How to get followers on Instagram
First of all: the correct question should be: „How do I get active followers on Instagram?“.
Because in the end only the followers that are active on Instagram do have a real additional value for you. They’re not only following you quietly, but they like and comment your pictures and keep your instagram profile lively. They give you feedback, share your content and make Instagram become what it’s supposed to be – a community! Only real and active followers are the ones that receive the things you’re sharing, because they are the only ones that are truly interest in your content.
That becomes relevant for bloggers more and more, since agencies and brands are starting to understand that the ratio betweens followers and likes/comments needs to be right. When 5 % of your followers also like your pictures on average, you did a good job! Your account has the right ratio to be interesting for brands and their products. Hello collaborations! More than 5 % is better for sure, less than 5 % means something must be wrong. When the ratio between followers and likes/comments is far below 5 % it’s a clear sign that something is wrong. An Instagram account with 10.000 followers but only 200 likes on average definitely looks really strange and isn’t interesting for collaborations.
quality of your pictures
The most important thing to be successful on Instagram are really good pictures! I already published a blog post, about how to make the perfect instagram picture here. Without really good pictures, your Instagram profile probably will never become interesting for a larger audience. Unless you’re already famous – that’s the only possibility to get followers without making an effort. You’re not famous? Well, that means you need to take pictures that catch people. Because in this whole wide Instagram world exist countless nice pictures. And a lot of crap. Just pay attention which pictures attract your interest and compare your own pictures with it. Start to analyze which pictures work on Instagram and which don’t. Have a look at famous Instagram accounts with a similar topic and try to judge as objectively as possible if your pictures can bear the comparison.
use the correct hashtags
Use hashtags. It won’t work without. Just don’t overdo. Besides the most popular fashion hashtags, you should also use some less popular ones. The advantage is that your pictures won’t slide down in a couple of seconds, like it happens for the popular hashtags. Everything is allowed, nothing’s too embarrassing (#beauty #beautiful) and everything’s ok, as long as a connection to your picture is recognizable.
buying followers and likes
on’t do it! Honestly, it’s not worth it! Even if the temptation to quickly get a hundreds of followers may be huge. But bought followers will literally follow you forever, without actually helping your Instagram account. They even harm you. Because these bought followers mostly are fake accounts or least people that couldn’t care less about your content. That’s why they will never ever leave you any like or comment and the ratio between your followers and likes/comments will get worse. Everybody who knows a thing or two about Instagram sees that. Both, companies, who are potential cooperation partners and other bloggers, who will run you down – quite rightly! Buying followers instead of offering really good content is damn embarrassing!
What if I’m going to buy likes as well!? Yeees, that would at least fix your ratio in theory. But honestly, you would have to do that for the rest of your Instagram life, because the fake followers stay. You cannot get rid of them. They stay and laze around in your followers list. And as you can imagine – buying likes all the time will get very expensive and you waste precious time, you could much better use to create really good content. Because in the end, that’s the only key to more ACTIVE followers.
you’re looking for active followers – be active yourself
I’ve got really nice pictures on my Instagram profile. At least they aren’t worse than the pictures by people with a lot more followers. Why am I not getting more followers? Why, why, why???
The problem is other users need to find your profile first. Besides using the right hashtags, by which potential followers can find you, you need to get active yourself.
Because Instagram isn’t a fanpage, it’s a community! It’s interaction that counts! If you’re looking for active followers, you need to be active yourself. And the best way to make sure others will notice you, is liking and commenting on other people pictures. The first thing you have to do is defining your audience. You’ve got a fashion blog? Than it’s definitely the users who are interested in fashion. And finding them is pretty easy. Just search for the most popular fashion hashtags (#ootd, #fashionblogger, #fashionista and so on). Based on my personal experience, these two techniques are very effective:
- Search for hashtags that belong to your own profiles or pictures topic (#ootd #food #heels) and like the first ten pictures your really like. Refresh the search results and keep on liking until you don’t feel like it anymore. In this way you’re often one of the very first who like a picture and the chance that the owner is curious who liked their picture is very high. And that’s when someone finally visits your profile. If he/she likes what he sees, you’ve got a new follower (in ideal case). But bare in mind: the rate of people following you by this technique isn’t very high, but persistence pays off. So keep on liking!
- Search for people whose Instagram profiles have similar topics, click on their followers and start liking the pictures of these foreign followers. You can be relatively sure, that these users will like your content as well and with a bit of luck they may also follow you as well. But before you start liking pictures of other accounts followers, make sure that the account you picked out has real and active followers (followers : likes/comments ratio at least 5 %). Otherwise you risk liking fake accounts and that will lead you to nothing. Like with technique one you need to be persistent again.
You think that’s stupid or you think that’s too much work? Well, that’s how Instagram works. And there isn’t any better way than saying „hello“ and catching the other ones attention. But watch out you’re not slipping into a like rush. Instagram doesn’t like power-likers and if you overdo, it can happen that Instagram disables your like function for 24 hours. But if this happens after all, don’t panic! It’s only temporary.
