So you have this brand new Instagram account and now you want to make 1K Instagram Followers fast as the first milestone toward your success.
No worries, this article will explain extensively some advanced tips to grow your audience and get your first 1K Instagram followers fast and easily, I will also share with you some techniques I learned along the way, that can be applied to those pro users wanting to increase the value of their Instagram account.
When I approached Instagram for the first time I thought… “Ok choose a pic, write a nice message and that’s it… I am gonna make it! “ Well, I discovered that, actually, there are way more aspects to take into consideration while posting and using the platform. Instagram marketing, in particular, is becoming a very broad topic… after years of use to promote clients accounts and personal use I feel I can write a book about it.
For now, I will share with you guys some MUST DO if you wanna make it on Instagram, but stay tuned because I will share way more contents in the upcoming weeks and make sure to opt-in at the end of the post, I prepared a very easy Instagram Like a Pro Cheat Sheet for you to grow your account.
You started an Instagram account with big hopes and a bunch of amazing photos but you are struggling when it comes to engaging your audience and grow your Instagram followers. No matter how much you try to engage, communicate, create new and interesting contents, your account simply is not growing.
Following you will find 17 tips & tricks that will help you in attracting real Instagram followers fast and prospective customers into your Instagram community.
I want to clarify since the very beginning a clear aspect that a lot of people are not able to understand. I am a marketer and I used to work with influencers and popular Instagram account holders. Numbers are important, but what makes the difference is the engagement. Think about this… will you prefer to work with an influencer with 80K followers that is receiving 100 likes per photo and 15 comments, or with a user who has maybe just 5K followers, receiving 600 likes per photo and 100 comments?
Now, you will say maybe… “I didn’t arrive at 1K yet, imagine if I care about these big numbers”. Well, what is different, is the approach. Numbers can help, but engagement is the real deal, so start to work on your engagement strategy and don’t let yourself involved with the frenzy of high numbers at all costs. The 1K Instagram Followers should be for you the first milestone to get if you are serious about using Instagram as a platform for your business.
Why is it so important? Getting your first 1.000 Instagram followers will show your potential audience that you are committed and worth clicking on the follow button … also what I experienced several times after you get your first 1K the engagement of your account will start to change:
- You will get always 5-30 comments per post (depending on your engagement strategy and activities)
- You will get more likes, usually 80-400 likes per post, which is a lot compared to the engagement you will get by posting the same contents on a Facebook Page.
- You will be perceived as an account worth your potential follower’s attention.
Here 17 tips you should follow to get your first 1K Instagram Followers fast:
# 1. Define your mission
What do you want to achieve with your Instagram account?
Create traffic to your blog? Inspire people? Get more customers? Become an Influencer? Build a community on a specific niche you are following?
If you are just trying it out nothing good will happen. Define your goal and strategy… the more is clear to you, the more it will be to your potential followers.
Which kind of people are you going to engage? Define your target audience. Seriously, if you don’t know where you are going why someone should follow you?
#2 Get an Instagram Business Account
This is one of the first, and really important steps, that I strongly recommend you should do immediately on my Instagram Like a Pro Cheat Sheet.
Connect your account with facebook and get ready to experience a new way of using your Instagram profile. How to turn your account into an Instagram business account? You can find all the details on this page.
With a business account, you can access advanced analytics that will help you to understand how your posts are performing, you can create an Instagram marketing campaign and having an advanced profile that will definitely stand out from the crowd.
The business account insights are really amazing, you can understand who is following you, from where, how engaging your posts are compared to some other posts you created in the past, you can see how many impressions (how many people saw your post) you got and how many people were effectively engaged. It’s not just something related to likes, comments and followers, it’s really much more. You can also get customized buttons such as a direct contact button, email and the address field. Might be very useful if you are a business owner.
#3 Pimp your profile
Normally people tend to underestimate the importance of a clear strategy when it comes to say who you are and what you want to achieve. If your audience knows where you are going probably they would like to follow… but if you don’t have a clear idea in mind of why you are posting and what are your objectives, your audience hasn’t for sure!
You have a very small space to show your brand and who you are, so make it count!
PROFILE PHOTO: Usually, brands should use the profile image to place their own logo and services as well. If you are an individual or in case you are the face of your business you should place a nice image of yourself! The human touch is always a good plus to be added to your web presence.
USERNAME: Here you can find two schools, some people use their own user names to be recognized fast but you can also use this space to describe what I do and why people should follow me. If you are a digital marketing expert write Digital Marketing Guru, if you are into sales ‘sell’ yourself as ‘Business artist’… be creative! Your username will stay with you, and no worries, your profile will be searchable from Instagram search engine, so use this space to stand out even more.
