Isn't Instagram the greatest? It competes with Pinterest as my favorite social network (sorry, Twitter). But getting followers and having a great gallery is not always the easiest of things. There are probably a million things you could try, but here are my top seven. These are the strategies and tools that I implement on my own account, and I'm growing steadily. Here are seven tips to grow your Instagram.

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7 Tips to Grow Your Instagram

7 Tips to Grow Your Instagram! Click to read the social media tips and tricks to grow your Instagram and get more Instagram followers! #instagram, #socialmedia, #instagramtips, #socialmediatips

One. Afterlight.

A lot of people recommend VSCO to edit and filter your photos. And I've got VSCO and use it occasionally, but most of the time, I'm on Afterlight. It's super easy to use and they have the BEST filters. With almost every photo I post, I “clarify” it using their tool and then implement one of three filters (choose your own favorites, though). Seriously recommend downloading the app asap.

Two. Over.

Over is another great app. It's a photo editor, but I don't use it for that. I use it to get those silly, but cute posts with quotes in cool fonts.

They're mostly dumb, but I kind of like them. Just try to pick quotes that are on-brand.

Three. Stay on brand, within reason.

Speaking of brands, you should have one. But don't go overboard. I try to use fairly consistent colors and topics. But unless you're some kind of designer or style blogger, I don't find it necessary to go overboard on this. Some people have perfect galleries that alternate between the same three colors on a pattern and just look amazing. Kudos to them, but that's too much for me. My gallery is a little less amazing.

Four. Iconosquare. 

Iconosquare (not to be confused with those spammy auto-like tools) is an analytics tool. It has the most amazing analytics on everything you could think of, from followers to likes to comments to media. I love it and use it constantly. You can also use it to follow and unfollow people (manually, not in an auto-spam way).

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Five. Use Instagram's suggested followers tool.

Almost every time I follow a new account, I go and check which other ones Instagram recommends. They almost always do a good job and I've found tons of great accounts this way. I don't know what their algorithm is, but it works.

Six. Engage.

Instagram rewards engagement. So, respond to your comments, even if they're most likely (or definitely) spam. You should also be engaging on the hashtags that you use. So, search for them and go around and like and comment on other accounts. I don't do this in a formulaic way, but just do it whenever I have 2 minutes to spend on Instagram. And, you might actually find some good accounts to follow.

Seven. Keep your follow count in check.

It looks weird to have 500 followers and 5000 followings. Keep it within a few hundred. I don't play the unfollow game, but I will unfollow if I actually dislike the account. And I just don't go crazy on the follows to begin with. It doesn't really benefit you to go on follow-sprees and follow 100 accounts at once. I keep it to a handful at once and wait for my own followers to grow before I go nuts again.

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So, that's my strategy.

That, and hashtags. But I'm pretty sure you know to use hashtags, so I left that one out.

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