How To – Gain More Instagram Followers!

Howdy ladies and gents! Wowie, well you guys all seemed to love my last post about how to get more reads/exposure for your stories so I thought seeing as I’m clearly on a roll, why not do a follow up post? Fyi, this is gonna be a hella long post so I’d get some snacks, beverages and get comfy if I were you. 

So if you’ve read the previous post (and I highly recommend you do for this to make sense) you would have seen that social media is key in order to boost exposure and reads of all your lovely stories. But don’t worry I hear the next question screaming out in your head; ”How do I get more followers on Instagram?!” Ahh that age old question (of our time anyway.) If anyone is hoping for a ‘quick/fast/instant’ way then I hate to be the one to break it to ya, but that ain’t gonna happen. Soz loves. No, once again, as with anything in life that’s worth having, you have to graft for it and spend a hella long time nurturing it.
Kay let’s dive into it, disclaimer some of the things might crossover a tad from the last post cos the same principles apply. So the aim of the game is to get as many people as possible to see you. Already off the bat, the easiest way for that to happen is for you to follow as many people as Instagram (or your choice of social media) will allow. It helps if you follow the target audience that you want to attract as this will increase your chances that they will follow you back and then from here you start growing a little pool of followers based around your business and then Instagram being the smart wee thing it is will start recommending relevant people for you to follow based on who you’ve already followed. I love it when a plan comes together! Again from here, look at who you’ve followed and then go follow their followers (oh ma dayz, how many times can I say follow in this post? I don’t advise turning this into a drinking game. Cos you’ll probably die.) 
Another super easy way to get people to see you is to comment on other people’s posts, and especially if it’s a very unique or memorable comment it will most likely get a lot of likes which in turn means it will go straight to the top of the comments when you click on the pic from it being up voted. Messaging people also helps too and not only does it get you seen but you can end up making some real connections/friendships with people who are halfway across the world! How wild is that?! 
Your own feed is another biggie when it comes to people following you. As shallow as this may sound, you need your grid/pictures to look as appealing as possible. We’re all like magpies, just wanting to be aesthetically pleased by pretty things. You might have heard of people talking about having a ‘theme.’ This just means that there is something similar, or a pattern that people could look at a picture without knowing who has posted it and be like ‘oh yeah, that’s blah blah.’ So for fitness bloggers, it’s mainly them in different fitness poses, or with Joe his theme is him with a book or notebook in various settings. Something that’s unique to you. Having a similar colour scheme can help too, even if the theme is bright multicolours, but have something that ties all your posts together into one beautiful, flowing looking collage. 
On the flip side of having a nice, professional looking feed you also want to be relatable and personable. People want to know that they’re following a ‘real’ person and not just a robot. I know, I know, I need to make up my mind. Think of your social media like a cake, you need all these specific ingredients to make it perfect. So, just as much as it will help to have a fit looking feed, people want to know you and be able to relate to you. The perfect tool for this is Insta stories. This way you let people into your life, show more of ‘you’, you can be your true self, show bts (behind the scenes, not the band unless if you know them personally,) you don’t have to worry about is this keeping in with any themes, so win win. You can even save these to your highlights so people can watch them at their pleasure. Another top tip when doing stories is to use hashtags and location. Obvs we all know we can find people/posts through hashtags but even using a location means that it can come up on the locations story that you’ve tagged! (example, I could tag Cardiff and then my story could appear on Cardiff’s story meaning that so many new people would see me!)
I won’t go too much into using hashtags because I do talk about this in the previous post but yeah using relevant hashtags will definitely get you seen but here’s a few tips I’ve picked up that I didn’t touch upon last time. Less is more. I fell into the trap that using as many hashtags as I could think of would benefit me but actually (according to Instagram themselves) the golden amount that will get you seen is around 3-5. Happy days. Another big tip is always use your hashtags in your caption, if you comment on your own post and put all your hashtags there then it will decrease the engagement. There’s a really good video by xThuyle (that I will leave linked) where she had a talk with Instagram herself and she goes into full detail about this hashtag business!
The more engagement you get on your posts, (so not just likes but comments) the more new people will start to see your posts so a really easy and simple way to boost engagement is to ask your followers a question in your caption. Super easy peasy. For example; ask them what stories they’re loving right now? What have they been up to? What did they have for lunch? Anything that’s going to get some conversation going, and if you reply back to these comments and like their comments you are building rapport with your followers, meaning you build a connection. Which grows a loving, loyal fanbase.

I haven’t heard anyone else talk about this in regards to Instagram, but from my experience of taking over Episode Life and starting a Instagram page for it, what I’ve found the biggest thing for gaining followers is asking what they would want to see. It seems super simple, but honestly when I started the page I went straight onto stories and asked what you guys wanted from this website and then I fulfilled your answers. So loads of you were saying you wanted to have story promotions that weren’t just for those with loads of reads which is where Top 5 Stories Under came from and that has seriously boosted both Instagram performance and this website. So just by asking what your audience wants and then giving it to them is one of the most powerful things. 

Posting regularly and consistently is key. Your followers want to know that they are gonna see posts often because if they follow you then they clearly want to see more of you/your posts. If you leave it months and months between posts you’ll lose people’s interest. So even if you can’t post every day, try and post a few times a week.

Most importantly, have fun with it! Yeah it’s a job but it’s also so creative and it’s YOURS! No one is governing what you do with your feed, you are the boss! So let your creative juices flow free and go wild!