How to Get Followers on Instagram – Here’s What You Need To Do
Instagram has managed to remain one of the biggest social media platforms in the world over the past few years. In 2019, statistics showed that the number of adults using the platform grew with 2% and it stands steady at a userbase of 1 billion. Knowing how to get followers on Instagram is important for brands, companies and individuals alike.
It is also important to know exactly how to use Instagram so you can make the most of the popular social media platform. Here, we will focus more on gaining followers.
If you can get just a fraction of that 1 billion to follow you, your account will be very successful. Making an income from Instagram will not seem like a far-fetched idea then.
However, getting more than a few hundred followers is not as easy as it may sound. A lot of hard work and dedication is called for.
And that’s why this guide on how to get followers on Instagram will serve you well – we’ll discuss all the actionable ways you can start getting more followers.
Setting up a good strategy requires having as much knowledge as possible. For example, you should know that Instagram may not be the biggest social media site globally, but it is a dominant platform nonetheless.
Based on this data, you can tell that Instagram is not going anywhere and you should definitely incorporate it into your social media marketing plan.
How Often Is Instagram Really Used?
Since Instagram is one of the the biggest and baddest social media platform, you may wonder how much it’s even used.
The short answer is: a lot.
More than half of Instagram users log into their account at least once a day. In fact, Instagram is the second most logged-in social media platform in the world. First place goes to Facebook.
On average, more than 50 minutes of a user’s day goes towards being on Instagram. This reflects the engagement potential of Instagram.
Here’s a quick look at how much time Americans spend on Instagram:
And here is a look at global engagement levels on Instagram:
Engagement is good – it means content get a lot more interest and there’s a lot more promise of sales and traffic drive.
The use of this site has shown a lot of growth since 2013 and it is expected that this growth will continue at a steady pace.
How to Get Followers on Instagram
Let’s get to the reason why you’re here – how to get more Instagram followers.
Profile and Bio
First things first – you need to craft an interesting and compelling bio and profile for your account.
You want to grab the attention of other Instagram users and the first place to do that is your profile.
It has been found that about two-thirds of visits to Instagram business accounts are from non-followers. You need to make a good impression on them to convert them into new loyal Instagram followers.
With a really good profile and bio, you can convince people to click on that follow button.
Your bio won’t be more than 150 characters so you have to really use what you’re given. Let people know what kind of content they can expect from you.
Look at the following examples of good bios, courtesy of hootsuite.com. The bios are relevant and appropriate while being interesting.
For business accounts, it is recommended that additional info about the company is shared in the profile. Contact information, type of business and location should be stated clearly.
This way, no one will be confused about whether or not they’ll want to follow the account.
Plan Your Strategy
Digital marketers know that it is important to have a well-thought-out strategy if they want to be successful.
Have clear goals and plan around them. Focus on how to get followers on Instagram and work on that.
However, having a big following is only one part of a successful account. You need to have a good strategy that factors in other important objectives as well.
In the end, accomplishing these objectives will make your account more appealing and attract more followers. For example, you may want to boost your product sales and drive traffic to your website through Instagram.
Perhaps you want to increase your brand awareness as well. In the long run, your objectives will likely go hand-in-hand with getting more followers on Instagram.
Establish Your Target Audience
Knowing your audience ties in with having a good strategy. After all, you can’t create content to lure in new followers if you don’t know what they like.
Target audience research is one of the basics of working on how to get followers on Instagram.
You will need to know where your audience lives, what kind of work they do, how they use Instagram and how old they are.
When you know all you can about your audience, you can give them the kind of content they want to see. Your account will be one that they want to follow.
Of course, there is much more to target audience research than just knowing their locations and age.
We believe that consistency is one of the keys to real success. When it comes to posting on Instagram, consistency can make the difference between a popular account and one that has only a dozen followers.
In your quest to find out how to get followers on Instagram, you will notice that the accounts that succeed are the busy but consistent ones.
When an Instagram account posts consistently, engagement from followers is higher. This means more people will see the account as one that is worth checking out.
That can lead to more followers. Of course, the consistency ‘rules’ you have to follow is greatly influenced by your target audience.
