October 22, 2019 by Rafaella Aguiar

Boost Instagram Followers with 7 Tried-and-Tested Tactics from Social Media Marketers

social media marketers

Instagram growth is not as simple as it once was even a couple of years ago and users are looking for answers as to the best techniques to boost Instagram followers. With nearly 1 billion monthly active users on the app and an unpredictable algorithm, finding out how to gain real followers on IG and get noticed can be a true challenge. If you’re one of the many people searching for ways to boost your Instagram followers, don’t worry; we’re providing 7 tried-and-tested tactics social media marketers swear by for Instagram growth. 

Prioritize Content Creation

Content creation is a crucial practice for inbound marketing. When you create content for your brand or business, you’re providing free and useful information for your audience. The key is to attract potential customers to your website or other platforms and retain them through quality engagement. Successful content will yield in an Instagram followers boost because users will want to see more of your content down the line. Whether you’re creating the content yourself or sourcing user-generated content, posting relatable, relevant, and enjoyable content is crucial for capturing your audience’s attention and inevitably generating Instagram growth. 

We wanted to get the inside scoop on the importance of content creation for brands and shed some light on the rumors about posting less now that Instagram feeds are no longer chronological.

Kristina Knapp's insight on using content creation to boost Instagram followers

Founder and CEO of Elixir Media Co., Kristina Knapp, put the rumors to rest that with the new algorithm, posting on the weekends will not aid in Instagram growth.

Will you see a large Instagram followers boost from posting on the weekend? Probably not. However, Kristina urges users to continue to post on the weekends even if it means less engagement. It’s not all about the numbers on your posts when you’re looking to boost Instagram followers. 

Knapp stresses, “Keep it fun and light! On the weekends, most people are taking their time to ENJOY being off work and making the most of their lives with the people they love. Your posts should be branded, but personal or entertaining: easy reading, if you will.  Share a quote, a family/ friend photo, or what your weekend plans are!”

boost Instagram followers with original content

We couldn’t agree more with Kristina’s advice and want to emphasize the importance of putting out good content, no matter the potential low engagement. If Instagram removes likes all together, you will still want to post the best content to enhance your brand image and work towards an Instagram followers boost. 

Want to Organically Grow Your Instagram Following?

Create A General Social Media Strategy

A social media strategy defines how your organization will utilize social media best practices to achieve certain marketing goals. Any business has a strategy set in place, so why should your social media platforms be any different? To ensure your accounts have the best potential for Instagram growth, having a strategy is key. 

Nata Leto's insight on creating a general social media strategy for boosting Instagram followers

We chatted with Nata Leto, Community & Marketing Manager at Flothemes, to get her tips and best practices for general social media strategy. 

She highlights Flothemes content strategy, “In Flothemes’ case, it’s a matter of general strategy, and figuring out what type of content speaks to our current followers and potential followers who have similar interests, needs, and aesthetic taste.

boost Instagram followers with story sneak peaks

While we try to keep our post categories consistent and useful (sharing tips, educational articles, and examples of clients who use our products), we also A/B test and spice it up with new types of content, such as Monday Humor, Questions, Polls, Sneak Peeks, Quiz Questions, etc.

This allows us to continuously surprise and engage with our fans, start new conversations, as well as identify new pain points that can be catered to with future content/products. It’s all about serving your audience and connecting with them on a human level, not as a business. If you’re wondering how to gain real followers on IG, adding a human element to content is imperative. She adds, “We do also apply the 3-5 likes and 1-2 comments rule everyday. Connecting with new potential clients and getting on their radar.” 

boost Instagram followers by creating great content

We believe if you follow Nata Leto’s content strategies, you’ll be guaranteed to boost Instagram followers on your account. 

Be Strategic with Hashtags

Are you trying to learn the best practices for how to boost Instagram followers and gain real followers on IG? If you’re a social media manager or business, you probably are aware of how powerful hashtags can be for Instagram growth and engagement. 

Jessica's insight on being strategic with hashtags to boost Instagram followers

Jessica, Founder of Social Savvy Marketing, gave us her thoughts on how hashtags can help you with organic Instagram growth. 

