Getting ahead on Instagram can seem like hitting your head against a wall. For every new Instagram follower, it’s like you lose tons more. If only there was a way to increase your Instagram followers without having to play that game of cat and mouse.
Luckily there is!
In this article, we’ll show you how to increase Instagram followers with a few of our secret tips and tricks.
Here’s a table of contents to help you navigate this post:
- Develop a unique style
- Improve your Instagram image quality
- Get creative with captions
- Spark conversations with popular hashtags
- Make the most of your Instagram bio
- Use Instagram stories for authenticity
- Remember to use calls to action
- Display an Instagram feed on your website
- Embed your Instagram feed in an about page
- Curate content with hashtag feeds
- Display full-screen Instagram stories
- Highlight product review posts in your Instagram feed
- Create shoppable Instagram feeds
- Show social proof on cart pages
- Highlight Instagram posts you’re tagged in
- Enable easy sharing for Instagram posts
- Run a viral Instagram giveaway
How to Increase Followers On Instagram Without Following Everyone
As we just mentioned, it’s entirely possible to grow your Instagram followers without having to follow everyone. And it’s even easier when you use Instagram Feed Pro to display custom Instagram feeds on your WordPress site.
Instagram Feed Pro from Smash Balloon is the #1 highest rated Instagram feed plugin for WordPress. And besides helping you add stunning Instagram feeds to your website, it’s super-simple to set up, which is perfect for beginners with little design experience.
With that in mind, let’s look at how to increase followers on Instagram without following…well, everyone!
1. Develop a Unique Style
One of the easiest ways to get more Instagram followers is to develop a unique style and aesthetic for your account.
Because there are so many people all vying for attention on Instagram, you need to stand out to get noticed. A clear visual content style sets you apart from the competition and makes it easier for people to recognize your brand.
Rosie Clayton does an excellent job with her Instagram theme of bright, color pops. And with over 100,000 followers, her style choice certainly paid off.
2. Improve Your Instagram Image Quality
Since Instagram is an image-heavy social media platform, it’s crucial you pay particular attention to the quality of your images.
Great quality images have the power to draw in tons of traffic, engagement, and followers. But photos that look thrown-together can have the opposite effect of driving people away from your profile.
You don’t need expensive equipment to take great photos for Instagram. Your smartphone camera will do the trick if you’re careful with lighting, props, and filters.
This photo shot with a Google Pixel demonstrates how smartphone photography can create some insanely good images.
3. Get Creative With Captions
Even though we’ve talked about the power of images on Instagram so far, it doesn’t mean you should ignore the words you use. Your image captions are a great place to engage with your audience and use persuasive language to encourage them to follow you.
Try using image captions as a way to tell a story about your photo. That way you can tap into readers’ emotions, and give them an interesting experience.
Chances are, if they enjoy what they read, as well as what they see, they’ll come back for more and follow you.
4. Spark Conversations With Popular Hashtags
Hashtags are an excellent way to help other Instagram users find your posts. And if you add a range of topical and popular hashtags to each post, there’s a high chance you’ll spark some interesting conversations.
For example, you can combine topical hashtags like #wedding and #weddingphotography with a few popular choices such as #Instagood, and #photooftheday to encourage more people to click through and follow you.
Pro-tip: Want more exposure for your branded hashtags? You can also use Instagram Feed Pro to display a hashtag feed on your website, just like what Fenty Beauty did below. To recreate this for your own brand, check out the full tutorial on how to add a hashtag feed to WordPress here.
5. Make The Most of Your Instagram Bio
Your Instagram bio is the most important real estate of your account. It’s from there that users get to know more about you and your brand, as well as discover your website, and the other places you hang out online.
Make your bio as interesting as you can to get more Instagram followers with some of these tricks:
- Add relevant hashtags to make it easier for people to find your profile
- Include your website URL so people can learn more
- Choose words carefully to describe your brand using as little space as possible
- Add emojis to convey emotion, character, and personality
6. Use Instagram Stories for Authenticity
Did you know that Instagram stories can help you develop a personal connection with people?
Because stories are more informal and have a shorter lifespan than typical Instagram posts, you can afford to be a little less polished. This can make you seem more approachable and authentic, which is something people love to see in brands on social media because it shows you’re human.
Even better, authenticity builds trust, which makes it more likely you’ll attract followers as a result.
7. Remember to Use Calls to Action
Next up is a trick lots of people forget about. And that’s adding calls to action (CTA) either in the captions of their posts or in the image.
CTAs tell people what action you want them to take next, so if you want them to follow your profile, it’s worth giving them a nudge in the right direction. If you don’t ask, you won’t find out, right?
In this example, the CTA is to help the author come up with a title for their new book, which shows how a clear CTA can spur people into action.
8. Display Your Instagram Feed on Your Website
Another great way to grow Instagram followers is to add your feed of Instagram posts to your website. That way, site visitors get an instant snapshot of your Instagram content as soon as they land, which improves engagement and followers.
