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Ways to Get More Instagram Followers in 2018

Wondering how to get more Instagram followers? There are a lot of shortcuts out there that promise you thousands of followers, if only for a small fee. Whether it’s bots, which are social automation tools that scroll through your feed to liking and commenting on random posts, or other tricks that are designed to help your following instantly skyrocket, they all promise you overnight results.

These sound like the perfect solution for a busy entrepreneur like yourself, right? But here’s the risk: any sort of automation on Instagram violates the platform’s terms of use. That means your account can get banned.

Now, here’s something else to think about, these shortcuts are also total BS.

Here’s the truth, there are no quick, easy ways to grow an authentic audience on Instagram. But there are strategies you can implement that can help you connect with people who are highly engaged and emotionally invested in your content – and, honestly, that should be your goal.

Here are three ways to get more Instagram followers.

#1 Go Live on Instagram

 Have you noticed the notification pop up when people are “Going Live” on Instagram, yet you have no idea how to use Live for your brand? Instagram Live is the perfect way to instantly connect with your followers and show them the real, unfiltered side of your brand.

Of course, you know that I love Instagram Stories, but if you want to take your engagement one step further … it’s time to go live. Not sure how to go live? Here’s how to start a broadcast:

Sue B Zimmerman's kitchen table with a stack of post its and a plant.

– Tap in the top left of the screen or swipe right from anywhere in Feed.

– Tap Live at the bottom of the screen, then tap Start Live Video.

Instagram Live isn’t meant to be perfectly polished or refined. Not only is going live a great platform for building trust with your followers and meeting your business goals, but Instagram Live can also boost your discoverability. Just like your normal posts and Instagram Stories, if you’re able to drive a lot of engagement with your live video, you could show up on the explore page.


Sue B Zimmerman smiles as she joins a guest on her live broadcast.

Another amazing feature about Instagram Live, is how easy it is to use as a collaborative tool. With its update last year, Instagram now lets you share dual broadcasts with your favorite influencers, community members or friends. To start a dual broadcast, all you need to do is tap on the new faces icon once you’re live. Then, you just send an invite asking that person to join. Even better, when your dual broadcast partner lets their followers know they’re going live, you instantly double your audience!  So really, you can get as creative as you want with both the content and the ultimate goal of your live broadcast.

#2 Add Hashtags and Geotags to Your Stories

A great hashtag and geolocation strategy can help your content by seen by thousands of people. It doesn’t matter if you have a brick and mortar store, geotags and hashtags are your way to be seen by people in your community and people across the globe who are exploring the hub.

Here’s how to add hashtags and geotags to your Stories:

  • Tap in the top left your screen or swipe right from anywhere in Feed.
  • Take a photo or video
  • Tap on the sticker icon at the top of the screen
  • Select location or hashtag – remember you can add both
  • Add it to your image or video
  • You can pinch it with your fingers to adjust the size
  • Then tap “add to your story”
  • Now it’s part of your Story

The crew from Sea Sports Sweat all wear blank tank tops and smile as they pose on a rooftop.

An account that uses hashtags and geotags in their Stories really well is Boston Seaport. As the lifestyle account of Boston’s vibrant waterfront community, this account is all about sharing the latest events and happenings with their community members and the greater Boston area.

Not only does sharing hashtags and geolocations consistently in their Stories ensure that people in the immediate area stay in-the-know, but Boston Seaport also take it one step further by using branded hashtags too. In anticipation of their outdoor fitness classes, Boston Seaport strategically uses #SeaportSweat. This builds momentum for the classes, and the high engagement also helps the content to show up in the explore page – instantly putting the posts in front of thousands of potential attendees.

#3 Follow Relevant Hashtags Your Ideal Audience Uses

It’s time we start changing the way we think about hashtags. Instead, of just thinking of them as content tags we tack on to the end of a post, you should be thinking of them as thriving little communities. What matters most is that you understand the typical content that’s being shared in that hashtag hub, and how your content fits into the mix.

That’s why I recommend “following” relevant hashtags. Here’s how it works:

  • First, search the hashtag that’s of interest to you
  • At the top of the hashtag page, you’ll see “follow”
  • Click on it
  • Now you’ll be able to see the best posts under that hashtag in your regular Instagram feed and in Stories

If you’re not sure which hashtags to follow, check out brands that are similar to yours and see which hashtags they’re sharing. Jot down about five to ten to start with, and over time you’ll start to notice the trends and content that gets higher engagement.

Ninja Tip: Make sure you’re taking time to engage

People are more likely to engage with you if they view your Instagram account as a two-way street. Take time to actively engage with the accounts using the hashtags you’re following. I’m not telling you to spam them, remember that’s a shortcut that doesn’t work in the long term. Leave comments that actually advance the conversation and show that you’re interested in the content they’re sharing. If people like what you’re saying, they’re more likely to tap over to your account and follow.

Growing your Instagram audience is about progress, not perfection

It takes time to grow an authentic community on Instagram. But I can promise you that taking the time to strategize and sharing with intention now will get you closer to reaching your business goals. Let me know in the comments below which of these tips you plan to implement today. I would love to hear how these strategies worked for you.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of planning your Instagram strategy right now, don’t worry. I got you covered with my free Instagram Strategy Guide. This 12-page download is packed with everything you need to know about how you can leverage the power of Instagram and the seven main areas you need to focus on to get started. Every day we hear from people that they would totally pay for this … but we like to over deliver … so it’s always FREE!



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