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How to Increase Followers on Instagram for Real

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Instagram is one of the world’s most popular social networks. You can post photos, videos, and ephemeral stories on Instagram, and it’s proven to be one platform where many big brands have found success in reaching their audience. It’s not easy to increase Instagram followers but if you follow these tips, and form a strong strategy, you will see the results. At the heart of Instagram lies quality content — you just can’t succeed without it, but there’s a lot more to increasing your Instagram followers than meets the eye. Here are our best tips to help you increase Instagram followers.

1. Know why you are on Instagram
This sounds really simple, but it is the most important thing if you want to increase Instagram followers. What are you on Instagram for? Is it to drive traffic to your website? Is it to reach a new audience? Whatever it is, you need to define your goal and then form a strategy towards achieving that.

2. Quality matters
You can’t get away with low-effort, half-hearted posts on Instagram. If your strategy revolves around photos, make sure you take great pictures of whatever you’re trying to promote. For instance, you could post a picture of a book you’re reviewing with a coffee mug next to it on a plush wooden table — this will immediately attract more people towards your photo caption and that is a big win. If you are posting videos, make sure you edit them properly and if possible, add either subtitles or text on the video because videos are muted by default.

3. Post detailed captions
We’ve seen accounts posting detailed accounts of how a picture was taken, detailed recipes and cooking methods, and even whole book reviews posted as Instagram captions. All of this on extremely popular accounts on Instagram, which shows that along with quality content, you should post detailed captions too. This is not something you should do every single time, but every time the caption adds a lot to your photo or video, you should post a detailed one.

 

4. Post Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories allow you to jump the news feed queue by default, and they even have a prominent slot on the Discover page. This is reason enough to make good use of Stories. We’ve found that people love sending their tech-related queries to us via Instagram Stories’ QnA feature, and we’re sure you’ll be able to find a better way to engage with your audience via Stories. You can even add links to Stories if your account has that feature, so it’s another reason to use this as much as possible.

5. Engage with others
Don’t just make Instagram a one-way street where you post quality content but never engage with anyone. To increase Instagram followers, you should interact with your audience and popular accounts in your field. Comment on their stories or posts, or simply like the ones relevant to your account.

Another overlooked aspect of this is to keep an eye on what’s trending and hop in. For instance, the 10-year challenge made waves recently, so find ways to make relevant posts about such topics for an even better chance of engaging with your audience.

6. Don’t forget the hashtags
There’s no need to spam hashtags to increase Instagram followers, but you should definitely use three or four popular hashtags relevant to your audience. There are niche hashtags for various communities or interests and you should definitely target these to boost your reach.

7. Use your bio to your advantage
Your bio is your identity on Instagram. If you’re hoping to increase your followers, you should update this regularly. The bio is the only place where you can add clickable links, and this means that you should frequently update this to direct people to your website.

8. Every post should have a call-to-action
You posted a great photo or video of your product, wrote a great caption, but there’s one more thing for you to do. Tell your followers to check your bio for a link to find out more. This is a simple but effective thing that every account should do. If you shared a great post, it also doesn’t hurt to ask your followers to tag their friends who can relate to your product.

9. Instagram-exclusive offers
You can definitely do giveaways and contests on your page to increase Instagram followers, but as a brand a more sustainable strategy could be discounts. You could offer a discount coupon to your followers on Instagram and be creative about it. Perhaps once a week you could have a contest with a question about whatever you want to promote and share the coupon with those who get the answer right. This has been observed to be a good tactic for early growth on Instagram.

10. Don’t put all eggs in one basket
This is very important. Make sure you have a presence on multiple social media platforms or at least have a website outside of Instagram. In the quest to increase your Instagram followers, you should never forget that it can cut your reach at any point and if that happens, you don’t want your hard work to go to waste.

Finally, we strongly advise against buying Instagram followers. While there are several services that allow you to increase Instagram followers at a small cost, it’s best to avoid these. If Instagram ever decides to crack the whip, your account could be suspended or permanently banned. There’s no point risking that.

What are your tips to increase Instagram followers? Let us know via the comments.

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Azota is solving exam headaches for Vietnam’s teachers – TechCrunch

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Creating and grading tests is one of the most time-consuming tasks teachers need to deal with. In Vietnam, a startup called Azota wants to help with an online software platform that not only helps educators develop and proctor tests, but also automatically grades them using information from Vietnamese teaching materials. The company announced today it has raised $2.4 million in pre-Series A funding led by GGV Capital, with participation from Nextrans and returning investor Do Ventures. 

Founded last year, Azota now counts 700,000 teachers and 10 million students in primary, secondary and high schools among its users. It says that during peak test periods, it serves over six million users each month, or about 30% of the total number of teachers and students in Vietnam. It claims it can cut down the grading process from two hours when done manually to just two minutes. 

Azota’s creation came amidst the pandemic in 2021. Before co-founding the startup, Au Nguyen, its CEO, worked for Viettel, one of the largest telecoms in Vietnam. He led an educational unit on school management solutions, but realized that educators had many pain points that his team could not solve. As a result, he decided to team up with his friends, Dai Nguyen and Hung Le, to create Azota. 

