13 Ways to Grow Your Instagram Following
Expert Roundups - Marketing

13 Ways to Grow Your Instagram Following

You’ve taken the step to increase your social media presence and created that perfect Instagram page for your business. Or, maybe you have a long-standing Instagram account, and your annual review relies on you growing your followers. Whatever the case may be, there are some tried and true methods to growing your Instagram following the right way, which the following 13 marketing professionals and Instagram enthusiasts were happy to share when we asked.

Outsource to a Professional Social Media Marketer

There are many ways to grow your Instagram following. The best way is by outsourcing the task. Trying to grow your Instagram following is as time-consuming as a full-time job. You might as well have someone who does it full-time grow your following for you. Next, a social media marketer is skilled at what it takes to grow the following.

For instance, they will make engaging graphics as well as post Reels and Stories for your feed. They even know how to work the algorithms in your favor. You’ll grow so quickly that you can bet you’ll be able to make the money back in brand deals.

Janice Wald, Blogger, Mostly Blogging

Post Online Every Day

Post often. Algorithms prize activity, so people who want to grow a following should post often. The more regular content you create and upload, the more opportunities you have to get your account in front of people. Research suggests that posting to your feed once a day and stories twice a day gives you a reasonable chance of increasing your engagement (as long as your content is also of high quality). If you do this long enough, your following is certain to grow.

Chris Vaughn, CEO, Emjay

Chris Vaughn, CEO, Emjay
Chris Vaughn, CEO, Emjay

Guest Post on Accounts Related to Your Product

If you have a product or service that will be of interest to a particular industry, you can target your audience by posting on Instagram accounts that are related to that industry. You can identify these accounts through a simple Google search or on the For You page on Instagram.

Once you have identified the appropriate accounts to target, you can send a polite message introducing yourself and your business, and request to be featured as a guest poster. Many Instagram accounts that are relevant to particular industries are often happy to feature guest posters as it also increases their content, exposure, and followers.

Matthew Ramirez, Founder, Paraphrase Tool

Utilize User Generated Content

If you are a business, implementing a user-generated content (UGC) strategy is the best tip to increase your followers on Instagram. An engaged audience will power your brand image, awareness, and then followers. In fact, when someone shares content about your brand, you expand your reach and the potential to get more people interested in your business. People see this form of content as authentic and honest, not a promotion. Therefore, they’re more encouraged to see more from and discover that business to subsequently follow it for more.

Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing & Outreach Manager, PhotoAiD

Post Stories Frequently and Actively

My top tip for growing your Instagram page is to use Stories actively. Instagram Stories are an excellent way to interact with an audience daily. Aside from Instagram Posts, more than 6 out of 10 Instagram users say that they have developed an interest in brands when they’ve viewed their Stories.

Stories are also a solid indicator of how active a brand is on Instagram. When a business profile picture shows a colored ring around it, you’ll know they have Stories to share, which is eye-catching for users. Stories also indirectly indicate an active social media presence. Since activity is vital for Instagram’s algorithm, users are more likely to follow a page if they’re active.

Tristan Buenconsejo, Founder and Managing Director, TriBu LinkBuilding

Stay on Brand

One of the most effective long-term strategies for being successful and growing a following on Instagram is to stay on topic. When you start your Instagram profile, decide what kind of content you want to make, create a theme and make sure that all of your content speaks towards that theme.

For example, say you’re a sneaker enthusiast who owns a DTC e-commerce business where you sell orchids, you have a cat and are on a weight loss journey. On your orchid business Instagram profile you should stay on topic—make sure that your content features orchids, is about orchids, and is a good mix of informational, educational, and product features. It’s ok to include your sneakers in the background, or a cat in a story if that’s authentic, but to grow your following you need to stay focused. Remember, it’s free to make an Instagram account. If you want to share information, pictures, and stories about your cat, sneakers, or anything not related to your orchid business, just make a new, dedicated account for that interest.

