Developing a strong presence on Instagram is a powerful advantage in business. Popular Instagram accounts have sprouted multimillion-dollar businesses. Heck, some influencers make six figures for a single sponsored Instagram post.
While it isn’t difficult to grow a following on Instagram, it isn’t a cakewalk to get more followers on Instagram, either. Ask any social media marketer, and they’ll tell you Instagram has a lot more strategy behind it than it seems.
If you’re starting from scratch or looking to get more traction, there are lots of ways to improve your chances of increasing your followers on Instagram.
In this massive article, I’ve put together 55 easy tips and tricks to help you get more followers on Instagram. I’ve included several sections that cover your Instagram profile, best practices, account promotion, networking, analytics, campaigns, and more. These tips are easy to implement regardless of your experience, so check each one off and start getting more followers today.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents:
1. Choose a memorable username
A good way to grow your Instagram following is by having a username that’s short and easy to remember. This means it’s easier for people who have seen your account once to find it again in the future. It also means there’s a lower chance that users trying to tag you in a post will have a hard time finding you. Your best bet is the name of your brand.
*You can change the username of your Instagram account at any time but remember, you’ll lose all previous tags from any posts you’ve been tagged in with your old username.
2. Have an intriguing profile picture
Your profile picture is like your Instagram first impression. If you’re an individual, a photo of your face is a good choice as it lets people know who you are. If you’re a business, use your logo to establish brand identity and to make it simple for users to make connections with any other marketing materials they may have seen from your brand.
3. Update your bio
Make sure your Instagram bio fits your business goals. Though brands like Adidas can get away with short, vague bios based on their sheer brand power, you’ll want to be a little more descriptive if you’re trying to get followers. If you’re selling products, mention what they are and briefly describe what makes them unique. If you have a physical store location, the bio of your Instagram account is a good place to include the address, as well as your opening hours.
4. Link your Facebook and Instagram accounts
Linking your Facebook and Instagram accounts allows you to automatically post the media you’ve posted on Instagram to Facebook. Not only does it make it simple to share the same piece of content across two of the biggest and best social platforms, but it also allows you to leverage the reach you have on Facebook to grow your Instagram account. When you cross-promote between Instagram and Facebook, make sure your Facebook captions link to your Instagram profile, so you can turn Facebook fans into followers on Instagram.
5. Share your account on other social networks
Though other social platforms aren’t as fully linked to Instagram as Facebook is, it’s still a good practice to reach out to the audiences you’ve built on other platforms. If you’re finding it difficult to get followers on Instagram from another network, consider offering an Instagram-only coupon or some other offer as an incentive.
6. Share your Instagram account to your email list
There are a few ways you can do this to get more followers on Instagram. You can send a single email newsletter urging people on your list to follow your Instagram account, or you can consistently feature your account in some way in your email marketing communications (through a social icon or a short CTA) to make sure you reach both new and old subscribers. Like the previous tip, offering Instagram-exclusive offers is sure to get more Instagram followers.
If you’re lucky enough to have a retail location, take advantage of it! Put up signs in your store advertising your Instagram account – even offer discounts to customers if they become new followers. You can also offer incentives in exchange for Instagram posts of your store with an @ mention; this pushes your brand out to your customers’ followers, helping get followers on Instagram and organically spread the word about your brand.
If you run an e-commerce business and regularly ship out products to your customers, consider adding a small card to each shipment with your Instagram profile and a CTA saying something like, “check out our Instagram profile for discounts and our new products!” Because these people are already customers, they’re likely to follow you on Instagram for discounts in the future.
9. Link to your Instagram account on your homepage
If your website is a large traffic driver, make sure you have social icons on your homepage to direct visitors to your social profiles including Instagram. Though this may not be a huge source of new followers for your Instagram profile, every little bit counts!
10. Embed your Instagram content in your blog posts
If it’s a part of your digital marketing strategy, your blog is another channel you can leverage to drive traffic towards your page, helping you get followers on Instagram. When using examples from your business’ marketing efforts, embed Instagram posts instead of using screenshots. Not only does this ensure you retain the quality of your blog post, it means readers can click onto your Instagram profile to follow you.
