One of the best ways to grow your Instagram account is create sensational viral content. This could be something emotional or ground breaking. It could also just be a really impactful graphic or quote. It’s hard to really predict if something will go viral, and it’s bit of a perfect storm. Once you start creating value-added content that people want more of, your Instagram account begins to grow.

But, you also need a few fans and followers to create this perfect storm of viral sensation ’cause you need someone who is going like, share, and save your content.

For me, finding new followers is not just a business deal, it’s about authentically building friendships and learning from other people. I don’t go into this activity wanting to sell. I go into this activity hoping to learn something from someone, and start a new relationship. That relationship might not directly lead to sales for me, but it might be the connection I need to make the right connection that leads to a book sale or a new social media client.

On Instagram today, I shared 5 things I do to find new followers on Instagram. These are tips and tricks that I’ve used over the past 5 years to grow a variety of accounts to have a niche-specific audience.

  1. Explore Hashtag Content to find people who might be my ideal audience. Using hashtags that I already use to connect with others in my niche, I visit the hashtag explore feed and check out trending and recent posts. I scroll through and engage with any content that I authentically like and would be an ideal follower of me.
  2. Leave comments on posts to start a conversation. The best comments you can leave to grow your followers are those that start a conversation. You can’t just leave a dozen hearts or rainbows. Leave your authentic thoughts or answer their question. Comments are incredibly invaluable way to build the relationships you need for social media success. But don’t be spammy (IG will lock you down if you are) and people do see through the lies.
  3. Find out what hashtags others in my niche are using, and explore these. This is similar to number one, but it’s different because I wanted to emphasis that I often get trapped in my own bubble. I don’t recognize new trending hashtags, or similar niche hashtags. So I check out what my friends are doing and investigate those hashtags. I also write them down in case I want to use them in the future – better yet, I add them to my hashtag spreadsheet.
  4. Open the comment section and join the conversation. Instead of leaving a comment, I will open the comment section and join the conversation by answering someone’s question or providing my insights. There is balance in doing this tactfully. As an influencer, I’ll engage with other comments on brand accounts. If I was a brand, I would not engage in conversation on competitors feeds, but rather stick to influencer spaces.
  5. Follow the public accounts of influencers, brands and people who could be my next super fan. Hit that follow brand on any account who is a perfect fit for you – either you love their content or you know they’d love yours. Start building an authentic relationship. The internet is not a chore, it’s about making new friends. Watch their stories. Save and share their content, and engage on their posts. You might make a new friend and a new client/customer.

There’s a few other things that I do, but these would be my top favourite things to do on Instagram to grow my following. Let me know yours in the comments.