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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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Twitter bans James O’Keefe of Project Veritas over fake account policy – TechCrunch

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Twitter has banned right-wing provocateur James O’Keefe, creator of political gotcha video producer Project Veritas, for violating its “platform manipulation and spam policy,” suggesting he was operating multiple accounts in an unsanctioned way. O’Keefe has already announced that he will sue the company for defamation.

The ban, or “permanent suspension” as Twitter calls it, occurred Thursday afternoon. A Twitter representative said the action followed the violation of rules prohibiting “operating fake accounts” and attempting to “artificially amplify or disrupt conversations through the use of multiple accounts,” as noted here.

This suggests O’Keefe was banned for operating multiple accounts, outside the laissez-faire policy that lets people have a professional and a personal account, and that sort of thing.

But sharp-eyed users noticed that O’Keefe’s last tweet unironically accused reporter Jesse Hicks of impersonation, including an image showing an unredacted phone number supposedly belonging to Hicks. This too may have run afoul of Twitter’s rules about posting personal information, but Twitter declined to comment on this when I asked.

Supporters of O’Keefe say that the company removed his account as retribution for his most recent “exposé” involving surreptitious recordings of a CNN employee admitting the news organization has a political bias. (The person he was talking to had, impersonating a nurse, matched with him on Tinder.)

For his part O’Keefe said he would be suing Twitter for defamation over the allegation that he operated fake accounts. I’ve contacted Project Veritas for more information.

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Consumer groups and child development experts petition Facebook to drop ‘Instagram for kids’ plan – TechCrunch

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A coalition of 35 consumer advocacy groups along with 64 experts in child development have co-signed a letter to Facebook asking the company to reconsider its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13, which Facebook has confirmed to be in development. In the letter, the groups and experts argue that social media is linked with several risk factors for younger children and adolescents, related to both their physical health and overall well-being.

The letter was written by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, an advocacy group that often leads campaigns against big tech and its targeting of children.

The group stresses how influential social media is on young people’s development, and the dangers such an app could bring:

“A growing body of research demonstrates that excessive use of digital devices and social media is harmful to adolescents. Instagram, in particular, exploits young people’s fear of missing out and desire for peer approval to encourage children and teens to constantly check their devices and share photos with their followers,” it states. “The platform’s relentless focus on appearance, self-presentation, and branding presents challenges to adolescents’ privacy and wellbeing. Younger children are even less developmentally equipped to deal with these challenges, as they are learning to navigate social interactions, friendships, and their inner sense of strengths and challenges during this crucial window of development,” the letter reads.

Citing public health research and other studies, the letter notes that excessive screen time and social media use can contribute to a variety of risks for kids including obesity, lower psychological well-being, decreased quality of sleep, increased risk of depression and suicide ideation, and other issues. Adolescent girls report feeling pressured to post sexualized selfies for attention from their peers, the letter said, and 59% of U.S. teens have reported being bullied in social media, as well.

Another concern the groups have is the use of the Instagram algorithm which could suggest what kids would see and click on next, noting that children are “highly persuadable.”

They also point out that Facebook knows there are already children under 13 who have lied about their age using the Instagram platform, and these users will be unlikely to migrate to what they’ll view as a more “babyish” version of the app than the one they’re already using. That means Facebook is really targeting an even younger age group who don’t yet have an Instagram account with this “kids version.”

Despite the concerns being raised, Instagram’s plans to compete for younger users will not likely be impacted by the outcry. Already, Instagram’s top competitor in social media today — TikTok — has developed an experience for kids under 13. In fact, it was forced to age-gate its app as a result of its settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which had investigated Musical.ly (the app that became TikTok) for violations of the U.S. children’s privacy law COPPA.

Facebook, too, could be in a similar situation where it has to age-gate Instagram in order to properly direct its existing underage users to a COPPA-compliant experience. At the very least, Facebook has grounds to argue that it shouldn’t have to boot the under-13 crowd off its app, since TikTok did not. And the FTC’s fines, even when historic, barely make a dent in tech giants’ revenues.

The advocacy groups’ letter follows a push from Democratic lawmakers, who also this month penned a letter addressed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to express concerns over Facebook’s ability to protect kids’ privacy and their well-being. Their letter had specifically cited Messenger Kids, which was once found to have a design flaw that let kids chat with unauthorized users. The lawmakers gave Facebook until April 26 to respond to their questions.

Zuckerberg confirmed Facebook’s plans for an Instagram for kids at a Congressional hearing back in March, saying that the company was “early in our thinking” about how the app would work, but noted it would involve some sort of parental oversight and involvement. That’s similar to what Facebook offers today via Messenger Kids and TikTok does via its Family Pairing parental controls.

The market, in other words, is shifting towards acknowledging that kids are already on social media — with or without parents’ permission. As a result, companies are building features and age gates to accommodate that reality. The downside to this plan, of course, is once you legitimize the creation of social apps for the under-13 demographic, companies are given the legal right to hook kids even younger on what are, arguably, risky experiences from a public health standpoint.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood also today launched a petition which others can sign to push Facebook to cancel its plans for an Instagram for kids.

Instagram Letter by TechCrunch on Scribd

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Facebook to test new business discovery features in U.S. News Feed – TechCrunch

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Facebook announced this morning it will begin testing a new experience for discovering businesses in its News Feed in the U.S. When live, users to tap on topics they’re interested in underneath posts and ads in their News Feed in order to explore related content from businesses. The change comes at a time when Facebook has been arguing how Apple’s App Tracking Transparency update will impact its small business customers — a claim many have dismissed as misleading, but nevertheless led some mom and pop shops to express concern about the impacts to their ad targeting capabilities, as a result. This new test is an example of how easily Facebook can tweak its News Feed to build out more data on its users, if needed.

The company suggests users may see the change under posts and ads from businesses selling beauty products, fitness or clothing, among other things.

The idea here is that Facebook would direct users to related businesses through a News Feed feature, when they take a specific action to discover related content. This, in turn, could help Facebook create a new set of data on its users, in terms of which users clicked to see more, and what sort of businesses they engaged with, among other things. Over time, it could turn this feature into an ad unit, if desired, where businesses could pay for higher placement.

“People already discover businesses while scrolling through News Feed, and this will make it easier to discover and consider new businesses they might not have found on their own,” the company noted in a brief announcement.

Facebook didn’t detail its further plans with the test, but said as it learned from how users interacted with the feature, it will expand the experience to more people and businesses.

Image Credits: Facebook

Along with news of the test, Facebook said it will roll out more tools for business owners this month, including the ability to create, publish and schedule Stories to both Facebook and Instagram; make changes and edits to Scheduled Posts; and soon, create and manage Facebook Photos and Albums from Facebook’s Business Suite. It will also soon add the ability to create and save Facebook and Instagram posts as drafts from the Business Suite mobile app.

Related to the businesses updates, Facebook updated features across ad products focused on connecting businesses with customer leads, including Lead Ads, Call Ads, and Click to Messenger Lead Generations.

Facebook earlier this year announced a new Facebook Page experience that gave businesses the ability to engage on the social network with their business profile for things like posting, commenting and liking, and access to their own, dedicated News Feed. And it had removed the Like button in favor of focusing on Followers.

It is not a coincidence that Facebook is touting its tools for small businesses at a time when there’s concern — much of it loudly shouted by Facebook itself — that its platform could be less useful to small business owners in the near future, when ad targeting capabilities becomes less precise as users vote ‘no’ when Facebook’s iOS app asks if it can track them.

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