Do you see now why knowing your audience is so important?
If your account is currently posting only once a week, you can boost your following up to 50% by just sharing one post a day.
We recommend that you get into a regular flow that you and your Instagram followers will get used to. When you do, your followers will also see you as reliable and trustworthy.
Also, Instagram’s algorithm loves an account that posts consistently. Your chances of getting content featured are higher if you’re consistent.
If you need fresh ideas on what to post, check out our social media post ideas guide for some inspiration.
Brand Aesthetic and Story
Your brand should have a consistent (that word again!) look and feel. There must be a clear personality that your audience can relate to.
You need to show the world what your brand is and what you show them must stay the same.
For example, if you’re using a specific colour in your brand logo, consider using that colour in your posts.
Create an aesthetic that can be associated with your brand. When someone sees your posts, they must know where it came from. This creates a good impression of your and your brand, which will grow your following.
If you want to share content that isn’t really part of your brand’s look or personality, consider using Instagram Stories. (We’ll talk more about that a bit later).
A great example of this is GoPro’s Instagram. If you look at their posts, it makes you want to pursue an active and adventurous life.
That’s what GoPro is all about, and they inspire people to capture their magical moments with their products.
Post at Your Best Times
When looking into how to get followers on Instagram, it is important to know when to post content.
When you post at the right time, you will reach your audience and they will want to follow your account for more content.
However, there isn’t a universal time that will work best for your brand. It is something that depends on many different factors.
When your target audience is online is one of the biggest factors you need to keep in mind when creating a new post.
With that said, you can use the average best times to post and use it to build data analytics that you can study.
You can post at these times for a while and then look at which times work for your brand and which don’t.
It has been found that, on average, the best time to share content on Instagram is between 2 pm and 3 pm Central Daylight Time (UTC -5).
Of course, the day that you post on also makes a difference in how well your post will perform.
Generally speaking, Thursdays are great for engagement, but not at 3 pm. You’re better of posting at 5 am, 11 am and 4 pm.
Here’s a brief breakdown of the best times to post on Instagram, based on data provided by Sprout Social:
These times are believed to result in the best engagement.
- Tuesday to Friday at 5 pm
- Weekdays between 11 am and 3 pm
- Saturday at 11 am
We suggest that you use this data and build your own schedule around it. Then monitor how your posts perform.
After a while, you will have a better idea of what is the best time to share content for your brand.
Digital marketers are aware that keywords are the driving force of content creation. Without the right words in your content, it won’t be seen by the people it was created for.
The same principle can be applied to content on Instagram.
If you want to know how to get followers on Instagram, you need to get them to know about you. They have to find you.
Now, it should be noted that not a lot of the content on Instagram is searchable. Only two fields on an account will likely show up in search results – name and username.
Your username is the Instagram handle that you use. We recommend that you make it consistent with your handle on other social media platforms. This will make it easier for people to find your different accounts.
Although we do not recommend keyword stuffing, you might want to have your most relevant keyword in your name field. It will help get you noticed in search results.
An example of this is Kathryn Burrington, the travel photographer. She has the word ‘travel’ in her Instagram name, travelwithkat.
To have a well-performing Instagram account that knows how to get followers on Instagram, you need to put out great content.
For many, it goes without saying that your content has to be engaging and valuable. However, many Instagrammers share content just for the sake of having many posts.
That approach will not work on Instagram.
Instagram is all about sharing stunning images and entertaining videos. For the best results, do just that.
Every single post on your grid needs to be visually pleasing, engaging and of admirable quality.
When people see your profile, they have to be enticed to follow just because of how your posts look.
Sharing great content is, after all, what makes people want to see more. Keep sharing what they want and you’ll gain followers without losing them later.
Take a look at Adam Senatori’s account, for instance. He is a pilot who loves taking photos and he shares stunning visuals with his Instagram followers.
Remember that if you’re sharing sub-par quality content on Instagram, it will reflect badly on your brand or company. People judge Instagram accounts on how they look so put your best foot forward at all times.
If you need some guidance on how to create images that will work well on Instagram, be sure to check out our social media image sizes Guide.
