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More Followers on Instagram: How to Break the 1,000 Follower Mark

As you most likely already know, individuals and businesses can use Instagram to increase the reach of their brand. Companies in particular can give their brand a human touch, recruit future employees, present their products and corporate culture, take care of customers and find new business opportunities.

But there's a catch: unless you happen to be famous, it's very difficult to get a big one Amount of followers on Instagram to win.

For the average person or company, building their own follower community takes a lot of time and care every day.

Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks that you or your company can use to get 1,000 followers on Instagram in no time. The most important thing is to invest time and effort properly - we will show you how to do this in this post.

Let's see how to the first 1,000 Instagram followers wins, creates a profile worth following, uses competitions to his advantage and always remains true to his own brand.

Wait ... what speaks against buying Instagram followers?

Perhaps you are thinking to yourself: Couldn't you just get the ball rolling by pulling out your credit card and buying a few followers?

Well, bought followers are either of poor quality or fake profiles - so apart from artificially increasing the number of followers, they serve no purpose at all. You shouldn't expect meaningful interactions with these followers.

This is how you gain your first (real) 1,000 followers on Instagram

It depends on the real followers that you work out for yourself. Because they like your photos, they click on the links in your profile, find out more about you and your company, share your pictures and maybe do business with you in the future. In this post, we'll show you how to get such followers.

1) Create and optimize your Instagram profile.

First things first, set up your Instagram profile so that it not only looks good, but also shows followers who you are. Give them a good reason to follow you.

How it works? First of all, your username should be recognizable and easy to find - use e.g. B. the name of your company. If your company name is already in use, try to include the company name in the first part of your username. This makes your profile easier to find when people search for your company. For example, Australian sportswear company Lorna Jane uses the username @lornajaneactive.

(Note:Make sure you enter your full company name in the options under the “Name” section - tap the gear icon on iOS devices or the three dots on Android devices). The full name will then appear under your profile picture and user name when searching.

Next, make sure your profile is public. To do this, open Instagram, navigate to "Options" and deactivate "Private Profile".

Next, choose a profile picture that matches your profiles on other social networks, such as: B. Your company logo.

Then complete your profile with positive, interesting, and insightful information about your brand. This is how you give users a positive first impression and give them a reason to follow you. Mention who you are and what you do, and don't forget to personalize it. Here are some examples for inspiration:

  • @WeWork: "WeWork gives you the resources, support and services you need to improve not only your livelihood, but your life as well."
  • @Oreo: "OREO Wonderfilled lets you see the world with different eyes."
  • @CalifiaFarms: “We ensure a delicious, plant-based future - with beverages that have been brewed with love. Califia Farms appreciates you. "
  • @Staples: "Achieve more with Staples #MakeMoreHappen"

The next step is to add a link to your profile so that users can easily access your website via Instagram if they need to. The field dedicated to URLs is the only place you can add a clickable link - so it needs to be chosen carefully.

Lastly, turn on notifications so you don't miss out when people share or comment on your photos. This also allows you to interact faster with your followers - which, by the way, many companies are already doing on Twitter. To activate notifications, go to "Options" and then to "Push notification settings". Select “From All” for each category.

One more piece of advice: we recommend that you use your Instagram account Not Connect to Twitter and Facebook to automatically publish Instagram posts there. This could cause problems as the types of posts are different.

2) Hire an employee to create content.

It just should one to two People are responsible for your Instagram account. The same goes for all of your other social media accounts. If possible, hire an employee who already has a private Instagram profile and is therefore familiar with the platform - this employee should definitely be familiar with all the useful functions Instagram has to offer.

If you work for a large company, a lot of people may want to have a say in what you post. In this case, it may be beneficial to set guidelines or create a guide for requesting contributions. This allows you to explain to your employees how, when, and why they can propose a contribution, and determine what types of contributions are encouraged.

3) Brush up on your photography and editing skills.

