Ready for these Instagram Hacks? Look, with over 1 billion active monthly members sharing 95 million photos and 4.2 billion likes each day (back in 2016 already!), it turned into one of the most popular social networking sites on the planet. Instagram has grown from a simple app for children into a serious content marketing, networking, and audience-building tool for both individuals and businesses. But how awesome is it really? Well, Instagram has a higher rate of brand interaction than any other social network. On average, brand interactions on most social networks are below 0.1%, but Instagram far outperforms them all. In a 2014 Forrester survey, the average Instagram engagement rate for businesses was 58 times greater than on Facebook.
Getting as many as possible to follow you (or at least like and comment on your posts) can help build a positive reputation and keep your Instagram account looking active. It seems easy enough: just share photos that are interesting and instructive, interact with others, and post regularly. But tactics like pump and dump (a practice where people spam popular hashtags) are actually the quickest ways to get your account banned. Or you can wind up looking like a total jerk or boring if you post too many photos of yourself gazing lonesomely at the sunset while you’re on vacation.
Of course, it’s not just about numbers—you could have thousands of followers and still be completely unknown to the outside world. It’s a quality, not a quantity game. You want to find people who genuinely enjoy your content and will tell others about it. With more followers comes increased visibility, but it also increases the difficulty factor of keeping them interested in what you have to say.
Here Are 12 Instagram Hacks for Tons of Followers
In this article, we’ll show you some easy hacks to get more followers on Instagram. We’ll also explain how to get rid of inactive followers, recommend some useful tools, and share a few other tricks you can use to build your brand’s following.
1. Cross-promote your own hashtag.
Fantastic! You set up a hashtag called #billsparlor for your business, but do you know what to do with it? Make sure it’s in your profile, that’s 1. But why not take the game offline and have it printed on your receipts, print advertisements, signage in your store, and at appropriate events. If you’re on radio or television, encourage people to use the hashtag by including a quick call-out at the end of your ads. You don’t have to master hashtags in order to get followers, but it certainly can’t hurt.
Again, you have to be careful with how often and what types of photos you post—just because a hashtag is popular doesn’t mean everyone who uses it wants to see your stuff. A good way to find the right hashtags is to type in your keyword into an app like Hashtagify.me and see what people use most often. Make sure you use a variety of tags, and try to stay away from very general terms unless they’re extremely unique and easy to remember (like #thirstythursday).
2. Use hashtags to your advantage.
You should look beyond one-word, obvious hashtags when it comes to Instagram caption ideas. Sure, you want to include them, but use hashtags to tell part of your narrative instead of being boring. WeWork is a great example of a collaborative workspace firm that mixes Instagram material in addition to providing entertainment. They also use hashtags like #spaceworks and #officevibes. Don’t extend your hashtags too far.
Don’t be that person trying to get more likes by adding a million and one hashtags (actually don’t ever do that). It makes you look desperate for attention and actually does the opposite of what you want. If it’s relevant, include #nyc to indicate it’s a picture from your city. It’s a quick way to connect with others in or interested in your location. Including one or two relevant emoji hashtags can make things less formal and generate more engagement—especially when you’re posting about something fun like food, fashion, or an event. You can even get a bit more creative and use emoji hashtags that tell a story.
3. Participate in highly popular discussions.
Use a combination of topically relevant hashtags, such as #woodconstruction for a carpentry firm, and popular, super-popular hashtags wherever you can. The really particular hashtags, such as #longtailkeywords, show more intent and help you locate the appropriate people, but the generally trending hashtags like #instagood, #instalike, and #followback also get you in front of the right eyes. Looking at hashtags like these (with over 1,000 uses per photo), you can find popular photos that you can comment on to start conversations.
Don’t just say “nice pic” or “great shot.” You want to add something valuable like “great shot of @(name of the person in the photo) wonder if they like to be behind or in front of the lens.” You can also ask questions or make statements about an event. That carpentry firm could comment on a construction-related pic with something like “can’t wait for new vistas” (which might get no response). Or they could say something like “I can’t wait to see the finished product. What are your plans?” This is a much better strategy because it gets the conversation going.
4. Hack the Instagram bio URL.
It’s one of the best parts of your Instagram profile… Do you really want your bio to be limited to your website homepage only? Don’t be boring. Exploit it. Change it up at least weekly and use the link in your bio to send people to your newest or most popular material. If your bio link is automatically set to take users to your homepage, you can share a link from other places on the web. Try sharing a piece of content from another site that you want your audience to see or something that’s specifically meant for them—something they can use.
You can also attach a video to the Instagram post if you’re trying to drive people elsewhere for a longer time period. And here’s a little-known fact: If your website is not mobile-friendly, your bio link will not show up. While it might seem pointless to have a bio link that doesn’t work, it forces you to think about creating a mobile-friendly site, which is a very good thing.