11. Use Instagram Ads
Because Instagram is owned by Facebook, it also has the advantage of using Facebook’s incredibly powerful Ads platform. Though Instagram Ads are a better choice if you’re looking to achieve a certain business goal – for example, increasing sales or driving traffic – you can also use them to introduce your profile to people within your target market. Using precise targeting, you can reach people with quality content and entice them into becoming followers on Instagram.
12. Have a unique content strategy
To put it simply, there’s a lot of Instagram users out there. To stand out, your Instagram posts need to be unique. I can’t tell you what that is, but if you’re able to put together a feed of one-of-a-kind content still related to your business, you’ll find it’s easier to draw in followers. That being said, don’t be afraid to do what’s tried and true – there’s a reason images of food and scenery are so popular.
13. Maintain thematic consistency
Before you start to post on Instagram, think about what you want your Instagram feed to convey. Think about the types of photos you want to post and what content you want to share with your followers. Create rules or guidelines regarding content and captions for your profile that each of your Instagram posts must follow, and you’ll find it’s easy to create a seamless Instagram experience for your followers.
14. Go back through your feed and delete bad images
Every so often, look back through your profile and see if you can weed out any images that might not be in line with the guidelines you’ve created for your Instagram page. You want new visitors to your page to look through your profile and see a consistent theme and quality – this will help sell them on what your profile is offering and will increase the chance they’ll follow you.
15. Post high-quality images
This is a simple rule, but one I see businesses breaking all the time. You don’t need thousands of dollars of camera equipment to post good pictures to Instagram, but a blurry, over-filtered, low-resolution picture is a sure recipe for Instagram failure. Make sure yours are lit well, edited tastefully, and feature your subjects in clear focus. Newer smartphones like the iPhone or the Galaxy are safe bets for the ideal Instagram stills.
16. Share behind-the-scenes content
One of social media’s greatest advantages is the connection it promotes between users. For many, social media serves as a way to add personality to celebrities or businesses. To capitalize on this, give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business. For example, preview new products or show what a typical day looks like for employees in your office. Doing this makes it easier for people to make personal connections with your business – and increases the chances they’ll follow you.
17. Post quotes
Not everyone has time to take and edit photos all the time. If you’re on a consistent post schedule, you can fill gaps with quotes or text that resonates with your target market. This type of Instagram content is both engaging and easily shareable, even for people who might not necessarily be interested in your product. This helps you maintain your posting schedule while reaching new people within your target market.
18. Use an app like VSCO to edit your photos
Using a photo editing app like VSCO can be just what you need to take your photos from good to great. Lightly editing photos makes them look unique and helps them to stand out on users’ Instagram feeds. Consistently using only a few different filters also helps to create an Instagram “signature” – a tactic that helps users pick out images that are from your brand. Just make sure you don’t go overboard with the edits!
19. Use a collage app to combine pictures
The more, the merrier, right? Using a collage app like Instagram’s Layout allows you to stitch several images into one. Though this isn’t always the best strategy, it can make room for some pretty interesting creative possibilities – which can pique viewers’ interests and turn them into your followers on Instagram.
20. Shoot creative videos
Instagram has been pushing video lately, upping the video length limit from 15 seconds to 1 minute just a few months ago. Take advantage of this, and get creative with the video medium to do things like showcasing your products or your employees.
21. Maintain your Instagram Story to keep followers engaged
Instagram’s Snapchat copycat product is starting to pick up steam. If you’re serious about your Instagram strategy, start taking some time to update your Snapchat story with any exciting news or new products. To increase engagement on your Stories, consider introducing limited-time discounts to post on your Stories.
22. Post pictures of people
Photos with people in them tend to receive more engagements than those without. When shooting images of your product, try to show someone using it – you’ll find this type of content is more well-received by Instagram users.
23. Tag people in your content
In addition to tagging the people that are actually in your photo, you might like to try tagging influencers or other brands if you’re trying to grow your profile. Not only does it alert them to your photo, but it actually causes the photo to show up on those profiles’ “tagged photos” section, introducing the possibility that their followers might find it.
24. Share user-generated content
User-generated content is free and authentic content that showcases your brand in a positive light. Always make sure to take the time to interact with the people who put effort into engaging with your brand on social. If someone’s posted a photo with your products on Instagram, you can like or comment on it – but why not go the extra step and share it on your business’ profile with an app like Repost? Sharing user-generated content not only makes the original poster feel appreciated but it shows your followers how others are enjoying your products.
