Wondering how to manage your Instagram followers? Not sure what it means to even manage your Instagram followers?

You are in the right place.

Before we get started, however, you should know that managing your followers doesn't mean you can't try authentic growth hacks like automating Instagram or buying followers. It's just a bad idea. Always.

Managing Instagram followers means:

  • Consistent interaction with your current followers
  • Grow your Instagram followers and gain new followers
  • Maintaining a happy, engaged community
  • Track or uncheck other Instagram accounts
  • Block trolls and handle spam

Read on for tips that will make this easier and more effective.

Bonus: Download a free checklist This shows the exact steps a lifestyle photographer took on Instagram to grow from 0 to 600,000 followers, without a budget and without expensive equipment.

How to manage Instagram followers efficiently and effectively

Maybe you are just getting started on the platform and want to gain more Instagram followers. Or maybe you already have a large following and you want to improve the interaction with your followers.

No matter where your brand is, these 10 tips will help you manage your Instagram followers.

Publish high quality, engaging content

Be selective about keeping your current followers engaged with your brand and getting new followers. Only publish carefully selected, engaging content that reflects your brand.

For example, take the time to:

The outdoor brand Cotopaxi publishes a careful selection of photos that are inspiring and relevant to their overall vision and values ​​- to get people outside and “do good” – even when their products are not on display.

Same goes for Dove. In addition to posting pictures and videos, the beauty brand creates fun graphical elements to change the way their followers interact with the account.

Create a content calendar to organize the planning, creation, and publication of your content.

Interact with your followers to create a sense of community

Take your time to be social! Manage your brand's Instagram followers by having conversations with your followers and creating a sense of togetherness.

Quickly answer questions and comments

Don't leave your followers' comments and questions unanswered. Do what they ask for. And make sure you do this on time.

Olympic National Park's Instagram account is a good example of this interaction. Sometimes the brand answers a question with an informative answer. In other cases, it shares the excitement of its followers by commenting back. And sometimes it just likes a comment from a follower.

See this post on Instagram

. A drive along Highway 101 offers a wonderful view of Lake Crescent. . But the lake is more than just a pretty face with all this breathtaking scenery. . Glacier-carved Lake Crescent was formed about 11,000 years ago and was originally connected to what is now Lake Sutherland (east of Lake Crescent). About 1000 years later, a great earthquake changed that when it caused a massive landslide and separated the water into two lakes. . Lake Crescent, once thought to be bottomless, is officially said to be 624 feet deep. While this is certainly deep, it is less than half the depth of Lake Chelan (1,486 feet deep), Washington's deepest glacial lake. . The lake seems as cold as it is deep. With temperatures around 45 degrees all year round. In the summer, it can be nice to swim in the shallow water as the sun warms the water all day. Great care must be taken when swimming. . The spectacular blues and greens that become more brilliant than you can imagine in the sunshine are the result of low levels of nitrogen. This limits the growth of phytoplankton, tiny plants (like algae) that swim in the lake's water and keep the lake clear. . It is also home to two species of fish not found anywhere else in the world, Beardslee and Crescenti Trout. . Impress your friends by sharing some facts about Lake Crescent during your visit. And don't forget to act responsibly. #VIPRangerMegan 📷 @ my.olym.pics. Home of the Klallam. #lakecrescent #sciencesaturday #olympicnationalpark #usinterior #optoutside

A post posted by Olympic National Park (@olympic_nps) on May 16, 2020 at 5:36 pm PDT

Write captions that encourage interaction

The Reese Book Club often asks questions in its captions. His followers then reply in the comments. There's a conversation between the brand and the followers, which means you can show off your company's personality. In addition, the back and forth dialogue adds a personal element.

Encourage mentions and hashtags

Your caption can also encourage followers to use your Instagram content to interact with their friends. Geotags, hashtags, and mentions expand the conversation and create a sense of community.

When the outdoor brand MEC launched a week-long social media campaign asking its followers to remember their favorite memories of camping, it also inspired users to tag their friends who were there. This brings people together – and could even get new followers for your brand.

Respond to direct messages immediately

When followers connect with your brand through a direct message, keep your followers happy by reacting quickly. Don't wait days or weeks to answer a question!

