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A friend asked me this question and I didn't have a good answer for her. Figured I'd check with the GH community.  Thanks!

  • AP

    Alex P

    about 5 years ago #

    White Hat answer: find people on IG who are already popular and figure out a way to get exposure from them. Maybe you already have a really large email list and you can work out a promo for promo partnership. Maybe you're a lifestyle brand that can pay a popular IG-er to collaborate on an account takeover or other creative collaboration.

    Black Hat Answer: figure out what the most popular hashtags in your niche are and create a list in the "notes" area of your phone. Post a picture, grab the hashtag list from your notes, and comment on your own photo with those hashtags. Wait as the likes/follows roll in. An hour or so later, delete your comment and then comment again with the exact same hashtag list. You'll be bumped to the top of the hashtag view for a fresh set of eyes. Rinse and repeat. If your content is good, people scrolling through the hashtag will follow you.

    • JS

      Joe Scola

      about 5 years ago #

      Those black hat tactics used to work, but it's no longer the case. Scratching and reposting the same hashtags will only place your post back into the same order it was posted originally, it will no longer float your post to the top.

      • NT

        Niki Torres

        almost 5 years ago #

        Yup, Joe's right on this. The photo order for hashtags on IG is based on when the image was posted and not on when it was added on the hashtag feed.

      • JD

        Josh Dance

        about 5 years ago #

        Source on both of these views? Just personal experience?

        • AP

          Alex P

          about 5 years ago #

          Someone I know with a large IG following shared this method with me around September 2014. I haven't tried it myself, but this person did use it to get ~25k followers at that time. So it's entirely possible Joe is right, but again, haven't tested.

    • HV

      Humberto valle

      almost 5 years ago #

      Great response Alex!

  • JS

    Julia Stanescu

    about 5 years ago #

    There are several strategies that you can use to increase the follower base on Instagram, but it really depends on the audience you’d like to attract and the type of business you have.

    For instance, if you have a product/eCommerce business, I'd recommend:
    • #hashtags - Conduct a keyword research to see which are the most popular Instagram #hashtags around your product category/ industry.
    • Find large accounts that your target customers are following and ask them to publish images with your products. If they’re willing to do that they usually have their email address in their profile description.
    • Follow your competitor’s followers. Comment and Like their posts. Comments should feel natural.
    • Hyperlinks don’t work on Instagram posts, but they work on your bio so, a good strategy when posting on other accounts is to ensure your Instagram username is in the photo description, so that you get as many people as possible checking your profile.
    • Your Instagram posts should feel as natural/ personal as possible. • No filter photos have higher impact.

    I hope it helps.

  • JM

    Jack Meredith

    about 5 years ago #
  • SM

    Stuart McKeown

    about 5 years ago #

    You really can't trump having really awesome content as a starter. Engagement and contests work well (for example users can become a followers on IG in just 1 click via our platform), just tie it to an incentive that relates to the demographics you want to follow you.

    Here's some more decent tips, which shows a particular accounts trials with adding more *cough*flesh*cough* into their images: http://www.reddit.com/r/startups/comments/2mim5h

    Here's one of my own (albeit slightly older) posts with ~16 tips: http://blog.gleam.io/instagram-followers/

  • AM

    Artur M

    about 5 years ago #

    Your goal should not be getting as MANY followers as possible. SN marketing is not a popularity contest ( as originally thought before )

    THAT will not yield you any worthwhile results.

    In fact the opposite. It will hurt you since you will be wasting time on random people that most likely have NOTHING to do with your product's value proposition.

    The only mild exception is Twitter whereby reaching a certain threshold of followers your Tweet Exposure is increased. *READ > (Fake) friends with (Real) benefits : https://medium.com/i-data/fake-friends-with-real-benefits-eec8c4693bd3

    What your goal should be is to get the RIGHT followers who truly match your product's persona target.

    So if you are testing the market for a fitness wearable you would want to follow and comment to users who follow BOTH @NIKE && @fitbit + who live in major US cities + who have the keyword 'RUNNER' in their bio. ( and you may want to cull even more for "influencers' from that list who have a follower to following ration of 1:4 or more. )

    Internally, we've built an Advanced Instagram Search & Automation Tool that can do all this and more for our various startups, specifically for customer dev phases.
    Our avg conversion rates have been +35%.

