How to gain your first (or next) 1,000 Instagram followers

It is no secret that Instagram continues to be a place where business opportunities thrive. Around 90% of Instagram’s 1Billion active monthly users use the platform to follow a business account, and there are more 200M business accounts.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Here’s the thing: It’s not easy to build a large following on Instagram if you aren’t famous.

There are some things you can do immediately to get at least 1,000 quality Instagram followers at your instagram blog for your professional or personal account. It all comes down to where you should invest your time and effort.

Brentgilchrist.com will discuss a few strategies to help you get those followers. These include creating a worthy Instagram account, contests, and staying true to your brand.

1. Optimize your profile.

First, customize your Instagram profile. Your potential followers should know who you are and why they should follow you.

How? Make sure your username is easily searchable and easily recognizable, just like your business name.

You can keep your business name, even if it is already taken, as your username’s first part. This will make it easier for people to search for you.

Set up your account

Step 1. Enter your complete business name in the «Name» section of the «Options». To locate «Options», tap the three lines at the top of the iOS app. Next, tap «Settings», which will be located at the bottom of your screen beside a gear. For Android users, tap the three dots at the corner. Search for your business name or company and you’ll see it under your profile picture.

Step 2. Make your profile visible. Open Instagram, click «Options», and ensure that «Private Account” is off.

Step 3. Select a profile photo that is consistent with your company’s brand, such as your logo.

Step 4. Add interesting, useful, and informative information to your brand in your bio. This information lets people know more about you and gives them reason to follow. Be sure to include who you are and what your passions are, as well as your personality.

Step 5. Step 5. The URL space is valuable real estate. You can add links to Instagram Stories once you have 10,000 followers.

Your bio is the only place on Instagram that you can put clickable links. To make your link more clickable, we recommend that you use a shorter, customized bitly URL.

Step 6. Turn on notifications to see who has commented or shared your photos. This will allow you to engage with them faster — much like many companies do on Twitter. Go to «Options», then «Push Notification Setting» to enable notifications. For each category, select «From everyone».

One word of caution: For automatic posts, we don’t recommend linking your Instagram account with Twitter or Facebook. Each platform is different and each requires different posts.

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2. Designate a content creator.

As with other social media accounts, you should have one to two people managing your Instagram account.

If you can, find someone who has experience with the platform and will «get it» — and make sure they keep up to date on all the new features Instagram offers from Reels to IGTV.

You might find that many people want to have a say on what is posted if you work in a large company. This is where a well-organized request or guidelines document can be very useful.

This document will explain how to request an Instagram post. It also explains when and what the post’s value is.

3. Follow the best editing and photography practices.

On Instagram, post quality matters. It matters a lot. While your Twitter followers may forgive some bad tweets, a bad Instagram photo is a no-no.

You don’t need to take a photography class to become a great Instagram poster. Nor do you have have to practice for weeks. However, you need to be familiar with basic photo editing tools and tips.

Photography best practices

Instagram is a mobile application, so some of the content you post to Instagram may be saved on your mobile device. That’s expected.

Professional photography can be a great investment if you have the budget. This will help to elevate your Instagram profile. A smartphone and some editing apps are sufficient.

  • Concentrate on one topic at a given time.
  • Embrace negative space.
  • Discover new perspectives.
  • Look out for symmetry.
  • Capture small details.
  • Your followers will laugh.
  • Before you publish photos, edit them.

Instagram offers some basic editing tools, but they don’t often provide the great visuals that you need.

Before you upload your photos to Instagram, it is important that at least one or more photo editing apps be installed on your phone.

You might also consider creating a consistent Instagram theme throughout your feed so that anyone who visits your account for the first-time can get a feel of your brand.

4. Establish a posting schedule.

After optimizing your profile and having someone manage it, you can start posting.

Before you begin engaging people and building your list, it’s a good idea have at least 15 great posts. This will ensure that people who visit your profile will see all of your photos and know you post great content frequently.

To begin posting on Instagram, Download this social media content template first. Then plan your posts. It is best to have a backup of content ready for publication a few days before the date.

This will make sure you have enough content for holidays, vacations, or creative blocks.

When planning your posting schedule, keep your target persona in your mind. This can have a significant impact on your posting frequency and timing. ( Get this template to create buyer personas, if you don’t already have one.

It might take some time to optimize your schedule for your audience.

You can experiment with these days and times to find what works for your audience. It is possible that your target audience is most active or engaged at certain times.

5. You can allow outside contributors to curate the content.

It’s better to have one or two people managing your account. However, it is impossible for one person to be everywhere at the same time taking photos. How about the fun sushi night that engineers had last night? Or that event your head sales representative spoke at earlier in the week?

You can post a lot of content to Instagram. It’s not possible for one person to keep up with it all.

One solution: One solution?

