Building a large following on Instagram of people who are truly interested in what you have to share is a lot of work. But if you are willing to put in the time and energy Neil Patel has shared everything that you need to do in order to gain 300+ targeted Instagram followers a day! This article is broken up into two sections, the first being an introduction and optimization of your Instagram profile and posts, and the second is Neil’s strategy for actively engaging and growing your audience.
A few years ago, I wrote a post about Instagram on how to get more followers and likes.
But there’s a problem with that post. I wrote it in 2012!
Instagram is a completely different animal today. If you read my old article, you’ll get some useful tips and tricks. But you won’t know how to leverage all of Instagram’s new features.
Since that time, Instagram changed their entire look!
The shiny new Instagram has more users, more power, more capabilities, more features, and more potential than it did in 2012.
It was time to produce a new article on Instagram. That’s the main reason I wrote this article.
But there’s another reason I wrote this article. I want to help you succeed on Instagram.
what does it mean to succeed? It means that you’re attracting all the normal stuff like followers, likes, mentions, and comments.
It also means that you’re engaging at a deeper level with your audience. You’re connecting with them in a way that truly matters.
In this article, you’re going to learn how to get 300+ real, targeted Instagram followers per day.
I’ll show you how to do this step-by-step.
In case you’re new to the platform, let me give you some quick facts on Instagram.
Instagram is a photo sharing mobile app. It was launched in 2010 as a typical freebie app. There were a lot of other photo apps, but Instagram hit the sweet spot and started to grow
They grew so fast that Facebook took interest and bought them for $1 billion in April, 2012.
As of June 2016, Instagram has 500 million monthly active users!
Instagram used to be a really basic app. You took a picture. You put a filter on it (to make yourself look better). You shared with your small Instagram following.
That was it. No bells. No whistles. Nothing fancy.
That’s no longer the case.
Today, Instagram is packed with tons of features. Once Snapchat started attracting millions of followers, and when apps like Periscope leveraged live video, Instagram rushed to offer these features as well.
For example, you can edit photos using more advanced photo editing features instead of relying on Instagram’s built-in filters.
You can also post Stories. Stories appear at the top of your friends’ feeds, and appear there for only 24 hours. If you want to keep your stories discrete, you can send them only to select friends or curated groups.
Like Snapchat, you can edit your pictures with text, drawing, and other special effects.
Unlike Snapchat, however, there are no filters that make you look like a dog.
Instagram’s Live Video feature is still catching on. It’s not like most live video platforms, because the video disappears as soon as you stop streaming. You can watch live videos only while they’re being filmed.
My goal in this article is just to show you how to get followers, not teach you how to use every feature.
Still, it’s important to be aware of these features, because you’re going to be using them as you grow your audience by thousands per week.
The first five steps are foundational, so I’ll go through each of them briefly. Then, I’ll dive into details in steps 6-8.
Step 1: Design your profile for maximum engagement
The first thing you’ll need to do is to create an Instagram profile that people will be interested in.
This matters. Your picture, your name, profile name, and your description are your digital billboard on Instagram. People will look at it, browse your photos, and check out your website.
Everything starts here.
If you’re just getting started with Instagram, the process will be simple and straightforward during the signup process.
If you already have an Instagram account, you can change your profile name and username.
First, tap on the profile icon at the bottom right corner.
Then, tap “Edit Profile” at the top of the page.
Now, change each of the following to something that accurately reflects who you are and the value you provide.
Name. I recommend using your personal name.
Username. Your username needs to be unique. If your name is already taken, add some words or phrases that make it distinct.
A URL. Point this to your website if you have one. This URL is the only clickable link that you’ll be able to provide on Instagram.
Information. A brief description about yourself. Make this description as warm and engaging as possible. An emoji or two doesn’t hurt.
Step 2: Post photos that grab people’s attention and make them want to engage with you
Here’s how.Instagram is all about the pictures. In this step, you need to build a collection of attention-grabbing posts.
Post original photos
No one likes to see an Instagram account that is stacked with stock photos or reposted viral pictures. Use your own photos.
Make sure your photos are relevant
Whenever you post a photo, think about the group that you want to attract. Who are these people? What will grab their attention? I’ll provide some examples of relevancy below.
Add a location
When you add a location to your photo, you’ll get more visibility. Why? Because your photo “lives” in that location. Anytime someone searches for photos taken within an area, they will see your photo.
Tap “Add Location” on the new post screen.
Instagram provides you with a list of possible locations to choose from.
However, you can type in any location you want to, and Instagram will show you a list of the popular nearby locations.
I recommend choosing a popular location, so your post will get more visibility.
Step 3: Add a long image caption to the post
You’re allowed to write 2,200 characters. That’s a lot! For reference, 2,200 characters in this article will take you from the beginning all the way down to the paragraph that ends with “curated groups.” (CTRL + F to find it, and see how long 2,200 characters can stretch!)This is one of the most overlooked tactics in sharing photos. You should add several paragraphs of valuable written content to your post.
Instagram will show only three lines of your image caption in user’s feeds. But that’s okay. If you can grab attention with those first three lines, you’ve won.
Instagram has a nasty thing about not allowing line breaks. The easiest way I’ve found to overcome this issue is by writing my post in my Notes app, copying it, and pasting it into Instagram.
To make things quicker, I open Notes on my Macbook which syncs with Notes my phone. I type the caption completely, and spell check it.
I open the note on my phone and copy it. Then I open Instagram and paste it into the caption.
Boom. Instant juicy content, and line breaks where I want them.
A long and interesting image caption is the number one way that I’ve found to get people to comment on and like my posts.
You have to lead with a great picture, but a good picture isn’t enough. Everyone’s already doing that! You have to add more value by producing more written content!
Step 4: Add hashtags
It’s that simple.You can Instagram all day long, but if you’re not using hashtags, you won’t grow your audience.
Hashtags give you visibility. Instagram users hop around on hashtags like a bored person channel surfs. They click from hashtag to hashtag to hashtag, occasionally stopping in to check out an interesting user.
But which hashtags should you use?
If you use the bland hashtags like #happy and #selfie, you’ll get some people to notice your post, but it won’t be the right kind of people.
Your goal is to get targeted followers, remember?
Here’s how to do it.
Add hashtags in a comment, not in the actual photo
I recommend putting your hashtags in a comment on your own photo.
Why? First, it looks a little bit nicer. Your image caption should be clean and nice-looking. Hashtags tend to make things look messy.
Second, it keeps your caption distinct. Hashtags aren’t for people to see. They are for people to find you.
Third, you can add more hashtags. If you’ve filled out your image caption at the character limit, don’t worry. You have more room in comments.
Start by typing a general hashtag that relates to your industry or audience
Go ahead and type a broad hashtag that is relevant to your audience.
For example, you may type “#digitalmarketer”. Notice what happens in Instagram when you do this.
Instagram shows you a list of popular hashtags!
You don’t need to guess which ones are popular, because you can see the post count on the right hand side.
Add as many of these hashtags as possible, as long as they are relevant. Doing this will give you a clear idea of the types of hashtags to use, and where to use them.
When you find a list of hashtags that gets high levels of engagement, I recommend copying these and saving them in a note file on your phone. That way, instead of typing them out every time, you can copy and paste them into your comment.
Use 30 hashtags
How many hashtags should you use?
Here’s a good rule of thumb: No less than 5. No more than 30.
Why no more than 30? If you add more than 30, Instagram won’t let you post the comment.