How To Grow Your Instagram Account in 2021?

For an Instagram marketer, learning how to grow your Instagram account is a necessity. An Instagram account’s engagement is the most important factor of all.

By engagement I mean the number of likes and comments received by the posts. Engagement is everything.

If you own a popular Instagram page that receives very little engagement, no one would want to work with you. So let’s get into this and see what works and what doesn’t.

How To Grow Your Instagram Account

Here’s what I'm going to cover –

  • How to create the most engaging content
  • How to achieve the best engagement possible
  • How to Grow Your Instagram Account

By the end of this guide you should be able to start your own Instagram account, get it up and running with a post or two and already start seeing some engagement.

Let’s do this, am excited!

 #1- How To Create the most engaging content?

I'm totally honest with you, growing your Instagram account initially can be really hard unless you’re serious about it. For the first few weeks you’re gonna have to grind a little.

Spend an hour or two working on your account and you will definitely build an account with many followers.

First thing’s first, you need to decide on the niche you wanna build your account in. Instagram is purely visual marketing and the most profitable niches are Fashion, Finance, Entertainment, Food and Fitness.  Decided on the niche yet? Then do this.

  1. Think of a catchy name yet simple name for your account. It should be something that’s easily remembered. If I were making an account in the Fashion niche, I would go with something like “@fashionworld”.
    It sounds very simple and can be easily remembered. Now go ahead and sign up. You’re already a step closer to Instagram riches ?.
  2. Upload a few niche related photos. Finding photos to post can seem like a herculean task but it’s really simple. The most common sources to go looking for images would be Tumblr, Reddit and Imgur. If you can’t be bothered to spend so much time scraping images then you “borrow” them from accounts in the same niche as yours. You could run into trouble sometime in the future for it. If you do intend to use photos from other accounts, the least you could do is send them a Direct Message(DM) saying you wanna use their photos and do credit them for it too. Or you could create your own content.

Content is King. Creating your own content is always the best option as you never run out of material to post and you have absolute control over it. And people love originality.

I personally use Canva to make all my images like the image above. With Canva it’s super easy to create really professional looking images within a matter of a few minutes. If you’re handy with Photoshop, you could use that too.

After that just upload that content into your account. You can do so in one go or even schedule your content on Instagram

Now that you know where to get content for your account, how do you make people interact with your posts?

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 #2 - How To Boost Engagement on Posts?

I have one word for you. HASHTAGS.

Hashtags(#) are used on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep in touch with trends, something you must already be familiar with.

Adding appropriate hashtags to your posts can really impact the engagement you receive on your posts. Use as many tags as possible. Instagram has a search function where you can search for posts using Hashtags too.

Here’s how tags help –

If I were looking for funny pictures, I would look for images tagged with “#funny” or “#humor” and this would bring up various results. This way I find what I am looking for and also find accounts that post funny pictures.

I would naturally follow such accounts because they interest me. This is the basic functioning of hashtags. I’m gonna show you how to find the best of hashtags to put in your posts.

1. Go to tagsfinder.com.  

2. For this example let’s consider you’re building a Humor page yourself and require some tags related to humor to go along with your posts.

3. Simply use the search function and search for “#humor”. The results look something like this.

As you can see, when you type in “#humor” it shows in different variations of the tag along with a number. The number denotes the number of photos on Instagram which have the tag on them.

Basically, higher the number the more popular the tag is. So note down 10-15 of the most popular tags and put them on your post and you should immediately see an increase in engagement in the form of likes, comments and follows. Leveraging tags to boost engagement is a skill of it’s own.

You can also create your own hashtags. After ‘creating’ a hashtag, you can ask your followers to upload photos with the tag in it. It’s like forming your own cult on Instagram. It creates a trend of sorts and in turn boosts your engagement.

 #3 - How To Grow Your Instagram account?

You’ve so far learnt how to create your own content and also find an audience for it. We’re just getting to the best part. Growing the account!

Growing your Instagram account can go down two ways, it can either be really easy or it can be really hard. It all depends on how much effort you put in, genuinely.

Making money with Instagram might be easier than most but it also requires some effort from your side. Let’s look at some methods to increase your followers on Instagram.

a). Follow – Unfollow : Basic Method

This is the oldest of methods out there which has always worked and will always work. It’s basically following as many people as you can hoping for them to follow you back. It’s sounds a bit absurd at first but you should see results for yourself.