As long as you have a business Instagram account, the Quick Replies feature is a useful tool to help you manage direct messages efficiently.

These are simply prepackaged answers to frequently asked questions. Just enter the one-word shortcut to choose a pre-defined reply and reply to a follower's direct message. Then the entire predefined answer will be filled in automatically.

With Hootsuite, you can make answers even more effective and efficient. You can assign responses and follow-up actions to different team members. This ensures that no comments fall through the cracks, that all direct messages are answered, and that the best person is assigned to answer a question.

Hootsuite assigns answers to 1Hootsuite assigns answers 2Hootsuite also lets you create saved answers to answer common questions.

Welcome new followers

If your brand is new to Instagram, manage your followers with a welcome message. This is a personal introduction to your brand:

Greet new followers with a personal introduction

That being said, if your account has thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers, it's not realistic to personally greet every new follower.

If you already have a large following, take the time to add an introductory Instagram post to your content calendar and welcome new followers. This post explains who you are, what you do, and what your followers want to get out of your social media interactions.

For example, fitness influencer Michaela North has more than 38,000 Instagram followers and more than 2,500 posts. Despite having a healthy following, she recently shared a personal introductory post to help connect with her new followers:

See this post on Instagram

Lots of new faces here. Hiii! 🤗 A little about myself: 1. I have four children who keep me VERY busy. They are 6,6,5,2 and full of energy and so much fun. (And man, am I glad to be done with the year and a half the first three were in diapers at the same time 🤪). 2. I LOVE pushing my body. I did athletics (100m hurdles, long jump and heptathlon) at Weber State University, participated in Crossfit as an individual and in the best team in the world (miss you guys!) And also did physical training and I love it. Marathon, Pilates, mountain biking, skiing, high fitness, spin classes, hiking … really anything that gets me moving and helps me learn more about myself and my skills (oh and having fun because why should do I otherwise?). I firmly believe that there is something for everyone and that there is no “right” way to train. 3. I LOVE connection (thanks Instagram 👏🏼) and most value family, authenticity, adventure, hard work and kindness. 4. I love food. Creating and eating plates full of color, variety, and flavor makes me (probably) way too happy. 😂 and I realize that this may not be normal, but I'm happy to share what I'm eating in case someone else can relate to this joy of eating. 5. I am a certified nutrition trainer and have been coaching clients for about 10 years. I've worked with thousands of INCREDIBLE people along the way and I LOVE empowering people to achieve their goals. (I don't advertise it very often because I'm usually limited to my client intake.) 6. I love to travel and have plenty of time to show that we can do it more permanently in the near future. 7. Now that I'm no longer competing or rehabilitating, I'm doing my own exercise program for the first time in years and I'm having so much fun with it. (We may need to post some workouts for you guys soon … 8. I love big ideas and think outside the box. I do things quickly and I'm okay to make mistakes. That's where magic and learning usually happen. 9. Me I've been married to the best man ever for nearly 12 years, I'm not sure how my 20 year old knew this was a good idea, but I'm grateful she did.

A post shared by Michaela North (@hungryfitness) on May 12, 2020 at 10:04 am PDT

Limit trolls, spam and bots

Another way to manage Instagram followers is to moderate abusive comments from trolls and limit spam. This negatively affects your followers' experience and perception of your brand.

To make sure your Instagram content is a positive experience for everyone, you can:

  • Report users who are trolling your account or who you suspect are bots
  • Moderate comments often
  • Create a social media policy so your brand's team knows how to react to trolls

You can also update your settings to automatically hide offensive comments. There's also a manual filter option that lets you type in which words or phrases you specifically want to hide.

To do this, you need to:

  1. Go to your account settings
  2. Click on Privacy
  3. Click on Comments
  4. Choose which comment controls you want to set

Instagram comment control

You can find more information on how to deal effectively with social media trolls here.

Track your followers growth and monitor post launch performance

It's easier to keep your followers engaged with your content when you know who your followers are and what content they are most interested in.

Tracking data can help you find out who your core group is on Instagram and whether your account is gaining new followers. Using Instagram analytics tools like Instagram Insights can help your brand find useful data, such as:

  • Follower Demographics
  • Interactions with your account every day of the week
  • How many accounts did your Instagram account find?
  • How many clicks did your website get from Instagram?

