How to get followers on instagram

It has been 16 months since I started my Entrepreneur’s quote Instagram account.

At that time, I had no idea that 16 months later, the account will grow to more than 136,000 followers.

Laser targeted Instagram followers, engaging with my content, telling friends about my account, visiting my website and subscribing to my email list.

Each month, more than 12,000 people follow my account and 1,300 -1,500 of them subscribe to my email list.

But why the hell am I telling you this? This is not about me, this is about you.

You can have that same kind of serious growth too.

I want you to get more followers on Instagram and achieve the same results, but there are a lot of myths people believe and mistakes they are making that stop them from growing their accounts.

In this post, I’m going to show you 21 Instagram marketing mistakes you should avoid if you want to get more followers on Instagram and turn them into life-long fans.

Free Bonus: Click here to get access to VIP area where you can download step by step guides, tutorials, case studies, and tools to rapidly grow your following

Be Social

Instagram is a social network. So you really need to be social. It can be really easy to shout into the night, but if you really want to learn how to get followers on Instagram, you have to be someone they want to follow.

  • Like other people’s photos and comments. That activity shows up to your followers, and it creates a circular network. You like their post, they click on yours and like it, someone else sees their activity and likes you enough to follow. This is a major way to get followers these days, but it means you have to be active on IG, not just scheduling posts and leaving. You can’t expect a zillion shares and retweets on IG like you can on other platforms. It takes work here. Sorry!
  • Comment and talk to people. When you get a comment on a post, reply to it! Start a conversation with people. Jump into a conversation on someone else’s photo. People really do read conversations in comments, and having followers doesn’t mean a lot if they’re not engaged. So engage them.
  • Tag people in posts and comments. Again, the circular nature of IG appears when you begin tagging people in either your posts or your comments. Doing so shows that you’re engaged with the community, and as you make friends and start getting to know them, you will either see or post things that you want them to see. Look at this awesome design I did with @elegantthemes’ Divi!, for instance. Whether it’s a brand or an individual, sometimes they will see that kind of thing and share it on their page (which can net a ton of followers and engagement for you).

how to get instagram followers

1.Boring description or no description at all

Finally, someone found you on Instagram and decided to click on your profile.

Now you have about two or three seconds to attract their attention. If you don’t, they leave and will never come back.

Your description is the first thing they see.

So, what is the formula for a top-notch description?

  • It’s not about you, it’s about how you can help your target audience in one sentence
  • It’s not boring (try to include at least a few emojis)
  • It includes a CTA that tell people to visit your website/landing page/sales page

The worst scenario is, not having any description at all. This makes you look like you are not serious.

You can include only 150 characters in your bio.

  • Use them all.
  • Be creative.
  • Be authentic.
  • Be funny and serious at once.

2. There’s no link in your BIO to drive traffic to your website

Let’s be honest for a moment.

If you’re not sending people to your website or offer

  • You’re not growing an email list
  • You don’t get any new customers
  • You don’t make any money.
  • You don’t grow your business

That’s bad.

This is probably the biggest mistake you can make.

The only place where you can put a clickable link is in your BIO – use it!

Instead of placing a link to your blog/store/sales page – place a link to your landing page – building an email list should be your #1 priority.

Tip: Make sure your link doesn’t look spammy. – good one – bad one

6. Not having Clear ‘Call to Action’ in your posts (caption)

Whether you post a photo of your team, motivational quote, selfie, or whatever.

Each photo should have a specific purpose. Specific call to action.

It can be something like:

  • Subscribe to our E-mail list to get this [freebie/bonus]
  • Tag a friend
  • Like this if you agree
  • Visit our website to get a discount
  • Meet people from our team
  • Buy our product
  • Join our contest
  • Leave a comment

7. Not using GEO-tags for an engagement boost

Whether you have a local business or just visiting a conference or a summit, Instagram allows you to include a geo-location tag telling your followers where you are at the moment you published.

