Of course, there is a comprehensive assortment of options when you are trying to boost your follower count on Instagram. But we must all agree: only a handful of those options work, many don’t.
Now here’s where you will want to pay attention...
Much to your advantage, today’s guide covers genuine tactics that actually work and work all the time. With these simple tactics in a step-by-step format, you can easily, naturally, and strategically gain and grow your Instagram followers in real time.
One thing to love is the fact that you can use these easy-to-follow steps regardless of the size, industry, or niche of your brand, business, or agency.
Best of all, you will be growing your Instagram followers without necessarily following your followers. Sounds like a plan? Let's get to it.
The Cristiano Ronaldo case overview: 146m followers, 422 followings
With more than 10% of all Instagrammers as followers, seasoned footballer Cristiano Ronaldo owns the most followed account on Instagram.
Yet, the Portuguese forward is following less than five hundred accounts as of late-November.
Surprised? Don't be.
Now, I don't expect that any serious Instagrammer would be trying to keep up with Rolando's number. If you are in for that, however, good luck. This post isn't for you and no one can help you either.
But if you're looking for a proven blueprint you can follow that would get you highly responsive, cult-like followers, then keep your eyes glued to the screen as we uncover certain tips to help upsurge your followers.
5 steps to increase Instagram followers without following back
Step 1: Create and make your profile discoverable
I know you want followers. But if your profile visitors find your page to be incomplete, they would likely hit the back button without following you or engaging with any of your posts.
Not cool, if you ask me.
To fill in your profile information, go to your Instagram profile and tap “Edit Profile”. A page displaying the below information should pop up.
- Supply your name (if it’s a personal account) or your business name (if it’s a business account) in the “Name” field.
- It makes sense if you use the same username as with your other social channels, if available. That way, followers on other platforms can easily find you on Instagram.
- In the “Website” field, insert your website’s URL. (If you don’t have a website up and running, insert link to one of your popular contents online.)
- In the “Bio” section is where you want to spend most of your time. We could have a whole post on what should or what should not go into your Bio section. Just engage your readers with a short targeted text.
Pro-Tip: Engage the Explore tab and see how your top three competitors filled out their Bio section. Understand, however, that the preceding paragraph is not telling you to copy your competitors. No, you don’t have to. Only take a cue from how their bios tell their visitors who they are and what they do. If your competitors, by any means, skipped this two vital information, there is only one way we can be sure you will not.
More so, have fun creating your profile; be creative, be unique, and be you.
Bonus Tip: Upload a nice-looking image of yourself (if it’s a personal account). In the case of a business account, your business logo suffices.
What is more?
Every Instagram profile is set to Public by default. If you would like to change your profile from private to public, follow these steps:
- Go to your IG page, then find and tap the Settings gear
- Scroll down to the Privacy and Security section
- If the box next to Private Account is checked, that means your account is set to private. To change your account from private to public, simply uncheck the box.
Bonus Tip: Do note that setting your account to Private might be detrimental to your business goals and marketing plans.
Step 2: Define a marketing plan
(In other words, the information you already have about your target audience and how you intend to get your message in front of them—and make your messages convincing enough for them to start following you.)
You don’t want to skip this step as it prevents you from wasting time and resources, at the very least. That mentioned, your Instagram marketing plan would normally contain:
- Your goals on the network. Common goals include increasing brand awareness, boosting product sales, driving traffic to your website and visits to specific posts. (Align your goals on Instagram with your broader marketing objectives.)
- Your target audience. Their age. Their location. Type of work. When and how they are using Instagram. The people influencing them. Their pain points and challenges. Your unique selling propositions (USPs).
- Your story. Maybe you want to show followers the process of producing your products. Or you could use Instagram to share the perspective of employees to humanize your brand. Another great idea is to position your brand in an aspirational way, showcasing the lifestyle or achievements of your customers.
- Your brand aesthetic. Plan to maintain a consistent brand personality, visual look, and story. Your posts should be easily recognizable and relatable at a glance.
Step 3: Create a publishing schedule and share compelling contents
Starting out, within Instagram, you have the Instagram Analytics tool. If anything, this should be enough for scheduling your posts to go live at a particular time of the day or week. Alternatively, you can use apps like Buffer or Hootsuite to achieve the same purpose.
Keep track of the engagement metrics on each of the shared posts. These are obtainable within Instagram by clicking on the specific posts. See the dashboard area of your social media scheduling apps if that is what you are working with.
Continue tracking engagement metrics until you are confident of the data you have gathered. Pouring through your data, it should reveal the type of contents your leads, prospects, and customers are engaging with the most and the time of the day they are most active and engaging with those contents.
All you need do now is to post more of the visual imagery that data has revealed your audience is most interested in while publishing them within periods when those contents have the highest chance of getting high engagement.
By posting targeted contents that people actually want to see, you'll start getting engagement from people who follow your account for content and don't expect follow-backs. The more they engage with your posts, the more other people will see it—either through being tagged by their friends or through the Explore tab.
Pro-Tip: Ensure your messages are clear, easy to understand, and targeted to a specific audience. Write great captions that evoke an immediate call to action. Best if in a form of questions. Keep them short.
Step 4. Promote your Instagram account everywhere you can or are allowed
Still wondering how Instagram accounts with massive following gain thousands of real followers without following many of those people back? The greater percentage of these brands and businesses have a solid reputation before getting on the social network. They are usually widely-known. They might be industry leaders.
But since your business hasn't garnered such popularity or reputation, while implementing steps 1 to 3 will surely get you some followers, it might not take long before you realize those aren’t enough. What do you then? Start interacting with your target group (run contests, use Instagram Stories and live videos, give out discounts, et cetera).
Next up, promote your Instagram presence on other social networks. If you’ve already built a following on another social network, introduce your Instagram page to those guys. Drop a link to your Instagram profile and encourage existing followers to check it out. Highlight some of the best Instagram posts on your other channels. If and when it makes sense, consider boosting these posts with paid advertising to increase reach and discoverability.
In addition, throw your Instagram accounts into free promotions—both online (link to your Instagram account on your website and add a link to your email signature and online newsletters) and offline (in product packaging, on business cards, or signage at an event or store).
Also, by using relevant hashtags on Instagram, your posts become discoverable to people who are searching for content related to your brand or industry. Hashtags can help upsurge your follower count in no time. But with +1 follower, you have won a real person over to your page. Keep on entertaining them and the numbers will jump.
Step 5: Listen and learn
Social listening is a great way to find conversations that are relevant to your brand. You get to monitor how customers share their experiences on social media. You get to identify and engage with influencer marketers and other influential users.
Besides the opportunity to develop a relationship with influencers (and grow your following), you should also keep an eye on relevant keywords, locations, hashtags, and trends. Adjust your strategy accordingly. To learn more about how to listen and engage on Instagram, watch this YouTube video.
As it turns out, getting your Instagram follower count to run on autopilot is very possible.
More importantly, you will be attracting those followers without following them back. (Yes, that sounds great.) Five steps were detailed in this post for the purpose of gaining Instagram followers without following them back, of which—if you take out time—will go a long way.
Thanks to the bonus nuggets (go over and find them in the post if you missed them), you get heads-up and insider tricks you could play around with when executing some of the steps. The operational words from the post—if it helps to laud—are geared towards being strategic and consistent. Cheers!