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Effective Ways to Get More Followers on Instagram

Parul Solanki
The popularity of Instagram has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years. If you want to make a mark on this photo-sharing social network and gain a lot of followers, then here are some simple tips and tricks to help you on your way.

Did you know...

... that Justin Bieber (username: swagisme) has around 95,000 followers on Instagram which he gained in a matter of weeks.
An online photo-sharing social network, Instagram has truly changed how we manage and share our photographs. After taking pictures, you can apply filters or rather effects to the photographs and post them on their Instagram profile as well as on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Like other social networks Instagram allows users to like and comment on photographs, follow a person and see their uploads regularly.

Instagram was first created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger for iPhone and iPod but soon in April 3, 2012, the Android version was released. In 2012, Instagram was acquired by Facebook for around $1 billion.
Today this social network site has more than 30 million accounts with more than 150 million photograph uploads. So, how do you ensure popularity and more followers on Instagram? Here are some ways in which you can do just that.

10 Ways to Get More Instagram Followers

Upload Good or Rather Great Photos

Instagram is all about photographs and logically the best and the most obvious way to get more followers is by uploading beautiful pictures with great effects. The image should be attractive, interesting and touch a cord within the viewer. Redundant photos of your dinner, your pretty cat or your cute dog, or normal day-to-day stuff are not very interesting. 
While people do like personal photographs, do not be a show-off. (putting up photographs of your fancy car and yacht are not really needed) It is important to understand that people want beautiful, often artistic photographs. So, it is best to be selective about the photographs that you are putting up on Instagram.
To get a better idea of what works on Instagram, check the Top photos in the 'Popular' tab to see the photographs that work well with a large percentage of the audience on Instagram.
You can also check your most popular photographs using analytics tools like Statigr.am that shows which of your own photos have received the most 'likes' over time, and which ones received the most comments.

Use Appropriate Filters

One of the many features of Instagram is the range of filters that it offers. In a few taps your drab looking photo can be transformed into something really classy and stylish. There are filters that add a black and white effect, a golden glow, vintage or faded colors, different contrasts or saturated colors and shadows to the elements in the photograph.
Choosing the right filter is imperative though. For example Lomo-fi is a popular filter for photos about food. The saturated colors and shadows that it adds to the food make it look immensely appetizing. Similarly, the filter sutro adds a scary touch due to the use of purple and brown in it. Other popular filters include:
  • Normal
  • Earlybird
  • X-Proll
  • Hefe
  • Rise
  • Valencia
  • Sierra
  • Brannan
  • Nashville
  • Lomo-fi
  • Hudson
  • Inkwell

Combine Your Images

Some of the most popular images on Instagram are ones that are combined together. There are many software tools like Pic Stitch or Dipticthat allow you to create a beautiful collage in few easy steps. These can be pictures of your family, pictures of you in different moods or pictures of your pets.
A collage of images packs a powerful punch, as they tell a beautiful story. It fascinates a viewer much more and is thus, more likely to evoke a reaction and gain you more followers. It is important to ensure that all the pictures are of high quality and not blurry.

Connect to Facebook

One of the easiest way to achieving Instagram stardom is by connecting Instagram with Facebook. How does it work? Well, Instagram being a part of Facebook now, all your activity on Instagram gets automatically posted on the Facebook wall when you link the accounts. So every time you take a photo or like a photo, your Facebook friends get to know about it. 
This generates a greater fan following and gives your account the necessary exposure on a popular social network.

Other than Facebook  you can also share your photos across other popular social networks like Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr and Flickr.

Invite Friends from Other Networks

An easy way to get more followers is by tapping into your existing follower base from other networks. Click on the 'Find friends' button to add friends from popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter, or find them on your email address book. Select the contacts by clicking on the 'Invite friends' button to select contacts from your address book. Send them an email invite to join Instagram.

Hashtags are the Way to Popularity

If you are on Twitter then you probably know about this. Hashtags allow the Instagram users to tag and categorize content. For example you take a picture of a basket full of adorable kittens and add a popular hashtag lie #cute to it then it shows up on thousands of others on the page of the tag. 
This increases the odds of your photograph being viewed by thousands of Instagram users everyday. Some popular hashtags include:
  • #love
  • #instagood
  • #me
  • #photooftheday
  • #follow
  • #picoftheday
  • #girl
  • #beautiful
  • #instamood
  • #fun
  • #smile
  • #instacollage
A quick tip is to refrain from overdoing or rather overusing the hashtags. It is best to just use relevant hashtags.

Geotag the Photos

Like hashtags, geotags can help you garner a strong follower base. By geotagging the photograph, you add it to the archives of photos that were posted from the same location.

The photographs can be of a popular historical monument or a place that you visit often. This allows you to grab the attention of users who are interested in following fellow locals.

Like and Comment on Other Photographs

If you need to be popular then it is imperative to go out and engage with other users on social networks. On Instagram the same rule applies, so if you need more likes and more followers then you need to like and comment on other photographs. It does not matter whether you follow the other person or not.
In fact, random likes of photos from different accounts generates likes from other people as well. Instead of liking, a better way of gaining a person's attention is when you comment or compliment the photo. Let your comment be genuine and mention what you like about the image, for example, whether it was funny or interesting. 
The reason people will now follow you back or comment on your photographs is because when a photograph is posted and liked by a random user, you tend to show the gratitude back by following them.
This does not mean that you should bulk follow a group of random people. Find profiles that have good images that you like and follow them. Write genuine comments instead of spammy comments.

Timing is the Key to Popularity

Do you post a photograph at 3 am in the night when the rest of the world is busy sleeping? Well, in such a case, you are bound to lose out on new followers who might have been interested in seeing your photograph. 
People are most likely to check their Instagram accounts first thing in the morning or on their way back from work. So try posting photographs during these hours to encourage more viewers.

Keep the Account Open to Public

Go to the settings page after you have logged into your Instagram account to check if you have deselected the 'photos are private' toggle in the Privacy section. This allows other Instagram users to view and like your photographs without needing your authorization.
There are a number of websites that provide opportunity to 'Add Instagram Followers' instantly. Unfortunately, what users fail to realize is that no website has the facility to add real followers to your profile. So, when you sign up for this you are only adding automated 'bots' to your follower list.
While it may make your profile look attractive with a huge fan base for a limited time, in the long run it will only decrease the value of your account. Although the above-mentioned tips and tricks will not get you a huge follower list instantly, in the long run you are sure to get a good follower base.