    We are considering to get it consumer-ready, if enough people want it ;-)
    Our beta signup : https://artur8.typeform.com/to/QvznoL


    • RD

      Rufus Denne

      almost 5 years ago #

      This is exactly what I want to achieve. I want to get a feed of people who follow XX and like XX and live in XX. I then want to try to engage them with likes and comments.

      Can't find anything doing that at the moment.

  • JS

    james smith

    about 5 years ago #

    I looked into this some time ago and wanted to find case studies and research of actual successes where people had converted sales or leads or had methodologies or strategies which produced continual followers.

    A summary:
    1. Use 7 hashtags for 25% higher engagement than zero hashtags.
    Crate and Barrel had a level of engagement on their posts comparative to their followers (15k), than Neiman Marcus (299k). They attracted engagement that was 27% higher comparatively by using 7 hashtags – Neiman Markas used none.

    2. Contests work well on most social media - Beardbrand used Gleam to create a contest on instagram - 786% increase in followers.

    3. Posting the right content is straightforward and common sense:
    Light colours
    Lots of background space
    Make blue the dominant colour
    Have ONE dominant colour
    Use low level saturation
    Post images with lots of texture

    4. You can focus on those who ENGAGE - not just those with lots of followers - find peple who like and comment on your industry - and engage with them - like and comment on their photos.

    'If I am going to take time to follow and engage with people, I only want to concentrate on users who liked or commented on something related to J Cole [his target hashtag]. I have found that those are the most probable buyers. There will be a lot of casual (or worse, inactive) people that followed his main account. Those aren’t buyers. For you – this means not worrying about following the biggest authorities in your niche, or the most popular products, but rather the people who engaged with them' -

    from Jeremy Page who had a 46% increase in sales by setting out a rigid, simple strategy

    5. Bachelr paid influencers to promote their brand - they offered store credit to a few influencers who would promote them (100k followers plus) - ones who targeted men's fashion - This led to 20k unique visits at launch.

    6. Neil Patel bought an account from someone with a lot of followers, got cheeky and posted some controversial pics of him - which kind of worked. He did get a huge backlash as he mainly posted photos of girls in bikinis holding up free gear he was giving away.

    Link to the case studies is here:

  • MB

    Morgan Brown

    about 5 years ago #
    • EN

      eric nemo

      about 5 years ago #

      It s definitely the best story indeed. Too bad it is not possible anymore!

  • ES

    Eleanna Sbokou

    about 5 years ago #

    Another tip that I recently heard through a friend who is doing incredibly well on Instagram is to 'clear up' your account from time to time, keeping only photos that have done really well so that when someone clicks on your profile to check out your activity, they only see a few great photos that all receive a lot of comments and likes as opposed to endless mediocre posts with just 1-2 likes.

    Haven't tried it yet, but I'm keen to do so.

  • EN

    eric nemo

    about 5 years ago #

    Hey @sean
    The idea is simple: to have people following you, you need to show them you exist. You want them to realize you post amazing content. (Related to your niche)

    You have many options to do it:
    1. Get other people on your niche on Instagram to mention your account. Have them posting with a caption mentioning your account.
    2. Get your account active! Go like, follow and comment on people's post, based on # they use. Drive traffic to your main account! Stay under Instagram limits. Use instagress.com for instance if you don't want to do it manually.
    3. Have your current followers mention friends on your posts. This will make you appear on the discovery tab (new algorithm) and thus drive trafic.
    ie: Grow and engage your community.

    I really think you should avoid at any cost buying fake followers. Instagram users are now used to it, and will see you as a scam.
    It takes time, so take your time. No silver bullet on Instagram anymore!
    Hit me if you need more help, I ll be happy to give you some best practices.

  • GG

    Gili Golander

    about 5 years ago #

    @roypovar compiled this comprehensive resource on this topic:
    http://app.tuteboard.com/tute/roypovar/the-growth-hacker-guide-to-instagram-marketing/cover. Check it out.

  • SS

    Salman Sharif

    about 5 years ago #

    First thing first, you need to have quality and appealing content on your profile, second thing run a competition with a particular hashtag. Third thing find influencers in your verticals and follow their followers.

  • JB

    Jas Banwait

    about 5 years ago #

    I wrote a three part series on instagram - basically it comes down to engagement. The more you like, and comment on other people's posts the more followers and engagement you will get. Of course, your pictures should be punchy, eye-catching and consistently posted.