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There’s a study proving that posts using a geo-tag get 79% more engagement.

9. Not responding to direct messages

I’ve received all kinds of different direct messages. Some people just say thanks for my inspirational content, some of them offering share for share, some of them ask questions about

  • business/marketing
  • How do I create beautiful images
  • How to get more followers
  • What software I’ve been using

Some of them want to buy shoutout from me…

The point is – thanks to DM, I’ve connected with dozens of my followers, turn many of them into email subscribers and customers, sell a bunch of shoutouts each month…

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11. You sell more often than provide value

There’s a rule of thumb that for every five or six posts providing value you can publish one Product push (promo post). No more. I’ve been calling promo post – Product Push. That’s when you publish an image representing your product/service/course asking your followers to join.

I’ve learned this rule from Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Jab, Jab, Jab…

It’s simple. When you post this kind of promo more times

  • You push away your followers
  • Promo posts receive less engagement than normal stuff = Instagram will decrease your chance on the explore page

12. Too many selfies

Once in a time, there’s nothing bad about publishing some funny selfie to connect with your audience on a personal level, but don’t overdo it. (If you are not somebody like Kim Kardashian)

That being said, always try to post as much relevant content as you can. It’s not about you, it’s about them.

15. Being more salesy than car salesman

There’s one thing that’s happening each day and that’s irritating like hell. Every time I publish a photo on Instagram – someone writes a comment like

  • Follow me, I will follow you back
  • Please, give me a shoutout
  • Click link in my BIO to learn [something]
  • Check out my amazing Shopify store

It’s ok to encourage your followers to do these things under your promo post… But don’t spam other’s people profiles!!!

16. Following more people than follow you

I guess you heard about a popular strategy (a little bit controversial), but I love this strategy. Find where your ideal audience is hanging out, follow them and some of them will follow you back. If you do it the right way – it works!

But, as always, there’s a big BUT. If you’re just starting out you can easily follow 10x more people than follow you – it looks bad, spammy.

The solution? Follow a thousand, wait a few days, unfollow those who didn’t follow you back and start all over again with following new people.

21. Posting at the wrong times

Don’t publish when your followers are offline. It’s as simple as that.

This is different from business to business so I can’t tell you the best time to post.

But I can show you how to find out when most of your followers are online.

In order to do that – You need to have a business profile (don’t worry, everyone can switch to business profile and vice versa).

Step #1: Go to your Instagram app

Step #2: Click options

Step #3: Click to ‘Switch to Business Account’

Step #4: Click the icon ‘analytics’ (next your username)

Step #5: Scroll down until you see ‘Followers’, click ‘See more’

Step #6: Once again scroll down until you see when most of your followers are online

get more followers on Instagram

Free Bonus: Click here to get access to VIP area where you can download step by step guides, tutorials, case studies, and tools to rapidly grow your following

If you’re serious about marketing on Instagram, if you want to get more followers on Instagram – keep these mistakes in mind and avoid them at all cost.

Let me know in the comment section below what mistake you are going to fix first.

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Facebook Profile

You may have created your Facebook profile years ago, or maybe you just recently opened the account.

But either way, make sure to cover all your bases. It’s easy for users to get frustrated with a page that looks out of date, and by having a detailed “about” section, you increase your credibility as a business.

An updated profile on Facebook includes:

  • A professional “about” section and company overview (this is your “elevator pitch” or tagline for your company, with some additional detail for the user).
  • Updated URL to your website.
  • Updated email for users to contact you.
  • Make sure your profile photo and banner are current and designed to specifically fit the Facebook template space.
  • Add your opening hours if you’re a business that operates during specific times.
  • Include your location and tag your company category.

Facebook Posts

“Set it and forget it” is no longer the status quo in the Facebook realm. Marketers are strategizing every post, and testing to see which are working better than others.