Even better, automatically pushing Instagram posts straight to your site keeps it looking fresh and updated. And that bolsters engagement on Instagram even further.
So how about we take a look at how to add an Instagram feed to your WordPress site? Just follow the guide below.
Connecting an Instagram Account
Now from your WordPress dashboard, click Instagram Feed » Settings to configure the plugin.
To connect your Instagram account, click the blue Connect an Instagram Account button, as shown below.
From there, you can opt to connect a Personal Instagram Profile for users feeds. Or you can select a Business Instagram Profile to display hashtag feeds etc.
When everything’s authorized, confirm your account, and you’re all set to start setting up your Instagram feed.
From the same settings page, you can choose to show photos from the following sources:
- Your user account
- Specific hashtags
- Photos you’re tagged in
- Mixed sources
You can also set the time Smash Balloon checks for new Instagram posts to display.
When you’re happy with your settings, click Save Changes.
Customizing Your Feed
To personalize your Instagram feed, click the Customize tab at the top of the screen.
From there, you can change how posts are shown on your website, as well as choosing to show or hide your feed header, load more button, and follow button.
There are 4 ways to display your Instagram feed with Smash Balloon. The options are:
- Grid – A uniform grid of square-cropped images.
- Carousel – Posts displayed in a slideshow carousel with custom row settings.
- Masonry – Images in their original aspect ratio without any vertical space between them.
- Highlight – Masonry style and square-cropped images with highlighted posts displaying twice as large.
When you’ve chosen your settings, remember to click Save Changes.
Displaying Your Feed
To view Instagram feeds on your website, there are a few options. You can embed it in a WordPress post or page, or add it to a widget ready area of your site like your sidebar or footer.
First, we’ll tackle how to add your feed to a new WordPress page.
To begin, head to Pages » Add New Page from the WordPress admin area. Then click the plus icon to add a new content block.
From there, type ‘Instagram feed’ into the search box to find the content block.
Now click the block to add it to your page. Your feed then populates the content area to display your Instagram posts with the settings you set earlier.
Now go ahead and publish your page to see your stunning feed on your website.
If you’d like to add your feed to a widget-ready area of your site, head to Appearance » Widgets.
Then drag the Instagram Feed widget to the sidebar, and click Save.
Perfect! Site visitors can now engage with your feed on both a page and in your sidebar. Even better, they can follow you from there too!
9. Embed Your Instagram Feed on Your About Page
Another way to increase Instagram followers is to engage your target audience when they’re trying to learn more about you.
Your ‘About’ or ‘Start Here’ page is one of the first places new site visitors explore to get to know you and what your site is about. So, embedding your Instagram Feed in your about page gives curious visitors another way to connect with you.
It’s also the perfect way to show your personality less formally. And that can be the key to attracting more followers.
To add an Instagram feed to your about page, simply follow the steps we outlined earlier. But don’t forget to include engaging content to keep your readers interested. For help with that, here are some of the best about page examples on the internet.
10. Use Tailored Hashtag Feeds to Curate Relevant Content
You don’t have to use your own content to increase Instagram followers, either. Instead, you can curate content relevant to your industry and display it in tailored hashtag feeds on your website.
That way, site visitors get to see fresh, relevant content, and you develop the reputation of being an influencer on those topics. And as you may already know, Instagram influencers can have massive sway over their followers’ purchase decisions.
Adding a tailored hashtag feed to your website to boost your following is pretty straightforward.
To begin, go to Instagram Feed » Settings from your WordPress admin area.
Then click the radio button labeled Hashtag next to the Show Photos From heading. Then enter the hashtags you want to use separated by commas and click Save Changes.
Pro Tip: To display a hashtag feed, you’ll need an Instagram Business account connected to Smash Balloon.
When you’re happy with your settings, configure the display settings, as we detailed earlier. Then when you publish your feed, there’ll be a fresh stream of your chosen hashtags on your website.
Pretty easy, right?
For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to embed an Instagram hashtag feed on WordPress.
11. Use Immersive Stories to Showcase Full-Screen Instagram Stories
Did you know that Instagram stories are an excellent way to connect with Instagram users on a more informal and personal level? It’s true!
Stories on Instagram are more forgiving than the traditional feed, so you can upload content that’s not as polished, making you appear more authentic and down-to-earth.
You can also add Instagram stories to your website. Our Immersive Stories feature showcases your Instagram stories in a full-screen display. And not only does it increase engagement, but it keeps users on your site longer too.
To make your stories accessible on your website’s Instagram feed, head to Instagram Feed » Settings » Customize.
Then scroll down to section labeled Header. Click Show Customization Options, then at the bottom where it says Include Stories, tick the checkbox.
Click Save Changes after.
Now navigate to your website’s Instagram feed. When you click your profile picture, your Instagram stories appear in a stunning full-screen lightbox.
