How to get more followers on Instagram

How to get more followers on Instagram

Sarah Cantavalle Published on 10/6/2022

How to get more followers on Instagram

9 strategies for increasing Instagram followers organically

Getting more followers is the holy grail for many on Instagram users, whether they use the platform for business or pleasure. With over a billion active users a month globally in 2021 and 34.6 million users the UK alone, this social network is a strategic channel for growing your business by cultivating an active and loyal community of followers. In this article, we will look at some of the most effective strategies for getting more followers on Instagram organically, in other words, without investing in sponsored content.

Before we start, a word of warning: increasing your followers on Instagram is a process that takes time and commitment, both to identify the most suitable tactics for your target audience and to create original, high-quality content. Be very wary of platforms that offer to sell you contacts, because in all likelihood you’ll just get fake users who won’t interact with posts, thereby lowering the engagement rate of your profile. The engagement rate is the relationship between interactions (likes, comments, shares) and an account’s number of followers. This metric is key because it is used by the Instagram algorithm to select the content displayed in the “Explore” section  on the platform. With a lower engagement rate, you’ll miss out on a great opportunity to quickly gain visibility and reach lots of new contacts.

Feed Instagram
Instagram feed. Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

1.Create quality content

The first tip for getting more followers on Instagram is to carefully choose the content that you post, making sure you pick original and high-quality photos and videos. Analyses of stories posted by users who have seen their number of followers jump sharply have shown that the key to success on Instagram is originality.

This means publishing pictures that stand out from all the others on the platform, even if just because of one detail. At the same time, try to find a harmonious and uniform style for your Instagram feed by selecting a theme, filter and predominant colour palette. If laid out well, a feed can offer a very effective visual narration of a brand or person’s identity.

2.Write an effective bio

The Instagram bio is your profile’s business card and as such needs to be meticulously put together. Add a short text – you only have 150 characters – that explains in simple terms what your profile offers and whom it’s aimed at. The goal is to convince visitors to follow you in a matter of seconds, so it needs to be persuasively written.

You can customise fonts, use emojis and add specific calls to action, such as clicking on the site to purchase products, entering a competition or enjoying a limited offer. For companies, it can be a good idea to add the brand’s hashtag to direct visitors towards a list of photos and videos about the products and services offered, inviting them to post similar content using the same hashtag. What’s more, thanks to apps like Linktree, you can add more external links to the bio and promote different channels and content, bypassing the limit imposed by the platform.

An example of a list of links created through the Linktree app. Copyright:

Another useful tool is Instagram Stories Highlights: this allows you to succinctly convey the identity and personality of a professional or company, or to draw attention to the most important content.

3.Use the right hashtags

Hashtags are thematic aggregators that help users to find relevant  posts, stories and reels. Using them properly will increase the visibility of your account and attract people to the themes or products and services that you’re posting about. Our advice is to choose hashtags that are popular but relevant to the photo or video’s theme.

How do you do this? Well, there are various websites and apps that list the most used hashtags for a given topic or category. And as Instagram currently allows you to add up to 30, you can copy and paste them into an electronic notebook so you have them to hand when you’re ready to post.

4. Post often and when it matters

To get more Instagram followers and keep them over the long term, it’s important to frequently post a variety of content, choosing from the different formats offered by the platform: stories, photos and videos (Reels, live streams and IGTV). The freshness of content is one of the factors taken into consideration by the Instagram algorithm, which tends to emphasise the most recent posts. That’s why it’s essential to draw up an editorial plan that includes all the material to be published and a calendar with the release dates for each post.

There are apps that allow you to schedule the posting of content, so you don’t forget or get waylaid at the last minute. It’s also worth analysing the data in Instagram Insights (a feature only available to business or creator accounts) to try and understand, based on the content that’s generated the most interactions, the days and times when your target audience is most active.

Instagram Insights. Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

5. Add the geographical location to posts and stories

By adding the geographic location to photos and videos – the town or specific place where you are – your posts become visible in feeds for that that specific locality, thus reaching more users. Content with a given geotag also appears on an interactive map that can be viewed in the “Explore” section: by clicking on the icon, users can discover the most popular places in the vicinity and view related posts. This makes geolocation particularly important for those with businesses who predominantly serve a local customer base and who want to improve their profile’s visibility.

6. Share Instagram content on other channels

Leveraging the synergies between different digital (and non-digital) channels is one way of growing your audience and also reaching the people with whom you’re in touch but who don’t follow your Instagram profile. A quick way of getting more followers is to add a link to your Instagram account to your website, the footer of your emails, to brochures and every other digital and paper communication channel used by the public.

Furthermore, by linking other social media profiles to your Instagram account, you can share photos and videos on these platforms in a click. It’s also possible to display your Instagram posts on your website or blog by adding your feed to your homepage. Another idea that costs nothing is to use live events (conferences, meetings, workshops) to invite people to follow your Instagram account for updates and tag your business in their posts.

7. Follow trends and try new things

To be successful on this social network, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest news and events. This will enable you to link your posts to the most relevant news and events in your industry and use real-time marketing to promote your business. Another effective strategy for acquiring more Instagram followers is to try the latest features introduced by the platform. This will give you new ways of expressing yourself, raising your profile and standing out from competitors.

User-generated content
Through Instagram you can take advantage of lots of user-generated content that can help promote your business. Copyright: Maksim Goncharenok on Pexels.

8. Partner with other brands

You can get together with other companies or professionals to create co-marketing collaborations in which you share posts and marketing actions that grow the social media audience of both partners. For example, you could hold Instagram live events on topics of interest for the customers of both firms, or launch a new product or service. These will act as a hook to encourage the followers of one account to follow the other, and vice versa. The image of the profile that hosts the live event will be highlighted in the stories homepage and other users will be able to receive a notification in the app.

9. Promote interaction

We’re going to wrap up this article with something that may seem obvious: interaction. As we outlined earlier, your account’s interaction rate will determine the visibility of your posts and your opportunities to gain new followers. So it’s important to respond promptly to comments and questions from the public and to ask them to share or comment on your posts by tagging other users. One last very handy tip is to tap into the followers of competitors or other firms in your sector and follow their most active users in the hope that they’ll return the favour.

That brings us to the end of our look at strategies for growing your Instagram follower base, but before we go, we’d like to leave you with one last thought. While getting more followers is essential for improving the visibility of the content you post and growing your business, it’s just as important to constantly post original, high-quality content to keep your followers engaged and stop them from abandoning your profile.