25. Post media from events to be featured on the Events feed
Instagram recently introduced an “Events” feature in the Explore feed that highlights exciting goings-on near users. If your business is at an event, make sure you’re posting live from the Event – it just might get you featured in many local users’ Explore feeds.
26. Ask users to tag friends
There are a few reasons you can use to get users to tag their friends in your content. You could have a CTA in your caption that says something like, “tag a friend who would like this photo,” – or you could run a giveaway that requires users to tag friends in (and follow) to enter. This increases engagement and also drives up the chance you’ll end up on people’s Explore feeds.
27. Participate in the Instagram Blog’s Weekend Hashtag Project
Instagram’s Weekend Hashtag Project is a series the Instagram Community Team put together, featuring a weekly designated theme and hashtag. For example, #WHPescape highlighted Instagram users’ idea of a perfect weekend retreat, and #WHPfreetime showcased what Instagram users did in their free time. Participating in the Weekend Hashtag Project means your account could be featured on Instagram’s blog – which means a huge surge of traffic (and followers) to your account.
28. Like pictures on your Explore feed
Your Explore feed is made up of posts related to the posts you’ve liked and the people you follow. So, if you’ve been actively engaging on Instagram with your business account, it’s likely your Explore feed is filled with posts from people in your target market. Like these posts to increase engagement with other accounts within your industry.
Though likes are great, comments are more personal ways to interact with other accounts. Avoid saying things like “great photo!” – rather, make some comment about the subject of the photo. “Cute dog” works a lot better than “nice shot!”.
Make it a point to engage with posts from Instagrammers who are popular in your industry. These users have tons of followers who see their content – meaning if you comment on their content, there’s a chance these users will see your comments. This could lead to them viewing your profile and – if your content is good – becoming followers on Instagram!
Social media should never be a one-way street. If you get comments on your content – yes, even generic, engagement-seeking comments like “Nice photo!” – take a second and respond. Even as little as a simple “Thanks!” will get you some brownie points and maybe even a follow. And always, always @ mention the person in comment replies, so they see it.
32. Follow suggested users
Instagram’s suggested users feature uses an algorithm to connect you with those who are relevant to your account in some way – meaning that it’s easy to find accounts from within your industry. Following these accounts could get you a follow back.
33. Follow back industry accounts that follow you
Follow back accounts within your industry that follow you – if anyone checks this account’s followers, they’ll see your account. This has the potential for you to get more Instagram followers.
34. Follow accounts that your competitors follow
Chances are, the accounts your competitors follow are part of your target audience. Following these accounts on Instagram could get you a follow back – and because they’re in your target market, they’re a much higher value follower than others.
35. Follow accounts that follow your competitors
Same deal here. If they are interested in your competition’s products, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll be interested in yours, too. Follow them, and there’s a pretty good chance they’ll check into your account to see what you’re about. If you pique their interest, they’ll give you a follow.
36. Host an influencer takeover
Hosting an influencer takeover allows you to step away from your normal content and let somebody else take the reins – and it opens up your account to your chosen influencer’s audience. Have the influencer promote the takeover on their account in the days leading up to it, so their followers have followed you by the time it begins.
37. Connect with influencers to feature your product
Paying or partnering with influencers to get them to post a photo featuring your product is another way to introduce your product to another audience. On top of this, the influencer’s audience will be more receptive to your product because it’s being featured by someone they admire and trust.
38. Use a call to action in your photo captions
Though it might get annoying if you do it every time, consider adding a call to action in your captions like “follow us to get special Instagram discounts” to urge those viewing your content to become new followers. Sometimes, all they need is that little push.
39. Ask questions in photo captions
Another way to get viewers to engage with your Instagram posts is to ask questions in photo captions. Getting them thinking and engaging increases the likelihood that they’ll turn into followers.
40. Geotag your images
Geo-tagging posts allow people in similar areas to see your images more easily. Though this likely won’t be a huge driver for your follower count, it’s still a decent way to get your posts seen, especially by users near you.
Using hashtags related to your photo helps you target those who are interested in topics related to your brand and products. Relevant hashtags allow them to find your content through Instagram’s search – and if they find your profile interesting, they’ll likely become new followers.
