5 New Ways to Get More Instagram Followers in 2018

Wondering how to get more Instagram followers this year?

Instagram has changed, and it’s harder to get followers on Instagram than ever before. But don’t worry — its not just you seeing less likes and less reach. It’s…everyone!

The game has changed, and if you want to get Instagram followers in 2018, you’re going to need a fresh approach and strategy.

Here are the tips you need to conquer the ever-changing Instagram algorithm and get more Instagram followers this year:
how to get more instagram followers

1. How to Get More Instagram Followers in 2018: Invest in a Curated Instagram Aesthetic + Complete Profile

If you want to get more Instagram followers this year, you need to pay attention to what your Instagram feed looks like.

So, why is your Instagram business profile so important if you want to get Instagram followers?

It’s the first opportunity you have to make a great impression and entice people to hit that “follow” button.

Imagine you see a gorgeous Instagram photo in your explore feed, or while you’re browsing your favourite hashtag.

You love this person’s style, so you click over to their feed and…you don’t know what they do.

Their photos are all over the place, and their bio is just a bunch of cute emojis. You can’t even see what their face looks like, because their profile photo is a photo of them way off in the distance!

Are you going to start following them? Probably not.

Instead, you’ll just hit the back button and keep scrolling through the countless other, gorgeous photos on Instagram.

But what if you could change that, and instead of them leaving your page, they actually stuck around?

By creating a consistent brand story through your Instagram aesthetic and profile, you can turn those casual visitors into devoted, engaged followers.

And it’s not just Instagram creepin’ that you have to take into consideration.

Your Instagram profile is becoming the new homepage, as more and more consumers are turning to Instagram instead of Google to search for brands.

This means that you should put in just as much effort into the copy and visuals on your Instagram profile that you put into the homepage of your website!

Your Instagram profile is reflection of your brand and your products or services, and if done right, it won’t be hard to convert your visitors to followers.

Here’s what you should focus on to create a great first impression and get Instagram followers:

A Curated and Consistent Instagram aesthetic

Your future followers want to know exactly what to expect when they follow you, so be consistent and take the time to plan out the look of your Instagram feed before you post, using a visual planner like Later.  

instagram marketing planner

Free INSTAGRAM planner

Introduce Your Brand through Instagram Stories Highlights:

The new Instagram Stories Highlights feature is perfect for introducing your potential followers to what you’re all about! Think of each highlight as a movie trailer for your business, products, or services.

Highlights give you an opportunity to court new followers with your best content, and give them a sense of what they can expect and what your business is all about.

Plus, by optimizing your Instagram Stories Highlights, you can even make sales straight from your profile from people who aren’t even following you!

An Eye-Catching Instagram Bio:

Your Instagram bio is one of the most under-utilized Instagram features, but it’s so important! It’s also really hard to come up with the perfect description of what you do and why people should follow you.

Instead of making your bio all about you, try to focus on your target customer and how your Instagram profile will help or inspire them.

Make sure that you have a clear call-to-action in your bio, whether it’s telling them to shop your feed at the link below, subscribe to your email list, or buy tickets to your event. 

Want to go one step further on how to get more Instagram followers? Create an “about” Instagram Stories Highlight to introduce yourself and allow your new followers to get to know you better.

I love this example from Instagram expert Alex Tooby (@instawithalex). On her profile she has a highlight named “About Alex” and when you click the story, you learn more about what she does, why you should trust her, and how she can help you. 

And because Alex has an Instagram business profile with more than 10k followers, she can also add links to Instagram Stories, linking to her website, courses, and Facebook group too!

get followers on instagram

Speaking of Alex, you can watch our FREE Instagram workshop about how to get more Instagram followers this year! 

Free Instagram Workshop! How to Get Instagram Followers in 2018Watch our free online workshop with Instagram experts Alex Tooby and Taylor Loren! Learn more about the strategies to grow in 2018:
WATCH NOW!

2. How to Get More Instagram Followers in 2018: Hack Your Instagram Stories for More Exposure

2018 will be a huge year for Instagram Stories, and as organic reach drops for regular Instagram posts, stories will be the key to engaging with your followers and staying top of mind.

