There has never been a better time to get more Instagram followers and likes.
Since being acquired by Facebook, Instagram has surpassed Twitter and Tumblr and now has over 700 million active users, with preferred access to Facebook’s 1.8 billion plus user base.
Instagram continues to grow and their growth doesn’t show any signs of stopping.
Instagram is a very active network.
By very active I mean to the tune of well over 95 million photos and videos shared per day.
Why Grow Your Following on Instagram?
Instagram in an incredible marketing tool for businesses and individuals looking to build their personal brand.
Study conducted by Forrester found that Instagram is delivering brands 58 times more engagement than Facebook and 120 times that of Twitter.
When Forrester researched seven social networks, six of them showed an engagement rate of less than 0.1%. For Instagram,that number was 4.21%.
Instagram is a vibrant social media site that you can use to build your brand in a serious way.
To make the most of Instagram and to get plenty of exposure for your brand on Instagram I recommend you apply the following powerful ways to Get More Instagram Followers and Likes.
Get More Instagram Followers and Likes With Hashtags
Hashtags are a huge part of Instagram and using them can enable you to get great engagement on your content even if you have only a few followers.
And if you use these tags within your photos, they are more likely to be discovered by other users.
Here are 10 of the top Instagram tags:
Want more? Here are the top 100 Instagram tags.
Get More Instagram Likes By Using More Hashtags
Instagram allows a maximum of 30 tags per picture.
For best results you should use the maximum amount for every picture.
TagsForLikes is a free service that you can use to quickly and easily get 30 popular tags for your pictures.
They have three lists of popular tags as well as lists of tags by topic.
Here are some of the topics they have tags for:
- Nature Tags
- Weather / Seasons Tags
- Animal Tags
- Social / People Tags
- Holidays / Celebrations Tags
- Family Tags
- Art / Photography Tags
- Urban Tags
- Food Tags
- And More
Another app that is free and awesome for finding relevant hashtags is called Hashtagify.
The way I do it is to keep a note with a few collections of 30 hashtags related to the topics I post about.
Here are the most common 30 tags I use: #success #amazing #best #bestoftheday #instagood #igdaily #inspiration #instacool #instafollow #instago #instagramers #igers #instamood #instalike #igdaily #instadaily #instagramhub #instalike #look #follow #like #motivation #picoftheday #photooftheday #statigram #smile #style #swag #tweegram #webstagram
Typically I will remove about five tags from the list above and replace them with five tags that are specific to the image I am posting.
Follow other Instagram Users
Reciprocity is a powerful network growing force.
One of the most effective ways to get more Instagram followers is by following other people first.
Cross Promote With Other Instagrammers
A strategy I commonly see used by people with massive Instagram followings is cross promotion.
Once you have a good sized Instagram following you can contact other Instagrammers and strike up a deal where you both post a picture of each other and recommend that your followers follow the other person.
To facilitate these deals send a direct message to the person you want to cross promote with.
This way both of you will pick up new followers and everyone wins.
Like Plenty of Other Photos
Often when you like someone’s photo they will notice this and follow you, even if you don’t follow them.
When using popular hashtags your photos are liked by people who have thousands of followers but follow only a few people.
My guess is that these people just like hundreds of photos at a time in hopes of people following them and liking their photos in return.
Tweet your Instagrams as native photos on Twitter
Networks like Twitter give preference and more real estate in the news feed to images that are uploaded directly to their network, rather than through their competitor Instagram.
To tap into this advantage you can use a tool called IFTTT (If this, then that) you can automatically Tweet your Instagrams as native photos on Twitter.
Using this feature Instagram photos will show up in your Twitter feed as a full image rather than a small link.
Strategically Post Your Instagrams account to Facebook
Although this tip is obvious taking this simple step can net you great results.
Sending photos to Facebook is a great way to connect your Facebook friends as Instagram followers and get likes for your photos on both Facebook and Instagram.
When you connect your Instagram account with Facebook this does not mean that every photo will automatically post to Facebook, you will have the option to send or not send your Instagram pictures to fb on a photo by photo basis.
An Excellent Instagram Tips Video
The video below is hands down the best Instagram video I have seen. Check it out for tips on being awesome on Instagram, which will undoubtedly lead to more followers and likes.
Keep Your Quality High
If you just post pictures of your food or your feet don’t expect to light up your Instagram with dozens of likes and new followers, no matter how many hashtags you use.
Don’t bleed the feed. Posting several pictures of the same thing at once will annoy your followers and cause people to unfollow you.
Try to make each photo unique and cool and space them out over time so that you don’t cause people to unfollow you.
If possible post on Instagram every single day.
So long as the quality is there you can post multiple times per day and get great results from it.
Types of Content to Post
There are 3 types of content you can post on your Instagram account.
