One of the best ways to grow your following with people who are genuinely interested in the type of content you produce is to target your competitor’s followers. Most likely your competitors are posting similar content to yours which means their followers should also be interested in what you post. Growing an Instagram following is hard work so you should be testing and trying all types of strategies and hacks. And why not make it more fun by getting competitive? Nothing beats the feeling of stealing followers from your biggest competitors.
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Prepare Your Account
Before you start targeting people, you need to prepare your account to attract genuine followers. Make sure your content and profile are worth following.
Have a Clear Profile Photo
Make sure you have a clear profile photo. The best Instagram profile photos are ones that include your face or your company logo. Keep in mind that this picture is going to be small, so make sure it isn't too busy (or people won't be able to tell what it is). And under no circumstances should you not have a profile photo. People follow accounts they trust and one without a profile photo looks sketchy.
Have At Least 5 Good Quality Photos
When you go after your competition's followers, you're not going to want fake followers. You want REAL active Instagram followers. Real Instagram followers like good quality content. If you don't have good pictures posted, consider finding open source pictures online, or other sources of content that you didn't create first hand. Just make sure they’re free stock photos that don’t require credit. You get one chance to make an impression, so you want to make sure it counts.
Fill Out Your Bio
An often overlooked piece of an Instagram account is the bio, but it is actually a very important part. When a potential follower visits your profile, they want to know if you’re going to produce content that they’ll continue to be interested in. By having a full bio that clearly explains what you do, what you’re about, and what type of content you’ll be posting, you’re setting yourself up to attract more followers.
Target Recent & Engaged Followers
The next thing you'll want to do is to start engaging with your competitor’s followers. Depending on how big the competitor, you may or may not be able to go after all of their followers, due to having to scroll through everyone.
Look at the recent followers first- these are the easiest. They're users who are actively following other users, so they're more likely to follow you. Make sure you target the users you want, and not the obviously fake accounts.
You’ll also want to target those that are actively engaging with the competitor’s photos. You can do this by looking at the list of accounts that have liked or commented on the most recent photo. Then engage with them. Since they were recently active on Instagram, they’re more likely to engage back than someone who hasn’t logged in for the past week.
Be positive, and give to these followers. Follow them, like their photos, give them comments about how you like their content. These are all ways to get them to look at you account, and hopefully... follow you! If you're unsure of how to do this, read our post on the law of reciprocity or our 4 tips on getting real active Instagram followers post, we go over that stuff in more detail.
Who’s Using Their Hashtag?
Next, search your competitor's name in hashtag format. This might not work for smaller accounts, but think big! Are you a fitness account? Go after some of the larger name brands like Nike or Adidas. Are you into fashion? Go after Chanel or Coach.
Search for the competitor's name as a hashtag, as these are also typically more active. If your account is about fashion, and someone is using a hashtag about a fashion brand, that person is more likely to be interested in your account.
Hack Their Hashtag Strategy
If you can understand the followers your competitor is targeting, you can go after them as well. Look through your competitor's account. What hashtags are they using for their posts?
If you search for these hashtags, you can find users worth targeting as these are users that the competitor is targeting. You can also find other competitors worth going after in this way! Finally, you should consider using similar hashtags in future posts that you make, so you can stay in front of the same audience. For more tips on how to use hashtags to grow your following, check out our 2018 Instagram Cheat Sheet.
How to Hack Instagram Followers From Your Competitors
Now that you’re armed and ready to attack, be sure you don’t go overboard. Instagram only permits you to follow a certain amount of followers per day and same goes for likes and comments. These limits are put in place to avoid spam and to ensure everyone uses the platform properly. By following these tips to hack your competitor’s followers and keeping up with your current Instagram strategy, you should see your growth quickly skyrocket.
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