BIO: Most of the people are not using this space at all, or they are writing something absolutely nonsense… this space is for you to tell your potential followers why they should follow you, so it’s imperative that you work on the text and come out with a short sentence able to describe what you do and why your audience should engage with you.
If you are not sure your text will convert well simply create a test… publish a description on your bio, follow 50 users that are relevant to your business/field/niche, and see how many will start to follow you. Then change your profile description and repeat… the bio giving you more conversion (more followers) is the one you should use.
LINK FIELD or WEBSITE: Another very key aspect to consider if you want to be perceived as a professional is the link field. You can use this to convert your followers into customers, or provide value for them by sending them towards dedicated contents, to some other social channels you have to make sure to retain them, or you can place some special offers in this field.
If you use your link to promote the posts on your blog make sure to change it regularly and at the same time to delete ‘link in the bio’ in the past posts (you don’t want people to be confused), alternatively you can set up a landing page on your blog to welcome your readers coming from Instagram, presenting a feed with a selection of posts they might find interesting.
#4 Have a distinctive visual presence
Having a distinctive visual presence will definitely help you to stand out and get more Instagram followers fast. Everyone has their own feed of photos that will visualize the contents created by their followers. The more interesting your content is, the more it will stand out… also, your visual communication should be consistent. I tend to use always a set of color shades and in particular the yellow I used on the logo of So You Grow. But even if you are not a professional graphic designer you can help yourself enormously by using free apps and services that you can easily find online.
Find some suggestions on Insta like a Pro Cheat sheet that you can download for free here.
Remember, always, that you need to give people a reason to follow you. Instagram is a social network based on photos, so you don’t need just to provide amazing photos, but you need to have a distinct visual presence based on the color palette you use, the fonts you eventually use, the tone of voice used in your copy… in a word… you are selling your own unique style!
Instagram marketers usually tend to talk about the color tones of your Instagram feed. Many famous influencers tend to use always the same settings to process their photos and look consistent on their Instagram feed. Following some examples.
So what if we want to know which kind of Instagram feed can perform better on Instagram?
Here the results of a survey created by Curalate by considering more than 8 million Instagram photos:
- Images with high lightness generate 24% more likes than the dark ones.
- Images with blue as dominant color generate 24% more likes than images with red as a dominant color
- Images with a single dominant color generate 17% more likes than images with multiple colors
- Images with low saturation can generate 18% more likes than those with vibrant colors
Keep in mind that these are just trends and that trends are changing, but still, one thing is important to understand … if you communicate and share pics in your own unique style you will be more recognizable and you will have better chances to get more Instagram followers faster than someone who has a confused visual communication.
Check my Instagram account to understand what I mean, I always try to use the shiny fluo colors and dark backgrounds to make sure my contents will stand out on my followers feeds.
# 5. Work on your contents
Yes, you found it on 100 different websites, because it’s true… content is the king, content makes the difference!
Plan your content ahead (you can find thousand of ways to do this), schedule your posts in advance to make sure your feed is looking consistent, my favorite is Later.com. I usually plan a month ahead asking myself what I want to tell people and how my contents can help/inspire people to get more followers and convert those into readers of my blog. Planning in advance will help you not to find yourself unprepared once you will need to post a new content. To get results on Instagram you need to be consistent and provide contents able to ‘move’ people toward your profile.
Your content is not just your photo, the caption to your photo is equally important!
Try to create a caption that is easy and fast to read and it should look ‘clean’…
By clean, I mean it should not be full of hashtags or emoticons. Some people consider too many hashtags and emoticons as spam and therefore prefer to ignore or block users that abuse of those.
To boost your photos engagement you should add a call to action to invite your followers to do something. Ask them to leave a comment, or click the link on your bio, ask them to double tap on your photo (like)… here is a list with some of the best Instagram call to action.
- What is one word to describe (something)
- Double-tap if you like it
- Can you relate to…?
- Have you ever done this?
- Have you tried this?
- Have you ever been (location)?
# 6. Hashtag my way
First small trick when it comes to hashtags is to comment and like posts with the hashtag #firstpost. Search #firstpost by using your Instagram search tab and you will find tons of people that are probably posting their first photo. They just entered the social network and they have no followers or likes, therefore they will be more keen on following your account.
The 1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3 rule
The secret when you are posting your hashtags is choosing the best hashtags related to the topic you are going to post about, but this is not enough.