Instagram is an image-sharing platform at heart but it also offers an opportunity to share more than beautiful or funny photos.
If you’re looking to learn how to get followers on Instagram, you will have to embrace new approaches. One course of action is to go live.
Instagram offers extra features like Instagram Stories and live videos. These will help you get more followers on Instagram quite effectively.
Engagement with live videos is much higher than the engagement that images get. When you go live with Stories, you will appear at the front of Instagram’s Stories feed.
More than 55% of brands have noted that sharing Stories has been an effective part of their social media marketing strategies.
About 500 million Instagram account share Stories every single day. About 45% of the most-viewed Stories are from business accounts.
And according to Instagram, one in three Stories get a direct message after sharing. That is some impressive engagement!
To make your Stories even more successful, add hashtags and location features to them. That way, Instagram users who aren’t following you can find you to click on that follow button.
This is a very underrated way to grow your Instagram following free of charge.
Stories are also a great way to show new visitors how creative and interesting your account is and why they should follow you.
Sometimes, it’s not about how to get followers on Instagram, but how to keep them happy. When you keep your current following satisfied, they’ll recommend you and get you even more followers. And they won’t unfollow you either.
One way to make sure that you keep your followers happy is to share user-generated content.
By sharing the content created by your fans, you can increase your following by anything between 50% to 300%.
This kind of content consists of whatever your fans created and posted about your brand. You can take the most flattering posts and share it on your account.
The user-generated content will go a long way towards showing your audience that you’re making people happy.
Of course, you must not forget to give credit where it’s due. Using someone’s content without crediting them is in bad taste and your followers will not appreciate it.
You can even ask for user-generated content by calling on your followers to share their experiences with relevant hashtags and photos.
It is a really cool way to interact with your audience and can create brand authority for you as well.
It is an organic and real-time referral and if you’re not using it, you’re losing out on an awesome marketing strategy.
Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are some of the biggest users of social media and they’re the people you want to target with social media marketing plans. More than 80% of them feel that UGC shows off a brand’s quality.
Social media posts influence about 68% of millennials when it comes to purchasing new brands, so you can’t discount the power of UGC.
For more on this, take a look at our discussion of user-generated content.
To get engagement on your posts – which leads to follower growth – you need to be engaging.
It is good practice for Instagram accounts to engage with their followers, fans and communities.
You can do this by liking their comments on your posts, replying to the comments and having conversations in the DMs (Direct Messages).
Think about it this way: if you met someone that you admire and they took the time to talk to you, you would like them even more. Be nice to your followers and they’ll be loyal to your brand for life.
You can also comment on and like the content that your followers share. Just be sure to not leave generic comments such as ‘Great photo/post’. These could look like something a bot would say.
When you’re engaging with your community, it will draw attention to your account. How to get followers on Instagram 101 – be nice!
Another relatively easy way to get followers is to make your captions good. As Instagram is so visual, you need to have captions that stand out.
Adding a boring and plain caption to your photos may be good enough for someone like Kylie Jenner, but us ordinary folk need to put some thought into it.
Here are a few basic rules you can follow to create good and captivating captions:
Get your audience to comment their answers and you’ll get more engagements. However, you should ask questions that require more than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
This is a tricky one. You should use emojis to help convey your message but don’t spam your caption with silly faces and icons. Keep it simple and relevant but creative.
Important Words First
Make sure that your most important words are placed up-front. You need to get your message across fast.
Play with Lengths
Instagram lets users write long-form captions that can be up to 2 200 characters so you can experiment how long yours should be for the most engagement.
These little symbols are so important that they warrant a whole separate discussion. But we’ll briefly discuss the usefulness and value of hashtags here so you can make the most of them.
Few social media platforms make hashtags as important as Instagram does. It is a great way to get your content noticed.
Add the right hashtags to your content and you will be reaching your target audience without too much effort.
You can even follow a hashtag, so it’s clear that these symbols carry a lot of weight on Instagram.
In fact, posts on the platform that have location tags and hashtags get the most engagement, on average.
Keep in mind that your hashtags shouldn’t be random. They should make sense to your audience and be relevant to your brand.
