While it was quite easy two years ago to grow a large followers community quickly with the right tricks, it has become increasingly difficult. The reason for that is the continuing development of the Instagram algorithm. Recently, participation in engagement groups has become more and more inefficient and rumors are spreading that Instagram may even penalize participation in such groups. In this article, I would like to give you 4 tips on how you can sustainably gain more followers on your Instagram niche account. The tips are mostly time-independent, which means that this article can still add value for you in the coming years, although the algorithm will look completely different then.
1. Get more Tags
When one of my Instagram animal accounts (@animal_unity) had around 150.000 followers, something unexpected happened. Ellen DeGeneres shared a post from my account with a tag to it. After rapid growth in the next 24 hours, the growth rate decreased a little bit of course – but it stayed well above the previous growth average. During the next weeks, there were more and more tags on big pages, including Ellen DeGeneres.
Instead of gaining about 200 new followers a day, my average growth rate grew to 800-1000 a day.
In this period of time, neither the quantity nor the quality of my postings changed. I still had an increased growth rate after months of all the reposts, so this can most likely be attributed to the tags. Think of the tags on Instagram as backlinks on Google. The more often your website is linked here on other (qualitative) websites, the more Google will recognize the relevance of your website and so they show it further up in the rankings.
How can you use this knowledge for yourself? Quite simple. Ask your followers in your bio to tag your account in their postings. So they get a chance of a feature on your account. With this method, you don’t necessarily reach the world stars, but in the masses, tags from small accounts are certainly beneficial. The second action you can do is to send great postings directly to huge accounts. Tell them that it went viral and that you’re sure that it would go viral on their account as well. Stay consistent and chances are good that they gonna repost a post one day.
2. Quality over Quantity
This tip is certainly not a secret anymore, but I have to list it, because most people still don’t pay enough attention to it. The principle is obvious. A post that goes viral will generate 20-40 times as many followers as a post that does not go viral. This means that you should only look for the creme de la creme and don’t waste time while downloading and posting average posts.
Besides the manual search for posts on the Explore Page there are tools that can help you to find viral posts. See this adstock blog article for more details.
3. Trial and Error
Don’t get stuck. When you reach a plateau in your growth, then it is time to change something. Try different posting times, posting frequency, a new search method for good posts… If you don’t change anything, most likely nothing will change in your growth (unless an Ellen DeGeneres stumbles across your account). Don’t be shy – just try it!
To get some ideas about what things you could try, check out the instagram theme of blackhatworld.com.
4. Don’t get Greedy
Once you have a certain number of followers, the first people ask for shoutouts. Of course it is tempting to make some quick money here, but beware of ugly designed ads or sharing too many of them – it can cause a decreased growth. Set a follower number as a limit, above which you are willing to accept this damage. Basically, story ads are not as harmful as feed ads. And if people buy ads for their account with content that matches the content on your account, you can expect almost no damage. To get more ads like this, you can encourage people to do so.
For example, it worked very well with a small eBook. In the ebook, there were 7 tips to get more followers for dog accounts on Instagram. One tip was to buy shoutouts – of course with discount code for a special niche account.
It’s time to grow!
If you follow these tips, you will be successful with your account on Instagram in the medium and long term. The times of a holygrail to growth on instagram are over. But a large follerbase is more valuable than ever.
Do you also have some helpful tips for more followers? Then feel free to write them in the comments!