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How to get Real followers on Instagram: Grow your real audience

If you want to boost your Instagram presence and engagement, consider using authentic strategies to get real followers on Instagram.

Instagram is a big deal for sharing pictures and videos. It’s a platform where individuals and businesses connect, share stories visually, and build their brand. With over a billion users, it offers a broad reach and a chance to grow. For individuals, it’s a place to showcase talents and build a personal brand. Businesses use it to boost online presence and engage with customers. Instagram fosters engagement, keeps you updated with trends, and encourages creativity and self-expression. It’s not just a trend; it’s a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. Start sharing your story on Instagram today!

Using social media for marketing is super important, even for businesses not usually into social media. But here’s the thing: many companies, even big ones, rely on numbers like Facebook likes or Twitter followers to measure how well their marketing is doing. It’s easy to think these numbers matter a lot because they’re clear and make sense, but the truth is, the real importance of likes and followers is often exaggerated.

Why People Think Likes and Followers Are Super Important:

We all like to think more is better, right? Having more likes and followers does have some benefits. For example, if your account has lots of followers, people might follow you just to be part of the crowd. And if you tweet something to a million followers, even if they aren’t all really into your brand, some might still respond or take action.

But here’s the catch: the number of likes and followers doesn’t directly connect to anything important. Likes don’t mean more money, and they don’t show how many people really know your brand. Many likes might be from people who don’t really care. The truth is, having a ton of followers isn’t as crucial as having the right kind of followers.

You can check out How to Calculate Instagram Engagement Rate in 2023?

The 80/20 Rule:

There’s this rule called the Pareto principle that says about 80% of your results come from 20% of what you do. For example, around 80% of your money might come from 20% of your customers.

This idea is super important on social media. Some users are super valuable, engaging a lot and influencing others. Most users just watch without doing much. So, having lots of followers doesn’t mean much. Having a smaller group that’s super active is way more valuable.

How You Get Followers Matters:

Creating good content that people like and share is the right way to get followers. But some people use shortcuts like buying followers or using tricks to get more likes. These fake followers aren’t interested in your brand. Also, social media platforms are getting better at catching these fake accounts, and if you use them, your account might get shut down.

Measuring Your Impact:

It’s tough to figure out exactly how much you’re getting out of social media because it affects so many things like search engine rankings and brand awareness. But you can look at how engaged your audience is. If people are liking, commenting, and sharing, it means they care. Check this against your total followers to see if you’re getting value.

Making Things Better:

If you want to improve, stop buying likes or followers and focus on creating good content. Encourage people to engage with your brand by asking questions or giving incentives to share your stuff. And if you need help, get someone who knows what they’re doing.

Having lots of followers is cool, but don’t get too caught up in the numbers. It’s more about having the right people interested in your brand.

Check out more tips on How to create a successful blog and build an audience

Strategy to get Real followers on Instagram

  • Define Niche: Target a specific audience.
  • Consistent Content: Regular, quality posts.
  • Social Media: Engage on relevant platforms.
  • Audience Interaction: Respond, ask questions, build community.
  • Collaborate: Partner with influencers or brands.
  • SEO Optimization: Use keywords for search visibility.
  • Contests/Giveaways: Boost engagement and attract followers.
  • Analytics: Monitor and adjust based on performance.
  • Live Content: Connect in real-time for a personal touch.
  • Cross-Promotion: Partner with others for wider reach.

Ways to get more Instagram followers

Before we dive into the details, let’s talk about building a genuine group of followers on Instagram. It’s important!

Some companies try to take shortcuts by paying for followers. We acknowledge that there are services for that, but they’re not a good idea in the long run. Why? Because Instagram’s system recognizes and removes fake accounts and fake engagement from these paid services.

But, let’s be honest, growing your followers in a real and authentic way requires some effort.

However, it’s completely worth it. Check out the tips in the article or video below for the best advice on gaining more Instagram followers in the right way.

You cn check out Instagram Engagement Down? Fix It In 30 Minutes Per Day

Optimize Your Instagram Account

Make your Instagram account work its best before worrying about getting more followers. Take a look at how your business profile is set up. Ask yourself:

  1. Instagram Bio: Think about your bio, including your slogan, tagline, or a special hashtag for your brand.
  2. Profile Picture: Check your profile picture. It should be professional and ideally, use your logo. Make sure any text in the picture is easy to read on a phone screen.
  3. Bio Link: Consider where your bio link points. This link is vital for guiding your Instagram followers to your website or promotions. It’s the only way to direct social traffic effectively.
    • Use a search-friendly username that’s easy for people to find.
    • If your name is too long, make a shorter version that your audience will recognize.
    • Have a clear and professional profile picture. A logo works well.
    • Pay attention to where your bio link directs. It’s your chance to guide followers to your site or promotions.
    Instead of just linking to your homepage, think about using a social landing page that directs to multiple links. This way, your audience can choose how they want to engage with your business. This makes the experience better for your followers.