5. Tell the Story!
A “thousand words” may not be quite enough, and honestly, you can’t completely skimp on words. National Geographic is fantastic at using storytelling in conjunction with Instagram photos to create interaction and sharing. A great example is their “wildlife portrait of the day” posts. The photo tells a lot, but you also want to find out about it. The description simply includes more information about it. You can use this strategy with your own Instagram feed by telling relevant stories that correspond with each picture you post. It could be as simple as having an emoji story or you can expand on your thoughts by writing a few sentences. NatGeo has flourished on digital and become one of Instagram’s most popular brands with over 50 million followers. Don’t worry if it feels strange at first. As you develop your Instagram voice, it gets much easier.
6. Make a full commitment to influencer marketing.
Go to the user profiles of each person you identified as an influencer in your niche (also known as a person who influences the individuals you want to reach out to) and set up “Turn On Post Notifications” allowing you to be notified when they share new material. Then engage with them on a regular basis and become one of their favorite people to interact with. This takes time, so you may have to start slowly and only engage when they are active in your area of interest. After a while, it becomes much easier to pick up the interaction pace because they’ve already established you as one of their “go-to” people when they want to share something new in that sector or topic. It might sound weird, but it works.
7. Delete tagged photos of you from your business profile.
You only want to promote the finest user-generated content about yourself or your company on your Instagram profile. You can no longer remove the tagged photograph from the site entirely, but selecting “Edit Tags,” choosing which ones you wish to delete, and then “Hide from Profile” works quite well. This gives you more control over how people perceive your brand or business, which is important because it has a direct impact on the bottom line.
8. Approve tags before the content shows on your business profile.
Speaking of getting more control over which tagged photos appear on your profile, You can opt-out of being tagged in photos on Instagram by going to your account settings and selecting “Notify me before anyone tags me or accounts I follow.” This is found under “Options,” “Photos of You,” and “Add Manually.” This is something that any business should be doing, it’s especially great if you’re looking to avoid those humiliating circumstances.
9. Use Instagram Stories strategically.
I hope you’re loving these Instagram Hacks as much as I do, in this 9th Instagram Hack, it’s all about Instagram Stories. People are less likely to follow you if your posts consist of nothing but content that does not change frequently. This is where the Instagram Story feature becomes especially useful because it provides a much-needed break between posts that require more attention and engagement. It’s also an opportunity to share short videos about what your company is up to. This gives people a reason to follow you on a regular basis because they know that your content will continue to be fresh and provide a ton of value for their money.
10. Create your very own Instagram style.
It’s natural to want to fit in, but on Instagram, you want to stand out. Every time a user sees one of your posts in their newsfeed, it should be immediately recognizable. This is where your unique style and aesthetic come into play. It’s not enough to post once a day; you need to use visual elements that draw the attention of those who follow you or those you wish to attract as followers. Experiment with different filters, crops, text styles, etc. until you figure out which elements bring your stories to life in a way that makes them instantly recognizable as your own. Be authentic, be you and you’ll attract the followers you want en masse.
10. Get dirty with local marketing.
Find out what’s going on in a certain area (for example, your neighborhood, a city you’re advertising in, or even an event taking place) by going to the search page and selecting the Places option. Then, to view all geotagged postings for this spot, type its name into the search bar. You can also use the “Explore” section to view trending content, which is usually based on geolocation. Starting a conversation with people who are already interested in your product or service is an excellent way of growing your Instagram following. With millions of users checking out this platform each day, you should be able to find at least a few people in your local marketing target who would be interested in what you’re selling and willing to follow along.
11. Always add your CTAs
Instagram, like other social media networks, is a conversation rather than a broadcast platform. What action do you want people to take after seeing your post? If you don’t know what that means, start over and figure it out. Once you do, there’s no excuse to not add a Call-to-Action (CTA) that tells your Instagram followers exactly what they should do next. Don’t let them guess or you’ll miss out on a golden opportunity to drive engagement and sales.
12. Run Automated Conversations with Instagram Chatbots!
Automating your Instagram strategy with a chatbot is an excellent way of removing the guesswork and making sure that you’re always interacting in the best possible way. Plus, most bots will allow you to schedule posts so you can free up more time for valuable customer interactions. This ensures that your feed remains active without requiring you to devote countless hours to each new post. With Clever Messenger, you set up your Instagram chatbot in just a few minutes.
Final Thoughts on These 12 Instagram Hacks
In conclusion, these 12 Instagram hacks will help you grow your following and engage with customers. They’ll work for both brick-and-mortar businesses as well as digital marketers who are looking to make a sale online. All it takes is a bit of time to set up your account and put these hacks into practice. By doing so you’ll be well on your way to Instagram success, no matter which specific area of marketing you’re looking to address. That said, if you’re looking to automate the conversation side of your Instagram account, give Clever Messenger a try today.