How to increase Instagram Followers

Convert your personal account into a business account.
If you wish to see analytics behind your Instagram posts, you need to have a business account. It’s free, very easy to do, and it gives you all the required insights into how your posts perform.

How to Convert Instagram to a Business Profile:
  • First of all, be sure your profile is set to Public and not Private. Private accounts can’t switch to Business Accounts.
  • Log into your account on your mobile phone and go to your profile.
  • Tap on the option to Switch to Business Profile.
  • Select the Facebook Page you’d like to associate with your Business Profile on Instagram.
  • On the Set Up Your Business Profile page, review your business’s contact information, make any changes and tap Done.
  • If you don’t have a facebook page, please create one first.
Be Consistent
When you start gaining Instagram followers, the majority of them are expecting to see a flow of similar images. If I post portraits, my followers are going to be interested in portrait photography.
If I post some architecture shots, I will get less engagement rate in the form of likes and comments. This is because most of my followers like portraits, and not, necessarily, architecture.
You don’t need to restrict yourself, but try and be as consistent as possible. If you post 50/50, see if they go together. Street Photography is where you expect to see both worlds.
Think about this too. Most people are going to see your top nine posts immediately. If they are an inconsistent mess, you may lose follower count.

 Follow photography and editing best practices.
On Instagram, post quality matters. A lot. Your Twitter followers might forgive a few bad tweets, but a bad photo on Instagram is a big no-no. By no means do you have to take a photography course to be a good Instagram poster — nor do you have to practice for weeks before you start. But you should get familiar with basic photography tips and photo editing apps.

Photography Best Practices
Since Instagram is a mobile app, chances are, most of the photos you post to Instagram will be taken on your mobile device. That's not just okay; it's expected. While some brands use professional photography for their Instagram photos, most use smartphones — and that's the vibe that Instagram is meant for, anyway.
Here are some highlights:
1.    Focus on one subject at a time.
2.    Embrace negative space.
3.    Find interesting perspectives.
4.    Look for symmetry.
5.    Capture small details.
6.    Make your followers laugh.
7.    Edit photos before you post.
Instagram has some basic editing capabilities, but oftentimes, they aren't adequate to make a picture really, really great. Most of your photos should go through at least one or two other photo editing apps on your mobile phone before you open them in Instagram for the first time.
Use popular hashtags. 
Hashtags make your content easier to find. In short, hashtags are what make your Instagram content discoverable.
Think about the time and energy that goes into any given Instagram post.
The key to getting more followers is to give your posts maximum visibility. 
Users can click on a hashtag and see all posts that have the same hashtag attached to them. Thus, using the right hashtags can expose your images to a larger audience. Without hashtags, your posts will only be seen by your followers. Note that Instagram allows a maximum of only 30 hashtags per post
How to Find Relevant Instagram Hashtags
When adding hashtags, don’t just choose words and phrases at random. Do some research to study and utilize the hashtags that have the most images associated with them. There are two simple ways to do this:
a)            Start entering in a hashtag into a post and notice that Instagram starts to suggest hashtags, along with a number indicating how many other images are associated with the hashtag.
b)           Use the hashtags the influential accounts within your exact niche are already using! Although not perfect, it’s the most simple way to quickly identify the most relevant and largest reaching tags for your particular audience.
How to do it: let’s say you’re starting the Instagram from scratch and you have no clue which hashtags to use. Here’s how you’d find them:

Search for the most obvious hashtag within your topic: In this case, I’ll start with the word “#blackandwhite”.

The most generic hashtags within a topic tend to have the largest reach, but they also tend to be less relevant to a specific target audience since they are so broad.

Identify the hashtags that the accounts in the TOP POSTS are using: I’ll look through the top posts and select the one with a grouping of hashtags that appears to have the highest the density of relevant tags for my topic.
How NOT to use hashtags…
The one thing you should avoid when using hashtags is using any of Instagram’s banned hashtags. Not only will they not help you reach more people, but you’ll also run the risk of getting shadowbanned. Here’s an article that claims to have a list of all of the banned hashtags, but just using your common sense will do.

And that’s it! That’s how you use hashtags :)

Interact with users through follows, likes, and comments.
Instagram is very much a community, and one great way to get involved in that community is to find people who post pictures that interest you, and follow their accounts and interact with their content. It's the most natural way to draw attention to your own Instagram account. It may also get your foot in the door in the platform's community.
That does two things for you: for one, when they get the notification that you've followed them, they might check out your account and decide whether or not to follow you. (This is why it's important to have some great content on there before you start reaching out to others.)
Secondly, it means you'll be seeing their recent posts in your feed, so you can Like and interact with them if you choose to.
As you build a following, celebrate your followers and show you appreciate them by responding to their comments, and even following them and engaging with their posts.

Cross-promote with users who have audiences similar to your own.
Once you build a solid relationship with some of the folks behind these accounts that have a similar audience to your own, you might ask to do some co-promotion on each others' accounts.
The more natural and less spammy you can make the content of these cross-promotions — especially the captions — the better. It also helps to be picky about them, and don't do them very often.

Above all, use Instagram often
Ultimately, the best way to get the most out of Instagram is to use it frequently. This is something that kids get right and adults often don’t. The current algorithm rewards frequent usage. Beyond posting new photos (aim for one a day, or one every other day), it’s important to interact with other Instagrammers. Aim to post a new image daily, and engage with followers as much as possible. Respond to every comment you receive, even if it’s a simple “thank you!” and answer every question asked. Likewise, be sure to comment on any photos that catch your eye and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most users will respond to you as they understand that engagement is the main secret to building a solid social networking community.

Quick tip: It can be a pain to browse and comment on Instagram using your cell phone, so one of the easiest ways to manage your account on your desktop is to use Iconosquare. It’s a web-based tool, meaning it’s not available as an app, but it’s a great platform for quickly engaging with and managing content en masse, and it provides analytics too so you can see how your posts are performing.

 If you end up trying out any of these methods on your Instagram, please let me know how it works for you in the comments. If you have a more effective method, please share in the comments as well.

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