How to grow your Instagram following / by Rachel Ford

Sure, you could take a grainy, blurry cocktail photo in a dark bar, or... Image: Ford Marketing Lab/Rachel Ford

Sure, you could take a grainy, blurry cocktail photo in a dark bar, or...

Image: Ford Marketing Lab/Rachel Ford

The number one question we're asked is, "How do I grow my Instagram following?" There are varying reasons for wanting to grow your following, from ego, to the ability to monetize your Instagram. It may seem like a daunting (or impossible) task, but it's really quite straightforward. 

Here are three tips for growing your Instagram from two people who've done it: kyle4d and rachel4d.

1) Take great photos. Unless you're a bonafide celebrity whom people already want to follow, you've got to give the people something they'll want to see. This doesn't mean that you need a state-of-the-art camera; your cell phone is most likely more than capable, but you do need to put in a little effort. Pay attention to lighting and spacing, learn how to filter, and post pictures that people would actually want to see. If you're truly trying to gain followers, you must share images that someone who doesn't know you would find interesting. It's that simple.

2) Be social. Like posts. Leave comments. Follow people. The 'Explore' tab is your best resource for connecting with users whom you do not know, and who may have similar interests. Usually, it goes like this: You like a photo. The person whose photo you've liked sees the notification and checks out your page. At minimum, they might throw you a like or two, but the goal is to compel them to follow you. How do you do that? See Tip 1.

3) Use relevant hashtags. Hashtags help people find content that they're interested in. Hashtags also help you organize your content, which is why people often create unique hashtags for events. Be strategic with your hash-tagging, and don't be annoying by using a hashtag for #every #word #in #your #caption. Again, the idea is that your hashtags will lead other users to want to follow you. How do you do that, again? See Tip 1.

Lastly, remember that nothing worth doing comes easy. Be patient, be consistent, and see Tip 1.