Congratulations! You’ve finally stopped asking, “What is Instagram?” You’ve jumped on board the “IG” social bandwagon like this reporter did nearly one year ago, in July of 2013, which pales in comparison to some of the early adopters and younger folks who’ve been on the popular social networking site since 2010.
Now that you’ve taken the bold step of joining Instagram, you can use the following tips to help bulk up that “followers” count, ones that I’ve used to grow from my first follower to nearly 200 thus far.
#1 – Follow people on Instagram
First and foremost, I find that following other people is one major thing that helped me gain more followers. It’s weird, but for a time I would check out a famous person on Instagram, like Kim Kardashian, and I’d click on her “following” number in order to see who a famous person like her follows. I’d follow those same people. Invariably, I’d return to my IG app on my iPhone later in the day and find out that I’d gained several more followers.
Go figure. Either way, it makes sense that by following others we’d gain more Instagram followers, because whenever I see my push notifications telling me I’ve gained a new Instagram follower, I tend to click on it and follow that person, because I like to return the favor and know who’s following me.
#2 – Use popular hashtags
Check out Webstagram to learn the top 100 hashtags and use them. For example, on Thursdays, you can post an old pic of yourself and tag it #tbt, representing “throwback Thursday.”
Since I’m into fitness, tags like #LegDay might populate my feed, along with #ChurchFlow for Christians like me. Once you’re active on the site, you’ll learn more about the types of tags that are used – but feel free to create your own brand-spanking new tag. You never know who might find you that way and follow you.
#3 – Download Instagram-related apps to make your content interesting
Get cool apps that help make IG pics more interesting, like Overgram to overlay text atop photos, ClipStitch to add your iTunes music to videos and Flipagram to help turn still photos into a musical slideshow. Pop the term “Instagram” into your app store’s search box and find well-reviewed apps to experiment with to make your feed items compelling.
Besides the above tips, I’ve found that if you’re not going to pay for IG followers, it might simply take time to gain followers – time to allow people to find you and time for you to meet people while you’re out and about in real life. Ask them for their Instagram handle, immediately follow them and hope they’ll do likewise.
In the end, those “[so-and-so] started following you” alerts will appear more frequently and your Instagram follower count should rise.