How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Your Ultimate Guide

Profile photo of Heidi Lang, author

Heidi Lang

Instagram Growth | Sep 29, 2022

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

“How to get more followers on Instagram?” is a question and a challenge that all brands must face on a regular basis and for as long as they want their business to succeed on the platform, and even off it.

There’s no doubt that Instagram offers amazing opportunities for businesses to get the exposure and engagement they need to meet their goals. Instagram is the stage and its more than one billion active monthly users to date are the audiences. To get more followers on Instagram, a brand must get their time in the spotlight and get the attention of the right group/s of people.

With 95 million photos and videos shared on Instagram daily, the competition for space is obviously intense. There might be plenty of followers to go around, but reaching the right ones and convincing them to hit your follow button is a whole different story. So keep reading to learn about the best practices that will help you achieve genuine and lasting Instagram growth.

Person creating a new post for Instagram.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Define Goals

To get more followers on Instagram, you need defined goals to guide your Instagram growth strategy.

Is your goal to increase sales, drive traffic to your blog or website, or promote awareness about an issue? Your goals will be the “hands” that will create and shape the types of content you publish.

Keep in mind that lasting Instagram growth is only possible when you have genuine and consistent engagement. You can achieve this when you are able to target the right kind of people with content that they’ll find appealing, interesting, or useful. So your defined goals should shape your content strategy in order to attract the right people to ensure quality and consistent engagement. And the higher your engagement, the more people you’ll reach and the more followers you’ll gain.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Identify Your Target Audience

What’s just as important as knowing how to get more followers on Instagram? It’s knowing how to identify your target audience. You should value quality over quantity. It may seem counterintuitive when you’re looking to increase your follower numbers. But keep in mind that the quality of your followers will have a greater impact on your long-term growth goals than anything else will. As they say, if you’re going to do something, do it right the first time.

To effectively seek out and earn the follows of the right kind of people, you must have in-depth knowledge of your target audience. Here are some basic questions to help you track down and assemble a suitable audience for your brand.

  • What types of people will be interested in your product/brand? Who is your product designed for?
  • What kind of content will appeal to these people?
  • What are their interests? What intrigues and motivates them?
  • Which social media demographics data are relevant to your brand? 
  • What kinds of followers do your competitors have on Instagram?

Woman taking a photo of flowers to create beautiful content for her Instagram audience.

Remember that knowing who your audience is and what they want will also determine the type of content that will be most effective to reach them. But where do you find them so you can get more followers on Instagram? Just follow these breadcrumbs:

  • Check out Instagram accounts that are similar to yours and focus your search on those with big follower numbers. Take some time to browse through the most recent posts, and make a list of people who actively like and comment on these posts. 
  • Do the same for other business accounts you’re following, particularly those that cater to the interests of your target audience, but are not specific to your niche or industry. 
  • Do a search using hashtags relevant to your brand/product. The results you’ll get will include posts and conversations that use these hashtags and which will direct you to users that will most likely be also interested in your brand.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Follow Instagram Users  That Follow Back

Getting more followers on Instagram also involves a give-and-take strategy, i.e., to earn new followers, you must also follow Instagram users that follow back. This is especially important when you’re just beginning your growth journey. You have to be proactive — aggressive, even — and put yourself out there to make your presence known. Don’t be shy; introduce yourself to potential followers who will, hopefully, give you a tit for your tat.

Those people you’ve identified as your target audience from other Instagram accounts? Give them a follow. Initiating contact via a simple follow will, more often than not, make them curious enough to check you out. If they like what they see, then you’ll earn a follow back. You should also use Instagram’s “Explore” feature, which will give you suggestions on which accounts to follow based on shared interests.

Don’t overlook the benefit of following celebrities, influencers, and other famous personalities. Engage with them as often as possible to increase your visibility to potential followers. If your comments get replies and, even better, if your brand is mentioned, followers of these well-known Instagrammers may also start following you.

Instagram notification icons appearing on top of phone to indicate Instagram growth.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Make Your Business Profile Stand Out

With more than 25 million business accounts on the platform and tons of new ones being added every day, the competition is tough, and getting more followers on Instagram may feel like an uphill climb most of the time. Even if your niche is ultra-specific, you will still be competing against bigger companies with a more expansive offering and a bigger marketing budget. So another important question to answer is how to make your business stand out on Instagram? Let’s take a look at the best practices for optimal Instagram presence.