You have to choose hashtaghs with a different “weight”. I’ll explain… Not all the hashtags are used in the same way and are used by the same amount of people.
For example #picoftheday is one of the most used and abused hashtags (used by more than 1M users weekly). On the other hand #mypicfortoday has only 351 public posts, and #mypics has “only” 211.000 public posts.
- #picoftheday is a very popular hashtag
- #mypics is somehow in the middle
- #mypicfortoday is a not-so-popular hashtag
And this is exactly how you should use hashtags on your posts. Remember you have a limit of 30 hashtags per post on Instagram, therefore:
- 10 hashtags should be very popular
- 10 other should be average hashtags
- 10 other should be used by not more than 100.000 posts
By using this trick you will cover a large portion of your potential audience and your photo will be visible to more Instagram followers.
Pay attention when choosing your hashtags! There are more than 300 banned hashtags (check the video here). If you use one of them, even by mistake you can get an Instagram Shadowban (get more info on the shadowban on this post I wrote or watch this video.
# 7. Stop Overposting!
As I explained in this post on my Instagram account more posts are not necessarily converting into more followers.
First: if I am following you and I start to see only your posts on my feed I will certainly unfollow you (seriously, no one wants spam on their feed!)
Second: If you post too much you won’t have the time to promote your post by engaging with your community. Posting once a day is the limit I would suggest to everyone, a single, well-curated post with a nice caption, call to action, good choice of hashtags and some of your time dedicated to like and comment your audience posts are definitely the key to your success.
Don’t you believe me? Check this screen. I reached 1K Instagram followers with only 8 posts.
# 8. Choose the right moment to post
Generally, Instagram followers tend to be more active in the afternoon from 4 PM to 7 PM. But it’s not an absolute value, check your Instagram insights to discover when your audience tends to be more present on the platform: this is the best moment for you to publish your next post because it’s going to perform better (get more likes and comments).
# 9. Follow other accounts
I read that some people don’t like the famous FOLLOW/UNFOLLOW system, what’s this? Immoral? Wrong? I honestly don’t understand this…
As a marketer, I always focus on the goals, whether it’s a campaign or a digital plan execution I always try to achieve good results, and you should think the same way.
Think about real life, you can find people who seem to be very interesting at the beginning, and then, somehow, you feel like taking distance because they are not what you needed.
I think the FOLLOW/UNFOLLOW system is just another way to let people know you are out there and bring attention to your IG account, plus, let’s be serious the FOLLOW/UNFOLLOW system is still performing very well. If you are working well on your engagement strategy the follow/unfollow is going to bring you just more followers, not necessarily ruining your account.
I wanted to try this system for myself as an experiment. I created two accounts, posted the same 6 photos at the same time. On one I was using the follow/unfollow system, on the other no…
After a week the account where I did not apply this technique had 98 followers less than the other.
So how should you apply this system to your profile?
Yes there is a trick here too. The best way to get followers is to find a profile that has your same goals and it’s very similar to yours and follow who is following them (this is going to convert well because those people are already interested in what you are posting… it’s simple logic, and it works!). If you want to push it further you can follow the people commenting and liking their posts too, starting from the very last post… (if they are commenting and liking you will be sure they are active users and this is the pearl you have to find on the Instagram ocean if you want an engaged audience!).
Finished? No, you have to pay attention to not overcome the Instagram follow limits for your account. If you just activated your account (newbie) don’t overcome 300-350 follows per day and less than 100 per hour. If your profile it’s old (let’s say you opened 5-6 months ago) you can push it to 750-800 follow per day. If you go beyond the IG limits that are set to work for your account you can receive a block from the system and believe me, it’s not nice because you won’t be able to use your account functionalities for hours, sometimes days.
# 10. Engage in conversations
Instagram is a social network, so you need to interact with people to get results and to get Instagram followers fast, you need to focus on receiving likes and comments. Let’s say immediately, you can kind of ‘buy’ likes… but you cannot buy comments… and even more… you can’t buy a LIKE + COMMENT. The only way to get these is starting to work on an engagement strategy. Comment other people photo, like and follow users related to your market niche. If you are a travel blogger you will follow the hashtags #travel #mytravel #makemoneytotravel or similar, if you are a food lover you will follow #foodie, #foodporn and so on…
Meaningful comments are usually a good leverage to get a follow back, a like-back or a comment in return. Be authentic, genuine and share your human side.
Pro Tip: enter an engagement group following your specific niche to exchange likes, opinions, related to the topic that is better describing your Instagram account.
