5 Easy Ways to Gain Followers on Instagram

Instagram has exposed users' passwords in a major security gaffe (Image Gerd Altmann under CC0)
Gerd Altmann under CC0

This blog appeared on SolaSalonStudios.com

Instagram is a powerful tool for any beauty professional to connect with their clients, showcase their work, attract new clients and promote new services and products online.

As the algorithms for Instagram are constantly evolving, new tricks arise for how to gain traction, engagement and followers. However, one thing never changes: the more followers you have, the greater reach and impact your account will have on the wide world of Instagram.

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When you have more followers on Instagram, you have a better follower to following ratio, which makes your account look more attractive, desirable and interesting to potential new followers. Generally, people are more drawn to following accounts that have more followers than accounts they follow (aka who have a better follower to following ratio).

Although it may not always be true, audiences assume that more followers and popularity means a more interesting account. So, our goal here is to improve your follower score to make that ratio look good and your account look enticing to potential new followers.

Here are five tricks to grow your Instagram following in no time:

Tip # 1: Follow and Engage with Like-Minded Accounts

On Instagram, the best way to connect with clients, friends, family, peers, new customers and like-minded accounts is to follow them first. When you follow an account, the person (or organization) receives a notification. Often, this is enough for the person to be intrigued and follow you back, or at the very least, give your account a peek, maybe even like a few photos or make a comment.

Any activity is good activity because any actions taken will improve your account's visibility on Instagram. Any likes, follows or comments you receive from a specific account make you more likely to show up on that account’s feed, making your account accessible for engagement.

Typically, about 20 percent of the people that you begin to follow will follow you back. Yes, this can get tedious, but we promise, it’s worth it. Those huge accounts you see with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers—they have done this successfully for years. 

Tip #2: Unfollow People

Remember how we said we need to keep that follower-to-following ratio high? Well, how can you do that if we’re telling you to follow so many new accounts, only 20 percent of which might follow you back?

Unfortunately, since this is a numbers game, you will need to go back in a unfollow accounts that have not engaged with your account. There are apps that identify accounts that have not engaged with your brand and/or are not following your account back, and you can seamlessly mass unfollow all of them in large batches. We like the Unfollow and Cleaner apps.

This is hugely helpful in saving time and returning your follower-to-following ratio back to normal. Do not forget to skip this step in order to keep your following number low!

Tip #3: Post Regularly and Consistently

The Instagram algorithm loves consistency and favors accounts with frequent, regular and engaging posts. The more activity you have on your account, from posts, follows, likes and comments, the more traction you will get in Instagram feeds. This improves your visibility and hopefully puts you in a position where you are getting discovered by new followers. We recommend posting one to three times per day. 

Tip #4: Develop a Branded Aesthetic

Although frequent and consistent posting is great, remember, not all content is created equal. You need to maintain a strong and consistent Instagram account that exudes a branded overall aesthetic. This means that when somebody takes a quick glance at your account, they get your brand. They feel the vibe and aesthetic and they know immediately if they resonate with the content. It is impossible to know if you resonate with an account if the content is all over the place.

Most often, popular accounts are ones that appear interesting and/or beautiful from the overall account aesthetic. When Instagram browsers resonate with the overall look and feel of your posts, that will likely earn you a follow. Any content that is less than stellar may turn away potential followers, so keep that off your feed.

Some ideas for keeping a consistent brand aesthetic include using consistent color schemes, filters, or content pillars. This keeps the content of your account branded, aesthetically consistent and beautiful.

Tip #5: Tag Clients in Instagram Stories and Posts to Leverage Their Network

Tagging photos is another great way to make your Instagram discoverable. So, with their permission, post photos of your clients new looks and tag them in posts and Instagram Stories.

Hopefully, if your clients know your Instagram handle, they’ll want to post about your work too! Clients want to show off their new look and often use Instagram to do so. They want to share with their friends about the facial that put them into a deep state of relaxation or their spooky Halloween nails that have them in the spirit of the season. You get the gist - people LOVE to share their experiences! Especially good ones that they want to recommend to their friends and family.

What better time to post a photograph than when they have just gotten a beauty service and are feeling relaxed and beautiful? Instagram Stories provide an easy way for daily check-ins and chatter. With longstanding clients, ask if you can photograph and post them onto your Instagram Story or feed. When you post them in your Story, they have the option to repost the photo onto their Story too. Or best case scenario, you can hope or even ask that they post their own photo with props to the artist and a tag to your Instagram account.

When clients tag you in their Stories, you’re likely to get a few followers from their audience. In fact, people are actually more inclined to take a recommendation from a small-time advocate than a big brand influencer because they know and trust their friends and family more than influencers with larger followings. This is the best way to use Instagram to gain referrals from loyal clients who engage with your account via tags, reposts and shares.

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