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How To Grow Instagram Followers in 2019

You’re probably spending your time and energy crafting the perfect Instagram post, story, and maybe even a live broadcast. So to make your effort worthwhile, don’t you want as many eyeballs as possible on your account? Learn how to grow your Instagram followers in 2019 so you can grow your account and bottom line.

Instagram Stories

Diving into Instagram Stories is more than simply sharing your favorite photos or behind-the-scenes clips. Really understanding which content to share – and which stories clips lead to strong engagement – is the key to expanding your reach.

Plus, Instagram has predicted that its 1 billion daily users will spend more time in Stories than anywhere else in the app. If you’re not sharing regularly in Stories, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to grow your following.

If you want to get more eyeballs on your feed content, you need to make sure you’re sharing it in Stories. Here’s how you do it:

#1 Tap on the airplane icon under the photo or video you want to share.  

An Instagram post showing Sue B Zimmerman with a white arrow pointing to the airplane icon.

#2 Tap on “Add post to your story”

Sue B Zimmerman's Instagram post with the menu open to send the post via Direct Message.

#3 Select “Your Story”

Lastly, you want to select your Story to publish your Instagram Stories clips

Not crazy about the background color of your Stories clip? Here’s a ninja tip:

#1 Tap on the marker tool

Sue B Zimmerman's Instagram Story post draft with a white arrow pointing to the marker icon.

#2 Select your preferred color

Sue B Zimmerman holds her iPhone open to an Instagram Story with her finger on the color spectrum.

#3 Hold your finger down on the background of the image to change the color

Sue B Zimmerman holds her iPhone with an Instagram Story draft on the screen and her finger on the solid purple background.

With Instagram Stories, you can share more freely without having to worry about your content being perfectly polished. Whether you’re trying to promote an upcoming event or just get more engagement on your feed, Instagram Stories definitely offer more creative leeway.

Instagram Stories Takeover

Instagram Stories takeovers come in all shapes and sizes. From celebrities to locally-focused highlights, tons of business accounts are leveraging these takeovers to engage new audiences.

That being said, you want to make sure you’re always bringing value to the Stories takeover. You need to have a specific goal or key learning point in mind before you share. Ask yourself, “what’s in it for them.”

That’s exactly what I did when I did a Stories takeover for Ontraport. Since Ontraport is a company focused on creating the best visual automated marketing tools, I knew that their audience would want to know the key ways to attract and engage with their Instagram audience.

Sue B Zimmerman smiles as she poses with an Instagram icon pillow above her head.

Even better, by sharing the takeover as a Q&A I was able to make sure I answered all of their key questions and speak directly to their concerns. That’s high-level value!

Sue B Zimmerman's Instagram Story shows her sitting on a couch smiling and posing with two attendees at the Ontraport event. The text over the Story says ask me your Instagram questions on this post.

Share the Right Content

Have a ton of content that you think is perfect for your followers? Maybe it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty and think hard about which content is most likely to get engagement from your audience.

Maybe it’s a step-by-step video or a customer testimonial, whatever you share it needs to illustrate why you are the leader in your industry’s niche. In an app where it seems like a lot of people are tapping through, you need to share Stories content that makes people want to stop and engage.

If you’re struggling to format your captions, be sure to download my free template.

Ninja Tip: If you’re nudging people to check out your feed post, make sure it’s readable. One way I do this is by putting the title of my caption in all caps. Then your followers will instantly know what your post is about, and why it’s going to give them value.

Sue B Zimmerman's Instagram post shows her smiling and posing with a striped blazer and sunglasses on.

Use Relevant Hashtags

Another way to engage your audience is to use hashtags. What’s so great about hashtags is that they can be used for all kinds of niche audiences. Plus, people can follow the hashtags that are most relevant to them – that means more opportunities for your content to shine.

For example, look at how Magda shares her daily recipes using #vegan. She uses this more general hashtag, that’s still relevant to her audience, to reach a wide audience.

Oatmeal Stories Instagram post shows two cups of oatmeal topped with almonds and blackberries.

But she also uses more specific hashtags so she can attract the attention of people who are looking for more in-depth information about healthy eating. Because she doesn’t share irrelevant or overly used hashtags (like #likeforlike), she’s able to minimize bots and spammers.

How to Introduce Yourself to New Followers

If you’re hoping to deepen your relationships with your followers and show them that’s a real person behind your avatar, it’s really important to make an effort to introduce yourself. This is especially important when you notice a sudden influx of new followers.

When people tap on follow, you want them to feel like part of your community. If they feel welcome, they’re more likely to share your content and engage.

Treat your followers like your friends. You can even ask them to reach out in the DM, so you can have a more personal one-on-one conversation. Curious how everyone else is sharing their introductions? Check out #FridayIntroductions for inspiration.

The Instagram #FridayIntroducations explore tab.

Now that you know what kind of content to share, it’s time to improve your strategy!

2019 Instagram Strategy Guide Download

Are you ready to grow your business on Instagram in 2019? Download my free Instagram Strategy Guide to discover the strategies and tips you need to keep your business growing all year long.

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