How to grow your Instagram? How to get followers on Instagram? How to get likes on Instagram? These kind of questions I get a lot from fellow travellers and there is no clear answer on how to do it, though I think a little guideline already helps a lot.

How to get popular on Instagram

There are a couple ways to become an Instagram master but it all starts with understanding how Instagram actually works. Search the internet for Instagram guidelines or Instagram rules and begin to understand the principles of this amazingly popular application. Once you get familiar with the pros and cons then keep in mind that growing your Instagram is simply a lot of work. Like all other things in life you gotta be prepared to put in a lot of time and energy to reach your goals. Becoming popular on Social Media is not an easy job!

Over the last weeks my Instagram grew massively, which was all due to some features at big accounts. Did you know that per day about 70 Million photos are uploaded to Instagram? And with so many amazing photographers out there it is an honor to be featured at one of the biggest travel related accounts on Instagram. With almost 6.5 million followers @wonderful_places is a big fish and over the last month they featured two of my pictures, generating more than 200.000 likes. Once your pictures get the attention of the most popular accounts out there some smaller accounts start to notice you as well. Smaller, but still two extremely popular accounts with more than 2.0 million followers each @beaches_n_resorts and @luxuryworldtraveler featured several of my pictures as well.

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How to gain followers on Instagram

First of all it starts with uploading high quality pictures. You want your gallery to look appealing for people that visit your profile. You gotta get their attention in the first place. Stick to one or two topics. That means if you are uploading travel pictures and people start following you they are not interested in your cat or family pictures. There is nothing wrong with uploading them, but you will probably not catch the eye of someone who is roaming Instagram for cool travel snaps. Only uploading travel related pictures limits your reach so that’s why a lot of bigger Instagram accounts name themselves lifestyle bloggers. Most of them upload pictures related to travel, fashion, food and arts. Their reach is obviously bigger, but it is harder to grow. In the beginning I would suggest to stick to one topic!

Of course I want my followers to know who I am but they are following me because of stunning views and awesome landscapes, not because of who I am. Yes I do upload pictures with me in it, though mostly I try not to. If I do upload a picture with me in it, I try not to be the main focus, but let the amazing scenery catch the attention. Sometimes though even I don’t practice what I preach, but as long as you don’t annoy your followers and only do it rarely you should be fine.


High engagement on Instagram

Having a lot of followers is one thing, but the engagement is just as important. Followers should be your main goal if you want to grow your Instagram, but what if they are not active? You obviously want your followers to like and comment your pictures. The higher the engagement, the bigger the chance that you will get noticed on Instagram, the higher the chance more and more people will follow you. Interaction with your Instagram followers is therefore very important. Like back, go to their profile like some of their pictures and simply thank them so now and then. Followers will appreciated it and you build up a more personalized relationship. I told you it is a lot of work!

Once you add your picture, don’t put your phone down. Within the first two hours the most likes are given and the most comments are written. This is the time to interact! Like back, thank them for their positive words, etc.

Add a location to your photo and it will automatically gain a higher engagement rate. People in the same location mostly have the same mindset. Whether it is on a music concert or on a pristine beach. Users that search for a specific location are also interested in a certain topic, so always add the location!

What is the best time to post on Instagram

This is a very important thing to think about. Time your post right; you don’t want all your followers to be asleep at the time of posting. In general you know where your followers are from. Depending on which hastags you are using you can figure it out. Make sure your followers are active at the time you are posting, so post on peak times. Yes even on Instagram there is rush hour, so try to post between 5pm and 7pm. Obviously the right time zone is important. So right now I am in Asia and most of my followers are from Europe. For me that means my primetimes are 11pm – 2am, with other words: nightshifts!

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Use hashtags to get followers on Instagram

Last but not least you have to use hashtags. Without any hashtags you will not get noticed and people can’t find your photo. Using hashtags seems simple, but I see that 90% of the Instagram users have no clue what they are doing. Since I am targeting travel minded followers you would say that my most used hashtag is #travel. Wrong! The #travel is so immense popular that there is no point for me using it. First of all it is used over a 100 times per minute, second of all I will never be highlighted in the top 9. The second reason is the most important one to me. The best way to get noticed by a wide range of Instagram users is to be highlighted in the top 9 pictures for a certain hashtag. If you click on a hashtag you will be shown the most popular photos on Instagram for the day with that exact hashtag. Analyze your hashtags! Are you going to make it to the top 9 photos? No, then try to find other hashtags that might be a little less popular but where you at least will be highlighted. Of course for smaller accounts this is very hard as the most hashtags related to your topic are used many times and have a high engagement rate.

On almost every website they display the most popular hashtags on Instagram and they tell you to use them. Such bullshit! There is no point at all using hastags like #me. Have you ever searched for pictures with the #me? Who in the world actually does this? So why the hell use this hashtag?

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Massplanner for Instagram

If you are really interested in doing more with your Instagram than just posting photos I suggest you keep on reading articles like these or meet up with big Instagrammers buy them a beer and try to learn. I read new things about it on a daily basis and I even signed up for an online seminar in how to grow even bigger than big! If you don't have the time to put so many hours in Instagramming than you can let other people do this for you.

Happy Instagramming people!