But did you know that Instagram Stories can also help you get Instagram followers?

It’s true!

Instagram Stories appear on the Instagram explore page, which means that people that don’t even follow you can still find and watch your stories.

And if they like what they see, they might even give you a follow! This is another great reason to try to have an active Instagram story up at all times.

But besides appearing in the explore page, your story can also appear in the stories for different locations and hashtags.

If you didn’t know, most Instagram geo-locations and hashtags have their own stories attached to them too. While this is an under-utilized Instagram feature, we expect it to become more popular in the coming year as Instagram users get more comfortable with watching and creating stories.

So, how do you get your story to appear in a public Instagram story?

There’s two ways to do this:

  • Add a hashtag to your Instagram story
  • Add a location to your Instagram story

If you’re at a live event, this is your time to shine and get more followers on Instagram! Whether it’s a concert, sporting event, or national holiday, this is the time when people are more invested in seeing what’s happening in real time on Instagram.

If you’re posting something interesting or a great piece of content, this can attract the attention of Instagram users and turn a casual viewer into a new Instagram follower.

How to Add Hashtags to Instagram Stories:

It’s pretty easy to add a hashtag to Instagram stories! You can either just type in the hashtag, or you can use the hashtag sticker to add the hashtag of your choice.

When people search for the hashtag on Instagram, if it’s popular enough they will be able to view an active, real time Instagram story on the hashtag too!

How to Add Locations to Instagram Stories:

To add a location to your Instagram story, just click on the location sticker and add the location of your story!

Instagram Stories for locations work for both cities and individual businesses, landmarks, etc. For example, if you tagged your story from the Empire State Building, your story could end up in the story for both “Empire State Building” and the general “New York City” story.

When your story is added to the story for a location, you’ll usually receive a notification from Instagram! When a photo or video from your story is visible on a hashtag or location page, you’ll see the name of that page when you look at who’s seen your story.

If you go to your Instagram explore page, you’ll see the live story for the current city you’re in – but your story only has the chance to be added to this if you add a location sticker to your Instagram Stories.

3. How to Get More Instagram Followers in 2018: Find the Right Hashtags for Your Business

Instagram hashtags became a controversial subject in 2017 thanks to the “Instagram shadowban” that essentially hid users posts from showing up on hashtags.

If you were using the same 30 hashtags over and over again, Instagram would indicate this as “spammy” behaviour.

But don’t worry! You can still use Instagram hashtags safely. The shadowban eventually corrected itself, and Instagram hashtags are still an effective way of getting more eyeballs on your content (and getting more Instagram followers).

There’s just a new set of rules to follow for 2018!

Here’s some of Alex Tooby’s tips for using the right hashtags to get more Instagram followers:

Think of hashtags like a categories: where do you want your Instagram post to show up? If you’re selling a product or service, does it make sense to use the hashtag #palmtree if you’re trying to sell a recipe ebook? 

Choose hashtags with a purpose: instead of tagging posts with general hashtags like #love or #happy, choose hashtags that describe your business, the purpose of your account,  your target market, and your location. 

For example, a San Francisco based artisanal coffee shop would want to use hashtags like #specialtycoffee (describes their business), #coffeeshopvibes (describes the purpose of your account), and #SFcoffee or #coffeelovers (describes your target market).

Then, you can add location specific hashtags, like #ValenciaStreet, #themission, or #sanfrancisco.

You can also use Instagram hashtags that have a strong community around them, so instead of using #coffee you could use #dailycortado, which has less posts but a more engaged audience.

Engage with hashtags that your target market uses: research hashtags that your target market is using on their photos, and spend time every day liking and commenting on posts with those hashtags to encourage targeted traffic back to your Instagram profile.

Use different hashtags for each post: while you want to use up as many of your maximum 30 hashtags per post that you can, it’s not worth it if you’re just copying and pasting the same hashtags over and over again.

Instead, choose hashtags based on each photo that you post. This is another reason why scheduling Instagram posts is so helpful! You can take the time to find and add the right hashtags for every post, without feeling rushed to do it every day when it’s time to post.

