content in an explore feed.

People looking for things to do in your area discover your content, and it’s a great way to send foot traffic to your store or event.

6. Use Shoppable Product Tags and Stickers

If your brand sells physical products online, Shopping on Instagram can expose your brand to new people every day.

When you add shoppable product tags and stickers, your products get posted in an explore feed, exposing your brand to a broad audience of new people.

Potter Barn Shopping Stickers Instagram
Source: Pottery Barn on Instagram

To use shopping stickers or tags, you must get approved by Instagram. Find out if your business is eligible, and learn how to apply for and use Instagram’s shopping features:

The Ultimate Checklist for Getting Set Up, Approved, and Started with Shopping on Instagram

7. Schedule Posts at High-Traffic Times

Find out the best times to post to Instagram for your industry so you can publish your content during high-traffic times. This gives you a better chance of reaching new people.

Best Times to Post on Instagram 2019

To ensure consistent posting at all the right times, use a social media calendar that lets you schedule your Instagram posts ahead of time.

8. Promote Your Instagram Account From Other Marketing Channels

Turn your website visitors, email subscribers, and Facebook fans into Instagram followers. Encourage your audiences across all social media and marketing channels to join you on Instagram!

An excellent way to do this is by tying it into a UGC campaign. Ask users to share an image, video, or review of your product and service to their Instagram accounts.

Offering an entry into a giveaway with a grand prize can be an effective way to send traffic to Instagram, creating more followers for your brand.

8 Fast and Free Ways to Get More Instagram Followers CHEAT SHEET -

9. Host Online Events

Events are an excellent way for businesses to expand their reach and engage their audience on Instagram.

Connecting groups of people through events encourages user-generated content and creates memories that form a lasting impression.

In this section, we’ll show you how to use online events to grow your following on Instagram.

When you want to get more followers on Instagram, there are 3 types of events that can help boost your following:

  1. Livestream broadcasts
  2. Live chat sessions
  3. Webinars

Broadcast live to your Instagram audience

Live streaming on Instagram sends your content straight to the top of your followers’ newsfeeds, giving your brand a boost in visibility and engagement.

There are a few ways you can use live broadcasts to gain more followers:

  • 1. Promote your live broadcasts in advance and encourage followers to invite a friend.
  • 2. B2B companies can live stream breaking industry news and industry events in real time.
  • 3. B2C companies can stream entertaining content such as related breaking news, concerts, or announcements that are relative to your target audience.

All of the above can increase your following, as long as you ask people to share your broadcast with friends.

Host live chat sessions

Hosting a weekly or monthly chat session on Instagram is an excellent way to engage and build relationships with your current audience.

With the right approach, live chat sessions can also expose you to new audiences and help you get more followers on Instagram.

For starters, the focus of your chat sessions should be relevant to your audience.

Next, promote your live chat sessions outside Instagram. Use your other social channels, website, and social media advertising to promote your live chats and invite new people to join you.

Finally, hold chat sessions at a set time on a regular schedule.

For example, you could hold a marketers’ coffee chat every Wednesday morning or a social cause brainstorming session on the first Thursday evening of every month.

The key to successful live chat sessions is understanding when your audience is online and what type of conversation might compel them to join you.

How can you host a live chat session on Instagram? 

Live chat sessions are Instagram Live broadcasts in which you interact with your audience in the comments section.

You ask, answer, and solicit questions on a topic of your choosing, and often greet each viewer by name as they introduce themselves.

Host a live or recorded Webinar

Hosting a webinar is an excellent way to build a following on Instagram, especially for B2B SaaS companies that use thought leadership content to connect with their audiences.

Here are a few tips for gaining more followers by hosting a webinar:

  • Use every opportunity to promote your Instagram account during your webinars.
  • Offer free bonus content to webinar attendees, available only on Instagram.
  • Offer free bonus content to followers who share the webinar invitation with friends. Make sure the invite begins on Instagram, so their friends visit your account to access it.

10. Host Offline Events

If your business has any type of physical location, consider hosting onsite events that will help drive new followers to your Instagram account.

For example, if your physical location is an office space, consider hosting weekly or monthly workshops or meetups after hours.

One company that does this well is Geekdom CoWorking Space in San Antonio, Texas. The tech incubator uses its space to host meetups and workshops relevant to its target audience of entrepreneurs.

Geekdom meeting
Source: YouTube

For example, every Wednesday evening, Geekdom hosts a group called YouTube Create, which is open to the public. YouTube Create is a series of workshops that helps YouTubers learn about topics such as branding, collaborating, analytics, and more.

Geekdom also hosts a variety of startup, marketing, and leadership workshops onsite.

Geekdom workshops
Source: Geekdom

For example, every Wednesday evening, Geekdom hosts a group called YouTube Create, which is open to the public. YouTube Create is a series of workshops that helps YouTubers learn about topics such as branding, collaborating, analytics, and more.

Geekdom also hosts a variety of startup, marketing, and leadership workshops onsite.

