How to Build Followers on Instagram For Your College or University


Seeing the growing popularity of Instagram among millennials, your Institute has included Instagram in its social media marketing strategy. But since its creation, your marketing team is struggling to get the desired ROI from the popular platform.

Setting up a new social media account on Instagram is very simple. But the real challenge is to make it live and engaging. Often, academic brands face difficulties in increasing their follower count besides low engagement levels of their posts.

However, we have compiled some simple and practical tips for you to generate more engagement on Instagram. You can use these steps to create strategies for your Institute to grow the impact of your Instagram account. These will help your College to increase follower count organically by creating engaging Insta content, using hashtags and location tags etc. All these tips will help in creating more visibility for your College / University using Instagram resulting in growing audience base.

You can also use your Institute’s other social media platforms for cross-promotion of your Instagram account. So enjoy reading these valuable tips to overcome the hurdle of low follower count on Instagram.

How to Increase Engagement and Grow Your Institute’s Following on Instagram

1. ‘Look and Feel’ of Your Instagram Page

In the digital world, look and feel of your product is very critical. People often get tempted to follow those social pages that have a high visual appeal. Hence, the look of your Instagram page will be the most crucial thing your potential audience will notice first. It will include photos posted, short institutional bio and a simple Instagram handle.

Everything on your Instagram page should give a clear cut and concise brand message to the potential followers. Your Instagram account page should have the name and location of your College and should clearly state what kind of business you are into. People are more likely to follow a social media account that has straightforward information about it.

In addition to a simple and clear cut institutional profile, the quality of content posted on your Instagram account is also a significant factor to grow your following. People want to follow accounts that post relevant and meaningful content having eye-catching and visually appealing images. It is helpful to follow a theme based posting strategy depending upon your required brand positioning. Your Instagram account should reflect your overall brand persona.

Besides, video and photo content that you post, your captions are also equally important to keep in mind. Make sure that the captions are trendy and relate to the photo being shared. You can include calls-to-action with your captions so that your followers have a reason to engage with your academic brand. Your call to action can smartly direct people to landing pages of your website as the need of the campaign may be.

2. Regular Interaction will result in More Engagement on Instagram to Increase Followers

Social media is all about interaction and engagement. That is why perhaps you will see people emphasising on the need of producing relevant content. Your content is also important because it acts as an extension of your brand image and helps in strengthening it.

Nurturing the relationship with your followers and continuously increasing it will help your College strike a better connect with the target audience. This relationship nurturing process will further bring potential followers in your community once the trust is built with frequent interaction and engagement.

Keep watch on engagement levels of your posts, reply promptly to the comments, and acknowledge likes, so that your Instagram page conveys a sense of care to your community.

Reach out to your potential members by cross-promoting the Instagram account on other social media platforms. Grow your community by posting links to relevant talking points such as your email signature line etc. Find users online who can be interested in educational content that your University offers. Promote related hashtags to increase outreach. This will give visibility to your College brand and help in getting more followers.

You can also start following people that use your promotional hashtags, and they might be interested to engage with your Insta account, thereby building your community.

3. Hashtags and Tagging

Do you know hashtags and tagging can be powerful tools to help grow your following on Instagram?

Hashtags and social tagging have become a widespread phenomenon to grow your follower community. These can be posted at the bottom after all the text and the call-to-action or in a separate comment after the caption. Multiple hashtags can also be used. But be sure that your hashtags are relevant to the post so that users do not confuse while searching for the content. This will increase their chances to get connected with your account.

Create event based hashtags like alumni meet, freshers joining etc. and invite your audience to use them in their own posts. This will make it easy for people to find Instagram posts mentioning your College or University.

Besides, hashtags you can also use tagging such as location tagging, profile tagging etc. When you tag a location on your post or a story, your post/story will show up when users search that location. In this way, you can get some additional views on your postings. Similarly, you should also tag other accounts in your posts to get more visibility.

4. Cross Promotion of your Instagram account on other social media platforms 

Another tip for building your Instagram audience is to use the network of other social platforms that you already have. Your audience base on Facebook or LinkedIn can help promote your Instagram page among the existing followers on these pages. Many of these followers would be interested to engage with your Instagram account too since the brand affinity is already there. Inspire your existing follower community to engage with your Instagram stories/posts by adding calls to action on other social platforms.

5. Use Instagram Ads to create Brand Awareness and Grow Follower Count

Instagram can be a great advertising platform for your College to grow your followers. Running ads on Instagram can increase the number of users that see your posts. Instagram ads help to drive traffic to your website and increase brand awareness. This is a key reason to consider advertising on Instagram.

Instagram ads increase the visibility of your college brand. One of the biggest challenges with social media marketing is breaking through the media clutter and getting relevant traffic to your posts. However, merely paying to get audience attraction will not work unless you create compelling Instagram posts that will motivate people to follow you and engage with you.

Advertising on Instagram is very simple. Your advertisement will automatically be placed in between stories when a user is watching the stories of users they follow. Just like advertising on Facebook, your College can pre-set budget, choose a target audience, set duration for an Instagram ad, select the demographics such as age range, gender, location, and interests. This allows you to show your ads to the most relevant target audience and reach users whose probability of being interested in your academic brand is high.

Instagram ads also offer different options for advertisements. You can promote videos, individual photos, or multi-photo carousel ads. Advertising within Instagram stories is also an option! Instagram is continually rolling out new features, so the options for advertising on the platform will continue to increase over time.

6. Use Instagram Stories for Branding Your College or University

People are less familiar with Instagram stories but the feature can be highly beneficial for educational institutes to increase the number of followers. One reason stories are useful is that they keep your institute’s profile on the top of the mind of your followers at the same time keep your content at the top of their newsfeeds as well. You can use Instagram stories to showcase events at College, promote certain courses etc.

Another good reason to use Instagram stories for your University is that you can include clickable links in your story to drive traffic on to your website, blog, or any other landing page that you want your audience to visit. Stories are a great way to include calls-to-action. You can also access analytics around the story which will give you an idea about what kind of content your audience wants to see and loves to interact with.

Instagram story is a useful aspect of the social media marketing that Colleges can use for building brand identity. Creating Instagram stories is quite simple. Use the camera icon in the upper right-hand corner of your feed to take a photo or shoot a video, or upload photos and videos from your camera.

In addition to standard videos and photos, Instagram offers many interesting features to make your stories more interesting and creative such as ‘Live Videos’, ‘Focus’ feature that allows you to give prominence to faces while keeping the background blur, and ‘Superzoom’ etc. Similarly, the “Boomerang” feature, is a very popular and fun option for your Instagram story. A Boomerang is a short video that plays forward and then backwards, with no sound. Many users use this feature to create smart and eye-catching stories.


Now that you have some great strategies as to how your College or University can grow Instagram following, start using them. We have given you an overview of how Instagram follower strategies can help in building brand awareness of your institute.

We hope these tips are helpful for your educational business to grow your Instagram audience. Having an attractive look of your Instagram profile, engaging with your audience through relevant content, cross-promotion with other social media accounts, using hashtags and location tags, etc. are all ways to kick start your efforts for building an Instagram following. The process can be long but surely exciting and fun to pursue.

Nothing can be more exciting and satisfying than to watch your academic brand’s Instagram community grow and thrive.

For more such interesting blogs, keep following ASMA……

Further Reading :

What Is Your University’s Instagram Strategy To Gain Followers?

Importance of Tagging in Social Media Marketing

Twitter Strategies For Success in Education Marketing