For example, which posts get the most engagement (likes, clicks, comments, and shares)? Those posts might have a common theme or a specific tone of voice to which your users your users favorably respond.

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Go “down the rabbit hole” and use your top posts to create more posts—soon you’ll be optimizing your top content in a strategic way to increase your engagement, and followers along with it.

And don’t shy away from the paid feature on Facebook. If your page is dormant for a while, or needs a boost, think about putting down a small amount of money to circulate a post already performing well to an even larger audience. (In fact, after reading this article from DigiDay, you may want to try some paid posts sooner rather than later!)

This way, you’ll leverage the best of your page—and don’t forget to target your paid posts toward people already with the same interests as your brand (but just haven’t discovered your brand … yet!).

For example, if you’re a shoe company, consider boosting your post that got 50+ likes recently on a new running shoe to audiences interested in marathons and 5Ks.

In the Facebook world, relying on organic only might be necessary if you’re a nonprofit or lack the funding to boost posts. But if you can afford it, it’s a great way to increase your followers and gain brand awareness on this channel.

Lastly, don’t fall behind on the trends. Be sure to research ideal post length, hashtag use, algorithm updates, and how to use images to best utilize the channel (for details on writing the perfect social media post, check out our article).

Facebook Brand Interaction

Like all other social media sites, Facebook is a two-way street. This means, you can’t just share your own content and wait for users to stop by and like your page.

It’s important to interact with your users, share content from others, and generally respond to comments, likes, and shares from other pages on the channel.

If someone tags you in a post, like that post and comment (“Thanks for the share!”). If you see great content that another page or brand is sharing, don’t be afraid to post it, linking back to them.

While counter-intuitive for some, you’re essentially linking to someone else’s relevant content, it only strengthens your brand standing. In fact, it does the following:

  • Makes the other page or brand aware of you in return (they could follow you, share your content, or reach out to you!).
  • Shows users you’re active in your field of business and interested as a company in other brands out there.
  • Solidifies your brand is secure enough to share other ideas and concepts without taking away from your own.

No matter what your brand, company, or product is, you can certainly up your followers by making an increased effort on Facebook through updating your profile, upgrading your posts, and interacting with your users/other pages.


Instagram Profile

It’s so important to optimize your Instagram profile, as it’s the first thing users see when landing on your Instagram page.

  • Rule number one (and this is a no-brainer): Is your profile set to public or private? Make sure you open up your account publically or else you’ll miss out on a lot of follower attention!
  • Add your URL to your bio, but if it’s too long, be sure to use a link shortener to make it easier. The goal is to make sure everything is readable in such a compact space.
  • Another important thing to remember about your profile—did you choose a name that’s easily searchable?

If your company name is “Snowboarding City” and your Insta handle is @Snowboardingisawesome, you’ll miss out on valuable discoverability points.

  • Make sure your profile photo matches your brand. You want to be easily recognizable to your followers—so if you have the same company logo on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts, it makes it that much easier for your followers.
  • Is your bio short and to the point? If not, reduce it into a single tagline. On Facebook, a more detailed description is OK, but on Instagram you’re working with far less space and characters.

Plus, don’t overwhelm your visitors with a long description. Keep it short and sweet, while still on-brand.

Instagram Posts

Now, you might have a whole team that loves Instagram and wants to post on behalf of the company—almost everyone has a smart phone and may be excited to share the latest updates.

With filters galore and a whole range of options (video, multiple photos, tagging, etc.), the space can look disjointed if too many people are logged in and posting for your brand.

At the end of the day, think of your Instagram feed as if it were a magazine cover representing your brand. Think: are there any photos there that would confuse your user as to what your brand symbolizes?

And don’t forget about live Instagram stories! It’s the biggest thing since sliced bread, and you can bet 2018 will be the year of live stories for many brands.

To start, think about which events are coming up for your company—from the major (hosting a thought leadership session or attending a conference) to the minor (team lunch or happy hour). Depending on your brand, consider showcasing some of these occurrences in a live story to further engage your visitors and increase your followers.

