5 secret ways to Naturally Increase Instagram Followers (2019)

By Rabban Faruqui, 14:11 Thursday 26th September 2019
3 minutes read
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Ever wondered how companies can naturally generate Instagram followers? On this post, we disclose proven secret methods that will allow you to naturally grow your Instagram following.

1. Followers love a brand, not a page

75% more likely to follow

A branded page is 75% more likely to get a follow, as most branded pages are perceived as pages where there's an aura of dedication to the niche your Instagram page specialises in. 

From our experience as an agency, one of the main problems we've discovered with DIY Instagram Marketing (that includes me and you) is that users build a page, not a brand.

When you have your eyes focused on building a brand, you will change your perspective on how you want your page to be perceived. It is from an ordinary fly-by-night page to a professionally presented page! Build a brand not a page!

Count on the 10-second rule

A great way to test the 10-second rule on your friends and family. Ask them to skim through your Instagram page for 10-seconds and see if they can tell what your niche is. Also, does the page come across as professional? If not then read on!

This method has worked a hundred times for us: starting with your posts, all images in terms of colour need to be consistent. Stick to one colour for the simplicity of your users. Remember, less is more.

When users see a consistent colour they see that your brand's overall message is behind a consistent colour. This colour will in turn help stick your brand's image to people's head. Increasing your chances of turning visitors into organic followers.

What makes a branded image?

If your posts are of images in daylight, stick to daylight photos rather than having some daylight photos and then night time photos. The same thing applies to you if you have filters on.

Use the same filter to keep a "branded" feel on your page. Do you adjust the brightness/contrast of your photos? Applying the same brightness and contrast is also a nice trick to give your posts a professional feel.

Copy and paste is a no-go

Are you running a quotes page? Or a page where you pretty much copy-and-paste images from Google? Run the 10-second test on your friends and ask them if they feel like the images are from random sources. If this is the case, then that's a red flag.

When dealing with a lot of our clients we've seen Instagram rewards those who provide unique posts, and its advanced social algorithm can easily detect this.

Once you've managed to pique the interest of an Instagram user, then they'll start browsing through your posts. What type of captions are you using? Is there consistency?

Look at the posts submitted by car manufacturer Bentley (@bentleymotors). Their images are all consistent inline with their brand. The colours used are similar along with the brightness and contrast.

2. Use effective hashtags and locations for your followers

Celebrities using the power of hashtags

Large companies such as BooHoo, PrettyLittleThing, Versace have mastered the effective use of tags and locations on IG stories to naturally gain followers. Celebrity entrepreneurs such as 50 Cent, and Kylie Jenner utilise the power of tags.

From their posts, they've not wasted a single opportunity to use effective hashtags related to their niche. Take for example BooHoo who are currently using #Competition, #Giveway in their Instagram stories to gain organic followers.

This is effective in their current campaign. When Instagram's algorithm can detect if a certain story is viral or going to become viral. You want to fall under the category of the latter. 

After using effective hashtags

Once you've been perceived as a "viral-to-be" story, Instagram will automatically feature you on the explore feed based on the hashtag and location you've provided.

For example, let's say you've gone viral for the location of Manchester, United Kingdom. In that specific area, those who are on the discover feed in that area will start to see your viral story. Gaining you organic followers for that area.

Want to remove hashtags and still go viral?

If you feel like hashtags are ruining the look of your story, that's fine - we've got a cool workaround. You can change the colour of the hashtag to your background a bit like camouflage.

Another workaround that we use for our clients is to change the size of the hashtag so that it is barely noticeable. Don't worry, Instagram will still recognise the hashtag on the story with important for both workarounds.

Keep Instagram stories related to your brand

Remember what we were talking about branding? Keep that in mind and share stories that are related to your brand. It's 2019 and Instagram stories are still booming for IG pages.

Our research shows that Instagram stories are still relevant in 2019.

The fact that you can publish a single story, and it will appear to all of your followers' home feed is an opportunity not to miss to get more natural followers.