12. Highlight Product Review Posts with Visual Moderation
Another way to increase Instagram followers is to build trust with your target audience using the power of customer reviews and testimonials. If people trust you more, they’re more likely to engage with your content and follow your profile.
An excellent way to build that trust is to display product reviews on your website. Product reviews offer real-life testimony for your products. And that can be the difference between more sales and none at all.
Product reviews come in all shapes and sizes. And nowadays, many people choose to express their feelings about a product or service on social networking sites like Instagram.
So what better way to improve trust than by displaying specific Instagram review posts on your website?
With Smash Balloon, you can highlight specific product review posts and photos with our smart Visual Moderation system, which is guaranteed to improve trust.
To do that, head to Instagram Feed » Settings » Customize tab. Then click the Moderation heading as shown below.
To allow visual moderation, click the Visual radio button next to the Moderation Type heading, and click the Save Changes button.
Now when you view your published Instagram feed, there’s an orange Moderate Feed button.
Click that button to open up visual moderation. From there, you can click individual posts to hide them from your feed. That way, you can display only the product review posts you’d like to include.
You can even set up a whitelist of posts to automatically include in your feed. For full instructions on how to configure a whitelist, see our documentation here.
13. Use Shoppable Feeds on Instagram to Boost Sales
Buying products right from an Instagram feed has fast become the new way to shop online. More and more people use Instagram to find the ideal purchase, so creating shoppable Instagram feeds makes a lot of sense for businesses.
Shoppable feeds link directly to your product page, so users can simply browse, click, and buy without any fuss. And offering that direct shopping experience can boost sales and followers significantly.
You can use Smash Balloon’s signature Shoppable Feeds feature to send users directly to your product pages.
To do that, head to Instagram Feeds » Settings » Customize tab. Then click the checkbox next to the Link Posts to URL in Caption heading.
To link an Instagram post to a specific product page, simply paste the page URL into the post’s caption before you publish it.
Now when anyone clicks that post in your feed, they’ll go right to the linked product page.
Want to set up shoppable Instagram feeds for your own business? Just follow the instructions on this post about how to set up Instagram shopping on your website and you’re good to go!
14. Show Social Proof on Cart Pages to Reduce Abandonment
Shopping cart abandonment is one of the leading causes of lost sales for online businesses. It’s where people leave your website at the shopping cart and checkout page before they’ve bought anything.
There are tons of ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment, but one of the best ideas is to show social proof on cart pages.
Social proof is where people follow the actions of others. And for your shopping cart, seeing that customers are talking about and buying your products can give shoppers the confidence they need to make a purchase.
You can display social proof on cart pages with custom Instagram Feeds.
Simply follow the instructions above to highlight review posts in your feed. Then, publish the feed on your cart pages to boost conversions and Instagram followers.
Interested in using the power of social proof to increase your sales? Check out more examples of social proof to help you grow your business in this article.
15. Display Tagged Feeds to Highlight Posts You’re Tagged In
Chances are you’ve got a bunch of posts you’re tagged in from other Instagram users. And they’re probably sitting there gathering dust and getting little interaction.
Here’s a way to transform those tagged posts into audience-building assets.
Use tagged feeds to display posts you’ve been tagged in by other users so you can increase your audience’s engagement with your Instagram account. And even grow your Instagram followers.
To set up a tagged Instagram feed on your website, head to Instagram Feed » Settings from your WordPress dashboard. Then select Tagged next to the Show Photos From heading and click Save Changes.
Now your site’s Instagram feed will show only the photos you’re tagged in.
16. Enable Easy Sharing to Quickly Share Instagram Posts
Having content that’s easy to share on popular social networking sites is crucial for attracting more Instagram followers. If people don’t know you have an Instagram account, they simply can’t follow you there.
With that in mind, adding Instagram feeds to your site with easy sharing options will help you increase Instagram followers quickly.
Smash Balloon’s Instagram Feed includes easy sharing to allow users to share Instagram posts right from your site quickly.
To see it in action for yourself, click any post on your website’s Instagram feed and click the Share link.
A small lightbox appears with options to share the post on:
Then you can let visitors do their thing and share your posts to increase brand exposure and Instagram followers.
17. Run Viral Instagram Contests to Boost Engagement
Our final secret tip for increasing your Instagram followers is to run a viral contest from your website. Giveaways and contests attract tons of traffic to your site, as well as helping to skyrocket your social media follower growth.
The ready-made Instagram contest template automatically populates your contests with powerful entry methods. Then you can grow your Instagram followers with a few clicks.
And when it comes to publishing your giveaway, you can embed it in WordPress using the handy contest widget block. Or for a distraction-free experience, you can craft a giveaway landing page to encourage tons more entries.
And the result?
Loads more Instagram followers, engagement, brand awareness, and traffic to your website.
And that’s it!
Now you know how to increase Instagram followers without following everyone you come across.
What are you waiting for? Grow your following today by adding beautiful feeds to your site using Smash Balloon.
Get Instagram Feed Pro today!