Use hashtags carefully and you’ll benefit greatly from them. Also, just because you can use up to 30 hashtags in one post doesn’t mean you should. You should stick to relevant hashtags.
Focus on quality rather than quantity here and don’t be afraid to experiment with the many options at your disposal.
Avoid using hashtags that are asking for likes and follows – the Instagram algorithm does not like them. People don’t like gimmicks like that either. Hashtags like #likeforlike and #followme are annoying.
Consider using popular hashtags like #MotivationMonday or #lazysunday.
If you feel like you need extra inspiration, check out some social media books. You’ll get a lot of tips and tricks from them.
One of the secrets that help accounts to get more Instagram followers is using analytics. How else would you know what your followers like and don’t like?
Instagram is nice enough to give its users analytics data that helps them understand what happens on their Instagram feed and how other users feel about it.
To access your account’s analytics, head to the app, tap on your profile photo and select Instagram Insights. The icon is a bar chart. Then, scroll to the ‘posts’ section and head into ‘see more’.
You will be able to see your top posts which are sorted by impressions it received. You can change the filter and see your top videos sorted by comments etc.
Use the knowledge you gain from this data to determine how to get followers on Instagram in the long run.
Consider doing an Instagram audit to make sure that you are getting the most from your account. You can also use an audit to see which of your marketing strategies are working and which need some tweaking.
Working with other Instagram accounts offer interesting ways to get new followers on Instagram. It’s exciting for the brand as well as its audience.
There are different approaches to this and it will increase your brand reach because you’ll be reaching the audience of whoever you’re collaborating with as well.
This can happen through partnerships, sponsorships and even takeovers. Sponsorships and partnerships benefit everyone involved and are a fresh way of marketing.
In the case of takeovers, another Instagram user is given access to your account and whatever content they create will be shared on your Instagram feed.
Of course, you’ll be planning what happens beforehand but the audience won’t know what to expect.
Here’s an example:
The Fine Line Magazine allowed content creator Isabella from @confessionsofasuperager to take over their account for a while. It was something that the audience enjoyed and gave Isabella exposure to a new group of Instagram users.
You can even work with other brands to drive traffic. The brands you work with will depend on your industry.
An example would be a bookshop and coffee shop hosting an event together or a pet cleaning service working with a charity to clean stray animals for free.
There really is no limit to what you can do when you put your mind to it.
If you don’t have multiple social media accounts for your brand yet, we suggest that you create some. You don’t have to be active on all the platforms out there, but it’s a great idea to be on at least two or three.
When you’ve got your accounts ready, you can cross-post on them. That means you can share your content from one account on the others.
That way, you can make your Facebook and Twitter followers become your Instagram followers, and vice versa.
Cross-posting is a tactic that everyone uses and it works. Sometimes, it works better than expected.
We suggest that you use all the platforms at your disposal to get your content in front of as many eyes as possible.
If you want to get more followers without spending a lot of money, you can consider hosting contests.
Many accounts find that their most commented-on posts are related to the contests they hosted.
Contests are a great way to increase your reach and gain new followers while boosting your account’s engagement.
You can give away some exclusive goodies in a contest with your following sending in their best photos of your products to qualify, for example.
Just make sure that when you host a contest your prizes are relevant to what you ask your followers and audience to do.
You’ll likely struggle to gain new followers if you expect them to jump through hoops just for a free sample.
Keep it simple and ask for favourite emojis along with a ‘tag your friend’ request or something similar.
Look at this example of a simple contest by Quirky Candles:
View this post on Instagram
⭐⭐Now Ended⭐⭐ As promised, to celebrate hitting 3k followers, we're giving away 1 large candle (scent and label chosen by the winner!), and a little gift box of 5 wax melts 🥰💛 All you need to do to enter is: ☆ Follow our page! ☆ Like this photo ☆ Tag a buddy! & thats it 😊 each buddy you tag counts as an entry so go wild! We'll announce the winner a week today 😊 UK entries only I'm afraid! Thanks again to each and every person who's followed us, who's liked our posts, who's bought a candle. You all rock!🙌 . . #giveaway #freebie #3k #followers #competition #candle #candles #candlelovers #candleaddict #candlesofinstagram #waxmelts #scentedcandles #etsy #etsyshop #etsystore #etsyfinds #etsylove #etsyseller #handmadeuk #smallbuisness #supportsmallbusiness #shopsmall #handmade #wales #swansea #soywax #vegan #eco #biodegradable #recyclable
For more inspiration, head over to our Instagram Giveaway guide with great ideas and tips.
