How to Get More Fans on Instagram – 23 Proven Steps Without Using Fake AI Tactics

Let’s start with the bad news. There are no hacks or magic tricks despite what Zach on YouTube says. “10,000 followers in 30 days” screams his video headline, only for you to spend 45 minutes learning absolutely nothing. This is because he actually doesn’t know himself. He is like those guys who promise to turn you into a millionaire. That’s lovely, but if you are a millionaire, why are you spending hours telling everyone else how to do it? The truth is their fame and fortune are directly correlated with teaching you something they know little about. It’s like taking driving lessons from someone who can’t drive. So, what makes us an authority on how to get more fans on Instagram?

At Antlerzz, we have spent years dedicating time and resources to growing our understanding of Instagram algorithms. Moreover, our presence on the platform has nothing to do with marketing or telling people how to get more fans on Instagram. Rather, we have dedicated our time to growing health-related accounts. That means the advice below is advice you can use too.

However, with the advancements in AI, it can be tempting to fall for the false promises peddled by many Instagram growth hackers if you don’t use AI correctly. But be warned. Using AI or automation to get followers comes with complications. It’s unlikely to give you real influence and may result in your account being shut down by Instagram. It’s like claiming you are the next Justin Biber because you sang in front of a garden centre full of gnomes.

Getting more fans on Instagram will take time

In this guide, we break down the key steps to follow when creating an Instagram strategy to get more followers. However, you will need to constantly test and learn. Moreover, each of these steps is condensed so you will need to deep dive into each to really increase your Instagram following. As you will see, we will also outline where AI can be useful and where you should avoid it.

1. Understanding your niche is the most important step to getting more Instagram followers

A niche is not what you think it is. For instance, imagine you sell a diverse range of at-home health tests. So, you decide you will set up an Instagram account related to health. On the account, you will give people insights into how they can optimise their health and why tests are important. Sounds, like a great niche, right?

You would be wrong. This is not how you get more Instagram fans. An important point about the Instagram algorithms is that they are not as clever as you may think. A niche needs to be something the platform understands and is sizeable. Therefore, it’s important to shortlist a few different niches and spend time researching accounts that have grown quickly in those niches to see if they meet the criteria. You can use AI to help you come up with niche ideas. However, the real work comes in finding the right niche based on the criteria mentioned.

2. If you don’t create a brand, you won’t get more Instagram fans

From our analysis of Instagram accounts, one of the common mistakes is trying to be too many things to too many people. Therefore, you must build a strong brand from the offset. 

Consequently, the key question you need to ask is who and what do you want to be on Instagram. To get more Instagram fans, you need to think through several factors including:

  • Your style e.g. informative/expert or humorous
  • Logo
  • Content style
  • Colour scheme 

Indeed, studies have found that up to 90% of judgements can be based on colour alone. Therefore, it’s important to spend time understanding Instagram branding and the steps you should follow. Whatever you choose this should be aligned to your overall social media strategy.

Moreover, don’t let your niche dictate your branding. For example, if you are a research-backed NAD+ IV drip company, it might be tempting to think your branding needs to be serious, and informative and use medical colours like blue. Yet, that can become boring. Moreover, it may not align with how you are as a company. 

Remember, when 57% of people refuse to recommend businesses because their mobile website is poorly designed, they are unlikely to recommend you if your Instagram suffers from design flaws.

Consider using AI to help generate ideas. ChatGPT and Gemini are great tools for this. However, don’t become over-reliant. The brand is about you and you know yourself better than any AI tool. 

3. Predictability and coherency can help drive more followers on Instagram 

Research indicates that 89% of consumers would buy from companies they follow on social media. Critically 84% say they would choose that brand over a competitor.

Whilst this demonstrates the power of social media, this does not outline why people buy from such brands. The key is predictability.

The more coherent and predictable you are, the more likely you are to get more Instagram fans. I know this sounds boring. Who wants to watch the same thing again and again?

But the trick is not to release the same Reel or post. Instead, it is to have a consistent message and brand story. For example, imagine you sell NMN supplements. Your top-performing Instagram Reels are serious and outline how NMN improves metabolic health like insulin sensitivity. As a result, you get followers. Rather than mixing it up and suddenly trying to make jokes about NMN, it is better to be consistent. 

