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The Instagram Era: How to Become an Influencer by Increasing Followers and Engagement

It’s no secret to anyone with an internet connection that Instagram is steadily overtaking Facebook as the image conjured in your brain the minute someone mentions “social media”. As of 2018, Instagram had over 1 billion active monthly users, an incredible feat for a company started in 2010.

Even with so many active users, did you know that to be considered an influencer, you only need between 1,000-10,000 followers? It’s a hard bar to clear, but certainly easier than trying to surpass the follower counts of any Kardashian or Fitness guru.

So if you’re looking to make your mark on the digital world, Instagram is the perfect place to showcase your abilities. In this article, we’ll talk about how to increase Instagram followers without an app, social media engagement strategies, and where you can find some inspiration to make all of this possible.

Increasing Your Followers

At its core, the easiest answer to the question of how to increase your followers on Instagram is: make content people want! You don’t have to have the most gorgeous pictures or live in the most interesting place, but you do have to know the kinds of images people want to see. Think about your audience: what will they be most likely to notice? Take a look at these methods on how to do just that.

1. Pick a Theme

Having a brand doesn’t have to mean an actual physical product you are trying to sell. Your “brand” is what you want your account to be. What kind of content you want to curate is completely up to you. Is it for a hobby? Is it for a cause you’re passionate about? Is it for your dog?

Make sure you’ve got a solid idea in mind for the kind of account you want to have so that anyone who looks at your profile can know instantly what you’re going for. It gives your account a professional feeling that many Instagram users enjoy.

2. Look to Influencers for Inspiration

Thinking about the power certain influencers have on Instagram and comparing it to yourself in the beginning stages of your page creation can be overwhelming. But instead of shying away from those influencers, use their success to your advantage!

After deciding your niche, make a point to discover other influencers who create similar content. If you need some help finding them, consult an Instagram influencer database like The Influencer Times.

Ask yourself what they did that you liked or was successful, and how you might do it differently. Or better yet, what they did that you want to do as well! There’s no need to reinvent the wheel of generating an audience on social media. Do what works, and especially do it in a way that works for you!

3. Curation is King

As you get ready to launch your first few posts, think of what your actual profile will look like on a potential follower’s screen. Having 9 posts in the early stages is a great idea because it fits perfectly into Instagram’s grid while showing people you’re serious about making consistent content. If you need some help organizing, you can check out Later to help you schedule your posts for free.

And of course, don’t be afraid to go back and delete posts that no longer relate to your overall genre or topic. Your Instagram is your art gallery. Would you put abstract art next to a classic Baroque painting? (Depending on your schtick, you actually might!)

4. What’s in a Hashtag?

Having your own unique hashtag helps potential followers find plenty of your posts fast, but that doesn’t mean generalized hashtags are the enemy. If you’re looking for how to increase followers on your Instagram, start with making your posts more visible to anyone who searches a common hashtag.

Social media engagement starts with getting your content in front of people. If you’re worried about using too many hashtags, an easy way to make your posts easier on the eyes is leave a few lines in between your caption and your hashtags so the only way they become visible is by clicking the “more” option.

Increasing Your Social Media Engagements

So now you’ve got your followers! Time to pick some social media engagement tools to keep them around. The social media engagement definition, for those curious, is any time someone interacts with your post (liking, sharing, etc.). So it’s not just enough to be in someone’s Instagram Explore page, but how do you get them to want to react to your content?

By picking Instagram as your platform, you’ve already done yourself a favor since as of 2019, Instagram is the second most engaged network after Facebook. So let’s go over some tips and tricks to make those social media engagement posts.

1. Picture Quality

This might be a given, but make sure your pictures look as good as possible. Whether it’s through an interesting angle or deft editing, make sure your posts are eye-catching. If you’d like to keep a theme, consider using a single filter on all your posts. It’s completely possible to do this just in the Instagram app, but if you want some extra help with editing your photos you can check out the free app Snapseed for just that.

2. Cross-Posting? No! Cross-Promoting!

Just because your hilarious tweet gained a lot of traction doesn’t mean it will do the same on Instagram. Having multiple social media accounts might seem like a no-brainer when it comes to reaching the maximum amount of people, but how you post is just as important as what you post. Instead of copy-pasting into Insta, Facebook, Twitter, etc, take the time to edit your posts to maximize the unique abilities for each site.

Take advantage of trends on Instagram (photo challenges, going live, etc) that aren’t available on platforms like Twitter, and use Twitter formats (topical memes, trending hashtags with engaging quips) that don’t work as well on Instagram. And make sure to link to your other social media accounts on your profile pages!

3. Any Questions?

Your followers love your posts so it’s safe to say they’ll want to interact with you, too. Using Instagram Stories, pose a poll to your followers to increase social media engagement with your page. Ask them questions about what posts they’d like to see. One of the reasons many users cite as why they enjoy social media is that they get to interact with so many people. So let them interact with not just your content, but you directly!

A great way for your followers to reach out to you might be to set up an account on Callmart. Maybe your followers have questions about your page topic, or want to ask for your advice about how they too can start an enticing Instagram page. You set the schedule, the price, and the amount of time you’d like to spend offering your expertise. And the best part? You’ll get paid to do it!

Offer your followers special prices or special times to connect with you. It’ll make them feel special and connected to you in a completely unique way that they won’t have with other accounts. Make yourself stand out!

4. Timing

An effective social media engagement strategy is to consider no only what your audience thinks or likes, but what time they’re most likely to be awake. Even though Instagram changed its algorithm for individual feeds to be curated based on relevance rather than chronological order, the feed itself still favors showing users posts that are relevant as well as “recent”.

5. Instagram Engagement Groups

Of all the methods listed, this is probably the most difficult. Instagram engagement groups are large chats within Instagram or sometimes on other chat clients like Telegram in which people band together to interact with each other’s posts. Anyone looking for social media engagement tools might find one of these groups to be the most essential asset to increasing relevance for the Instagram algorithm.

The catch is that to join one of these engagement groups, you have to be invited. We recommend reaching out to smaller accounts with a few thousand followers and asking them if they are part of one of those groups. Then ask them if they can add you as well. It is of course possible to amass followers without engagement groups, but for those lucky few, enjoy all the extra interactions with your posts to help build your organic follower count!

In Conclusion…

Did you find new ways for how to increase your Instagram followers and likes? Gathering information and researching strategies is a great first step to creating the influencer Instagram you want. Once you’ve got enough people following you, why not turn your pet project into some extra money? If you’re wondering how to make money on Instagram, check out this article: The 2019 Edition on How to Make Money on Instagram.

Your best bet in figuring out an Instagram strategy that works for you is by looking to accounts that have already found one. Take a look at their posts, follow some of their followers, and start engaging with them to build your own follower count.

The quickest and easiest way to discover those powerful accounts is to use an Instagram influencer finder like The Influencer Times. It categorizes influencers by profession, gives each person a brief description, and even applies a special Japanese kanji encapsulate their brand impression on their audience.

We hope you enjoyed this article! For similar articles, or just some more fun reads to pass the time, check out The Influencer Times’ other articles below.