Get Creative with Your Bio

For potential new followers that discover your brand, your bio gives them a closer peek at who you are. So make sure to use your bio as effectively as possible to make the best first impression and get more followers on Instagram. Instagram’s bio is limited to 150 characters, but these should be enough to:

  • Provide the most relevant information about you, including contact information
  • Let others know what’s important to you, i.e., promoting wellness, creating awareness about an issue, nurturing a community of like-minded individuals, etc. 
  • Deliver a call to action, e.g., to visit your website, make a purchase, and, of course, follow your page, among others

Your bio should be enticing enough that users who are learning about you for the first time will want to know more. They should want to actually click the link to your website, browse through your IG profile to view your content, and hit the Follow button.

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Optimize Your Username with a Relevant Keyword

Optimization is a big word in social media marketing; it’s a crucial step to get more followers on Instagram. Instead of just using your brand’s name as your username, you should consider integrating a relevant keyword into it, i.e., a keyword related to your brand and which users often use to search for related companies or content. For example, if your company is ZZZ Cafe, your username can be @ZZZcoffeeshop because “coffee shop” is a commonly used search keyword. As much as possible, you should use the same username for all your social media accounts so that potential followers on other platforms can easily find you, too.

Create an Instagram QR Code Your Brand

An Instagram QR code for your brand is a simple but effective way to optimize your profile and help you get more followers on Instagram. It can be printed on any marketing collateral such as posters and brochures, and even on product labeling and receipts; it can also be displayed at networking events and conferences. These brand-specific QR codes are scannable and immediately bring people to your page.

Phone displaying QR code to represent Instagram QR code for brands.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Increase Engagement Both Ways

Your account’s level of engagement is a measure of your content strategy success and also determines how fast or slow you’ll get more followers on Instagram. Organic and consistent engagement is every Instagrams account’s lifeblood, and you need effective communication to encourage your followers to engage with your content through likes and comments, and even shares. But remember that engagement is a two-way street. Here are some quick pointers on how to increase the engagements on Instagram that you give and receive.

  • Engage with similar brands

Again, it’s important to put yourself out there. Follow other brands in your industry and engage with their followers. Frequent engagement will get you noticed more, but remember that you want to grab the attention of potential followers in a good way so the quality of your engagement is important. 

  • Engage with other content directly before and after you post

Instagram’s algorithms measure a post’s relevance based on how much engagement it gets within the first hour that it’s published. If your post gets a lot of interactions within this golden hour, it will get pushed higher up in other people’s feeds. One trick to get your target audience’s attention is to engage directly with the content of other accounts immediately before and after you publish your own post. Your engagement with other users’ content, especially if it gets noticed by these users, is also tracked by IG’s algorithms and can earn you visibility points, as well as get you more followers on Instagram. 

  • Write catchy captions

Catchy captions are a tried and tested trick. Make sure those first few lines immediately capture people’s attention. Make them curious, smile, laugh, or be inspired — so much so that they’ll react to your post, comment on it, or even share it. Give them something to think and talk about.  

  • Ask a simple open-ended question in a post to initiate conversations 

You can try asking questions about their post to increase the likelihood of getting a response. The original poster and even other people may reply to your question and keep a good conversation going. 

  • Reply to all comments on your post

Reply as soon as possible to each comment to increase the likelihood that the original commenter will read it and maybe like it and/or reply to it. So the time when you post something should not only depend on when you know most of your followers are most active; you should also consider your ability to promptly engage with everybody who interacts with your content. 

  • Tag people on your posts 

You can tag people within your social circle whom you know will be interested to engage with your content. Aside from increasing engagement, tagging people can make you visible to their respective followers, if their privacy settings allow it, and help you get more followers on Instagram who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.  

Person drawing arrows pointing toward the word "Audience" on a white board to represent audience targeting on Instagram.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Create Interesting  Instagram Content

If you’re struggling to figure out how to get more followers on Instagram, creating great content is the usual solution. But it’s not enough to grab the attention of potential new followers with a single post. This doesn’t always guarantee an immediate follow. Most of the time, users will visit a brand’s page and browse through its previous posts. This is why it’s important to create interesting content each and every time. You want these potential new followers to enjoy looking through your content and to want to see more of you in the future so they’ll start following you.

Here are some tips on how to create interesting Instagram content that’ll make people want to see more of you.

  • Use templates

There’s a wide variety of online design tools that you can use to enhance your content. With some trial and error, you should find several visual templates that work best for your brand, i.e., those that earn a lot of reactions. Having templates ready to use will make it easier for you to create interesting and aesthetically pleasing content every time. Templates also deliver consistency and harmony and can help promote your unique brand identity. 