Katherine Bakken, Director, Train River Publishing

Host Giveaways

Host giveaways on Instagram. In the caption, make sure the post outlines the requirements, such as everyone who enters needs to follow the brand, tag three people in the comments, and/or share your story for an extra entry. People love free things and you’ll quickly see a jump in followers. This is a great way to not only quickly grow your following, but grow brand awareness with new consumers.

Natália Sadowski, Director of Aesthetics, Nourishing Biologicals

Hitch Your Wagon to an Influencer

There are influencers of all types. They provide content that tens of thousands of people—or more—keep coming back to. If you can find a way to get your brand name exposed on the platforms of those influencers, then you might create a buzz for yourself and your brand.

We’ve partnered with a number of high-profile influencers in the financial sector. That includes the likes of Ask Sebby, Graham Stephan, and Andrei Jikh. They’ve given us exposure that we otherwise wouldn’t have had. If you can find a way to get someone who is already a brand on Instagram to talk about you, you can pivot that into gains.

Trevor Ford, Head of Growth, Yotta

Unlock Virtual Doors with Proper Hashtags

Hashtags are a terrific method to bond with people who share similar interests. When someone searches for a hashtag, there is a list of posts related to that topic. Promote your business, brand, product, and services using this technique. It authorizes users to explore content based on a specific subject. If you want to grow your social media following, hashtags are the key that unlocks most virtual doors.

Anamika Goyal, Head of Architecture & Design, Cottage

Anamika Goyal, Head of Architecture & Design, Cottage
Anamika Goyal, Head of Architecture & Design, Cottage

Break Away from Picture Perfect

With the number of people joining Instagram daily, one way to be ahead of others is to be authentic. Connecting with your followers through Instagram Stories is just one way to maintain authenticity. But consider posting the less-than-perfect side of the business.

Posting a picture-perfect life is the norm on social media. Sometimes, that gets boring and loses its genuine luster. Set yourself apart and let loose, allowing others to see your authentic and fun side; that can help you gain audiences. After all, the main goal of Instagram is to share a piece of your reality through photos and videos. Reality is not meant to be pleasing to the eyes all the time. Sometimes, a low-quality picture holds thousands of stories of joy and hardship.

Laura Martinez, Consultant and Content Writer, PersonalityMax

Write Creative Captions

The caption is one of the biggest factors in Instagram’s growth. Short and creative captions get the attention of people so they can share the post that has interesting caption. You can tell the story behind the content in the caption too, so people can relate what’s pictured to themselves. Storytelling captions grab the long-term interest of viewers, who will hopefully follow to get updates. In order to write the most effective caption, make sure the first sentence is eye-catching, so viewers will be forced to click that see more button, thus furthering their engagement with your content.

Karen Cate Agustin, Business Analyst, Investors Club

Boost Posts

Consider boosting posts on Instagram. This is an effective way to maximize views on individual posts while improving engagement and followers on social media. Whether it’s on Facebook or Instagram, boost the post to your target demographic for the most interaction. You’ll quickly see an increase overnight.

Randee Machina,  Director of Marketing, Simpli Pleasures

Randee Machina,  Director of Marketing, Simpli Pleasures
Randee Machina,  Director of Marketing, Simpli Pleasures

Create Good Content Consistently (Or Be Scandalous)

The boring answer: Create good content on a consistent basis. Growing an engaged Instagram audience takes time and effort. There are shortcuts—you might get a lot of followers fast—but building trust and strong relationships take time.

In addition to creating valuable content, you need to be social (that’s why it’s called social media). Engage with other users: comment on their photos, do photoshoots together, and tag each other in the stories. Also, always reply to comments and your followers’ DMs to build stronger connections. The only way to grow fast is media attention—which you could get by attending a reality TV show or being a part of some scandal. Is it worth it? Your decision.

Marelle Ellen, CMO, Promoty