In the present-day digital world, Instagram has established itself as one of the most prominent social media platforms, captivating millions of users worldwide. Whether you’re an individual trying to expand your reach or a company seeking to increase brand exposure, cultivating a significant number of engaged followers is vital. In this article, we’ll explore some effective Instagram hacks that can help you grow your followers and increase your influence on the platform.
Do Instagram Hacks to grow followers Actually Work?
You might be questioning the effectiveness of Instagram hacks to increase your followers. Hacks are often seen as shortcuts or the “easy” way out. It can discourage people from using them. Nevertheless, the key is to work smarter, not harder.
Some quick Instagram hacks can help you grow organically, as it turns out. Despite sounding like shortcuts, many fast methods are effective. Save yourself some work and use a hack for organic growth. Before trying any shortcut, it’s important to do your research. You’ll get an idea of the time, energy and money the hack demands. It’s alright if you find that some don’t match your Instagram brand. Keep trying different hacks until you find the perfect one.
Tips for Instagram hacks to grow followers: Shout-Outs
Now it’s time to talk about the first Instagram hacks to grow followers: Shout-outs.
As the name suggests, a shout-out is when an account tags or calls out your account in their posts. Shout-outs are often the subject of doubt, as people will claim that it works, while others will claim it doesn’t. When done correctly; however, shout-outs are a powerful growth tactic
because it utilizes the growth of two accounts opposed to one. When it comes to Instagram growth, there is strength in numbers.
Finding people who will shout you out: There are three different ways you can approach shout-outs:
- Use your own network (your accounts shout-out each other)
- Buy shout-outs from others
- Exchange shout-outs with someone else (S4S)
Your own network will probably make the first option the cheapest. You could own or have grown the accounts yourself, or seek free shout-outs from friends and acquaintances. In practical terms, this is the most feasible option for implementing the strategy long-term.
If you are a woman and you own a fitness-related account, you can start growing other niche fitness accounts in your spare time (fitness workout videos, fitness nutrition, etc.). You can use your main fitness account to “shout-out” the smaller accounts, and once the smaller accounts get bigger, you can shout-out your main account.
The second option is to buy shout-outs from other accounts outside of your network. If you have a 10,000-follower fitness account, then buying a shout-out from a 100,000-follower fitness
account could lead to nice growth. This, however, could prove to be an absolute nightmare. It’s not free, and the end result might not be anywhere near what you expected. If you are considering buying shout-outs, be sure to perform a quality check on the account first. Look out for:
- The use of engagement groups or any form of ‘artificial’ engagement
- The overall engagement rate of the account
- The growth of their follower base
These are all important things to consider, as they will heavily impact the price and impact of the shout-out. I’m listing engagement groups as a form of “artificial” engagement because even
though engagement groups are generally a good thing, the number of people commenting on liking on their post might not be accurate to what you might expect to receive from a shout-out.
For example, if their account has consistently 20 commenters (15 of them in an engagement group), then you probably shouldn’t expect a shout-out to bring you 10 new commenters.
Furthermore, you’ll want to buy shout-outs on accounts that have a high “organic” engagement rate. Due to Instagram’s latest API updates, tracking the growth of an account can be hard to
monitor. The higher the organic growth and engagement, the better.
How to approach shoutouts:
Let’s assume you find a great account to get a shout-out from. How should you approach it?
Here is something to consider:
Pick 3-5 of your best performing posts and form an image album (carousel). Put your all-time, bestperforming post as number one, then add 2-3 posts that are a very good representation of your account (the higher engagement, the better), and then post a screenshot of your account. Like this:
Why carousel posts?
Great question, it’s because carousels will give a better representation of your account. The caption for the shout-out doesn’t need to be complex, but it shouldn’t seem like a blatant
advertisement. If you can “hide” the shout-out so it seems like a regular post, that will do the least amount of damage to the account. Every shout-out you give out will probably lose you followers. People don’t like seeing ads. The more you can “hide” the shout-out, the fewer followers you will lose; however, it’s also possible that if you “hide” a shout-out it won’t be very effective anyway.
Now that you know which type of posts to create, let’s talk about the frequency of performing shout-outs. In my experience, this is best done every 2-4 days. Consider that posting shout-outs frequently will hurt the engagement of the poster. Like I just mentioned, shout-outs are essentially ads, and nobody engages with ads. The account should expect losses in both likes and comments, and perhaps even a period of slower follower growth, but a regular posting schedule can bring those levels back to normal.
Stories for Additional Exposure
You can also get creative with Story shout-outs. A “healthy” Story shout-out isn’t nearly as damaging as regular feed shout-outs, but they can also be far less effective. Have the person
who is shouting you out prepare 3-4 normal “Stories”, and then include your shout-out at the End.
Captions can vastly help the performance of your shout-out. You want to find that healthy balance between “Go follow @thisaccount #ad” and a typical post you’d expect on the account.