Post Shareable Content
When creating your Instagram post, consider that you want your content to be shared. If your posts are getting shared by other Instagram users, you’re reaching their audience.
But your content will only be shared if it is the kind of post that others want to share.
There are a few ways you can do this. Infographics seem to do really well and get shared quite often. Of course, it needs to be relevant and informative. With that said, a funny or silly infographic can do well too, if it’s related to your brand or industry.
The best way to make sure that others share your content is to follow the advice we’ve shared here. If your posts are attractive, high-quality and engaging, others will want to share it.
If you can make your Instagram Stories very interesting, it will prompt your followers to share it with their friends.
Contests tend to be very shareable as well.
On Instagram, tagging is another great way to get a bigger following. Adding your location with a tag is a great way to use Instagram to show your audience where they can find you.
If you don’t have a physical location, you can always tag locations near you.
When you tag your location, users can click on it and see all the Instagram Stories and photos that have been posted from your location.
This can lead to great exposure for your brand and many new followers.
When you’re attending industry-related events, you can tag your location and connect with your peers and audience.
By using the tag feature to get other users involved in your post is also a cool idea. You can @-mention people who worked with your brand or won a contest, for example.
When you tag another user, it will encourage them to engage with your post. They will likely also share the post and that will expose you to their following.
Here are a couple of examples of the users you could consider tagging:
- Relevant businesses
- Industry pioneers
Follow Relevant Instagram Accounts
Part of the journey of getting Instagram followers involves following other users yourself. We’re not saying you should follow random people and hope they follow you back.
That is an old tactic and might work, but you may end up following more people than you have followers. For a brand or business, this is not ideal.
You could follow any other accounts that are relevant but not direct competition. It is also a good idea to follow influencers in your industry or niche.
Maybe even consider giving the influencers’ top followers a follow as well.
Keep an eye on Instagram’s suggestions on who to follow – you’ll find great accounts that could lead to new followers.
Please note that you should not go out and follow accounts too fast. This looks like spam behaviour to the Instagram algorithm.
Your follower ration is also important for your brand’s credibility so keep that in mind.
Work with Influencers
In the last few years, the influencer industry has exploded and is offering marketers wonderful opportunities.
An important statistic for anyone looking to find out how to get more followers on Instagram is based on influencers.
About 60% of consumers will consider following a brand on Instagram if they’ve seen it promoted by a trusted influencer.
With that said, working with influencers can be a little bit pricey if you’re working with a very famous influencer.
These days, this kind of marketing has become a bit more difficult to navigate, but we’ve got an insightful guide on Influencer Marketing to help you along the way, be sure to check it out!
In the beauty industry, James Charles is one of the top influencers with more than 20 million followers. You don’t have to work with stars like him, but there’s no denying that influencers have a lot of sway power in their chosen industries.
Schedule Your Posts and Instagram Stories
Sometimes, it’s not possible to share a post when it should be going live. Life can throw unexpected curveballs at us and even the most meticulously-planned schedule can be messed around.
Fortunately, you have SocialPlanner.io to help you out.
With this top-class social media scheduler, you can plan all your content ahead and rest assured that it will be posted.
SocialPlanner.io also lets you post on multiple social media networks at the same time, making your life simpler. It also has many more features to help marketers execute their strategies without hassle or stress.
By scheduling your content ahead, you can leave yourself with more time to work on other important tasks.
Knowing how to get more Instagram followers will help you use the social media platform to its full abilities.
There is a lot more to having a great marketing strategy on Instagram and having a huge following is something that will help achieve your goals.
Use the advice and tips shared here and go build your brand an envy-inducing following!