You can also use data to keep track of what content is most interesting to your audience. Check to see if there is a pattern between growing your followers and posting a certain type of content. For example, does your count increase if you use geotags, surveys, or videos?

Hootsuite combines Instagram post scheduling and Instagram analytics. The unique Hootsuite Analytics dashboard allows you to dig deeper into your Instagram data and view information including:

  • Past dates
  • Your response time in customer service calls
  • A ranking of Instagram comments based on positive or negative mood

For more information on Hootsuite Analytics, visit:

Use your own branded hashtags

By creating a branded hashtag, not only can you incorporate popular Instagram hashtags into your post, but you can also encourage users to join in a conversation with your brand.

Branded hashtags can also be an effective way to grow your following. A branded hashtag that encourages action or participation can create a sense of fun and togetherness.

For example, Patagonia brings together a community of outdoor enthusiasts with its hashtag #ComfortIsRelative:

And in 2018, in honor of Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday, Disney encouraged fans to show their love for the brand by posting a picture of their Mickey Mouse ears with the hashtags #ShareYourEars:

Screenshot of the hashtag page #shareyourears on Instagram

Not sure how to use hashtags or why? We've outlined everything you need to know about using hashtags here.

Decide when to follow or not to follow other accounts

To be clear, your brand shouldn't follow every account that follows you.

To make sure you're following accounts that are useful to your brand, keep the following in mind:

  • Create brand guidelines. In your brand's social media strategy, make it clear what an account is worth to be followed by your brand. For example, are you looking at the location? How big is the following account? Do you only follow accounts that comment on your posts and have public profiles?
  • Using Instagram's memory feature. This allows your brand to monitor which accounts interact the most with your account and which accounts you should interact with in return.
  • The potential for collaboration. Following other brands or social media influencers is a good place to start a collaboration conversation.

Make the most of Instagram highlights

Instagram Highlights, the permanent and grouped Instagram stories that appear under the bio section of your Instagram profile, are a great way to manage new and current followers.

For example, the baby products brand Hello Bello uses Highlights to post content that is useful to both new and current followers:

Screenshot of Hello Bello's Instagram page with highlight icons

Frequently asked questions are answered in the frequently asked questions. This is useful for new followers who want to learn more about the brand. This is an efficient time management tool. New followers can find the answer to their question without sending a direct message, and reps don't have to spend time answering the same questions via direct message.

Hello Bello FAQ highlight
Source: Hello Bello

The other internal brand highlights like the roles “Vitamins” and “The Gods” announce new products and are useful for all followers. And the highlight "Camp HB" compiles announcements of its Instagram live events that are useful for its loyal and current followers.

Hello Bello Camp HB Instagram Live Events Announcements
Source: Hello Bello

Be flexible and adapt

It's important to keep up with social media trends, but it's just as important to keep up with developments around the world when it comes to managing Instagram followers well.

For example, the dating app Bumble has adapted to the global pandemic by realizing that dating is not "business as usual". Normally posting content can feel numb and would not be useful to current followers. Instead, it connects with its audience and creates a sense of community by posting content that reflects current affairs and how it affects its followers:

Other brands like Instagram Live and Instagram TV have turned to live streaming to manage Instagram followers and maintain the sense of community during the global pandemic.

3 apps to manage Instagram followers

There are also benefits to cleaning up your follower list, removing bots and ghost accounts, and blocking trolls and spammers. To effectively manage Instagram followers, you can use apps to clean up your list of followers and determine which accounts to follow.

Cleaner for ins

This is an Instagram Follower Management app that will help you stop following accounts that are no longer useful to your brand as bulk block followers when you notice spam accounts and bulk deletes when you perform a rebranding.

Mass Unfollow for Instagram

This app also helps you clean up your follower list. Bulk block or bulk unfollowing accounts that are not useful for your brand.

Followers Track for Instagram

Instagram follower tracking apps can help your brand manage followers. This app helps you to keep track of unfollows, new follow, blocks and deleted likes.

There you have it! By now you should have a good grasp of how to manage Instagram followers in an effective and efficient way.

Use Hootsuite to save time on social media. Schedule posts, engage followers, track results, and more – all from a single, easy-to-use dashboard. Try it for free.

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