With 1 billion monthly users , Instagram rises to the top of the most popular social networks. When you start on the social network, you often have only one idea in mind: to see your number of Instagram subscribers skyrocket. Influencer accounts are the stuff of dreams with their 5-digit Instagram subscriber count ...
So, how to have more followers on Instagram and gain subscribers without selling your soul to the devil?
When we wrote the first version of this article, we were maxing out at 230 subscribers for our customer. As we rewrite it entirely, we have over 7000 subscribers . We were able to take advantage of the advice found here and there on the web… and we decided to share these tips with you which helped us.
Since Instagram was bought by Facebook, it's increasingly difficult to develop your account because the social network has implemented an algorithm that reduces the visibility of posts. However, there are “good practices” which, in our opinion, will never be bad!
2 golden rules to get more followers on Instagram
- Getting a lot of followers (subscribers) on Instagram doesn't make you successful. Some accounts have thousands of subscribers, but those subscribers aren't always qualified and engaged. Having 10,000 followers on Instagram is great. But it is better to have 1000 subscribers who are really interested in your subject and your niche, who will like, comment, share ... In short, having a lot of Instagram subscribers is good, having a lot of commitment from these subscribers is even better!
- In summary, to have a lot of followers and a lot of likes and engagement on Instagram for free (that is to say, a qualified community that will interact and likely to become a customer): you have to define your target audiences. , its objectives, its strategy. Observe the most popular hashtags and practices in your business. Treat your content accordingly. Interact yourself with followers and influencers. It's a free method, which takes time, but that will have an impact on your actual business, your brand awareness and your bottom line, in the end!
Gain followers on Instagram: classic rules of a social network
First, there is a simple principle on Instagram as on other social networks: to gain subscribers, you have to get involved in the network . Really get involved. We find that often, for lack of time (or laziness, it must be admitted), we are content to like the photos that pass before my eyes without necessarily making the effort to write a comment, to go looking new accounts ...
However, it's when you get involved that you yourself get the most benefits in terms of visibility !
Instagram being a social network, we receive the same types of advice as on other networks :
- Complete your biography carefully and choose a profile image: we wrote an article on the fundamentals to follow to personalize your Instagram profile ;
- Don't flood your subscribers with photos of low added value;
- Take advantage of the social functions of the network: take an interest in others while respecting ethical principles that are well known (sincerity, no advertising such as "I follow you if you follow me and otherwise I unsubscribe", etc.);
- Offer quality content .
Tips that work to get more Instagram followers
Unique and qualitative content
Instagram remains a network of “beautiful images”. We can blame him for maintaining a cult of perfection , but most of the accounts that develop quickly and well are those that post quality content.
These are neat images, not necessarily taken with a state-of-the-art reflex but which are still well framed, not blurry ...
A story to tell
We also think, after a few years on this network, that people appreciate hearing a unique and personal "voice" , even behind a (beautiful) image.
Sharing an anecdote, a scene from life, a few stories to feed your account, allows you to get out of the cold “picture book” aspect. It's not easy when you like to keep a certain discretion, but we're sure, it plays a role.
Indeed, today, there are millions of images online on the network… and many very beautiful photos of the same place for example. The quality of a photo alone is no longer the only criterion for differentiating yourself. You have to bring something unique , and what could be more unique than you and your personality?
It's also for this reason that Instagram stories, which have reinjected a good dose of spontaneity on the network, contribute so much to giving you visibility.
Make your account known
Instagram is a network at the heart of your digital life ... and to have more followers, you have to give it a place : enhance your Instagram account on your blog (through an icon or by including some photos in your articles), relay your photos Instagram on its Facebook page, create referrals between the platforms you manage so that we know the existence of your account, mention his account in his newsletter ...
Nothing also prevents you from doing a little more explicit "push" concerning your account , by posting a message on your blog or on another network to encourage people to join you on Instagram. We did it 2 or 3 times last year and it allowed me to gain a few dozen subscribers.
Use hashtags and geolocation
According to a study conducted by Dan Zarrella in 2015, analyzing nearly 1.5 million Instagram photos, putting hashtags on your photos can increase both the number of likes and the number of comments . As on Twitter, hashtags make it easy to find all the photos relating to the same theme.