There are several ways you can do this. First, create an email address that employees can use to send photos, short videos and memes.

To make it easier for you to sort through their content, encourage people to include a descriptive subject line. Although it may not seem like the best way to curate photos it is the easiest. The people who send you photos will find it easier to use.

You could create a shared folder for your team if they have a Box account or Dropbox account. This will allow them to drop their videos and photos automatically.

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com
6. Use a consistent brand voice that is platform-specific.

While photos and videos are the most important parts of Instagram posts, captions, comments and other text should not be overlooked. You might consider creating a consistent voice that humanizes your brand if you manage a channel for a company or have multiple Instagram managers.

This shows potential followers you are trustworthy and approachable, not formal or intimidating.

You should consider the audience and platform when developing your voice.

Many Instagram influencers have a casual voice and style, but they are still professional and on-brand. Once you have your voice down, ensure it remains consistent and natural in your captions and comments as well as your bio.

7. Write engaging, shareable captions.

Captions are the cherry on top of any post. You can humanize your brand and win over followers by consistently creating great captions. This will help you get more exposure.

These are some things that you might find in a winning Instagram caption.

  • Funny or clever comments
  • Action is required
  • Relevant emojis
  • Hashtags
  • Clever or Witty Comments

To further humanize themselves on Instagram, some brands and influencers use clever captions or audience-appropriate jokes.

My colleague Kelly Hendrickson is HubSpot’s social-media team manager. She says she loves Netflix account and its sub-accounts, especially because of the captions.

They have a distinct brand voice and you can laugh with them. She says that they are in on the joke just like a friend.

Netflix’s voice is trendy, casual, and funny, while remaining true to its brand.

The caption in the above post is hilarious, real, and relatable. It’s hard to imagine anyone not having flipped through an Instagram Story of a friend in the hopes that they would feature you.

All are invited to take action

Asking questions and putting a call to action in your captions can increase your shareability.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

You might write » Double tap if this is funny,» and » Share your story in the comments.»

The following example shows how we asked our @HubSpot Instagram followers to comment on a book that had a positive effect on their work and tag the author.

Relevant Emojis

Just a few emojis can give your posts more personality. This could make your posts stand out on Instagram. Below is a post by Danielle Gray ( @Stylenbeautydoc). It includes witty text and relevant emojis that make the post stand out.

You’ll want to add hashtags in addition to the items above.

8. Use hashtags to optimize posts

A hashtag is a way to connect conversations between different Instagram users into one stream. Use relevant hashtags to make your posts more visible to a wider audience. This will help you to be discoverable by potential customers.

You can use hashtags efficiently by being selective and sparingly. Limit the number of hashtags per text to three. Don’t use hashtags like #like4likes or #like4likes.

This is a quick tactic that will only result in low-quality followers.

Do some research into relevant hashtags within your industry or niche to find out which hashtags are being used by your audience. This research can be done in the Instagram app, under the Explore tab (i.e. the magnifying glass icon).

If you search for a hashtag, it will display a list of similar hashtags at the top.

For example, when I search for #digitalmarketingstrategy on Instagram, it shows me relevant hashtags like #digitalmarketingexpert, #digitalmarketing, and so on.

To help relate to your followers on a personal level, you might consider hopping on hashtag trends like #tbt («Throwback Thursday»), #MotivationMonday, #TransformationTuesday, or other trending hashtags. This is @fanmdjanm’s post using #HappyMothersDay. It’s a lifestyle brand that sells headwraps and has over 150K followers.

After you have a few followers, you can start creating your own hashtags. These could be your company name or a slogan that you use for your content. This is a great way for you to grow your brand and create a cohesive presence on the platform.

9. Get involved in the latest content formats.

Short-form videos are now one of the most popular content formats for social media, following the introduction of TikTok to the scene.

According to HubSpot Blog surveys, 85% of marketers who use shorter-form videos consider them the best content format. 95% of short-form video marketers plan to increase or continue investing in the same amount by 2022.

It’s crucial to keep an eye on the most popular content formats. Instagram introduced IG Reels after TikTok. This feature allows you to share funny and relatable content.

Don’t be afraid of Instagram’s new features, such as IG Reels. They can help you increase your Instagram followers.

10. Share content that your followers are interested in.

It’s crucial to understand your audience in order to gain 1,000 Instagram followers. After you have created an Instagram account, it’s important to note which posts are the most popular.

Are you looking for interactive content, behind the scenes stories, relatable and funny posts or something else? Once you know what works best, create the content.

Instagram also offers many features and tools, including IGTV, IG Reels (Insta Stories), Instagram Live, Highlights, Instagram Stories, Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, Highlights, and others. Start by creating different content formats to see which one performs best. Next, create a strategy and master one tool. This will allow you to create the content that your followers love and help you gain new followers.

