Beginner Guide

10 tips to effectively manage your Instagram followers

If you have noticed that your Instagram account has had an influx of followers recently, it could be due to an Instagram. The campaign is a success or your carousel has attracted attention on the Explore page. Whatever the reason for increasing your followers, it may be time to manage your Instagram followers more effectively.

These 10 tips cover the different marketing funnel stages and how to nurture your Instagram followers at each stage. Not all followers are created equal. A new follower needs some guidance, while an actively hostile one may need some restrictions.

1. Optimize your Instagram Profile

How do new followers find you? To attract new Instagram followers, it should be easy for users to find your profile. In addition to linking your social accounts to your website and email newsletters, think about how users find you organically on Instagram.

SEO matters in your Instagram handle and bio. You only get 30 characters for your Instagram username and 150 characters to create an impressive Instagram biography, so each character counts. The business bio must contain at least your company name and your major products or services.

The Lip Bar uses their assigned character number to describe who they are, product information, and where to find them. It gets bonus points for adding fun emoji and a relevant hashtag.

The Lip Bar optimizes their Instagram profile.
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Businesses with physical locations need to make sure their location tags are accurate. After all, you don’t want someone tagging your address only to find that a different business appears for it.

2. Build a Customer Service Strategy

After finding a brand on social media, consumers take various actions. Twenty-six percent of consumers will reach out for customer service and support. And 47% of consumers believe a brand is performing well on social if they provide strong customer service.

There are several ways to demonstrate that a brand uses Instagram for customer service:

  • The brand answers questions from both public and private consumers
  • CTA buttons are available to contact the brand
  • Service Hours Bio. are listed in
  • When someone opens a DM, they are greeted with an immediate reply or message status

3. Be Responsive to IG Comments and DMs

When a customer sends a message to a brand, there are certain expectations placed on timeliness. According to Sprout Social Index™, Version XVI: Above and Beyond:

“40% of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour of access to social media, while 79% expect a response within the first 24 hours.”

A fast social media response time should be part of a company’s social customer strategy. It helps in building trust with new customers and retaining existing customers.

But if you are seeing an influx of messages due to the growth of your Instagram followers, then it is important that you maintain customer relations and do not miss any messages. That’s where Sprout’s Smart Inbox shines. Filter through all incoming messages based on profile or message type and mark them as complete after you process them.

Sprout Social Smart Inbox filters all types of messages into one inbox.
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4. Be proactive against trolls or spam

Accounts with high followings attract bots and spam accounts. This is an unfortunate side effect for development, but there are some ways to deal with it. First, don’t wait until you get that first influx of spam comments.

Proactively handle spam by updating your settings in Settings > Privacy > Hidden Words. There, you can manage comments and messages based on custom words or phrases. Instagram keeps its own list of offensive words to filter and hide from your account.

Instagram has settings to filter custom words and phrases that may be offensive or spam.
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There are several options available to you in Instagram’s privacy settings that are worth a look. You have detailed control over whose messages go to the Message Requests folder or if people can reply to your stories.

5. Make a plan to block or ban accounts

Some accounts exist only to create chaos, create propaganda or actively harass brands. Or, have a follower who consistently posts hurtful or spam comments.

It is important to have a crisis communication plan for examples such as these and more unforeseen situations. When is it appropriate to block or ban an Instagram follower or account?

Public criticism is a part of managing a growing brand. And when this happens you should be prepared with a clear communication plan. Unless there is obvious harassment, blocking an account is usually not the first reaction. Feedback and reviews are opportunities for brands to listen and provide feedback.

Instagram offers two options to block unruly or disrespectful users. Banning an account stops DMs from reading receipts, muting comment notifications and requiring approval for comments. This is a great option if you want to limit engagement with a troll but don’t want to block them outright.

As recently as July 2021, Instagram introduced a Limit feature that automatically hides comments and DM requests from people who don’t follow or have followed an account recently. This is to help protect people experiencing a sudden increase in comments. Or DMs of people they don’t know. With limits turned on, you’ll be able to accept comments on posts and prevent certain accounts from interacting with you.

