How to Rapidly Grow Your Instagram Followers

increase instagram followersDo you feel your Instagram followers are growing too slowly?  Want to rapidly speed up this growth?

 

The importance of great imagery is constantly increasing, so it’s not surprising that Facebook bought Instagram for over $1 billion in 2012.  This purchase price is now looking cheap, given that Instagram has rapidly grown in size since then.

 

Here’s a graph of the growth over the last few years.  We can expect similar growth to continue for the next couple of years at least!

 

 

instagram growth

This shows the rapid growth of Instagram, particularly over the last 2 years (source Nitrogram)

 

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a mobile app for sharing photos and videos.  It’s primarily used for photos but, recently, video sharing was launched and videos of 3 seconds to 15 seconds in length can be shared.

For photos and videos, you can apply a range of filters to make your pictures stand out.  When you’re sharing content, you can also add commentary and it’s advisable to use hashtags to describe the content, as hashtags are extremely popular.

There are over 200 million users on Instagram and 57% of those access it daily.  The largest age group is 18 to 29 year olds, and the average Instagram user spends 257 minutes a month on the site.  For more Instagram stats, see this article from Jenns Trends.

How to Grow Your Instagram Followers

Here are five tips and tools to help you to grow your presence on Instagram.

1. Improve the Management of Your Account with Iconosquare

Iconosquare is a web-based management tool for Instagram.  It provides you with great analytics and also offers a faster way of interacting with a lot of Instagram shared content at the same time.

You can view your feed of Instagram photos and monitor and engage with any comments that come in.  If you get a lot of comments, this is a quicker way of interacting rather than using the mobile app.

 

Statigram - comment or favorite

Interact with any of the favorites

 

There are also good analytics options available, which help you analyze whether your Instagram activity is working or not.

 

Statigram Analytics

Useful analytics available for your account

 

There is also a contest part to Iconosquare, which is a paid-for platform.

Action: If you want to build your followers, you need to keep on top of your comments and also monitor your analytics to see what’s working and what’s not. Iconosquare helps with all these needs.

 

2. Use Mobile Apps to Dress up Your Imagery

On Instagram, you can apply filters to images to make them look better.  Plus, you can also create text-based imagery or add text to photographs, which helps them stand out a lot.

There is a neat little mobile app called Wordswag where you can add text to your imagery.

After a recent social media conference, Sue Zummerman (an Instagram expert) asked for some quotes from speakers and then shared them out through the following imagery:

 

wordswag

It’s easy to create these type of images with Wordswag

 

Action:  Consider apps that will help you create and modify imagery to capture your followers’ attention.  Set up apps such as Wordswag, which will help a lot.

 

3.  Repost content from your community

It’s not all about your own content.  It’s important to identify good content from your community and reshare it.  Instagram doesn’t provide an easy way of doing this, but the Repost app does!

The repost app automatically adds attribution so that you correctly reference the original person who shared the content.

Sharing good content from the community means that people will be more likely to share some of your content in return. It also means you will find more great quality content for your own community to enjoy.

 

Repost

You can see the attribution, which is added automatically

 

Action:  Reposting other people’s content is a good way of getting attention if you mention them when you share it.  Set up Repost to help with this.

 

4.  Learn From Your Competitors

Twtrland is an excellent analytics tool that allows you to analyze Instagram accounts.

You can search for a potential competitor/key influencer based on skill, location or name.  From the resulting list, pick out the relevant account and then select the tab to view their Instagram profile.

Here’s an example profile of Sue:

 

Twtrland Instagram profile

Here’s an example of the profile information returned

 

Here is what you can get from this:

  • Overall analytics—  How often is your competitor posting? What engagement are they getting, and from what type of posts?
  • Photos posted –  What are the most popular type of photos posted by your competitor?
  • Your competitor’s network— You can see who is interacting the most with your competitor, and these are good people to start following and interacting with.
  • View analytics—When you see someone of interest, you can click on their profile and view analytics based on their account. You can also follow them on Instagram.