11. Promote your Instagram.

As the old saying goes, «A tree falls in a forest.» If you create an Instagram account but don’t promote it, is the account still real? Well, yes. However, your followers will be smaller.

Promoting your Instagram account is one of the best ways for you to get more followers. You can embed posts into your blogs (like the ones you see in this post), share content on other social media platforms, as well as sharing social links in your email newsletters. Asking your followers on another platform if they would like to follow you is a great way to increase followers.

It’s also important to start Instagram ads and Instagram promotions to promote your Instagram. This will allow you to reach a wider audience. Although ads may seem limited to selling products, I have found that sponsored posts can be very effective in reaching a wider audience.

How to get more followers on Instagram

Tag relevant users.

You can re-share content.

Get together on Instagram Live.

Join the Instagram Explore Page.

Use Instagram slides to create educational content

Host an Instagram account Takeover

1. Engage users via follows, likes and comments.

Instagram is a community. One way to get involved is to follow other people who post photos that you like, and then interact with their content. This is the best way to get attention to your Instagram account.

This does two things. First, they will be notified that you have followed them. Second, they will likely check out your profile. This is why it’s important to have great content on your profile before you reach out to others.

It also means that you will see their most recent posts in your feed. You can like and interact with them if desired.

Celebrate your followers as you build a following by responding to their comments and pins, and reposting their posts for user generated content.

2. Cross-promote your brand with influencers or brands that have similar audiences.

Consider collaborating with people who have accounts similar to yours once you’ve established a rapport.

Partnerships with brands and influencers can increase reach, discoverability, and social proof.

3. To encourage engagement, you can run Instagram contests

A giveaway or contest is another great way to increase your reach and get more engagement with your photos. To be eligible for a prize, ask your users to follow you, like and comment on your post.

You mean, seriously. I mean, who doesn’t like winning free stuff?

A user-generated (UGC) element can be added to the contest. This allows people to post photos of themselves and use a particular hashtag.

Here’s an example from @PlayaBowlsNortheastern, where followers were asked to follow Playa Bowls as well as their brand partner, Scoop and Sushi, and tag a friend in the comments. Followers had the opportunity to win a bowl for free in exchange.

4. Explore Instagram Stories interactive features.

Instagram has been a platform that allows brands to share beautiful photos to showcase their businesses.

With the introduction of ephemeral Instagram Stories brands can now share behind-the scenes looks for up to 24 hours. While they may not look as professional as published photos, it will give your brand more personality.

Take a look at Snapchat’s growth a few years back. It made apps like Instagram and Facebook more interesting and valuable to users when they introduced similar features. This feature was first introduced by Snapchat, but Instagram Stories has more than 500,000,000 daily users.

Instagram Stories allows users to share video clips and static images. They can also use event reminders and polls to increase engagement and learn more from their audience.

After a user has been verified and has more than 10,000 followers, they can include links to webpages within their story.

How brands can use Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are deleted after 24 hours, unless they’re marked as a Story Highlight.

Highlighted stories will appear at the top of the profile, between your bio and the photo feed.

We recommend these brands to you:

These are our top tips for using Instagram Stories to promote your brand.

Be authentic, no matter how funny, sad, and unique your content is. A photo gallery can help you create beautiful, polished content. Instagram Stories are raw, unscripted and unretouched content. You can use Stories to show the other side to your brand that isn’t available elsewhere. Are you a dog-friendly workplace? Are your employees trying new challenges? Filming is a great way to show the human side of your company.

Get behind-the scenes. These videos are our favourite types of content for ephemeral sharing. Make it entertaining and show your followers how an event is planned or launched. Your followers want to feel involved and informed. Stories could be used to create a loyalty program for your brand that rewards only those who view your content.

5. Use the Live video feature.

Instagram allows users to record and share live video, which is another popular content format on social media. What is unique about Instagram live videos? They vanish when the users stop filming.

This bi-directional, authentic experience allows brands to share unscripted moments with their audience in order to include human elements into a traditional social media platform.

Instagram added more features to its Live feature, which may allow for further interaction or engagement from users, such as:

Live account: Request feature available

Pin comment

Q&A Box

Live allows you to manage up to four accounts at once

Filters

Live video is becoming a popular trend on a number of social media platforms. If you see something that is interesting, get rolling. Your followers will want to see your behind-the scenes footage, whether it’s an event or a team birthday celebration.

6. Share your profile link on Facebook and other social media channels.

Do you have a website? Newsletter? YouTube channel? You should include a link from your Instagram account on every platform.

You will want to include an Instagram badge in your website’s footer and on your «About Us» page.

Print a call to action letting people know that your brand has brick and mortar locations. These can be placed on business cards. For this, you might offer a discount code.

Make sure you promote your Instagram account on all your digital platforms. You are likely to find that people who follow you on Facebook or Twitter will follow you on Instagram.