To make sure you’re on the right track, follow a proven Instagram marketing strategy.

Read Also: With New Instagram Sticker No Need to Say “Link in Bio”

Keep Posting Regularly

On Instagram, consistency is key. If you post randomly, it’s less likely you’ll get followers. Building your audience happens when you create content that adds value, and doing this regularly is what helps you keep your followers.

So, don’t let your Instagram account become inactive. Stick to a schedule for posting regularly. You don’t have to post a specific number of times, but most successful brands post almost every day. This aligns with what our research suggests works best.

For the best engagement, aim to post in the mid-to-late morning and early afternoons during the week. If you’re worried about your posts not getting enough attention, use features like Stories to give your content a second chance to be seen.

Plan Your Instagram Posts Ahead

Even though Instagram’s algorithm decides who sees your posts, you can still boost visibility by posting at the right times. Making the most of engagement opportunities is crucial.

That’s where scheduling Instagram content comes in. With tools like Sprout, you can schedule Stories, Carousels, Reels, and Posts in advance.

Scheduling ahead gives you control and keeps things organized. It helps you maintain the posting rhythm we talked about earlier. Crossposting from other networks is made easier with these tools.

Sprout’s ViralPost feature is handy too. It checks your engagement history to find the best times for your posts.

Sprout Social has more features, like an Asset Library for sharing approved visuals and a grid preview to ensure your presence matches your brand style. You can try all these features with a 30-day free trial of Sprout.

Talk to Your Followers

Getting more followers on Instagram involves connecting with your audience.

A great way to do this is by responding to and sharing their posts. User-generated content is super powerful. It’s when your followers create content that you then share.

This builds social proof, showing your followers that you care about them. A good example is Drunk Elephant. They often repost their followers’ posts using hashtags like #BareWithUs and #DrunkBreak.

Say No to Fake Followers

Having real followers on Instagram is way better than having fake ones.

We get it, the idea of buying followers for a quick boost might be tempting. But trust us, it’s not a good idea. Fake followers bring more problems than benefits. Here’s why:

  1. Confusion for Real Followers: Having a big following with low engagement looks suspicious. Real people might hesitate to follow or engage with your account because it seems fishy.
  2. No Value for Your Business: Fake followers can’t buy your products or services. So, what’s the point?
  3. No Buzz: If you have a bunch of fake followers, they won’t really interact with your posts. And who cares if your posts have a lot of spam comments?

Real people can share, like, comment, and genuinely engage with your Instagram content. Plus, they appreciate when you interact with them. Look at Lush Cosmetics—they take time to answer questions and engage with followers. This authentic interaction keeps customers coming back with shout-outs and positive comments. It’s much more effective than trying to cheat with fake followers or likes.

Show Off Your Instagram Everywhere

If you want more followers, don’t be shy about telling people to follow you on Instagram.

Here are a few simple ideas:

  1. Put social media icons on your website and in your emails: This makes it easy for people to find you and connect with your business.
  2. Show off your Instagram on your website: Some brands showcase their Instagram feed right on their homepage or product pages. It’s a cool way to share what’s happening.
  3. Share Instagram stuff on other social media: Let people on platforms like TikTok or Facebook know about your Instagram. For example, talk about an upcoming live video on Instagram.

Remember, the more you let people know about your Instagram, the more likely they are to follow you!

Share What Your Followers Love

It’s not as easy as it sounds, we know.

There’s a lot to think about—filters, captions, post types, and the best times to post. Instagram’s algorithm doesn’t make it any simpler. What clicks for one brand might not work for another in terms of format and timing.

For instance, some love Carousels, while others are all about Reels. Both can be winners. You’ll notice on Instagram that some content gets more likes than others. This is why testing is super important.

Instagram’s own analytics are pretty good, but if you want to step it up, tools like Sprout can help. They make it easy to compare and analyze Instagram content. Instead of guessing, the reports tell you what’s working and what’s not.

Be confident in your content strategy by looking at those things we mentioned earlier.

If you’re not sure where to start, check out what your competitors are doing. 90% of brands say social media data helps them keep up with others. You don’t copy them, but you can see what’s driving engagement. Sprout’s Instagram Competitors report breaks down what’s working in your industry.

And don’t miss out on the latest Instagram trends. Staying updated helps you catch onto popular content formats that everyone’s into.

Have Real Chats with Your Followers

Did you know that 60% of marketers use Instagram to chat with customers?

Instagram is great for having conversations with your followers. Lots of popular posts involve asking questions and talking back and forth.

Ask casual questions, talk about shipping, or praise products—anything goes with your followers. Being helpful and responding quickly shows them you really care.

Surprisingly, acting more like a person can boost your Instagram followers. Our research shows that 89% of people are likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media. Every chat matters.

