1. Use hashtags that are known to help increase followers: #FF (Follow Friday), #instafollow, #l4l (Like for like), #tagforlikes and #followback.
2. Like hundreds of random pictures from people in your target audience. We used this strategy and found that for every 100 likes he did of random pictures, he received 6.1 more followers.
3. Hold a contest on Instagram. One of the easiest ways to do this is to post an image promoting the contest and then ask people to like it in order to enter.
4. Promote your Instagram account on your other social media accounts and profiles. Tell people what they can expect once they’re following you (e.g., behind-the-scenes photos, sneak peeks, coupons, etc.)
5. Like and comment on other users’ photos. This is the most natural way to gain new followers.
6. Use popular hashtags so your images get found in search. Some of the most popular ones are #love, #instagood, #tbt and #photooftheday.
7. Post photos at 2am or 5pm. Research shows that these are the most effective times to post.
8. Search for and follow people who are using popular hashtags like #followme and #likeforlike. Many will follow you back!
9. Remember that quality beats quantity. Edit your account to leave only the best images. No one wants to follow someone with thousands of pointless images of food or other random shots.
10. Use the Mayfair filter. According to Track Maven’s Fortune 500 Instagram Report, it’s the single most effective filter for marketers.
11. Make sure your bio is complete. Include relevant keywords and hashtags, and a link back to your site. Above all, don’t be spammy; this is a guarantee that no one who reads your profile will follow you!
12. Ask questions in the captions of your photos. This is a great way to increase engagement.