Action:  Pick out your top competitors on Instagram and start analyzing their account to see what works/doesn’t work.  Test out some of what they are doing to see if it works for you.

 

5. Schedule Your Updates with Schedugram

It’s nice to do everything in real time, but it’s not always possible.  You probably have followers all around the world and you may not always be available to send updates at the appropriate time.

With Schedugram, you can schedule your updates on Instagram.  Schedugram also supports multiple accounts so you can schedule your updates across a few different accounts if you wish to.

Action:  It’s important to share some pictures in real time, but you can also supplement this with scheduled pictures/images.  Use a tool like Schedugram to set this up.

Summary

The most important factor in building your followers is to share great content that is relevant to your target audience.

If you want to build your presence more quickly, then consider some of the applications we have discussed in this post today.

What are your tips for building your Instagram presence?  What has worked for you?  Would you use any of the tips above?

 

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  • Jenny Brennan

    Hey, Ian! Great post. I have been using Instagram sporadically lately, but I can see how it helps with relationship building and sharing common interests etc.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Jenny!

  • http://www.thebusinessofathomebusiness.com/ Jane Gardner

    Ian, i totally forgot about Instagram – how could I? ! Anyway, just got a new account in Instagram; I live in Beautiful British Columbia so those pictures plus Wordswag -will be great! Almost as great as Ireland !

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Jane, yes almost :-) British Columbia with Wordswag on Instagram is a winning combination!

  • Justuno.com

    Don’t forget using “Social Incentives!” (You know, incentivizing a website visitor to become a follower in exchange for something…)

    I am a bit biased, admittedly, though.

    • http://www.antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

      Great addition Justjuno!

  • http://www.davedelaney.me/ Dave Delaney

    A great collection of ideas here, Ian. Nice work.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you my friend!

  • NenadSenic

    Hmm, do Instagram users like their photos to be reposted (like tweets being retweeted on Twitter)? Isn’t that a faux-pas?

    • http://amyvernon.net/ AmyVernon

      Instagram’s original community manager explained the reason there was no native repost option was that very point – you’re not supposed to repost. They very, very specifically chose not to include a repost option on Instagram.

      I think the Facebook acquisition changed things, but I still shy away from that.

      • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

        Thanks for the feedback Nenad and Amy!

      • lisa

        I thought it was against Instagram’s TOS to regram other people’s photos
        so I don’t use the regram app but rather ask users to email the photos
        to me so that I can post them on their behalf with credit (very time
        intensive) I really wish Instagram would change their TOS if this is not
        the case.

        • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

          Hi Lisa, I wasn’t aware of this but there are millions of reshares every day it’s just that a lot of people don’t reference who had the original image!! Ian

  • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

    Great post, Ian.

    All this makes me think that I really need to get on Instagram and start building a following. Definitely need to try some of these tips. I love Twtrland but Twitter is as much as I usually use it for.

    And I’ll have a legit reason to take pictures of my food then haha!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Ha ha! Thanks Adam, I agree about Twtrland, it’s a great tool! Ian

  • http://warrenwhitlock.com/social-media-expert Warren Whitlock

    As usual, you’ve found some tools I wasn’t using and featured the best I do know about. You rock!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      So do you Warren!

  • http://www.antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    Mate, you have showed me a new tool I didn’t know about – Iconosquare. It looks really interesting, thanks for the tip.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      You’re welcome!

  • Mason Isabella

    The importance of Social Media Blogs can not ignored any way.

  • http://www.squirrly.co/ Alexandra Petean-Nicola

    Using other apps to create attractive images is quite important when trying to reach a higher number of followers.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Alexandra.

  • http://launchingcreative.com/ Nik Parks

    Whoa! Mind blown!! Never heard of iconosquare before–this is an amazing tool. Thanks for sharing, Ian :)

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks for the great feedback Nik!

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  • http://msileanespeaks.com/ Ileane

    Hey Ian, I’m a big fan of Instagram and I learned a lot from Sue as well. Her Creativelive course is awesome!

    Thanks for this.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Ileane, I love Sue!