Read This If You Want to Grow Your Instagram Following

You know you want to

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@eddieespinal via Twenty20

The year is 2016. You’re going along your merry way, thinking you got it made on Instagram. There’s potential for your account to become a real thing, even. You’ve got a growing audience and a cool community of like-minded accounts in your expanding circle. You’re feeling good.

Then it hit like a ton of bricks: The chronological feed was to become algorithmic—cue mayhem. In truth, the app hasn’t been the same since, and whether you like the new order or not, account growth has slowed across the board. Saturation is real and cutting through the noise of 1 billion users isn't exactly an obvious undertaking.

If you feel like you have something to add to the social conversation, then you’re no doubt wanting to gain new followers to share your point of view with—and you’re probably a tad frustrated with the state of affairs. 

The good news is that there are still ways to thrive and build big audiences on the ‘Gram as we head toward a new decade. Technology and social channels are in constant evolution, and it’s all about how you adapt, not how you become a master. The once somewhat effortless endeavor of adding new people to your social community takes a little more elbow grease these days, but we’re here for you. 

With that in mind, apply the below pointers and watch your numbers blow up.

Tag Brands in Your Posts

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@Elisall via Twenty20

If you’re posting a shot of your fly ‘fit, instead of filling the caption box and calling it a day, add some brand tags to the items you’re wearing. It’ll grab their social manager’s attention, they might reciprocate the love with a double-tap (or even better, a comment) and that action will appear in all of their followers’ activity feeds, potentially exposing your account to them. And just like that, you’ve caused a modern-day domino effect.

Create Fire Content

When you nail your aesthetic and your photos are fire, anyone who lands on your profile will be that much more inclined to give you a follow. Sorry to break it to you, but no one likes a crap pic, let alone an entire account of crap content. Build it and they will come, my friend.

Be Consistent

instagram is probably what we all live to use anytime anywhere and even sources of inspiration t20 mx23kn
@jonaskohh via Twenty20

Consistency is key in many ways, first in posting cadence, then in aesthetic (refer to the previous point for the latter). It’s one thing to exercise your visual point of view, but it’s another to keep the conversation going. Unless you’re Virgil Abloh himself, you need to pump out a steady stream of imagery to stay top of mind. If you only post once a month, the chances are that’s going be the time you remind people that they’re not really into following you—and your numbers will shrink.

Engage with the Community

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@hynecheck via Twenty20

At the end of the day, it remains “social” media, so be social and interact with people on the app. Your followers are on this ride with you for a reason, so hitting them back with likes and replying to their comments will only strengthen what you’ve got, while also making the newbies to your page more compelled to become a part of your community.

Another side of the coin is to be an active user on brand pages. Not only is it another way to get on their radar, but it puts all of their followers’ eyeballs on your account as they scroll their feeds. And trust us, brands love hearing from you—we certainly do.

Engaging with other accounts is a win-win-win situation.

Use Hashtags (Strategically)

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@beautevii via Twenty20

Adding to your audience is all about discovery, and hashtags, while polarizing, are still a great tool for that. Proof of that lies in your post insights, where you’re able to see how many accounts discovered your images through the tags you’ve used. (If you’re not a business account, it’s time to convert.)

Your hashtag game needs to be researched and strategic for you to reap any benefit—hashtagging random elements that are in your shot will do #nothing #for #you. Take the time to explore community-powered hashtags that people follow and that are centered on creative circles. Those are the ones whose hype you can ride.

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