We started our Instagram account (@travelinstiles) 1.5 years into our travels, as a fun project. It was simply a way to share some of our adventures with our friends and family back home. Yes, photography has long been a hobby of ours, but we had no idea our Instagram would blow up. We started off with just the people we know following us. Now, we have more than 104,000 followers. And no, we have not paid for, and we will never pay for a single follower. Let us help you boost your Instagram followers.
Here are our 10 tips to get more Instagram followers…for free!
1. Post Great Pics
Duh! Ok, I guess what we really mean is build a great gallery. If someone stumbles across your account and only sees one photo they like, they might double-tap it, but they’re not going to start following you. Now, when they see a bunch of photos they like, they’re much more likely to become a follower. Building a strong gallery means great pictures and a clear theme. @travelinstiles is a gallery of travel pictures, and our followers know what they can expect.
2. Be Picky About Your Photos
Posting good quality photos should be a given, but unfortunately it’s not. People post out of focus, poorly framed, wrongly saturated, and poorly exposed photos all the time. Be picky about what you post in your Instagram gallery. If the photo isn’t good, find a different, better photo to post…no matter how much you wish the photo was good.
3. Don’t Go Overboard
Don’t be selfish! Nobody wants their feeds filled with your photos. Edit yourself. You might have 20 awesome photos from your trip to Angkor Wat, but that doesn’t mean you need to post all of them. Viewers will stop caring, stop paying attention, and maybe even unfollow if you flood their feeds…especially if all the pics are similar. Pick your absolute favorite or just a couple favorites so people can enjoy your photos in moderation.
4. Be Consistent
Post every day or so. Get your followers to look forward to seeing what your next post will be. But remember, don’t over inundate their feeds. You’re not the only account they’re following, So, limit how many posts you have a day. We’re pretty good about posting 1 photo every day (#365travelpics – created by yours truly, enjoyed by all).
5. Be Informative
Who doesn’t want instant gratification? That’s want Instagram is all about – INSTANT! If you see a picture that you like, you want to know more about it. What is it? Where is it? If you give them this information, their viewing of your picture is instantly a more pleasurable experience. People want to know more about your picture. Give them what they want, and you will get more Instagram followers.
6. Use Hashtags
How else are people going to find your pictures? Think of hashtags as homing devices for your photos that give strangers a chance to find them. Use hashtags that describe your image and that you think other people might be searching. Some big accounts provide hashtags you can use to potentially have that account feature your image. As long as their account makes sense for your picture, give it a shot! Getting featured by a popular account could drive a lot of traffic your way.
7. Add Your Location
Why not give your photo another chance at being found? Geotagging helps your photo be more searchable, as well as more informative. Remember, people want to know as much about your photo as possible. According to socialsprout.com adding a location results in a 79% higher engagement rate. Get more engagement – get more Instagram followers.
8. Play by the Rules
Sure, plenty of my pictures look better as a vertical or horizontal, but that’s not how Instagram was intended. Instagram purposely designed their app for phones. The square photo is so you never have to rotate your phone. The square photos that are now iconically synonymous with Instagram, are for a purpose. If you play by the rules, your gallery will look like a finely tiled mosaic, void of any weird gaps. And remember, the prettier the gallery, the bigger the following.
9. Use the Search Function
Search for specific locations, hashtags, or accounts, or just scroll through what Instagram thinks you would like. People like photos they can relate to. So, if I post a photo of a monkey, I might search #monkey. As I’m scrolling, I like the ones that appeal to me. Then, the people whose monkey photos I just liked click on my account, see a super relevant picture, and suddenly they’re intrigued. Maybe they just like my monkey photo, but they often start following me. Using the search option helps you connect with your target audience…or better yet, helps your target audience find you.
10. Be Active
Posting photos is the most obvious way to be active on Instagram, but in order to build your followers, you need to be active in all aspects. This means liking and commenting on other people’s photos, thanking people when they leave nice comments on your photos, and answering any questions asked of you. So, be more active – get more Instagram followers. It’s that simple!
What are your favorite Instagram accounts? Why? Do you follow big accounts or accounts with content you enjoy? Let us know in the comments below.