What makes the methods of getting Instagram followers different in 2016 and 2018?

Everything.

Instagram has changed and developed so much within the last two years. Not only are all of Instagram’s algorithms different now but more people are using Instagram and for lots of different reasons.

What started out as a little website/app where people could share a fun photo with their small circle of friends, has turned into a huge community of over a billion active users, and people are wanting to tap into this market for business.

Setting Up

Before you tell anyone about your new Instagram account, make sure your profile is completely filled out.

Take an attractive and professional profile picture where users can clearly see your face (or logo if you’re an established brand) and complete your bio.

Keep it short but informative, interesting and relevant and do not forget to include a website link, as this is the main place you can add a link (Stories also allows links, but regular posts do not).

Going From Zero to 60 (or 600)

The first steps when you initially create your Instagram account vary slightly depending on who you are and what account you’re setting up.

I found this article on medium, which explains the importance of organic Instagram followers, and why quality over quantity is important when growing a strong following.

If you are an established business – your first step should be to send out a newsletter or an e-blast with your username, asking people to follow you.

An incentive could prove very useful, for example, a discount to the first 100 people who follow you.

Of course, make sure you have a couple of interesting Instagram posts up before you send out the email.

If you’re starting from scratch, share your Instagram name with your friends, family, and colleagues, and across any other social media accounts you already have.

Ideally, you’ll already have a post or two up before you do this, but since they are all your friends, they might even follow you without anything up there!

Give and Take

You have your first wave of followers, so how do you go about acquiring more followers from here?

Take a look at the people who follow you and follow the most relevant 10% back.

From here, interact with these accounts on a regular basis.

Search for accounts similar to your own, and ones you enjoy the content of, follow these users and interact with them too.

This interaction part is crucial to acquiring new Instagram followers in 2018.

Here’s why – posts aren’t ordered chronologically on Instagram anymore, they appear on peoples’ feeds in order of how interesting they are.

So, if a post has received lots of likes and/or comments, it’ll appear higher and therefore more people see it, and more people will like and/or comment on it and the cycle continues.

People are more likely to engage with your content if you are engaging with theirs.

Not only because they feel bound by reciprocal behavior, but they are more likely to notice you in the first place if your name is coming up on post comments.

There are a few ways to interact well with posts, of course you can like or leave comments on posts, but you can also respond to their Instagram Stories and send direct messages introducing yourself.

The personal approach of a direct message combined with consistent interaction on their posts exponentially increases the likelihood of getting followed back.

This is most likely to work with smaller accounts, as bigger accounts might not even see your message.

Following List Maintenance

Stay on top of the people you are following.

Every month or so, check your list and unfollow anyone who isn’t following you back.

There are apps to do this for your once your list becomes too big.

This keeps your following/followers ratio high, which looks better to other users/brands when they view your account.

Anyone who has a high number on the ‘following’ list can raise red flags because it can look like you are a spam account only following people to get follows. So, keep it clean.

Also identify the key accounts you are following and add on post notifications for them so you can comment on their posts as soon as they go live.

This gives your comment more of a chance to be seen before the hordes swoop in.

Schedule Posts

After building up your base of followers to over 1,000, it’s time to schedule your posts.

This ensures you are posting consistently and posting consistently draws in more followers.

There are many platforms available that allow you to do this, and it gives you time to focus on creating great content without the hassle of posting it on the go.

Engagement Groups

When your followers list has grown even more, to at least 1,000, engagement groups are a good method of acquiring even more followers.

This is where a group of fellow Instagrammers form a private messaging group and let each other know when they’ve added a new post.

Each member then goes to the post, likes it and adds a relevant comment. Groups all have their own rules, so find one that fits you.

For example, if you post daily, don’t join a group where the members post 10 times a day and expect two comments on each post.

Using all of these tips in this how to guide should help you acquire many more followers in 2018.

Don’t forget about how important it is to look for ways to boost engagement, as this is the best way to get more followers on Instagram.