  • Repost from popular brands within your niche

Reposting content from popular brands can benefit you in two ways. First, your active engagement can earn you visibility points. And second, it’s a great way to fill in your own content feed with complementary and engaging posts that will help you get more followers on Instagram. Always credit the original owner when you share; ask for permission prior to sharing if necessary. If you can tag the content owner, even better!

  • Edit your content

Strong Instagram aesthetics are another crucial element. Aviary, Afterlight, and other similar editing tools available to Instagram can help make your posts and stories look professionally-made and more aesthetically pleasing. Impressing Instagram users with the visual quality and composition of your content can earn you a lot of followers and engagement.

Person taking a photo of coffee and cookies for a scheduled Instagram post.

How to Get More Instagram Followers: Figure Out How Often You Should Post on Instagram

To get more followers on Instagram, you have to consistently give them what they’re looking for. Whether you’re posting several times a day every day, or only a few times a week, it’s important that you do it consistently and at the right times to maximize the number of people that you can reach. With the help of Instagram analytics, you should be able to determine the best times to post your content, i.e., based on when most of your followers are online and active. Keep in mind that how often you should post on Instagram may be different for each day of the week, and will also depend on your business, time zone, and target audience.

Create a daily/weekly posting schedule and stick to it. Once you’ve established your content schedule, your followers will come to expect it and you wouldn’t want the old saying “out of sight, out of mind” to affect your brand’s engagement rates. Consistent posting can translate to consistent engagement and more followers on Instagram.

Increase Your Followers by Posting Videos and Stories Frequently

In general, videos generate a higher engagement rate compared to images. So make sure to post videos on your main feed and in your stories a few times a week to get more Instagram followers. You can create your own videos, such as tutorials, a behind-the-scenes look at your brand process, or a quick day-in-the-life glimpse. Newsfeed videos can be long, but don’t make yours so long that your viewers will get bored; videos for stories, on the other hand, must only be 10 seconds long.

Woman making a tutorial video for her Instagram account to get more Instagram followers.

Widen Your Reach via Regular Instagram Live and IGTV

Instagram Live feeds offer a wonderful opportunity to engage with your followers in real-time, reach new people, and get more followers on Instagram. You can announce your scheduled Live feed and build up interest and excitement through regular posts, or you can also have a regularly scheduled Live feed. Make sure to create enticing content to encourage your followers to set their alarms and tune in. Your followers will also receive a notification every time you go Live.

Alternatively, you can have an influencer do the Live feed for your brand, or join you during your Live feed. This will increase your potential viewers and new followers.

Live videos can be automatically deleted when the broadcast is over. You can also opt to have it show up in your stories to reach more viewers even after your Live stream has ended. You can add the video to your Instagram TV (IGTV), especially if you’re creating a video series.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Aim to Get Your Content Shared

When your post is shared many times, its engagement rate shoots up and it drives more people to your account, which can translate to getting more Instagram followers. Promotional content is necessary to keep your followers informed about what you have to offer; however, this type of content is rarely reposted. Knowing how to get people to share your content on Instagram should always be one of your primary goals, so create content that your followers will find worth sharing. Infographics, inspirational content, and even funny memes and GIFs often get a lot of shares.

As much as possible, stay on-brand even when posting non-promotional content. But it’s also okay to stray from a brand-centric approach and just encourage some casual engagement from your followers.

A grid of photos on Instagram displayed on a phone screen.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Know How to Choose the Right Hashtags

You can reach more of the right audience and get more followers on Instagram when you know how to choose hashtags for your Instagram content.

You can create your content and find popular hashtags related to it. Just do a hashtag search on Instagram using a keyword relevant to your industry. For example, if you’re a fashion brand, you can search for “#fashion,” “#style,” or #beauty” and Instagram will provide you with the most popular hashtags using the keyword. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, so feel free to use different hashtags based on different keywords, and different iterations of each relevant keyword. Again, remember to use hashtags that are related to your post and relevant to your brand.

Alternatively, you can create your content based on a trending hashtag. Again, make sure the hashtag is relevant to your brand; if the hashtag is about a broad issue, you can still create a post about it to show your support or share your thoughts.

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How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Promote Your Instagram Profile On Other Social Media Platforms

Linking your Instagram account to your other social media accounts is an indirect but effective way to get more followers on Instagram. Make sure your IG link is in the bio section of all your social media profiles. Your IG link should also be included in many, if not all, of your posts on these other platforms. Especially if you have more followers on your other social media accounts, it’s important to know how to promote your Instagram and to stay connected with all your followers on all social media platforms. This type of cross-promotion is a great opportunity to sustain and boost your brand growth.

Person starting Live feed on Instagram to reach more people and get more Instagram followers.

