Instagram app on phone

Harriet Beckwith is a social media expert and owner of This Essex Girl. The perfect person to glean key Instagram advice from, the IBA Blog asked Harriet to break down her top five tips to help you get some fast followers for Instagram to help grow your social media presence…

Although I’m a relatively new blogger – I launched my blog This Essex Girl in July 2017 – I have worked in social media for years. Instagram is definitely my favourite platform (you can connect with me here if you like!), and with over 800 million users, it’s definitely dominating the social media game right now.

Although it takes dedication, you can easily grow your Instagram following and start reaping the benefits in no time at all!

1. Tailor your hashtags

As you probably know, Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. ‘But how do I know which ones to use?!’ I hear you ask. Well, although #follow4follow and #like4like could temporarily increase your engagement, they’re not appealing to a specific audience, and chances are any new followers will hit that unfollow button shortly after they realise your content isn’t for them. Instead, I’d research what others in your chosen niche are using, and look for any smaller hashtags you could tap into. Not only does it increase a sense of community, your posts are more likely to be seen and engaged with by likeminded people. And likeminded people are more likely to hit that follow button!

2. Instagram Stories

With the trend for ‘real time’ content becoming increasingly popular, Instagram Stories is a great way to give your followers insights into your world. Talking to the camera (GULP!) is a great way to show your personality, while using the Instagram highlights section to categorize and save your Stories is ideal for keeping your feed fresh with content.

Don’t forget to tag the location in your Stories too and any relevant handles, to increase the chances of you being mentioned on the Story for that area which can lead to a few more fast followers for Instagram.

3. Post regularly and at the right times

Working full time and getting home when it’s dark is pretty limiting for taking pictures, so I’m sure like me you’ve been stock piling photos every weekend. However, the nights are getting lighter and this only means one thing – time to get creative!

Posting regularly I find really helps with growth. It doesn’t matter if you post twice a day or once a week, just try and be consistent as you can so your followers know and look forward to when your posts go up. There is a caveat to this though; do not put pressure on yourself to get content ‘out there’ for the sake of it, as you might compromise on quality and authenticity.

If you have a business account, you’ll have the added insight of knowing when your posts are most engaged with too, so you can tailor your strategy and boost your following even more by posting at the times when your audience is most active.

Instagram app on mobile phone
Kicking Studio /

4. Engage, engage, engage!

I dedicate a bit of time each day to engaging with other bloggers on Instagram; not just aimlessly scrolling and liking a photo, but stopping to actually read their captions and comment with something meaningful. I find that if someone leaves me a thoughtful comment, I’m much more likely to go back and check out their feed, and likewise I often find that feeds I’ve commented on regularly end up following me back too. Another great idea is mentioning bloggers you love in your Stories, again increasing your engagement and spreading the blogger love.

5. Use other social channels to promote your Instagram

Your other social media channels are a great place to promote your Instagram account. I tweet a couple of times a week letting my followers know they can find me on Instagram too, along with a screenshot of my feed and some relevant hashtags. It’s a great way to entice people in and the link takes them directly to my Instagram – making it super easy to connect with me.

Things to remember…

Don’t be disheartened if you lose a few followers daily. Naturally, our accounts will fluctuate and often these aren’t ‘real’ follows at all – it’s likely just bloggers using unfollow/follow apps (which Instagram is cracking down on!). If not, you can’t please everyone, so just continue creating content YOU’RE passionate about!

Although growth is great, numbers aren’t everything. Would you rather have 150k followers who aren’t really interested in your content and rarely engage, or a small, targeted, extremely engaged community who really look forward to your posts? I know what I’d choose! FYI it’s the latter!