So, try to answer as many questions or comments as you can. It could be the difference between someone just following you and becoming a long-term fan or customer.

Hang Out Where Your Followers Hashtag

Hashtags on Instagram have been around forever, but they’re not as powerful as they used to be.

Just adding a bunch of hashtags won’t magically get you new followers, especially with all the noise on the platform.

Instead, focus on industry-specific hashtags that matter to your customers. For instance, Lashify uses #LashEducation instead of a broad and competitive one like #beauty. It makes them more visible in the right niche.

Knowing how your hashtags are doing is key. With tools like Sprout Social, you can easily see how your hashtags perform. Figuring out which ones to use is just a few taps away.

Make Your Followers Happy

When your Instagram followers are happy, you’ll see more people joining your audience. The best Instagram accounts don’t just have followers—they have fans and communities.

For many accounts, it’s about building relationships with customers. Share content that shows your personality and the people behind your brand, like:

  • Inspirational stuff
  • Funny posts
  • Sharing user-generated content with cool captions
  • Stories that tell something interesting
  • Behind-the-scenes photos and videos
  • Posts that support social causes

Make sure your content matches your brand’s voice and values. Avoid sounding too pushy, only focused on sales, or like a robot. Keep it real!

Get Local with Geo-Tagging

Instagram brought back location stories, and now you can find them on a map. This feature helps people discover top posts and stories in specific spots, like a cafe or a mall.

Want your content on the map? Easy—tag the location! Geo-tagging your posts and stories makes them visible to people nearby or those checking out the place where your photo or video was taken.

How to do it? Just use the location sticker in your Instagram story and type in the place you want to tag. That’s it!

Short Videos for the Win!

Short videos are a hit, with 66% of people wanting more from brands. Enter Reels!

Why Reels?

  • They’re quick, fun, and the algorithm loves them.
  • Perfect for tutorials, product highlights, or sneak peeks.

Get Creative:

  • Use stickers, cuts, filters, music, and more.
  • Grab attention in just a few seconds.

Bonus:

  • Cross-promote Reels on platforms like TikTok.
  • Reach new audiences and gather more followers.

Team Up with Influencers

Want to grow your audience? Partner with influencers—it’s a game-changer.

Steps to Success:

  1. Find the Right Influencers:
    • Use tools like Sprout to spot influencers in your niche.
    • Look for those who match your brand’s vibe and values.
  2. Types of Partnerships:
    • Paid Sponsorships:
      • Straightforward—pay them to promote your stuff.
      • Agree on details like posts, content, and hashtags.
    • Product Exchanges:
      • No money, but offer free products for reviews or features.
    • Affiliate & Brand Ambassador Programs:
      • Reward smaller influencers with perks for ongoing promotion.
    • Collaborative Content:
      • Team up for Instagram Lives, giveaways, or co-created posts.
  3. Track Your Success:
    • Keep an eye on metrics like follower growth and engagement.
    • Measure ROI to decide if the partnership is worth continuing.

Influencers can give your brand a boost—make sure to choose the right ones!

Showcase Your Best Stories Forever!

Ever made an awesome story you wish could stick around? Enter “Highlights.”

What Are Highlights?

  • They’re groups of your best old stories.
  • Organize them by themes like Q&As, tips, or events.

Why Highlights?

  • Located at the top of your profile.
  • People see them first before scrolling down.

Think of Them As:

  • A curated portfolio showing off your brand’s best moments.

Bring Your Brand to Life: Go Live on Instagram!

Connect with your audience in real-time by hosting Instagram Live sessions. It builds community and engages people instantly.

Ideas for Going Live:

  • Launch new products virtually.
  • Share quick tutorials.
  • Have casual chats and Q&A sessions.
  • If you’re selling, let users shop your products live.

Extra Goodies:

  • Share Live streams as stories for 24 hours.
  • Followers who missed out can catch up later.

Nurture Your Followers:

  1. Engage Actively:
    • Respond to comments and encourage conversations.
    • Ask for opinions and share user-generated content.
  2. Offer Value Consistently:
    • Provide how-to guides, exclusive promos, or humor.
    • Keep your content valuable for continuous interest.
  3. Show the Human Side:
    • Share real faces and stories behind your brand.
    • Connect on a personal level with your audience.
  4. Stay Trendy:
    • Embrace popular filters, challenges, and features.
    • Keep your feed fresh to captivate followers.
  5. Track Analytics:
    • Monitor post performance and follower activity.
    • Use data to refine your strategy for more engagement.

Avoid the Wrong Path: Don’t Buy Followers!

  • Savvy followers can spot fake ones.
  • Fake followers bring no engagement value.
  • Buying followers violates platform terms of service.

Growing on Instagram Takes Effort:

  • No accidental follower growth.
  • No magic solutions; it’s about authentic engagement.

Read more:

Remember, building a genuine community pays off more than shortcuts!

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