“As the team sees it, there are two major scopes of work for teachers: teaching and assigning and grading tests,” they told TechCrunch in an email. “During the COVID times, teaching had to go online, and there were numerous tools to support this change such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Team, etc. But when it comes to online assigning and grading, there were few tools available, which made the process very labor-intensive and time-consuming.” 

Azota built an optical character recognition app to automatically recognize Q&A’s from test images taken from teachers’ phones. It shuffles those questions and answers to create hundreds of modified test combinations. Since the OCR was built using Vietnamese teaching materials, the team said it can recognize Vietnamese tests with a 99% accuracy rate. 

Azota’s founders are also working on a more advanced question bank features that will allow teachers to pick and chose from its inventory to create exams from scratch. 

The startup is used by educators across the nation, with about 22% coming from the major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and the rest distributed equally among all provinces in Vietnam, they added. 

The team identifies two main groups of competitors. The first are big corporations that provide learning management software (LMS) to schools, but they say it’s still a fragmented market in Vietnam with different companies dominating different regions.

The second are startups that provide tools for teachers, but Azota’s founders say the teaching tool segment is still early and Azota differentiates by using a product-led growth model, solving teachers’ main challenges as they grow, especially for assigning and grading, instead of trying to address every issue that comes up. 

In a prepared statement, GGV Capital global managing partner Jixun Foo said, “Using technology to empower teachers to teach better, Azota makes great education accessible to millions of students. They can unleash the true potential of teachers to groom the next generation of Vietnamese youth.”

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Raising capital for robotics startups with Bee Partners and Rapid Robotics – TechCrunch

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Jordan Kretchmer founded Rapid Robotics with the mission of simplifying robotics for manufacturing by providing out-of-the-box automation solutions. Founded in 2019, the company quickly gained the attention of top VCs, including Bee Partners, which led Rapid Robotics’ seed round and participated in each of the following rounds. Hear Rapid Robotics’ pitch and hear from Kira Noodleman, partner at Bee Partners, to learn why robotic companies are quickly (and easily) gaining VC money.

This TechCrunch Live event opens on July 6 at 11:30 a.m. PDT/2:30 p.m. EDT with networking. The interview begins at 12 p.m. PDT followed by the TCL Pitch Practice at 12:30 p.m. PDT. Register here for free.

TechCrunch Live records weekly on Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. PDT/2:30 p.m. EDT. Join us! Click here to register for free and gain access to all TechCrunch Live events — including TechCrunch Live, City Spotlight, Startup Pitch Practice, Networking and other TechCrunch community events — with just one registration.

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AI chipmaker Rebellions gets $22.8M Series A extension from Korean telco company KT  – TechCrunch

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South Korean AI chip developer Rebellions has raised a $22.8 million (30 billion KRW) extension to its Series A financing from a strategic investor KT, one of the largest telecom companies in South Korea. 

Last month, TechCrunch reported on Rebellions closing on $50 million in funding that valued the company at an estimated $283 million. At that time, Rebellions CEO and co-founder Sunghyun Park told TechCrunch that the startup wrapped up its initial Series A, which was oversubscribed, in less than three months from financial investors. 

The Pavilion Capital-backed AI chipmaker has raised about $72.8 million (92 billion KRW) in total Series A funding, bringing its total funding to about $102.8 million since its inception in 2020. 

Rebellions spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company plans to use the extension round to mass-produce its second AI chip prototype, ATOM, that will be used for large companies in the cloud sector and data centers. 

KT says it wants to develop AI chips such as NPU (neural processing unit) that will be used for data centers, autonomous vehicles and fintech.

This is the second strategic investment KT has made with AI chipmakers in South Korea in its effort to accelerate the AI semiconductor business. Ku also said in a prepared statement that KT would continue to invest in startups amid a tough investment environment. 

The competition for AI chips has been heating up as companies, including big tech giants like Nvidia, Intel, Google, and Apple, develop competing products. Intel acquired Habana Labs, an Israeli startup developing AI chipmaker for data centers, in 2019.  

The global AI chip market is projected to reach $194.9 billion by 2030, up from $8.02 billion in 2021, per the AI chip market outlook report. 

“AI semiconductor is one of the next big technologies,” said CEO of KT Hyeon-Mo Ku in a prepared statement. “Through the partnership with KT, we hope Rebellions will become a global fabless company like NVIDIA and Qualcomm.”  

Rebellions is also currently in discussions with potential customers in the financial sector to get its first AI chip, ION, which was launched in November 2021.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with KT, a leader in the Cloud and internet data center industry, and the strategic partnership will be the driving force behind Rebellions’ new growth and business,” Park said in the statement. 

Investors participating in Rebellions’ Series A include Temasek’s Pavilion Capital, Korean Development Bank, SV Investment, Mirae Asset Capital, KT Investment and Kakao Ventures. 

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