On Instagram, the quality of the post is important. Very important.Your Twitter followers may forgive you for a few bad tweets, but a bad photo on Instagram is a no-no. Don't worry, you don't have to take a photography class to post good posts on Instagram - and you don't have to spend weeks practicing to do so. You should only familiarize yourself with the basics of photography and photo editing apps.

Knowledge of photography

Since Instagram is a mobile app, you will likely take many of your Instagram photos with your mobile device. Not only is this okay, it is expected. Even if some brands take professional photos for their Instagram accounts, the majority use smartphones - and that's exactly what Instagram is intended for.

The most important points are:

  • Focus on just one subject.
  • Use negative space.
  • Find interesting prospects.
  • Look for symmetry.
  • Capture small details.
  • Make your followers laugh.

Photo editing skills

There are only a few basic editing features on Instagram itself. These are often not enough to really get the best out of a photo. You should edit the majority of your photos with at least one or two other apps on your smartphone first before opening them on Instagram for the first time.

4) Start posting on Instagram regularly.

All right! Now that you've created and tweaked your profile, hired someone to manage it, and know a thing or two about mobile photography and photo editing, it's time to start posting.

It's a good idea to have a certain number of good posts - maybe around 15 - on your profile before you start interacting with people and work through this list. When users visit your profile, they see not just a few isolated photos, but an entire screen full of photos. So they know that they can expect great contributions here on a regular basis.

Before you start posting on Instagram, download this social media content planning template and plan your posts ahead of time. Over time, you should build up a certain supply of photos to refer to in times of need, e.g. B. on the weekend or on vacation.

When planning your posts, you should always keep your audience in mind, especially when it comes to the timing and frequency of your posts - for example, if your audience is in a different time zone.

Since Instagram is primarily a mobile app, it is used by many users around the clock - with many people being more active before and after work than during the workday. Some companies have successfully posted posts at 2:00 a.m., 5:00 p.m., and Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. Feel free to try these times to see if they suit your target audience.

5) Gather valuable content.

Even if, ideally, only one or two people manage your account, these two people cannot be everywhere at the same time or take photos at all times. For example, what about the great evening the engineers spent in the sushi restaurant? Or the event where your sales manager gave a speech last week? There is a whole range of content that you can post on Instagram. One person is usually not enough to keep track of everything.

The solution? Create a system that allows you to collect photos and content from members of your team. There are several possibilities for that. One of them is a special email address that your coworkers can send photos, short videos, memes, time-lapse recordings, and more to.

It is also easier to sort this content if the respective senders give their emails a clear subject. This might not be the smartest way to collect photos, but it's the easiest for the people who send you photos - and the easier it is to send content, the more content you'll get.

If your team has a shared Box or Dropbox account, you can also create a folder where members can automatically save photos and videos. To do this, the people who send you content have to take a few more steps, and they may not all have this app on their smartphone.

6) Write great captions that will be loved to share.

Probably the most important part of your posts on Instagram is photos and videos. But your captions also play an important role. They are an integral part of your contribution - the cherry on the icing, so to speak. Consistently great captions can work wonders: They give your brand a human touch, get you more followers, your content is shared more often - and you get more attention.

My colleague Ryan Bonnici once told me that he thinks Frank Bod's Instagram account is so great because of the captions: “The funny captions are simply addicting.” The caption for a photo of a gold chain on the @frank_bod account reads: “ Baby, I can't give you jewelry, but at least I can give you the most beautiful cleavage to wear. #letsbefrank. "

That sounds individual and personal, and the cheeky hashtag #letsbefrank has now become the figurehead of such posts. Frank Bod fans use the hashtag to post photos of themselves with the brand's products - a great way to interact and identify with the brand.

To get your photos shared more often and to motivate your followers to interact, you can also ask questions in your captions or add some kind of call-to-action to them. For example, you could write: "Tap twice if you think that's funny" or "Share your own story in the comments". In the example below, we posted a picture of a latte on our @Hubspot account and asked our followers to tag the colleague with whom they would most like to drink coffee.