 A key reason for this is your image and brand story. Studies have found people who love your brand story are 55% more likely to buy from you. Therefore, if you have got followers based on being serious and informative – stick with it.

4. Don’t try to be something you are not if you want to get more Instagram fans

Analysis of consumer behaviour shows that 86% of people want authenticity when buying from a brand. Therefore, when thinking about your brand voice make sure it’s something that comes naturally. If you are boring, well just be boring. Just not too boring. Yes, that sounds ridiculous and unlikely to get you more Instagram fans.

But what’s boring to one group of people is exciting to another.  What is more important is to find a method that helps you target and reach the right people.

Being authentic is another reason why AI-generated content should be avoided if you want to get more Instagram followers. After all, any AI platform that promises to create content will simply be creating generic content that doesn’t resemble you or your brand.

5. Optimise your account with an effective bio to get more Instagram followers

Your bio will be one of the key signals to potential followers as to why they should follow you. Understanding how to set this up is therefore critical.

Moreover, since you have limited characters, you have to be concise. So, if you want to grow an Instagram account for your gut health testing company, don’t waffle about why gut health is important. Get to the point and tell the world your USP as an account and why you are better than everyone else.

Consider using AI to help make your bio text more succinct and punchier. It shouldn’t be used to create it for you, but it can be used to make it more direct. 

6. If you don’t understand where you are in your Instagram journey you will fail to get more fans

Another common mistake we see accounts make when trying to get more Instagram followers is not understanding their status. Consequently, you need to know where you are in your journey and what that means for content creation and growth.

For example, imagine you want to become the next big pop star. So, you get a booking at the local bar to play a set of your latest songs. To make an impact you decide to go full Lady Gaga and wear a dress made out of chicken wings. Do you think you will get booked again? Unlikely. Lady Gaga could pull it off because she was in a different part of her music journey. If you do it, you are more likely to get a call from the local mental health services than the Universal Music Group.

The same principles apply to Instagram. Too many small accounts decide it’s a great idea to record a video of their founder chatting about the benefits of their Berberine supplements like they are Dr Mark Hyman. They are not. Dr Hyman has approx. 3m Instagram followers and have been on TV. 

Instead, it’s important to look at what other accounts of a similar size are doing.

7. Analyse accounts in your niche that are a similar size

To get more Instagram followers, you should spend time looking into other accounts. Specifically, accounts that are in your niche and grown rapidly. For example, at Antlerzz we set up a running account to help us to understand how the Instagram algorithms work. We spent weeks looking into accounts that had grown rapidly over a few months and specifically the type of content they were creating. By doing this we were able to generate millions of views on some of our Reels, helping us to grow quickly.

Whilst looking at other Instagram content is important; you can also look at insights into your niche. Specifically what people are looking for and interested in.

For example, imagine your Instagram account is focused on gut health. Our data insights show gut health has rapidly grown in interest. However, the hashtag CGM or continuous glucose monitor is not specifically popular. Consequently, you may decide not to create content around it. But that would be a mistake.

Our data insights show by July 2023 interest in CGM’s in the UK had increased 200% over two years. This means your followers are likely to be interested. Therefore, pay attention to your industry and if you are focused on health, you can also look at analysis from Antlerzz into emerging health data trends.

However, avoid using AI tools like ChatGPT. They are great for many things, but identifying trends is not one of them. They are likely to aggregate opinions from bloggers who have not been searching online trends in the same detail.

9. Post, post and post some more – especially in the first few months

How often should you post on Instagram is one of the most common questions people have. Opinions will differ and that’s because nobody has the real answer. 

In truth, it depends on where you are in your Instagram journey. If you are a big account you can afford to focus on top-quality content and release it only 2-3 times a week. Yet, the laws of creation are different for smaller accounts.

If you are just launching a new account, post a lot. 2,3 or even 4 times a day for a couple of months can help train the Instagram algorithms and help them understand what your account is about.

However, if you don’t have the resources, you will likely be tempted to use AI to create content for you. Don’t do it. It will not help.

10. Reels are the best type of content to get new Instagram fans

Surprisingly, Instagram didn’t really care when Kim Kardashian complained that the platform had abandoned what made it successful, by focusing more on Reels rather than posts. So, she might be an influencer but she doesn’t influence Mark Zuckerberg. 

Reels continue to have the best reach of all content types of Instagram. So, get focused on how to create them.