Of course these two techniques don’t only work for liking pictures, but also for commenting on pictures. On a percentage basis you’ll get more followers by commenting, but it’s also a lot more time-consuming. By the way, don’t do copy/paste – that’s another thing Instagram doesn’t like and your comment function will be disabled faster than you can say „paste“. To avoid blockings you should switch the hashtags in which you like or comment and make sure to make some breaks from time to time. Otherwise Instagram could think you’re a bot (that’s an app that likes and comments for you) and you get blocked. If you’ve ever considered using a like bot – that’s a really bad idea! Aside from the fact that your Instagram account could get blocked forever, these bot programs often are developed by people who try to harm you. But cheating is stupid anyways, so don’t do!
shoutouts are out
What’s out? Shoutouts – like the name already tells. A shoutout works like that: another user (mostly with a similar number of followers and a similar topic) calls on his/her followers to follow your Instagram account. Doesn’t sound that bad? That’s true. But you won’t find a lot of people who do that just to support you. Mostly the deal is a mutual shoutout. Have you ever seen the shortcuts „s4s“ or „sfs“ under your pictures? That means somebody asked for a “shoutout for shoutout”.
And why is this out? Basically shoutouts aren’t that bad – the followers of similar accounts may take notice of you. But anyhow, I wouldn’t recommend shoutouts, because they’re very unpersonal and you could annoy your real and active followers. Because after all they follow you to see your content and not to see advertisement for other accounts again and again.
That doesn’t mean mutual support isn’t important and good. But there are better ways to support each other. But you need to leave the virtual life for that. Visit blogger events and start to meet other bloggers in person. Be nice to other bloggers and start to support each other. Nothing’s more likable than seeing a couple of bloggers, that truly like each other in one Instagram picture.
And just to make sure you don’t misunderstand me: don’t start to suck up to successful bloggers now, just to be in one picture with them, preferably on their Instagram account. That’s neither cool, nor clever. And they know about that kind of people and won’t support them on their instagram accounts. But there are no objections to having some good talks and establish contacts. If you like each other, you probably support each other with pleasure. And if you happen to become friends – could it be any better!?
Features are the most important follower-booster. If you get featured by the right accounts, you can get a hundreds of new followers on one single day! And it’s very simple. You did a great shot of your look (for example)? All you need to do is tag the popular accounts and hope for a feature. Of course you need a little luck. But to start your luck off, make sure to take not only beautiful pictures, but pictures with that certain something. Of course quality is very important as well. If you like to learn about how to take great pictures with that certain something, just have a look at the category: Photo Tips.
The biggest fashion feature sites on Instagram currently are:
But there are also a lot of other famous Instagram feature accounts, where you don’t need luck (and don’t need that certain something). Why? Because there are also accounts where you need to pay to get featured. I still remember, how shocked Dana was, when she found out first. After she tagged the account in the hope of getting featured, they send her a price list. We had to chuckle a little, because we suddenly understood why others had been featured that often during the last time. „Not on my watch!“ was Danas reaction and although I agree with her, I think it’s a legitimate way to promote yourself. Because companies do pay for commercials as well and in the end, nobody get’s forced to follow you.
But anyways, Dana’s (www.howimetmyoutfit.de) too proud for that, because it almost doesn’t matter, if your look and your picture are great. The feature sites that you don’t need to pay only feature you if they think your picture is worth it and then happy dances are guaranteed.
The interesting thing for you probably is, that you’ll see that everybody on Instagram puts his pants on the same way as you. Maybe you’ll see a well-known face somewhere. Some of the pay-accounts are:
I wrote messages to the accounts above and they replied with price lists. I don’t know if they additionally feature some pictures for free.
reposts by brands
Just as helpful as features can be reposts by brands. Now matter if you like to present a complete look, a beauty product or accessories – take beautiful and interesting pictures and tag the brands. Maybe they like your pic and repost it with mentioning your Instagram page. A lot of famous brands have several 100k followers – I’m sure some of them will follow you as well.
Important is that you focus on the products. Make sure that you don’t show any competing products in your pictures. But don’t start buying products just to make Instagram pictures of them. Only buy things you can afford and you really like to buy.
If someday you’ll have collaborations because your Instagram account is great and attractive for brands, you may get samples for free. The chance to get reposted then is even higher, because you actually have a connection with the brand.
avoid everything that’s unfair and that hasn’t a connection to your topic
Follow for follow, like for like, follow / unfollow, false promises. All that doesn’t make any sense, if you’re looking for an active and honest follower-community. If anybody only likes a picture or follows you, if you do the same, he’s not really interested in you and your content. You don’t need these kind of people!
Another thing you shouldn’t do is follow somebody, just to unfollow as soon as he/she follows you back. That’s not the way to make people like you. One or the other may fall for that, but honestly, if you like to wind people up, you’re wrong on my blog! Besides that there are countless apps, where you can see who unfollows you. I don’t like cheaters, neither in real life, nor in virtual life.
Which experiences did you make on Instagram? Do you have any questions or notes? Get cracking!
Definitly also take a look at Danas Insta: instagram.com/howimetmyoutfit