Encourage your followers to follow you on Instagram.

In this case, wine company The McBride Sisters asked their email subscribers to join them on Instagram by simply stating «Join our community»

7. User-generated content is posted.

Brands can also publish user-generated content, similar to cross-promotion. This allows them to show appreciation to existing customers and generate Social Proof at the same time.

I believe a person who endorses a product on Instagram is more likely to like it than a stranger.

This is also true for most customers. Sites like Yelp have become so popular.

User-generated content is a great strategy to increase brand awareness and trust in products or services.

@bevel retweeted a video by blogger Rickey SCusing, and recommended their products to their 600+ following.

It’s smart to post Scott using Bevel.

First, the product was designed with black men as a focus. Scott, who is part the target demographic of the brand, recommended the product as social proof.

Bevel will also likely target a portion of Scott’s audience. The two brands are similar and align well. This is why Scott’s content promotion will be a great opportunity for Bevel.

8. Diversify your audience in order to reach different user types.

It can be difficult to know what content types will be most popular with your followers as they grow. This is why you should divide your audience into sub-groups so that your content can be targeted to different demographics.

If you have 200K followers, it is likely that they are from different parts of the world, have different hobbies and have different careers. Instead of posting all-encompassing content to please all your followers, do some analytics to break them down into smaller sub-groups.

Starbucks is a great example. Twitter @Starbucks has nearly 18 million followers. It is impossible for a global coffee brand to post content that can satisfy 18 million people simultaneously.

Instead, Starbucks regularly posts more exclusive content geared towards particular groups, such as this post they published celebrating #TeacherAppreciationWeek:

Although this post will not appeal to most Starbucks followers who don’t teach, it’s okay.

There is no need to always post content that pleases everyone. Instead, show your company’s ability connect with and engage sub-groups by posting content that aligns with your brand’s values.

Starbucks believes education is important. They post about teachers to show their values and make it more appealing to everyone. This is kind of the point.

9. Request a verification badge

An Instagram account that has been verified will have a blue badge next to its username. The blue dot is displayed to confirm that an account is verified by another user who finds it in search.

Instagram does not have a list of requirements to obtain the badge but users can apply. You can find more information about this process at Instagram’s Help Center.

10. You can create your own badges and filters.

If you need to promote a product or feature, making your own stickers, filters, or badges will help you reach new audiences. To jazz up your Instagram Stories, you can make your own filter and sticker.

This is best done by using these in highly shareable posts your followers will love to add to their Stories. You’ll reach their audience and your followers will promote your page.

11. Tag relevant users.

Tag relevant Instagram users in your posts to increase your followers. The person who tags your posts will see them, and they will be able to find your page (and possibly follow you).

It is important to only tag people that are relevant to the photo or in the photo. Many times, influencers will tag the makeup or clothing brands that they used in a photo.

12. You can re-share content.

Every Instagram post should have a purpose. You could use it to get likes, comments and engagement. But you cannot expect followers to share content for fun. You have to have a reason.

This is why you can reverse engineer Instagram posts. Consider the following: «What content would my audience share?» Next, create the content. You can use it as a quote, a meme or an infographic.

You should share content that is meant to be reshared on your Instagram Stories. Tag you so that others can find you and follow.

13. Get together on Instagram Live.

Instagram Live was a great way for people to keep in touch during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many influencers and businesses used Instagram Live to host talks with people they liked.

You could partner with another brand or influencer to host a Live for your brand. You can promote the Live event with people who are relevant to your audience and host it on your account.

This type of event promotion will allow you to tap into another’s audience and interact and engage with your followers through answering their questions and speaking during the Live.

14. Join the Instagram Explore Page.

It is easy to get on the Instagram Explore Page. That’s okay. You can create posts that are targeted at the Explore page and shareable, trendy content.

Consider viral trends when creating a video your audience may enjoy. Use hashtags to tag brands and other users in your posts.

Instagram’s Explore Page algorithm seems to pick content with more engagement. This is especially true if the engagement occurs within the first few hours of posting. Instagram believes that quality is more important than quantity. Influential users like e.g. It is possible to have more followers.

15. Use Instagram slides to create educational content

You can create educational content using Instagram slides, similar to content meant to be shared. Slides on Instagram are a popular way for people to learn about a topic or idea.

Consider what information you can share with your audience and create an Instagram slide post that highlights it.

This type of content can be shared on your Stories. Hopefully, other users will feel compelled to share it on their Stories.

16. Host an Instagram account Takeover

Consider hosting an Instagram account takeover if you are working with influencers or other brands. An influencer can take over your Stories and promote it on their Stories.

Then you can get their followers following along with the Stories, and hopefully, your account.

You can also ask influencers or brands if they would allow you to take over their Stories and interact with their followers as a way of promoting your account.

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