She emphasizes, “A lot of brands and influencers think that hashtags are dead on Instagram, and that is not the case. Yes, they have changed in how they can help organically grow an account, but that’s because they have become so popular. After testing on many accounts, using 30 hashtags on every single post is vital. No, Instagram will not mark your posts as ‘spam’. Instagram allows for 30 hashtags on every post, so why not use them all? Think of them as 30 invitations for people to find your content. 

socialsavvyhq Instagram

These 30 hashtags can go in your caption or first comment. It’s strictly up to if you want them displayed in the caption or not. If posting in the first comment, you want to post them as soon as you post so they can show up under the “recent” tab on the hashtags explore page. Use hashtags that describe your industry, your product/service, who your ideal customer/client is, and locations. The best “mix” of hashtags is including:

  • 5 hashtags under 25k and under posts (this can include your brand or campaign hashtag)
  • 10 hashtags 25-50k posts
  • 5 hashtags 50-100k posts
  • 5 hashtags 100k-250k posts
  • 5 hashtags 250k+ posts
  • 🤩
  • 🤙
  • 🤑

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The majority of the hashtags you use on a post should be small (under 100k and these are known as niche hashtags). They have smaller amounts of posts with them, and they help get your content seen vs. using hashtags with millions of posts. You should create 3-5 sets of 30 hashtags and try them out on different posts until you are getting good impressions from them. Below are some results from targeted hashtag strategies that have worked for our clients (you’ll notice a high percentage of accounts that interacted weren’t following and came “From Hashtags”).” 

clients Instagram analytics on reach and hashtags
clients analytics

Utilize Influencer Marketing

Influencers are one of the most powerful social media marketing tools. They can to grab the audience’s attention and add authenticity to branded content, something that lacked in traditional advertising. This marketing tactic allows brands to take advantage of influencers with a base of loyal followers to promote a product and in turn bring an Instagram followers boost to the accounts of the brand being promoted. 

Stephane's insight on using influencer marketing to boost Instagram followers

First, we discussed how to gain real followers on IG with Stephane Bouillet, CEO of Influence4You

He shared, “On Influence4You, you can easily run Instagram and Insta Stories campaigns with influencers to increase your number of followers. For instance by asking an influencers’ community to follow your account, for a chance to get a reward or a gift. On the platform, it’s easy to find the right influencer for your brand, put your brief… and avoid fake influencers!” 

influence4you's Instagram on identifying fake followers and how to boost Instagram followers that are engaged

Jessi robert's insight on utilizing influencer marketing to boost Instagram followers

Additionally, Jessi Roberts, Owner & Brand Manager of Cheeky’s Brand, describes how they created influencers with their customers. If you’re looking to boost Instagram followers, start with the ones you already have following your account.

Jessi says,“When Cheekys started on Insta, we didn’t have money for influencers so our option was to become micro-influencers ourselves.  We give product to our customers rather than to a paid influencer.

We may have less than 100k followers but we also know that the ones we have genuinely love our product, they gladly refer us to friends via tags and comments, and they purchase.  We follow our customers and let them influence us! Our buying staff scours our followers to see what is on trend with them. It’s much easier to sell them what they want than convince them to buy something they don’t know about.” 

boost Instagram followers with influencer marketing and communicating with customers

Learn to Use Instagram Ads Effectively 

Utilizing the Instagram Ads feature is one of the best ways to boost Instagram followers for your account. There are many benefits to advertising on Instagram, but let’s highlight one major one: engagement rates on Instagram are higher than other platforms, so the likelihood of an Instagram followers boost is higher. 

Maddy Raven's insight on Instagram Ads

Maddy Raven, Head of Music Promotion at Burstimo, discusses the importance of Instagram Ads in terms of Instagram growth and organic reach. If you’re still looking for how to gain real followers on IG, running targeted advertisements on Instagram is a great place to start. 

Raven gives her insight on Instagram Ads: “We’ve heard far too many people saying Instagram ads don’t work but the reality is, Instagram ads work but your content doesn’t. Although Instagram has fantastic organic reach, it’s getting smaller every day, and with the ad manager allowing you to be so specific with who you target, Instagram ads can engage an audience so easily.