How To Get More Followers on Instagram Using Facebook

Facebook still remains the most widely used social media platform, so you should take advantage of this to get more Instagram followers. Here are some ways you can leverage your Facebook following to support your brand’s success on Instagram.

  1. Add an Instagram tab to your Facebook page

This will integrate your Instagram account with your Facebook account.. When users visit your Facebook profile, they will immediately see the Instagram tab which will directly take them to your Instagram profile once they click on it. 

  1. Share your Instagram posts on Facebook

You can modify your Instagram settings so that all your posts and stories will also be automatically shared to your Facebook newsfeed and stories, respectively. When Facebook users click on your post/story, it will take them to the original Instagram post/story.  

  1. Run an Instagram contest on Facebook

This is a popular strategy among businesses who are looking to get more followers on Instagram. The Facebook contest usually requires participants to follow the brand on Instagram and then comment on the post, share it, tag friends, and/or use specific hashtags.

A group of friends taking a photo for an Instagram contest.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Get Featured on Instagram’s Search & Explore Page

Instagram’s Search & Explore page allows users to dive more deeply into topics that they’re interested in. If you get featured on Search & Explore, it would be a great opportunity to get more Instagram followers when you reach more people who are interested in your type of content but have yet to discover you. 

How to get yourself on the Instagram Explore page requires creating content about topics that your target audience will be interested in the most. Remember that you want to appear on the Search & Explore feed of users who are interested in some aspect of your industry. So you must have good knowledge of what these people’s needs are, such as the questions they usually ask about your niche/product/service.

Person browsing through a brand's Instagram photos.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Tag Away

Why tag someone on Instagram? Because every single connection you have branched out to countless other users on the platform. Tagging another user automatically posts the tagged content to the user’s feed, which expands your content’s reach. Their followers will be able to see your post and you can earn more interactions and get more Instagram followers this way.

Adding a call to action that encourages your followers to share your post and tag their friends is another way to take advantage of how to tag someone on Instagram. They can tag people in the comments of your original post or when they share it.

In addition to tagging other users, location tagging can also widen your reach. Make sure to tag a location when you post photos and videos. When users click on the tagged location or when they do a location search on Instagram, all your tagged posts will appear.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Explore Instagram Advertising

Instagram advertising offers the advantage of targeted marketing, so you can be sure that your sponsored content will reach the right audience and get you more followers on Instagram. You can specify the length of time that your ad will run, as well as the specific groups of people to target based on their interests, key behaviors, location, demographics, and other factors.

You can choose from photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and slide shows. Organic following is always a top priority, but you also shouldn’t miss out on the advantages of paid advertising — especially if you’re running a business. You don’t need advertising experience to know how to advertise on Instagram, but you should still learn as much as you can about the best practices for social media advertising to get the most bang for your buck.

A group of people around a laptop working on their Instagram advertising strategy to get more followers on Instagram.

How to Get More Followers on Instagram: Embed Instagram Posts Into Blogs

Tap into the wide reach of bloggers to get more Instagram followers. An estimated 77% of internet users read blogs and, needless to say, these readers are already interested in the blog’s content, so you can harness a blogger’s follower potential by simply embedding Instagram posts into some of their blogs that are related to your niche. This can be done through photos and videos which, when clicked, will drive traffic to your IG account.

It’s great if you have a blog of your own; if you do, you must learn how to embed an Instagram post in a blog post. Or you can collaborate with a blogger who writes about topics within your niche. To help you to convince bloggers to feature your Instagram content in their blogs, it has to be valuable (relevant to their audience, informative, or helpful in some other way), entertaining, trendy, and/or also useful to the blogger/s. Of course, don’t forget to promote the blog on your Instagram feed, as well.

Final Thoughts: Push Through the Growing Pains and Obstacles Until You Find Your Footing

Phone displaying a bar graph representing Instagram metrics.

You have to put in real work and a lot of time to get more Instagram followers who are genuinely interested and most likely to deliver real, consistent, and lasting engagement that will sustain your brand/business for a very long time.

There are a lot of tempting shortcuts available out there, but their benefits — if there are any — are often short-lived and not worth the repercussions.

When you’re building your brand on Instagram, do it right the first time and always put your best foot forward and the best practices in play. All your efforts will pay off when you’re guaranteed a robust and fruitful existence in the Instagram verse. If you’re looking for a growth partner to help you on your growth journey, make sure you choose a company that’s reliable, like Path Social. Path Social understands the irreplaceable value of organic growth and the critical role of advanced targeting to ensure growth that lasts. Start growing and gaining instagram followers today when you take advantage of Path Social’s proprietary AI targeting technology and in-house team of social media experts!