- Original Content
- Customer Generated Content
- Re-post / Recycled Content
Quality original content and customer generated content of your products work best.
For reposting content there is an Instagram and iOS app you can use to simplify this process called repost for Instagram (Android & iOS).
In the beginning you are probably not going to have a lot of your own content so I suggest you re-post content from other accounts.
When you do re-post content it’s very important to tag them and mention their profile in post description.
A good process is to contact accounts you want to repost via Instagram Direct Message to make sure they are OK with it. Typically they are happy about it since it’s additional advertising for their profile/business.
In some cases when you do this they will re-post your content as well and this way you can both benefit from each others network
Watermark Your Images With Your Username
In the picture below you can see I use this strategy in the bottom right corner.
With a watermark on my images when someone screen shots and then shares on their profile I will still be able to pick up some followers.
The Android app I used to create the watermark below is called Add Watermark Free.
Apple has multiple watermark apps as well such as Watermark Photo.
Happy new year! If this is going to be the best year ever it's going to take better action than ever. . It's not just more action, it's smarter action. It's daily progress. Greatness takes time. . Life happens one day at a time. Focus on winning each and every day and you will thrive. . What does it mean to win the day? It means accomplishing five critical tasks that move you closer to your goals. . A daily list of five critical tasks is called a #powerlist and it is a truly powerful system for progress. Go follow @andyfrisella and listen to his podcast for more details. . I wish you the best of luck in 2018 and remember: The harder you work the luckier you get! 💪😃 . #power #action #happynewyear #success #amazing #bestoftheday #instagood #igdaily #inspiration #instacool #instafollow #instagramers #igers #instamood #instalike #instadaily #instagramhub #look #follow #like #motivation #picoftheday #photooftheday #smile #style #swag #webstagram
Side note: If I were posting this image again I would have posted the hashtags separately as a comment, rather than as part of the caption.
Get More Instagram Followers With Strategic Shout Outs (S4S)
A shout out is when two accounts promote each other with a post and/or story shout out.
This is known as a shout out or a share for a share (S4S).
To execute this strategy find an account in the same niche as you that has a similar number of followers and simply ask them if they would be interested in a shout out for shout out (S4S).
If they agree to a S4S promotion they are going to create a post on their account using your content and encourage their followers to follow you, and you will do the same for them.
The important thing here is that you have to contact an accounts with similar number of followers otherwise it will not work.
You can contact accounts through Instagram Direct or app called Kik.
Paid Shout Outs
Another great way to leverage other Instagram account are paid shout outs.
In this case you can contact accounts much bigger than yours since you are going to be paying for this service.
When you are looking for an account you have to make sure that good engagement levels, anything above 2-3% of likes per post per number of followers is considered that account has active community.
When you are doing paid shout outs the best strategy is to ask people to follow your account. This works much better than asking them to go to your website or sign up for email list. Keep it simple.
Encourage People to Tag a Friend
Andy Frisella uses this strategy often and it is likely a good part of the reason why he is sitting at nearly a million Instagram followers right now.
His Call to action in the image below is: 🔥TAG A FRIEND THAT NEEDS THIS MESSAGE TODAY🔥
Whats nicer? . Letting someone off the hook and allowing them to become a hunk of shit…or at the very best far less than what they could have been. . OR . Pushing, prodding, poking, sculpting, holding them accountable and demanding excellence of them so they develop the proper skills and habits to make something of themselves in this world. . In the answer lies one of the most misunderstood concepts I see in leadership. . This is the concept of "loving your people"….far too many people take this as "be nice" or "be gentle" or "be overly positive" with your people. . "Love", in a leadership context, isn't "being nice" or keeping your mouth shut and letting people "get by" without "bothering" them so they are friendly with you. . REAL LOVE is caring enough about someone to be relentless about teaching them the skills they need go thrive in LIFE, setting a high standard, holding them accountable, demanding their very best, pushing them to improve daily and giving them the tools & opportunity to build themselves the life they desire….sadly the world perceives this as "not nice" behavior. . It takes far less of an emotional & mental investment to be "nice" and let shit slide than it does to truly "love" someone and confront the repeatedly until they begin holding themselves to an appropriate standard. . Do you love your people? (Hold them accountable) . Do you love yourself? (Hold yourself accountable). . Or would you rather just "be nice". . Im not hard on you because I think youre weak. . Im hard on you cause I know youre strong. . 🔥TAG A FRIEND THAT NEEDS THIS MESSAGE TODAY🔥
Combine Images and Use Picture Frames
If you’re an iPhoneographer there are a few different apps you can use.
I paid a few bucks to get the iOS app PicFrame and really like the way it works.
Above is a picture I created using the PicFrame iPhone app.