11. Getting more views on Reels is your key metric to getting new Instagram followers

Whilst understanding how to create Reels is important, making sure you understand how to get more views is what will make the difference in getting more Instagram fans. After all more views mean more people watch it. This increases your chances of getting new followers.

How you get views will also depend on where you are in your Instagram journey. However, if you are reading this article, I am assuming you don’t have 5m followers. Unless rumours are to be believed and you are Andrew Huberman. Hi Andrew – we love your health optimisation podcast!

To get more views you need quick content that captures your audience quickly. The first 1 or 2 seconds are critical. For example, one of our most popular running Reels had the headline “Did you know the average 5k time is…”

Since we spent time on our niche, we were able to get our targeting right. Consequently, our audience waited for bated breath to find the answer, which was…

Gosh. Frustrating, isn’t it? It keeps people engaged and wanting an answer.

12. The more engaged your audience the more Instagram fans you can get

Whilst views are an important engagement metric, you will also need to understand how to increase other types of Instagram engagement. This includes likes, comments and importantly shares. 

Again, this points to another universal truth. Don’t buy engagement. It might make you feel good, but it doesn’t necessarily help. Instead, you will need to focus on what interests your specific audience. If you are just starting your account this will have to be a test and learn. As you grow identify what content has gained you the most followers. This is most likely to be the content they enjoy engaging in. As a result, the more engagement you get, the more views you receive. The more views you receive the more followers you obtain. 

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Hmm…Not really.

13. You are not a big influencer so don’t act like one. Engage with others to increase your follower count.

We have seen many accounts create content yet fail at a very simple hurdle. They don’t reply to their followers’ comments like they are ghosting a bad Tinder date. This will not help you get loyalty and importantly won’t help your reach.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to reply to everyone. On the Reels where we have received hundreds of thousands of views, we will get hundreds of comments. This can become overwhelming. 

However, on most content, especially whilst you are a small account, you will only get a handful of comments. Leave thoughtful comments back. It can help increase your views.

14. Use stories to give a personal insight into your world

Whilst this step won’t directly help you get more Instagram fans it will help build engagement and loyalty which can increase your views and follower count indirectly. Therefore, use this opportunity to give people an insight into who you are.

However, the story should be aligned to your niche. So, if you run a health testing company don’t start taking people around your office. I would rather watch a documentary about different types of potatoes than look at a 15-second video of someone doing Excel.

Instead, give them a glimpse into the clinic. Show them how you test for Vo2 max. Alternatively, show them your lifestyle like where you go running.

15. Location tagging for more local Instagram fans

This step can help but will not have a huge impact. When posting a Reel tag in your location. This can help to increase your views amongst people in and around your location. This is especially important for companies that serve a specific location.

On our Antlerzz running account, we often use London as a location setting. This has helped to drive more UK followers. However, our underlying follower count shows our followers still come from around the world. 

16. Add topics to your content to get more views and Instagram fans

This step is much more important at the start. When you go to post new content, you will see a few options. One of these should be topics.

You can select a topic that most closely aligns with your content and that can help train the Instagram algorithms to understand what your content is about. However, the topics you can select from is limited. Therefore, if your niche is NMN supplements, don’t expect to find anything here.

This can also be a good place to start exploring your niche. If possible, pick a niche that is aligned to one of these topics as its likely what Instagram understands best.

Go to any Instagram-related growth blog and you will have experts mindlessly telling you to find ‘killer hashtags.’ Apparently, these will help propel you to stardom. If only!

Firstly, hashtags can be important but you will need to do research. Understand what hashtags are related to your niche. Just because a hashtag looks relevant doesn’t mean it is. Therefore, deep dive into the content that relates to those hashtags to see if it is similar to your niche.

For example, ageing in reverse is a hashtag that may seem appropriate for an account wanting to focus on longevity science. Yet, in our analysis of that hashtag suggests most of the content is focused on how people look rather than health optimisation.

Secondly, remain consistent with your hashtags. If you are in the early stages of your growth, you need the Instagram algorithms to understand what your account is about. Therefore, limit them and see what works.

Thirdly, avoid trending hashtags. They are typically vague and not very useful. Moreover, they are usually too large for a small account to use as it means your content gets drowned by much bigger accounts. Moreover, you may end up confusing the algorithms if you constantly chase the next trending hashtag.