If you schedule posts through Later,  you can use the “saved captions” feature to group your hashtags by category so they’re always handy when you need them.

Now, do you see why having a complete and attractive Instagram profile is important? If you’re doing all this work engaging with hashtags to get people to view your profile, it better be a great profile when someone goes to visit it!

Want to know if your Instagram hashtags are working?

If you have a business account you can check your insights to see how many views are coming from hashtags – if you find the number is low, try adding some different tags to see if you can increase it.

Alex Tooby is the queen of Instagram hashtags, and she’s sharing all her tips and tricks to find the right hashtags for you in our free Instagram training session:

Free Instagram Workshop! How to Get Instagram Followers in 2018Watch our free online workshop with Instagram experts Alex Tooby and Taylor Loren! Learn more about the strategies to grow in 2018:
WATCH NOW!

4. How to Get More Instagram Followers in 2018: Get Featured…Off of Instagram

One of the most effective ways to get Instagram followers in 2018 and promote your account isn’t through the Instagram app.

Instead of trying to test all the little ways to hack the algorithm and optimize your content, spend some time trying to promote your Instagram account in other places online.

Yes, we are going back to PR basics with this strategy, but it’s one that I’m finding is actually really working!

Like I mentioned above, when people see or hear you online, they could look you up on Instagram before they Google you.

Getting featured in the press, doing a podcast interview, or guest posting on someone else’s blog are all great ways to get more Instagram followers.

So, how do you do this?

Pitch your ideas to blogs, podcasts, and even other Instagram accounts that your target market would read.

If you get asked to do an interview or give a quote for an article, always say yes! Especially if it’s a small publication; they potentially have a much more engaged audience, and you never know who is reading or listening.

Once you get an interview, always plug your Instagram account. If you’re writing a guest post for a blog, offer to write it for free and make sure you link to your Instagram account in your bio (you can see how I’ve added my account @taylor.loren into my bio at the bottom of this article!).

If you get a chance to mention your Instagram account throughout your article and add a screenshot of one of your posts, that’s even better. 

See what I just did there? 😉

If you have a newsletter that you’re regularly sending out to your audience, use creative ways to start linking to your Instagram account in your email marketing. For example, a popular email trend of 2017 was to add one big Instagram post to the bottom of your email:

get more instagram followers

Email on the left is from W&P Design. Email on the right is from Backcountry.com, via Really Good Emails

5. How to Get More Instagram Followers in 2018: Boost Instagram Posts to a New Audience

Instagram ads may not be as popular as Facebook ads, but with organic reach declining on Instagram, it’s not ao bad idea to start investing in boosting Instagram posts if you want to get more Instagram followers this year.

Running your own Instagram ad campaign isn’t that difficult, but it can be intimidating to many small business owners and influencers who haven’t done it before.

Thankfully, boosting Instagram posts to get Instagram followers is really, really easy!

You don’t need to create complicated Instagram ads in Facebook business manager, all you have to do is just create an Instagram post like your normally do and then hit the “promote” button once it’s posted.

Instagram already pulls in a “similar audience” that you can share the post to, or you can easily create your own audience in the app by choosing an interest, age range, and the genders you want to promote to.

For example, if you’re posting a photo about a tea shop in San Diego that’s frequented by millennials, you can boost your post to people who are interested in tea, live in San Diego, and are females between the age of 20-35.

Make sure that you set the goal to be “profile visits,” and ensure that you have an eye-catching image and an engaging caption.

Your Instagram post then appears in the feed like normal, the only difference being the “sponsored” notation at the top and the call-to-action button:

Start with a small daily budget, and run your ad for 1-2 days to start. Instagram ads are a science, so be ready to tweak your boosted posts and audiences until you get the results you want!

As the Instagram algorithm continues to make an impact, it’s becoming more and more important to get strategic to get more followers on Instagram. Hopefully these tips and tricks can help you stay ahead of the competition and have your biggest year yet!

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Written By

Taylor Loren

Taylor Loren is the Head of Marketing at Later. She was named a LinkedIn Top Voice for social media marketing, and you can follow her writing on LinkedIn or connect with her on Instagram at @taylor.loren.