There are apps available that enable you to combine videos and still images as well.
Pro Tips from Instagram Experts
Instagram Expert – Brian (@briandowd)
My friend Brian (@briandowd) has built up a highly successful Instagram following, and typically gets well over 100 likes on every picture he posts.
I asked him to share with me some of his best tips and here they are verbatim.
1. Focus on quality pics especially those that are of interest to a wide audience.
I tend to post what I like and am a bit eclectic to keep from making a boring stream. I also post a variety of different types of pics and use various edits.
2. Like others pics and comment.
It’s important to develop a positive “relationship” with other IGers. They tend to comment and like back and most often follow back. Be engaging.
3. Be selective with posting pics.
Someone who “over posts” can be quickly unfollowed as they flood the stream of pics in the viewer. I tend to post 2-3 pics a day and try to make interesting captions that can spark a conversation.
Instagram Expert – Paul (@mcquilz)
My friend Paul (@mcquilz) and I played hockey together growing up so I have watched his Instagram photo collection and following grow to become nothing short of epic.
Here’s a snap shot of his profile.
Paul’s average photo gets at least a few hundred likes and one of his pictures was re-posted by @instagood and hit the trending page of Instagram, netting over 16,094 likes.
Below is the awesome Instagram advice Paul shared with me for this blog post:
Instagram (IG) is a photography based social media app intended to highlight our daily activities using some form of photographic creativity.
Many users miss the creative mark and simply use Instagram as an extension to Facebook or Twitter; neglecting the difference that causes Instagram to do so well.
First rule for me, if it’s not something I would want to see in my feed, why would somebody else want to see it in theirs? If you don’t want to look at someone else’s Cheerios or sleeping cat, why would they want to look at yours?
Actually interact with your followers and those that you follow!
This is a social media platform! It’s intended use is social interaction. If you don’t like or comment on my photos, why would I like and comment on yours? (Exception, of course, to the inspirational photographic genius’ that we love to follow – so seriously, don’t be disappointed if you don’t get a “thank you” for your one word comment.)
Avoid spammy unspecific hashtags. Some hashtags, like “love” are the most tagged on the platform nearing 100 million tags! If you use that tag, it will become irrelevant in less than 3 minutes and the majority of people who use that hashtag will never see your picture. Instead use more specific, less spammy hashtags to get more likes, comments, followers and the occasional shout out!
Photo Editing: Some users never edit, others use too many edits, but maintaining a consistent style while achieving a creative aspect is the ultimate goal.
Picfx (iOS) is one of the top used iPhone apps and deservedly so! It offers hundreds of filters, lighting effects, frames and the ability to apply them all in a user selected ratio…it’s awesome!
With over 100 Effects, Textures and Frames Picfx is your go to square format photography app. Picfx has many different folders grouping certain effect types, these include: Urban, Classics, Vintage, Cross Process, Premixed, Black & White, Scratches, Light, Textures, Space, Grunge & Frames.
The next top 3, in my opinion, are:
They all offer a unique user experience, with various editing options. Having options for variety, increases your overall ability.
Picture Taking Apps: To implement a variety in my feed, other than the iPhone camera, I take my pictures using three different apps.
1) Photosynth (Free | iOS & Windows Phone), takes a 360 degree panoramic image that can create a vivid depth of field.
2) AvgCamPro ($.99 | iOS), takes a series of photos from 2-128 images and blends them together to normalize the result. Amazing, love this app.
Average Camera automatically takes multiple pictures (immediately or after a timer expires), calculates the average picture out of these and normalizes the result, to make the lightest pixel become white. It is useful for producing low-noise pictures in low-light situations. Because of the long exposure time, you should not hold your iPhone in your hands, but lean it against something to get sharp results.
3) SlowShutter ($.99 | iOS), the best app available to open your cameras exposure time to bring in light or movement.
Use a Call to Action
One of the best ways to get followers on Instagram is to use a strong call to action including your username.
For example: You should follow me on Instagram @Garin.
Add a Follow Badge to Your Site
Here is an example of an Instagram badge:
Feel free to use it to follow me @Garin. 🙂
Embed Your Photos
Instagram recently made it possible for you to embed photos into your website or blog. This gives you yet another way to promote your Instagram photos and profile.
To embed a photo simply click the photo, click the embed button, then copy the embed code into your site.
As you can see from the embedded image above this image includes a link back to my profile, and back to the original image location.
The Fastest Way to Get More Instagram Followers
The fastest way to get more Instagram followers is to buy them.
The most reputable service seems to be the Instagram marketing service InstaPro from Sprout Followers.
How do you get more Instagram followers and likes?
Let us know in the comments below.
Feel free to share your Instagram username so you can get some free promotion for your Instagram account!