18. Use the text field to give value when looking for new fans on Instagram

The Instagram text field, also known as captions, is the area underneath a piece of content. This is where people add more insights into what their content is about. Use this to show off your knowledge but don’t overdo it. At the beginning of your journey, most people are unlikely to read your caption in detail. Therefore, if you are creating a Reel about cold water therapy, use the caption to explain some of the key benefits. 

Moreover, some people use captions to increase their Reel views. This can be smart as the more time someone spends reading what you have written, the longer they are watching and engaging. This increases reach.

Yet, when it comes to AI consider limiting its usage. It can be tempting to use ChatGPT to write your captions but that is often easy to spot. Therefore, use your voice and insights but use AI to improve the readability of the text.

19. Test posting times but they are not everything

An often-peddled Instagram growth hack is understanding when your users are online. This can be a useful metric but perhaps not the major criterion to getting more Instagram fans.

Instagram is showing your content around the world so getting the best time is not really something you can identify. It’s likely to be spread out. Moreover, if your users are online at a similar time, it’s likely to be at a popular time full stop. This can have the opposite effect as your content is not shown due to competition from larger accounts.

It’s best to test and learn. Change times throughout the day to see if it has an impact.

20. Use legitimate influencers where possible to get more Instagram fans

Time and time again we have seen large accounts using fake tactics. It’s shocking how many influencer accounts are not actually influential.

However, legitimate influencers can have a big impact. Yet, this is a tactic not open to everyone. If you have a marketing budget, spend time investigating which accounts have real followers and not. It’s not always easy to spot so might be worth talking to a professional.

Some red flags include:

  • Low reel views vs account size
  • Accounts that have grown rapidly without reel views
  • Sudden changes in engagement e.g. likes
  • The ratio of likes to views
  • Many brainless comments like “love it” or a simple emoji

21. Get published or seen on other platforms where possible

Again, this is an option not available to everyone. However, getting interviewed on a popular podcast or an article written about you in a major publication can have a big impact.

For example, if you are selling biological age tests, what better place to get publicity than get onto a longevity podcast. Providing that podcast has a large following, it can have a profound impact on your follower count. Andrew Huberman for instance has the third most popular podcast in the world. So, Andrew since you are reading, we would love to accept your invitation. Please email us at insights@antlerzz.com.

Just remember, building influence is more than just Instagram. Every time you speak at an event, work with a new client, or get featured in a newspaper, your influence is growing. If you have access to these possibilities, use them. 

22. Spend time understanding the algorithms to grow your following

The Instagram algorithms are constantly changing, which is why we spend so much time learning about them. Just because something worked in 2014 doesn’t mean it will work today.

Uncovering the Instagram algorithms has helped us to understand several truths:

  • The algorithms are not as advanced as you may think. Keep things consistent and simple. Don’t confuse them by changing the topic
  • Immediately engaging content is better than production-value quality content
  • The algorithms change all the time. Be proactive

Therefore, if you have an account focused on exercise and specifically improving your vo2 max don’t start talking about the importance of sustainable healthy foods. You will confuse the algorithms and you won’t get more Instagram fans.

23. If you refuse to listen to anything else, please remember the golden rule – don’t buy fake Instagram followers or trust AI automation

It’s simple. You should avoid fake Instagram accounts. In fact, just avoid all forms of AI when it comes to growing your followers directly. 

In truth, any platform that claims to use AI to grow your Instagram account is unlikely to be using AI. They will do one of two things:

  • Give you fake followers
  • Automate follow for follow

Automating follow for follow may give you real followers but that’s at your own risk. Instagram has been cracking down on automation and you run the risk of having your account shut down.

Getting more Instagram fans is tough, and time-consuming but worth it

If you have made it through to this point of the article, you may be overwhelmed by everything you need to do. Using AI is clearly not the answer to shortcutting your way to influence. In reality, there are no shortcuts. Just lots of hard work and likely failures.

However, if you preserve you can succeed. At Antlerzz, we work with clients to guide them through all of the steps above. We refuse to overpromise by giving our clients bots because in the end you have to ask yourself what’s the value? If you want to grow on social media, it should be because you want influence in your niche. Not because it makes you feel better to have imaginary friends.

Yet, by spending the time, resources and money to grow you can achieve extraordinary results. Just like in real life, influence takes strategic planning, time and effort. Anything less is just a lie.

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