One could argue that Instagram is a social media network like no other. Instead of words, the platform is built almost entirely around sharing images and videos. This visual twist is why Instagram is the cultural powerhouse it is today — “Instagramming” is officially a verb now.
With over a billion registered accounts, Instagram, which was bought by Facebook in 2012, has become a part of daily life. It seems like everyone is on Instagram nowadays, from small businesses to big ones, news organizations to cultural institutions, celebrities, photographers, and musicians, and not to mention the cottage industry of influencers that have come in its wake.
It also doesn’t hurt that we all love rooting for a well-captured selfie.
If you’ve found yourself out of the Instagram loop, then read on. We’ll give you a crash course on how Instagram works, how to get started, and eventually, how to get gram like a pro.
To help you get started, let’s walk through some of the most basic things you can do with your Instagram account.
Downloading Instagram and creating an account
To start using Instagram, you’ll need to download the app and sign up for an account. It’s available for free on iOS, Android, and Windows devices. While there isn’t an app fully optimized for iPads, you can still enjoy the full IG experience on your iPad by changing your App Store settings to find the app.
Upon opening the app for the first time, you’ll be prompted to create a new account, or log in with your Facebook account. If you choose to make a new account, the process is straightforward: You’ll be asked for your phone number or email address, full name, desired username, and password.
Once you create an account, it’s worth noting that you can create and switch between multiple Instagram accounts without logging out — a very useful feature if you wish to, say, run separate accounts for personal and professional use.
Even though Instagram is designed primarily for smartphones, the desktop experience — once very limited — has steadily improved over the years. Today, you can get on Instagram from your computer and use a web browser to edit your profile, view your feed, like and comment on posts, and send and receive direct messages.
The only thing you can’t do on your computer? Post photos and videos. Not officially, anyway. If you’re wondering how to post photos and videos from your computer, there’s a workaround in your browser settings.
1. Optimize your Instagram bio for new followers
Your Instagram bio might not seem like much of a big deal.
But consider that it’s often the first piece of your profile that any potential follower will see.
And so you need to make it count! Below are some elements of an Instagram bio that attracts followers:
- A sleek, clear profile image
- A call-to-action (think: a #hashtag to share, a link in bio, contact info)
- a language that feels like it was written by a real person (not a robot)
Think of your bio as the “homepage” to your account: it should immediately tell your audience that this is your brand’s actual, authentic account (whether you’re verified on IG or not).
Back up your brand identity with a recognizable logo and engaging copy that fits your brand voice. Emojis can help break up bio text or even be used as an appealing alternative to bullet points, but just be sure you don’t overdo it for those in your audience using screen readers.
See how that works? In short, don’t let your bio go to waste.
2. Promote your Instagram presence beyond Instagram
Getting more or buy Instagram followers PayPal means promoting outside of the platform itself.
Let’s say your Instagram presence is lacking, but you do have a decent amount of email subscribers, web traffic or a following on another network.
If so, you need to leverage your followers elsewhere and find ways to funnel them to Instagram.
For example, many businesses feature their Instagram accounts on-site either through share buttons or live feeds (see Casper’s below).
The same logic applies to your email subscribers. For example, check out how Whittard promotes their Instagram contest…
…and then cross-promotes it to their email list.
Heck, cross-promoting your Instagram to followers on Twitter or Facebook is also fair game.
The takeaway? If someone follows or subscribes to you elsewhere, they should be happy to follow you on Instagram.
3. Make a point to publish Stories and new content formats
Instagram is and has regularly been rolling out new features, and marketers should make a point to follow the platform’s up-and-coming formats.
For example, Stories started as a sort of competitor to Snapchat. Now they’re arguably the platform’s most popular feature.
The benefits of frequently publishing stories are two-fold. Not only do you “skip the line” of your followers feeds by showing up on their homepage every time you post a new Story, but you also remind them that you’re regularly creating content.
Conventional wisdom tells us that pretty much any social algorithm will favor accounts that experiment with content and post regularly.
That’s also why features as IGTV and the new Instagram Reels should also be on your radar. Keep an eye on the official Instagram business blog for more features you may not be aware of yet.
4. Couple your posts with community and brand-specific hashtags
Fact: posts with hashtags on Instagram receive more comments and “Likes” than those without them.
Whether it’s a brand-specific or community hashtags, coupling your posts with #tags ensures more visibility for new followers.
Including a handful of tags on any given post, particularly in the first comment, is a smart move and something we see often from brands.
Additionally, having a dedicated hashtag for your account or brand in your bio can help encourage more shares from your fans and followers. Think of hashtags are creating a sort of snowball effect.
If you’re stumped on which hashtags to use (or how many of ’em), this is yet again where Sprout Social can help. For example, hashtags analytics within our platform break down top-performing tags and insights to help optimize your strategy.
5. Experiment with different types of content
“Create good content” isn’t particularly helpful advice when you’re stumped on how to get more followers on Instagram.
A more proactive alternative would be to post a variety of content. Although photos are obviously Instagram’s bread and butter, don’t neglect the other types of posts including videos (particularly live video), GIFs or user-generated content.
When in doubt, be willing to experiment to figure out what’s working and isn’t working to move the needle on your follower count.
And hey, that leads us to our last point.
6. Use analytics to recreate your top-performing posts
Figuring out what your target audience wants doesn’t have to be a guessing game.
With Instagram management tools like Sprout, you can identify your top-performing content in a matter of seconds.
After all, no two audiences are the same. Maybe your followers can’t get enough videos. Perhaps they’re obsessed with programs and community posts. Either way, Sprout can clue you in and encourage you to recreate your best content.
And with that, we wrap up our guide!
What are you doing to get more Instagram followers?
Getting more followers on Instagram doesn’t happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
I hope you enjoyed the article of airra.