Instagram has privacy settings that allow you to limit how much an account interacts with your profile and posts.
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6. Welcome New Followers With a Dedicated Instagram Highlight or Welcome Post

If a potential new follower is visiting an Instagram account for the first time, you want them to have access to all the relevant information. We’ve already covered the need for a great bio, but more can be done.

Start by making sure an Instagram highlight is dedicated to what your brand has to offer. Think “our values,” “about,” “company” and “history”—you get the idea.

The Instagram account of the Museum of Craft and Design makes it clear that this is a museum. But beyond that, there’s an Instagram highlight of what to expect as a visitor and their current exhibitions.

The Museum of Crafts and Design has a dedicated IG highlight for visitor information.
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Another way to welcome and acknowledge new followers is to do an introductory post every now and then. This works well for smaller brands and content creators. Posts can be made at any time or after a large influx of followers, such as a gift or a large event. Brands can often be faceless, so showing the people behind the account is a good way to humanize the brand.

“Meet the creator” is a common phrase used in the creative industries. They are filled with the feed product, but not the person or the people behind it. Paul of Timeless Custom Projects posted an introduction to accept any new followers.

Instagram intro post from Timeless
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7. Stay on Brand and Use Saved Reactions

If you have multiple people managing your Instagram account, it’s important to establish a brand voice. It takes valuable time to answer those common questions and concerns. Instead of retyping the same reply or having a different voice, consider using Instagram’s saved replies feature.

The Instagram Saved Reply feature is available for professional and business accounts and keeps you on-brand in your replies.

Instagram has a quick reply or saved reply shortcut setting.
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The Saved Reply feature of Sprout Social works on all networks. With saved answers, you’ll free up even more time for your team and keep everyone on the same page for each customer service situation.

Used answers saved in Sprout Social so that all members of your team stick to your brand voice in every scenario.
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8. Know Your Audience

How can you build an effective Instagram strategy if you don’t know who your audience is? Use your Instagram Insights to understand your audience’s demographics, location, age and most active hours.

Sprout Social Instagram Business Profile Demographics Insight.
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With a social media management tool like Sprout, you can access a post performance report that provides post-level insights. Similarities in top-performing posts are a good indicator that your audience is resonating with your content.

Post performance reports in Sprout Social give you insight into which posts are liked by your audience.
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9. Evaluate account performance regularly

To effectively manage your Instagram followers, you also need to know how your account is performing. Monthly or quarterly social reports and Instagram audits are good options for this.

The Sprout Social Instagram Business Profile report tracks your page's performance over time.
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And if you want to take it a step further, benchmark yourself against your Instagram competitors. See how often they’re posting and how fast their accounts are growing.

The Sprout Social Instagram Competitor Report compares the growth of your audience against that of your competitors.
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10. Track Your Influencers

And finally, keep track of the influencers on your account. It doesn’t matter if they are part of your influencer marketing strategy or loyal fans. These are the people who want to talk about your brand.

There are many ways to keep track of your influencers. Instagram now allows you to “Favorite” accounts so you can toggle on that feed. The “Following” feed only shows you posts from people you follow. Both are chronological so you don’t miss the latest posts. Use the Favorites and Followings feature to stay connected with influencers.

Instagram introduced two feed types: Favorites and Follows.
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Source: Instagram

Lastly, the Close Friend List on Instagram allows you to connect with even more of the most important accounts. Nurturing these customer relationships goes a long way in managing your followers.

Similar to Instagram’s Favorites feature, Sprout has a VIP list. This cross-platform list creates a customized feed for those selected accounts. Another useful feature in Sprout is Notes. These are personal notes that are attached to the account’s profile. Use these notes to jot down conversations or essential facts about different accounts.

Sprout Social VIP List option in Settings.
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manage your instagram followers

It can be overwhelming when your Instagram account starts to take off. Managing your followers with a large account requires more thought and care. You don’t want to waste time checking each account because it won’t be possible at a certain point. While you can use the strategies above, you will find that you are still managing your followers, but in a more effective way.

One step in managing your followers is to benchmark your business and implement content plans. Use this toolkit to unlock social success for your company.

10 Tips on How to Effectively Manage Your Instagram Followers first appeared on Sprout Social.

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