A typical post probably won’t urge anybody to go do anything, and advertisements can be harmful to growth and engagement.
Saying something as dry as “follow my friend @photographer for some cool photos” probably won’t do much, but it’s better than nothing. Shout-outs should be treated as introductions to
accounts – not advertisements. You are simply helping people discover what a great account it is by instilling a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). Make them want to follow the account.
A good example for a fitness account shouting-out another fitness account:
“Hey guys! If you like my fitness videos, you should check out @fitnesschick! She posts some great fitness videos that I’m sure you guys will really like! (insert emojis here)”
This caption accomplishes:
1.) It doesn’t look like a paid ad
2.) It looks like you are just helping your followers and this random Instagrammer
3.) You’re not pressuring your followers to follow, but there is a fear of missing out if they Don’t
The caption above is a whole lot better than:
“Follow @fitnesschick for the best daily workout videos!” Here is a great example of simple, effective captions for shout-outs:
Ideally, the account performing the shout-outs (whether it is your account or someone elses) should archive old shout-out posts. This will make sure that there’s only 1 post in their feed
that’s a shout-out. The advantage of archiving is that all the obtained metrics (likes, comments, views) are saved. This can be an important resource later, and it’s important for the algorithm.
It’s no secret that shout-outs can either be a hit or miss – that’s especially true for smaller Instagram entrepreneurs who just want to get their name out there. If you’re a rookie on
Instagram, the chances are you’ve paid for some unsuccessful shout-outs. Wondering what you’re doing wrong? There could be numerous issues with your shout-out, but the best way to
get more followers is by going private right before the shout-out.
If doing engagement groups aren’t the best way to grow, then private S4S is. This is probably the most commonly used tactic right now for growth. There are two ways to go about this:
1.) You pay for a shout-out from another account. You go private before you get shouted
2)You swap shout-outs with another account. You both go private before the shout-out, and you post at the same time. Typically, every time you post a shout-out you’ll lose followers, but when you are also receiving a shout-out, you end up gaining a TON.
It’s such a simple idea, yet nobody executes this. This works better than public profiles because it creates a sense of intrigue. More people are likely to scroll through a page and not follow it if it’s a public profile. When it’s private, much more people are likely to follow.
Try this out the next time you get a shout-out. It also helps if the person giving you a shout-out creates a call to action that recognizes your account is private. A common call-to-action caption I see would be something like:
“Check them out! They’re accepting the next 500 people that follow!”
Many accounts do promotions by simply “giving credit” to the picture they are shouting-out. You can see this on the post on the right.
Here is an example of a creative way to create a sense of urgency. Get people to follow you as soon as Possible!
Tips for Instagram hacks to grow followers: Caption Pods
This one is also self-explanatory. The whole idea here is sharing captions with other users to get more followers together collectively. You simply tell your followers to follow other
accounts (that also have your name in their caption). Sure, doing this is going to turn off some followers, but statistics show you’ll grow more together than trying to do it yourself.
Tips for Instagram hacks to grow followers: Stories & Lives
Getting as many people as possible to like and comment on your post immediately after you upload it will drastically improve your chance of landing in the explore. Oftentimes, you’ll see people taking advantage of Instagram Live by telling their followers to go like and comment on their recent post. Niche and personal accounts both use this tactic to their advantage. Although
it doesn’t look great (it looks pretty spammy), people continue to do it because of the results it gets.
Tips for Instagram hacks to grow followers: Galleries
The Instagram Galleries feature was a long time coming. It didn’t take long for marketers to start using this to their advantage. This feature allows users to upload multiple pictures per post, which gave people the opportunity to have several reasons to like, comment, and share. Oftentimes, what you’ll see, are people who use the galleries to upload a bunch of different posts related to their niche, and then the last few posts in the gallery will be an aggressive call to action.
The first picture is a niche related post, while the second one is a call to action for comments
The above picture is a call to action for likes
The Galleries and Their Impact on Your Feed
Galleries are being heavily promoted right now, and they are a great way to increase engagement. The recent change to the homepage makes it harder to find “older” content from people you follow, as it quickly replaces your feed with a make-shift explore page once you’ve viewed the “new” content you’ve followed. If your niche allows it, I would consider moving 100% of your regular image posts into some kind of gallery post instead. They are much more likely to be seen more than once and engaged with more frequently.
However, galleries are still shown more than once to your followers – making them a great feature moving forward and should be used as often as you can in replacement of regular posts (as long as it fits your account’s theme). You can also use them as a 2-in-1 theme, with a main image followed by ads or promotional material in the second or third slide.
Growing your Instagram following requires dedication, creativity, and a willingness to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of Instagram. Shoutouts, captions pods, stories and lives and the last but not the least the galleries are some Instagram Hacks to grow followers which you can implement in your Instagram growth strategy to boost your online presence in 2023.