Though popular hashtags are less effective when trying to reach your target audience, they’re useful when trying to reach a wider group of people. Using hashtags like these isn’t a great way to get high-quality followers, but it is a good way to up that count. Use a site like Websta to find the most popular hashtags.
Here are the top 10 hashtags of all time:
43. Use a branded hashtag
If you find your brand is growing and people can’t seem to stop taking pictures with or of your products, consider creating a hashtag specific to your brand that people can post with. A branded hashtag helps to create a community of users who can spread your brand to their followers so you can increase your own following. Check out this simple example of a branded hashtag from fashion retailer H&M below.
Local hashtags are a sure strategy to reach those near you. Post photos in areas that are distinctly local, and tag them with hashtags related to your area. This forges a connection between you and your immediate market and could help you get the attention of potential customers.
45. Maintain a consistent posting schedule
Posting consistently keeps current followers engaged and interested in your content and product and shows people visiting your profile for the first time that you’re a source for regularly posted, high-quality content.
46. Schedule posts with Later or Buffer
Not every marketer can take time in the middle of their days to set up and post an Instagram post. By using a tool like Later or Buffer, you can pre-plan your posts – edits, captions, and all – and schedule them to post at a later time and date. This helps a ton with maintaining that post schedule.
47. Post at high-traffic or low-traffic times
Though Instagram no longer organizes its feed chronologically, it does place some importance on post recency. This means posting at high-traffic times is likely to get your posts noticed by a larger number of people, leading to a higher chance you’ll get followers.
Interestingly, the opposite may also hold true. Posting at low-traffic times means you’ll be competing with fewer people to be at the top of your followers’ feeds, increasing your chances for high engagement.
48. Post often, but don’t over-post
Followers – real followers – tend to put some time into considering whether or not to follow someone. One metric often used to make this decision is post frequency. Posting often shows potential followers that they won’t be following a “dead” account, increasing the chances that they’ll reward you with a follow.
On the other hand, there is such a thing as too much Instagram. Posting too much can have several negative effects: it shows a misunderstanding of optimal post scheduling and can clog up followers’ feeds – meaning they’re likely to get annoyed and unfollow you.
49. Find the best posting times (test) – think about the audience
This takes some time to get right. Test posting at different times to measure engagement. Check the likes, comments, and follows you receive at different times and tailor your post schedule to match. Also, think about your target market – if you’re in LA trying to reach customers in Sydney, you’ll want to schedule posts during times they’re awake.
If you want to dig deeper into your Instagram performance, consider investing in a service like Iconosquare or Crowdfire to look further into the people you follow and the people that follow you. These apps allow you do things like find people to follow (or unfollow), identify follower influence, and benchmark your performance against competitors – and will help you maximize your Instagram potential.
51. Set up your Instagram for Business account to get more detailed insights
One of Instagram’s little-discussed features is its suite of Business Tools. If you haven’t already, create an Instagram business profile for your business. This allows you to do things like add contact information to your profile, see impressions, top posts, and follower counts, and create promoted posts directly from the Instagram app.
52. Run a teaser campaign to entice customers into following you
Much like a movie trailer, running a teaser campaign on Instagram for an upcoming product launch can catch viewers’ attention. Because they’ll want to know what comes of the teaser, there’s a good chance they’ll shoot you a follow.
Find complementary products in your industry and reach out to them, suggesting a co-promotion. Running a giveaway or contest of some sort together allows you to promote to each others’ audiences – both of which are full of followers who will be interested in your products.
54. Run a giveaway
Three things are sure in life: death, taxes, and the fact that everybody likes free stuff. Running a giveaway is an easy way to get a surge of new followers – just require them to follow to enter (even better, get them to tag a few friends as well). Just make sure the prize you give away is something from your brand, so you know the followers you gain are interested in your product.
55. Run a contest
An Instagram photo contest is one of the top methods to engage your existing followers and gain new ones. By using a third-party app like Wishpond’s Contest Tool, you’re able to create a beautiful contest page featuring your contest details and a gallery of submissions from your participants. This helps to generate user content for future posts and increases your number of engaged followers.
There you have it! 55 awesome, foolproof ways to get more followers on Instagram. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these and if they helped you get more Instagram followers.