Instagram is a platform for people to mindlessly scroll, so when running ads it’s key to think of the end consumer and how you can add value to them, without appearing as if you’re selling.  

example of a Instagram ad from Burstimo to boost Instagram followers

We’ve found that running ads on our content have increased our following exponentially as we’re adding value to our target audience by educating them, but by doing this we’re showing our ability and building trust, which in the long term leads to creating a working relationship.

Once you’ve paid for ad space, engaged with your target audience, and secured the following, you have free ad space, and you can start to promote your product/business on your feed and stories but integrate it within your everyday content, making it more appealing to your audience.”

Burstimo Instagram

Want to Organically Grow Your Instagram Following?

Instagram Stories

The intention behind Instagram stories is simple, to allow users to share their daily lives quickly and more casually than a curated in feed post. This feature has grown in popularity since it’s debut and because they are at the top of the feed, there’s no algorithm madness to worry about. 

Ali Mirza's insight on using Instagram stories to boost Instagram followers

Ali Mirza, Founder of #iSocialYou a data-driven social media agency in Dallas, gave us some powerful insight on Instagram stories and how to use stories to boost Instagram followers. 

He begins by saying, “We all know that Instagram stories are the best relationship-building tool on the platform. Right? What most people don’t know is that we can also use stories to boost Instagram followers. 

Here is the step by step process I would recommend:

First, create daily stories. Then use the location tag and 2 to 3 hashtags on every story. This will help you get discovered and attract new audiences to your stories.

using location tags and hashtags on stories

Next, remind people to follow you and also give them a reason why they should. i.e. Do you share the best vegan recipes every day? Do you share the best deals on real estate properties in your area?

Then, do story takeovers with other people in your niche. Again this will help you reach new audiences and could lead to an Instagram followers boost. 

Finally, use Instagram story ads to grow your followers. It’s the cheapest placement on Facebook + Instagram platform so do test it out. You can drive traffic to any link with the story Ads but if you use the link to your Instagram profile, you can boost Instagram followers FAST!.”

how to use Instagram story ads to grow followers

Selling on Instagram

Finally, let’s discuss one of the app’s newest features, selling on Instagram. If you’re looking to make money from selling a product or service, Instagram growth is going to be extremely beneficial to your brand. 

Amie Finlayson on selling on Instagram

Amie Finlayson, Owner & Social Media Consultant, who owns Harvest Studios & Consulting, gave us her insight on how to boost Instagram followers through selling services. The Social Selling Society is a membership service providers to use Instagram for business as their main sales generator.

Finlayson says, “I’ve been working in social media marketing for the past 7 years and now is the most exciting time to be a brand on social. I primarily work on Instagram – I know it best, I’ve seen growth results for myself and my clients, and that’s because there’s a formula to making sales and being known on the platform. I do see so many service providers struggle to balance selling with providing valuable content – and grow an organic following as a result.

Amie Finlayson's Instagram on social selling and how to boost Instagram followers

I broke it down to three crucial social selling considerations:

First, content. The content is either A) unoriginal, or B) doesn’t follow a plan or strategy, or C) doesn’t consider video marketing as a core component. It isn’t part of a bigger picture or a story that the business owner is trying to tell, instead, it’s inconsistent and not well thought out.

Second, Sales Process. There’s no action to take for the client to *actually* give their money to you. Instagram is a mobile-only experience – make sure your sales process reflects this. 

Third, Customer Experience. A good customer experience recognizes what the customer wants, and usually – that’s a price with a secure booking form. It varies by industry, but trust me, there is a solution for you to sell on the Instagram platform and it starts with knowing what this process and experiences are.

What many small business owners forget is customer experience is a relationship. It’s not one-sided – and you may want to appear agency-like by offering all the services and none of the pricing, but in doing that, you’re shutting down relationships and leaving money on the table.

Make it easy for your customers to be served your solution. The way to do this – especially on Instagram – is by creating a holistic mobile experience that stems from your feed content, to your daily Instagram Stories, to the conversations you have in your DMs, to the way you ask your clients to book in with you, to the copy on your website, and the ease of your web forms. Remember: they’re typing from a mobile phone – be smart.”

Boost Instagram Followers

Growing your Instagram account may seem like a daunting task, but if you follow these tips that professionals swear by, you’ll be on your way to improved Instagram growth in no time. Keep in mind these processes take time, effort, dedication, and they won’t happen overnight.

Instagram Growth Hacks

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