7) Use relevant hashtags to attract more followers.

Let's take a quick look at hashtags. Hashtags on Instagram combine posts from different users who are not already connected into a single stream. If you use relevant hashtags, your posts will be seen by a wider audience, not just people who already follow you and know your brand.

Hashtags are most effective when they are used as purposefully and sparingly as possible. Try not to use more than three hashtags per post. Do not use “a like in return for a like” hashtags like # like4like or # like4likes. It's a cheap strategy that will only get you poor quality followers anyway.

Research which hashtags are used in your niche or industry to find out which hashtags are used to appeal to your target audience. The best way to do this is to use the search field in the Instagram app itself (the magnifying glass symbol). When you search for a hashtag, you'll be presented with a list of related hashtags at the top of your screen. For example, when I search for #inboundmarketing, I see relevant hashtags like #digitalmarketing, #internetmarketing, and so on.

To meet your followers on a more personal level, you can take advantage of hashtag trends that are trending right now. These include #tbt ("Throwback Thursday"), #MotivationMonday, #TransformationTuesday and so on. For example, the hashtag #MotivationMonday was used for this post on the @ HubSpot account:

After you've reached a certain number of followers, you can try creating your own hashtags - for example, with the name of your company or a slogan that fits most of your photos. In this way you can expand your brand on the platform and make your presence more closed.

8) Interact with other users and your followers on Instagram.

Instagram is a community that you should definitely get involved with. Find people posting interesting photos, follow their accounts, and interact with their content. In this way, you will naturally draw attention to your own profile, make yourself popular with the community and be inspired by the content of others.

This gives you two advantages: First, when they see you did the same thing, people may look at your profile and follow you. (This is why it's important to have good posts on your profile before interacting with others.) Second, the latest posts from people you follow appear on your newsfeed for you to like or comment on.

As you make a name for yourself on Instagram, show appreciation to your followers by replying to their comments, following them, and interacting with their posts.

9) Use cross-promotion with other users who have a similar target audience as yourself.

Once you've established a good relationship with the people behind the accounts who have a similar audience to you, there is an opportunity to support each other through mutual promotion. Try to make the cross-promotion content - especially captions - as natural as possible. It shouldn't be spam! Also, be selective: you don't have to support everyone!

The following example shows how the food blogger @sprinklesforbreakfast and the photographer @graymalin advertised each other on their accounts at about the same time:

10) Run competitions on Instagram.

You can also use competitions to increase your reach and the rate of interaction with your photos. Post a photo promoting a contest and encourage people to follow your account and like or comment on a photo to enter.

You can also add a UGC (User-Generated Content) element to the competition. People have to post a photo themselves with a certain hashtag, and of course follow your account. This example shows a post from real estate company Next Step Reality promoting a UGC competition on the company's Instagram account. (Bonus: it's also an example of co-marketing with Uber!)

11) Make your profile easy to find and easy to follow.

Place a "Follow" button on your home page, your "About Us" page, and elsewhere on your website. Here you can create a "badge" that is linked to your Instagram account. Make sure you are signed in to the correct account when you create this. This is what one of the badge options looks like:

If your brand has actual, non-virtual locations, you can also get followers by handing out good ol 'flyers, letting people know that you have an Instagram account that way.

You should of course also advertise your Instagram account on your other social media accounts. Chances are, people who already follow you on Facebook and Twitter will follow you on Instagram too. Let these followers know that you are also active on Instagram and add a link to your Instagram profile on your profiles and posts on other social media accounts so that they can easily follow you.

So give it a try: create a profile and start posting, experimenting, and promoting your account. You can't build a follower base on Instagram overnight. But the better your Instagram account is received by your target group, the higher the quality of your followers.

Originally published May 11, 2016, updated May 14, 2020