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Or, try something new. How about a live Q&A with a member of your company? Or even a giveaway or competition? The sky’s the limit—and when engagement goes up, you can bet your followers will increase, too.

Instagram Brand Interaction

Instagram at its core is a photo-sharing app—so don’t forget to brush up on your photography skills, and hashtag, hashtag, hashtag!

If you’re a blogger for example, how can you showcase your writing desk/office area in a beautiful way? Once you snap your photo and add the filter, tag the photo and catch the interest of other writers/bloggers to increase your follower count.

Use a site like “All-Hashtag” to generate some relevant key terms for your post, and add a description line to explain some context (“It’s easier to write in such a beautiful space! Where are your favorite places to write?”).

Another idea is to utilize “Instagram Pods,” which basically are group chats on Instagram, with the goal of encouraging and increasing engagement to your posts—therefore, widening your reach on your Insta-feed).

Like Facebook, Instagram’s news feed is ranked by engagement, not just time of posting. So, many of the same rules from Facebook’s engagement apply to Instagram.

Remember, no matter what your business or brand, you can increase your followers by implementing these tips. We hope this helps to kick-start your brand this year and beyond!

Don’t forget to make it easier for your followers to find you on your website! Use the AddThis Follow tool to grab Facebook and Instagram buttons.

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Last modified:  March 14th, 2018

Tips to Increase Your Followers Using Instagram Stories

Stories can be a fun way to get more followers on Instagram, however, if you want to use them effectively you will need strategy and creative content, along with these tips:

Dedicate yourself to post regularly– It’s important to stay engaged with your followers, even if you just post once a day. Your followers want to have a good idea of who they are following, this gives you the opportunity to show them.

Get creative with capture modes– Stories don’t have to be your average video or still image, take advantage of the different capture modes Instagram provides. These features will help you post frequently and offer your audience a more creative viewing experience. The capture modes can be accessed by swiping across the words at the bottom of the screen and include:

  • Live video– allows you to broadcast through the app while your followers are able to watch, comment, and like the video all at the same time
  • Boomerang– (one of our favorites!) loops your video into a 3 second GIF creating a quick and soundless video.
  • Rewind– will reverse your video.
  • Stop-motion– uses multiple pictures to create one seamless video.
  • Superzoom– this silly new effect automatically zooms in with dramatic music.

Explore filters and stickers– There are a variety of filters and effects embedded in the app that you can choose from. Face filters use augmented reality to apply fun effects to faces that it detects. Stickers allow you to add your location, day of the week, hashtags, polls, fun word texts, and emojis once you take your video or picture. Stickers are interactive, so once a viewer clicks on an active sticker, like geolocation, they will be directed to a page showing any related posts and stories to that location.Get your story on the Explore page– The Explore page can be very influential to your profile’s success because it offers a personalized experience for each user. Even though there are more than 100 million people visiting this page, every user’s Explore page is different and based on their interests. Instagram will recommend images to a target audience based on what they have liked in the past. It’s important to note that your profile must be turned on to “public” in order to accomplish this. Once you post to Instagram Stories and a variety of users view it, your story can potentially be put on the Explore page of accounts that follow your followers.Don’t forget the hashtags– An easy way to gain a larger audience for your Stories is with the hashtag sticker. By leveraging trending hashtags in your posts, your Stories will appear on a page with the top posts for that hashtag making it discoverable for more viewers to find. Using hashtags in your Stories is even more important because Instagram just made it possible for users to follow their favorite hashtags, similar to how they follow their favorite users. The new “hashtag profiles” appear in a user’s regular feed and in their Stories.

Stories are a fun innovative way to get more followers on Instagram. They are also a cool way to interact and show your personality. Make sure you follow us on Instagram and check out Vydia’s daily Instagram Stories for inspiration!

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