  • AW

    Alice Whitewalker

    about 5 years ago #

    The key to getting more followers on Instagram lies in being active and engaging with your community. Just like any other network they need nurturing! My tips in a nutshell...

    - Hashtags. Irritating and often gaudy, but they work. #nofilter is very effective. http://iconosquare.com/ is great for pinpointing which work best.

    - The competition. Following like-minded brands to see what they are doing, and also tap access to their audience.

    - Engage more. Posting good images but leaving them to sit there, won't be effective in the long run. Tagging users in your cotent is a sure-fire way to get noticed.

    - Frequency. Post regularly to keep your visibility up.

    - Use different content. Instagram video is very effective and easily shareable across different channels.

  • JM

    Jovana Miljanovic

    about 5 years ago #

    Hi, I've been going into this as well. I downloaded an app called Instafamous - the Instagram Like Exchange, and it brings lots of real user's likes, but not so many followers. I have been mixing this with hashtags related to my photos and the followers are slowly growing.

    Let me know your experiences with this app if you download it. I wish it had follow button as well when you scroll. You'll see what I mean if you decide to try it out.

    Good luck!

  • NT

    Niki Torres

    almost 5 years ago #

    This thread could not have come at a better time! I just started my running club and need to build up a good following on IG. :)

  • AF

    Ally Fiesta

    almost 5 years ago #

    Take beautiful pictures would be a real start! I use tags for likes as a place to save related tags and upgraded to pro to add more than 5 different custom sets of tags. Tagsforlikes app has a note that changing out tags no longer moves images to top of hashtag searches so that no longer works.

    If you have time to join in Instagram challenges or even hot your own that will create a community for your account to be a part of.

    Also using instafollow to unfollow accounts that just follow to unfollow.

    I'm looking for an app to schedule posts as well as to find accounts that are no longer updated.

  • TO

    Thomas O.

    almost 5 years ago #

    Guys I am a newbie in this particular field, all the stuff you share is very useful. But let's say i have a corporate account and provided that i have enough followers how can I get them to visit my landing page and eventually convert them into buyers.

    I understand that the most obvious way is to put the link into the profile's bio.

    • JJ

      Jonnie Jensen

      almost 5 years ago #

      The food bloggers do a great job at this because they can reference food pics with recipes on their blog. How can you emulate that?
      Create a discussion or 'like and comment if you agree' about the image on Instagram that related to the blog post or landing page download so that people have a reason to click on your bio link or go hunt out your landing page.

  • JN

    Jack Neary

    almost 5 years ago #

    Must Read
    Growth Study: 110k Instagram Followers in 5 Months + 45% Conversion Rate

  • SK

    Sean Killian

    over 3 years ago #

    Usually I use zen-promo.com to promote my new Instagram profiles. It is a good way to do it too. I believe that today we must trust in professionals and let them do their work.

  • DD

    Diana D.

    over 3 years ago #

    I see very great answers here! Like everyone said, there are a lot of ways to grow your audience. However, what many people forget is that it's important to not just get large amount of followers, but keep them. In order for them to still be your followers you have to know not only how to attract them, but what attracts them. One of the tools you could use is a service called Onlypult. It provides analytics for your account, your followers and their engagement; and with that you will be able to know when to post, what tags are most useful, what kind of posts are the most attractive etc. Another tool Onlypult provides - is it posts scheduled posts. With that you will be able to have your account constantly updated, which is also important. Good luck!

  • JS

    Jhalak Srivastava

    over 1 year ago #

    One way to get more engagement from followers is to post at the right time for your line of business. You have to find the best time to post on Instagram for your industry, that is the prime time to get more likes, comments and ultimately more conversions as that the time when most of your potential and current followers are active. You can use many free tools available to find your best time to post. One of them is: https://riotlysocialmedia.com/tool-best-time-to-post-on-instagram/

  • JM

    Josh McLaglen

    over 1 year ago #

    Well I have always been like a kid, who wanted everything to be perfect no matter what it takes. When I joined Instagram, I wanted it to look amazing like having some good amount of followers who like and comment on my posts. I invested a lot of time but still I was not able to gain followers like I wanted so I started searching for an automation tool that can help me with my Instagram account and then I found Wizboost [com] as the most effective one. It can do everything and now I am maintaining a perfect account with ease. Its automated system helped in getting followers and unfollowing people from my Instagram profile with ease. Thanks to Wizboost.