Instagram users tend to check their notifications on a very regular basis and when you follow them, you end up sending them a notification. What happens when you get a follow notification from an unknown user?

You’re a bit surprised at first, a little intrigued too. So you end up visiting the person’s profile and following them back 50% of the time. This is a sure-shot method, bound to work always. Best part is, after following you they’re gonna go check out your posts and like/comment on them.

Finding users to follow is easy. For instance, if you’re in the Fashion niche and are looking to grow your account, simply visit a large fashion account, say @fashionnova and click on it’s Followers.

A list of followers should come up and simply start following them.

Note : Do not follow more than 20 users per hour.

It will lead to a temporary ban from following which could sometimes last for weeks i.e. you won’t be able to follow anyone for weeks. Don’t want that, do you?

You can either use the desktop version of Instagram or the mobile app.

In a nutshell, find large accounts in your niche and start following their users. This way you’re sure of tending to an audience that’s shown an interest in the niche. Continue this for a week or more, until you reach 7,000 followings. By the time you reach 7000 in followings, you would’ve already gained 1500-2000 followers. All in less than a week.

Instagram has certain rules in place. You can’t follow more than 8000 people on one account. So what do you do when you hit 8000 followings? You simply start unfollowing the people you’ve followed. Make sure to go to your ‘Followings’ and scroll down to the bottom of the list.

This way you’re shown the first people you followed and you can start unfollowing them. Keep in mind that while unfollowing users, you might lose a few followers. Some people tend to unfollow you if you’ve stopped following them.

Note : Do not unfollow more than 20 users per hour

In a nutshell, target accounts you want to gain new followers from.

b). Follow-Unfollow : With Tags

This is a slightly improved version of the Follow-Unfollow method. It involves following users through specified hashtags. It’s as simple as it sounds. If you want to find people who use a particular hashtag, say “#funnycatpictures” just use the search function and type “#funnycatpictures” and it should bring up a couple of posts. And then you can follow users whom the posts belong to. You might also find large accounts in your niche this way.

Hint : Look at the number of likes on the posts to find large accounts of the niche. The more the merrier.

The rules apply here too, do not follow more than 20 users or unfollow more than 20 users per hour. 

c). Shoutout Exchange

If you’ve been doing the above for a while and have gained a significant amount of followers or already own a large account but are confused as to how to proceed, read on.

Find large accounts in the same niche as yours with similar amounts of followers. Contact them via Direct Messaging (DM) and tell them that you want to ‘exchange’ shoutouts. This won’t cost you both anything and is well worth the time. You will basically be exchanging fanbases by shouting out to each other.

You will upload a post on your account mentioning the other person and he does the same. And when your followers look at it, they’ll visit the other account and end up following them too. This is again a sure-shot method.
If done right, you can gain thousands of followers within a day. This method is employed by a large number of accounts looking to increase followers on Instagram.

d). Paid Shoutouts

I’ve spoken about paid shoutouts in my previous post as a method of monetization. Let’s look at it the other way around this time.

Large accounts lend shoutouts for a set amount of time for a fee as you obviously know by now. Your only job is to find a popular account in your niche, possibly something in the range of 500,000 or more followers and contact them either through DM or the contact email provided in their profile biography.

Accounts like these usually give out shoutouts on a hourly basis – 1hour /2 hours /5 hours /24 hours.
If you want the shoutout to be permanent you’re gonna have to spend quite a bit of money.  

If you do buy a shoutout from an account with a 500K+ followers, you could expect to see at least 1000-2500 new people following you. Instantly. That’s the beauty of it. Just like that you get a whole new fanbase which you can later monetize.

If you have the money for it, do spend money on buying shoutouts for yourself. It’s the fastest way to grow. If not, you’re gonna have to make do with exchanging shoutouts and follow/unfollow.

This can seem a little time consuming. I’ve shown you how to grow your Instagram account and increase the number of followers and boost engagement on it, so in my next article I’m gonna show you how to automate  the whole process using different tools. 

I know how tiring manual work can get and let’s just negate that out completely. You can be growing multiple accounts at once without having to lift a finger. Sounds too be good to be true?

Until the next time!

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