The example here is of hashtags being used in a post instead of a story. As you can see the difference between an amateurs and a professionals use of a hastags.

3. Reveal yourself to increase IG followers

Being transparent is key!

Instagram thrives on having genuine users with genuine interaction. Being genuine and transparent is key. What we mean to be transparent is to show your face.

Yes - that's showing yourself to better talk about your brand's story and how you're making a change with your branded content. Instagram pages that feature people on their pages are 39% more likely to get a follow.

When people do not see the person behind the brand/Instagram page, they automatically assume there's no transparency.

Increase your followers by showing you're confident

Once you're transparent - by showing your face, you will not only increase your chances of 1000's of more natural followers but you will increase your sales exponentially‚Äč.

This has worked for several of our clients who have shown their face and seen people go from visitors to followers. Build an attachment with your face and brand.

Being transparent also means you will reassure your followers that you're trustworthy and confident putting them at ease. 

Who does this effectively?

Agencies are a great example of this. Not only do they post about their services, but the team use their Instagram stories to show their face, increasing trust, and organic followers which eventually turn to clients.

As mentioned above, the story and the page story highlights feature is an exceptional feature to showcase:

@farsali was founded by Sal Ali. He is an expert in branding and has spent years in branding. The company he owns Farsali has mastered brand awareness and being transparent. He openly shows himself as the founder of the company, explaining the brand's ethos.

4. Create posts that excite your followers

What Instagram and people have in common

Instagram's algorithm LOVES unique and exciting content that people love. They also can see which of your posts have the best natural engagement. After that, they calculate your average engagement rate.

When creating content for your posts, instead of thinking about what will immediately go viral. Take a step back to the drawing board and think about meaningful content that excites the user.

After applying the 10-second test on your friends and family, do they want to click on the posts? If they do then your Instagram posts are onto something.

Bonus tip!

We'll give you a bonus tip here: When you're designing your posts or deciding which photos to upload onto your page, load the picture up on your phone/laptop/device. Then place it your device at distance and look at the photo. Does the photo convey the excitement you want to perceive?

When creating a post or image, try including your brand's logo on the bottom of your post. This will stick into a user's head and will potentially earn yourself more followers.

5. Collaborate to go viral

Collaborating sounds scary, doesn't it?

To drive people to your page in the fastest way possible, collaborate with an influencer who has thousands of natural followers. When we mention collaborate it sounds scary right?

Is it impossible to collaborate with influencers? We've previously helped clients go from 200 followers to over 28,000+ followers through collaborations.

How we achieved 28,000+ followers

We'll explain how we did it: One of our clients, who specialises in portrait drawings and wanted to increase their Instagram followers approached us. First, we bought Instagram followers to create momentum on their Instagram page.

Then we messaged 134 Instagram models and asked if they would give us a shout out if our client did a portrait for them. Out of 134 direct messages, 12 responded and were interested. We had our eyes on 4 influencers who had a large following.

A week later of drawing, our client posted the 4 portraits on their Instagram and tagged their influencers in. The influencers then reposted the images on their Instagram and tagged our client! Our client received over 28,000 natural followers from the reposts.

Practice makes perfect

This process looks confusing and scary at first, but as they say, practice makes perfect. Through time and experience, you'll find this process a piece of cake!

Once you get these reposts back from popular pages, Instagram will automatically increase your page quality score which is the measurement responsible for displaying your posts on the discover feed, thus increasing your followers naturally.

Ever wondered why celebrities such as Conor McGregor gets easily featured on the Discover page? It is because of their page quality score.

Conclusion

All methods from 1-4 are pretty easy if you take the time. What we've seen is that all DIY Instagram page owners found it difficult at first but through patience, creating a branded page became second nature to them.

Which method is best?

If there was a single method that we could choose out of all 4? Well, the first 4-ways of naturally increasing your followers can grow your followers to the thousands.

For viral growth in your Instagram followers, we definitely would recommend you to continue with the last method: collaborate to go viral.