Here We offer advice on finding the right hashtags on Instagram , an essential point to have more visibility and therefore to gain followers: with an overly popular hashtag, your photos risk being drowned in the mass; with an overly confidential hashtag, not to find a sufficient audience to develop the notoriety of your account.
You can also activate geotagging on your photos . Thus, they will be more easily associated with a specific location when a person searches for information on the location in question (city, restaurant, business, etc.), an additional means of gaining visibility.
Use Instagram filters
Photos that use a filter are 21% more likely to be seen and 45% more likely to receive comments than photos without a filter, according to another Yahoo Labs / Georgia Tech study . According to the study, "an increase in contrast and exposure positively affects the number of views and comments." The same goes for retouching that increases the temperature of a photo by making it warmer.
On the other hand, increasing saturation tends to have a negative - albeit minimal - impact on views even if it is positive for comments. This is in line with the conclusions of Dan Zarrella, who said for his part that photos with low saturation won 598% more likes compared to photos with bright colors! Likewise, bright photos garnered 592% more likes compared to dark photos.
Finally, users of the social network prefer filters or retouching that improve a photo without distorting it , to filters that transform a snapshot. We therefore remain in a search for authenticity at this level.
For our part, We no longer use the filters offered by Instagram , we prefer to manually modify a few parameters (especially contrast / sharpness) to improve the rendering of my photos, using the Snapseed application ... but we avoid the heavy retouching that would lie too much on the initial photo
Talk to your subscribers
This is a point on which we still lack investment, let's face it :) If we think of liking the comments we receive or of responding with a small message when the comment allows it, there is one thing we do little and yet works very well on Instagram: work well with your captions !
Photo captions provide a unique opportunity to share little anecdotes, ask your followers questions, tell stories. It creates a bond and it's effective for starting a discussion.
Like on a blog, we can test different things: short captions, long captions, ask a question, explicitly encourage subscribers to comment (according to Dan Zarrella, this explicit dimension would promote interactions).
Here again, this is not always an easy point to respect ... but so that the subscribers (or members of the network who discover you) find their way there, it's better that your account exudes a certain consistency , whether in the content that you post, in your interactions with your subscribers, in your posting frequency.
Like a blog, there isn't necessarily an ideal posting frequency, but many studies suggest posting several times a week to increase engagement. Certain agencies specializing in Instagram influence, such as Octoly, also require the “publication of a minimum of five photos per week”.
Post at the right time
Instagram no longer displays photos chronologically but instead highlights posts based on what you're likely to like. Despite everything, the timing remains important because the commitment you receive from the publication plays a lot on the visibility that the social network will give to your photo (same observation on Facebook in my case!).
Try to identify when your community is present : more in the evening after dinner, in the morning before leaving for work, on the lunch break, during regular office hours? It can vary from one community to another, which is why we always have doubts when a study announces “ideal publication times”.
To find out, for example, you can use Creator Studio, a free tool offered for Facebook and Instagram, which displays the hours when your Instagram followers are active in tabular form.
Gaining Instagram followers: these unanswered questions
We're not one of those people who want to calculate the likelihood of each photo posted. We love the photos that give pride of place to color. No question of changing what is part of my style just to have 598% more likes, on the grounds that the fashion is with pastel shades and ultra-bright backgrounds.
We post (too) sparingly… but we try to deliver quality. Moreover, one of my photos had been selected by the Mashable site in a selection called “12 beautifully eerie photos shot in the dark”, another was highlighted on the account of the city of Paris…
We realize, however, that this is often not enough. That we should get more involved. That there are always challenges to overcome: posting in English or in French or both ? When posting travel photos, the "universal" side of the subject often leads to wanting to post in two languages ... and at the same time, we necessarily favor one (if only because it appears first in the caption ). This is certainly playing on the interaction!
The algorithm changes that took place on Instagram shortly before the summer of 2017 deeply affected my pleasure in posting on this network, to which we were nevertheless so attached. A dramatic drop in visibility - for the same investment - and a disgust that gradually sets in, the same disgust that we feel for Facebook.
The impression that these people reason a little too often in reach, likes and algorithms … and not enough by letting the user make his choices on what he sees (or not). The era of artificial intelligence, which sometimes lacks a bit of intelligence at all.