# 11. Apply this simple technique to maximise likes and comments
10 minutes before and 10 minutes after publishing a new photo make sure to engage with other users who are using your same hashtags.
How can you do this?
I’ll explain quickly with an example:
Let’s say that you are a travel blogger that took this amazing photo while traveling to Oman.
10 minutes before publishing you should have your post ready and you should have the full list of the hashtags you are going to use (for example #oman, #omantrip #travelblogger #ontheroad… and so on). Browse the first hashtag (let’s say #ontheroad), like and comment the latest contents that you find on #ontheroad hashtag page (to access the hashtag page you should just search the related hashtag on the Search Tab). After placing a like and a genuine comment for at least 10-20 photos, publish your photo. Then repeat, browse the images by hashtag, comment and like. You will see immediately some encouraging results.
# 12. Use videos and multiple images on the same post
Share an engaging video, tell a story by placing multiple images on a single post (tutorial here), create a boomerang (you need an additional app, tutorial here) there are several ways of expressing your thoughts and you should use them often to impress your potential followers. Instagram is offering several different ways to be creative, use them!
# 13. Geolocalize your photo
I wouldn’t say you should always geolocalize your photos, but it’s very useful in two situations:
- When you are traveling and you talk about a specific place
- When you want to engage people in a specific place/area/region.
In the first case, I honestly hate when I find an amazing photo and I cannot understand exactly where it is… I like to click on the location and fantasize about places very far from me, I think I am not the only one. I don’t like to scroll and look for the answers in the comments… sometimes also, some travelers don’t mention the location on the caption of their photos because they prefer to communicate feelings… but I truly believe the location can add a piece of information on your posts and I think this could represent another way to engage your followers.
In the second case… let’s say you are a restaurant and you want to publish the photo of an amazing new dish you added on your menu. If you geolocalize your post you will make sure people around the area will visualize the post, and also… you can appear on the popular page (in that area) maximising your engagement on a very specific target (people interested in that kind of food in your specific area).
# 14. Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is still very new, therefore they convert pretty well. There are several tactics that could very well help you grow your following and get Instagram followers fast:
- Choose a theme for your story. Seriously! The average story I see from some of my followers is… “scene 1: A dog named Fluffy…” …. “scene 2 a dish of nachos” … “scene 3 a girl talking ***t in her car!”… what have these scenes in common? NOTHING! Make sure your stories have a theme… your theme should not change constantly during the day.
- If you are traveling somewhere then your story should be:
STORY 1: me leaving
STORY 2: me traveling (maybe something funny happened on the road… tell that!)
STORY 3: me arriving
Think about this aspect. If you show a sequence of events that are connected you are telling a story… it means that if I am interested in the first part I will probably watch the second, and if I like the second I will watch the third… (more engagement). On the other side, if I watched the first part of your story and I didn’t find interesting… and the second part is showing a completely different scenario… and not particularly engaging… I will not keep on watching.
If you use Instagram Stories like this you will have more followers, and you will prevent people to unfollow you because you can’t understand how to use this powerful medium.
Another important aspect of Instagram Stories is using them to highlight some of your posts on Instagram or showing the ‘behind the scene life’ that normally cannot find space on your Instagram posts. So if you want to get Instagram followers fast, use Stories to your own advantage!
#15. A bit of automation never killed anyone.
I will leave here two, very easy, auto-like bot (a bot is an automated software that will like and follow users based on your indications…)
Try Instaswell, their free plan (breeze) give you 50 likes and 50 follow a day… not bad!e Everliker
You can also add Everliker as an extension to your chrome browser and get up to 700 likes on a specific hashtag you are following… for free!
I still think human touch can convert better, but let’s face it… there are days in which you are super busy and you want someone… or something to do this for you! : )
In the upcoming weeks, I will share some more other free services. Make sure to subscribe to my mailing list because I will share some super cool tools there exclusively.
#16. Test the results of your strategy
Adjust and refine your strategy periodically. Use your Instagram Insights to understand if your engagement strategy is performing. Every two weeks check what are the photos that are converting better users into followers. Monitor the engagement, try to understand which hashtags are converting more than others and what kind of users will be more keen on entering your community.
If you cannot switch to a business profile but you still want to see your analytics just use this free tool.
#17. Stay Up to date
The last of my tips is a simple one. If you are really passionate about using professionally Instagram and make your IG account an important part of your communication strategy make sure to read the latest posts on the topic and keep the app updated on your smartphone to use the latest features. Feel free to visit this blog often because I am going to publish more articles about this topic and I am working also on some exclusive contents.
Following you can subscribe and get the free bonus content!