ByApril 21, 2016 5 Comments

So you’ve been on Instagram a while and you’re struggling to build up a decent sized community of followers?

Every person or brand has to start somewhere! However there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of becoming a hit on Instagram, and we’ve organised them into 7 simple steps for you to follow and get popular on Instagram! So don’t despair, work through the steps and you’ll certainly see a fast improvement.

Step 1: Write a solid bio

First thing’s first: you need to have a great bio on your Instagram, so that people know who you are, what you do, what your values are etc. It is said to take less than a second for a potential customer to form an opinion of your brand based on your company website. An Instagram bio gives you even less time to make an impression. A great bio consists of your name, your company’s expertise/main skill and your website link or some form of CTA. Make sure you include these essential elements in your 150 character limit!

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Step 2: Post a minimum of 9 media

In order to really kick off your Instagram popularity, you’re definitely going to need one thing: posts! Try to aim for a minimum of 9 (so you can fill out a grid on a screen) really good quality media – photos or videos or both! This media will be your basis for amassing likes and comments, and gaining visibility, so be sure not to spam with low quality images – that’s just not what Instagram is about! For our tips on how to take the perfect Instagram photo, see our blog post.

Step 3: Reference your media

In order to appear in search results, you need to reference your media correctly, by theme, by using hashtags. For example, let’s say you’ve posted a photo of a landscape, you should reference your photo with the key words that would send you to that photo through a search. The basic hashtags are #thenameoftheplace and #thethemeofthephoto. You can use the search bar to find out how many posts already exist on a hashtag, which will tell you how popular that particular hashtag is. Remember 5-10 hashtags is the perfect amount, below 5 and your photo will be lost in the search and beyond 10 is hashtag overkill 😉

Step 4: Promote your Instagram account

The problem with creating a new account on a social network is that the chances are your audience is already elsewhere. Let your existing communities know that you’re on Instagram by posting about it! A short but sweet “We are now on Instagram! Follow us – @mybrand” will do the trick on Twitter and Facebook, or you could even update your profile picture for a while to let your community know the news. You should also be promoting on your company website, your blog, and if you have one, in your newsletter! Getting the word out will do wonders for your follower growth.

Step 5: Use the follow4follow technique

The follow4follow technique involves searching for accounts that interest you and following them. Most of the time they’ll follow you back if you have great media and don’t spam (see Step 2!).

Top Tip! Engaging with other people’s media (by liking or commenting on posts that are relevant to you) will get attention and potentially result in a follow. For easier commenting on your desktop, use the Conversation Tracker on Iconosquare!

Step 6: Find out the best time to post

Keep your existing followers happy by remaining visible to them in their feed. You can find out the best time to post according to your engagement rate, number of likes or number of comments with the Best Time To Post tool on Iconosquare. You will slowly but surely be able to build up your engagement rate by paying attention to what time of day has worked for you in the past.

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Step 7: Track your progress

To really tune in to your Instagram progress, you need to be tracking your analytics. Check out our blog post: 5 reasons why you should be tracking your Instagram analytics. This is how you will learn how to consistently please your followers and see your community grow.

You’ll be instafamous in no time!


Has this article been helpful? Tell us your Instagram success story in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!


Emily Lydon

Author Emily Lydon

Emily is an Inbound Marketer for Iconosquare, based in the Limoges office. She loves all things social and revels in keeping on top of the social media marketing game by writing for the blog. She’s also a bit obsessed with sushi, gin and Netflix.

More posts by Emily Lydon
  • JJcuties

    Thank you for the tips. Been interacting with the audience on Instagram, will follow the 7 steps to gain more followers. Thanks!

  • JJcuties

    By following the tips, i gained some followers on instagram. How do you get access what is the good time to post on iconsquare?

  • i think the follow4follow technique is too hard… when i follow someone and then he not follow back to me again, its hurt guys 🙁

  • Emily Lydon

    Hi there! Thanks for your question! You can access your Best Time to Post under the Engagement tab on Iconosquare 🙂

  • Lee Free

    I think that number of followers means how popular you are. More followers – more popular. Unfortunately, this is it. And people use apps like to get them faster. I don’t know it is good or bad

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