Geekdom Instagram
Source: Instagram

People naturally follow the company on social media to find out what’s happening next week or next month. Its audience also shares user-generated content and social mentions that feed its Instagram following.

Events provide unique photo opportunities that people are likely to share with their own friends and family on Instagram. Here are a couple tips for getting more followers through onsite events:

  • Offer a unique photo opportunity that encourages social media sharing
  • Promote a campaign hashtag and encourage attendees to add it to user-generated content from the event
  • Handout flyers or brochures with your Instagram handle and campaign hashtag
  • Live stream a portion of the event on your Instagram
  • Post event photos with mentions to encourage sharing

No matter what type of physical location you have, there’s a way to work in promotional, business, or entertaining events that strengthen your connection with the community and help you gain more followers on Instagram.

11. Get Your Business Verified by Instagram

Since August 2018, Instagram allows anyone to apply for verification status on Instagram.

Getting verified lends authenticity to your brand, and boosts your trust factor significantly. This leads to more profile views and more followers.

While it’s not easy for small businesses to get verified, it is possible. We show you how one company did it and offer step-by-step instructions in our guide to Instagram verification.

It’s worth taking a couple minutes to learn more about Instagram verification and consider whether your brand may want to pursue the coveted status symbol to help boost your following on Instagram.

12. Learn How to Pitch to Journalists

Developing relationships with journalists and publications can lead to press coverage that drives many new followers to your Instagram account.

While press releases are a common way for brands to attempt to get their news published, developing relationships with the press is far more effective in the long run.

Learn how to pitch to journalists so that when you launch a new campaign or product, your information gets in front of the people who matter – and gets taken seriously.

Landing your product or campaign announcement in the right publications can expose your brand to thousands, or tens of thousands, of people.

It’s essential to reach your target audience, though, because gaining 10,000 Instagram followers who have no authentic interest in your brand will only distract your audience from the main objective. Always select publications that are a good fit for your brand.

Use your press coverage to encourage people to visit your Instagram account. Remember to include your Instagram handle and campaign hashtag!

13. Invest in Instagram Paid Advertising

Instagram paid advertising is one of the quickest, most effective ways to reach a new audience of potential followers.

Instagram provides several ways to advertise, including:

  • Promoted posts
  • Carousel ads
  • Slideshow ads

Consider selecting a “lookalike” audience when placing your ads with Instagram. This type of placement shows your ads to people who are similar to those in your current audience.

Lookalike audiences increase the chances of reaching people who are a good fit for your brand and products.

14. Run Instagram Influencer Campaigns

If you need to get followers quickly, partnering with Instagram influencers is an excellent way to get there.

Worried about the price of hiring an influencer to promote your brand? Good news! — Micro influencers are affordable for almost any size business. And, while they have smaller followings, their audiences tend to be more engaged and trust their recommendations.

One of the keys to successful influencer marketing is choosing the right people to represent your brand.

Look for influencers whose audiences are a good match with your own. Research influencers before hiring them, to ensure that their personality and reputation will have a positive influence on your brand.

Tools such as Influencer.co and Social Bakers Influencer Tool can help you find influencers to represent your brand.

For example, Influencer.co allows you to search by category, location, and the influencer’s audience size.

influence co tool

Influence.Co’s search engine provides you with detailed information on influencers that match your requirements.

influence co tool results
Source: Influence.co

Hiring an influencer agency is another way to find the right influencers to represent your brand. Influencer agencies typically help retain, create, and launch massive influencer campaigns.

For example, Viral Nation and Tamba are two of the top influencer agencies that help brands with influencer marketing.

viralnation agency example
Source: Viral Nation

Keep in mind that you don’t need a big budget to get more Instagram followers. Micro influencers can often deliver great results on a small budget.

6 Ways to Get More Instagram Followers on a Budget

15. Up Your Instagram Marketing Efforts

So far, we’ve covered 15 fun, creative, and unique ways to get more Instagram followers.

We’d be remiss, though, if we didn’t mention some practical ways to boost your marketing efforts – all of which can result in a healthy increase in followers, engagement, and conversions.

Here are a few practical ways to up your Instagram marketing game:

  1. A documented social media strategy dramatically increases your chances of success on Instagram.
  2. A social media plan boosts the effectiveness of the content you publish on Instagram.
  3. A social media calendar helps you automate publishing on Instagram so you can consistently provide high-quality content to your current followers.
  4. Instagram marketing campaigns draw attention to your brand, increasing conversions and followers.

Use Instagram insights discover more about your target audience.

4 Practical Ways to Boost Your Instagram Marketing Results

All of these practical techniques will help you gain new followers for your Instagram account. Even though we’ve listed them last, you might consider starting with these techniques, because they also help you engage and convert your audience!

Get More Instagram Followers in 2019

There are several ways to get more Instagram followers. Make sure that your new followers are real people that are authentically interested in your brand.

By targeting the right type of audience and sharing valuable, relative content, you are more likely to attract the kind of followers that engage with your brand and convert to customers.

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