Top 10 Ways to Grow Your Following on Instagram

Sarah Donawerth
Sarah Donawerth
Top 10 Ways to Grow Your Following on Instagram

Want to grow your following on Instagram? Everybody does! When you search for articles online, there’s plenty of nefarious ways to try to hack the system and gain followers. However, we’re looking at practical, white hat methods of growing your Instagram following so that you can get your content seen!

These tips all come from marketers just like you who have used these same techniques to grow their following on Instagram.

1. Optimize Your Profile with Keywords

Tip from Krissy Hadick,

A great way to grow your following on Instagram is by utilizing the name section of your profile. That section works as a search engine. It is a great way for people to find you if you put your profession and location information in that section. For instance, say you are a retailer in the Bay Area. If you put Bay Area Realtor in the name section, then your profile will pop up when people search Bay Area Realtor. It’s a great way to target your ideal audience or clients.

2. Engage with New Accounts

Tip from Yuki Klotz-Burwell, Yuki Reads

My biggest growth tip is to engage with new accounts. While continuously liking random pictures is a sure way to get you action blocked, slowing down and liking and COMMENTING on relevant posts is an authentic way to get organic followers who are actually interested in your content.

Look for a hashtag that’s relevant to your industry (for example as a book reviewer I search for hashtags like #booklover and #readmorebooks), and click to either the recent posts or top posts sections. Go through the photos and like and leave genuine comments, not just emojis. They can be short and simple like “love this!” or “I need to read this book!”

This strategy helps you interact with accounts that post similar content to yours, without completely spamming them in an attempt to get likes or follows. It’s important to use relevant hashtags because you’re finding followers who are organically interested in your content, and will actually stick around. Followers who relate to your posts are also more likely to interact with you, increasing your engagement rate.

3. Collaborative Giveaways

Tip from Haley Johnson, Refuel Agency

Once you’re more established, a favorite strategy of mine is a collaborative giveaway. I just saw this earlier today from @arraeicollective, @kimijuan, and @somegirlbrittany. They created a clothing product together, co-promoted it across their channels to their separate audiences, and required contestants to follow all three accounts and share the post to their own accounts in order to be entered into the giveaway. This strategy works because the ask (following and liking) is relatively small for the chance to win a free product that followers genuinely want. The result? A huge increase in organic impressions and the opportunity to reach a much wider audience.

4. Interact with Your Favorite Instagram Account

Tip from Haley Johnson, Refuel Agency

My favorite way to figure out who your ideal followers are is to hack other Instagrammers’ audiences. Find one account that’s fairly similar to your account. The accounts they’re following are likely accounts that you’ll want to follow (for inspiration, or to find more followers, or to partner with, etc.). And the accounts that are following them are the kind of accounts that might like yours, too. So go engage with them! Be authentic, comment with genuine responses, like things you actually like. Rinse, repeat. It’s slow at first.

5. Collaborate with Others in Your Space, Don’t Compete

Tip from Hilary Bird,

I wrote a guest post for another van life couple with an Instagram following twice as big as mine. They posted the article on their website and then promoted it twice on  Instagram–both of which times I shared their promotions. I gained about forty followers from this.

6. Use All Social Platforms to Cross-Promote

Tip from Hilary Bird,

When I started my Instagram account, I also wrote a detailed update on Facebook about how excited I was for this journey, and informed my friends that they could follow my adventures on Instagram. I gained about 100 followers from this. And every so often, I’ll do another Facebook post sharing my Instagram account (alongside a thorough update of my adventures) because only a certain percentage of your Facebook friends actually see your posts.

7. Use Influencer Marketing

Tip from Omiete Charles-Davies,, a health and wellness brand

We run the 25doctors Instagram health page with more than 180,000 followers. We actually grew from 0-100,000 followers in about 7 months using influencer marketing. It is the fastest way to genuinely grow an audience on Instagram. We identified popular pages in our niche and reached out to them, asking to partner with them to share our content while giving us credit by tagging our page. It worked.

People were genuinely engaging with our content on these influencer pages and following us for more content. Our page exploded. When we hit 30,000 followers, we kept growing organically. This same principle can be applied to almost any niche, as long as your content is great and you can find popular influencers to partner with.

8. Comment on Stories

Tip from Josh Imhoff,

My favorite way to grow my Instagram following that I haven’t seen people talking about is the importance of being in people’s stories. Watch them, comment on them. Then your followers will check out your profile. These use signals will help your own stories and posts show up to more of your followers.

Pro tip: Start watching a story and walk away with the app open. It’ll cycle through all of your followers’ stories while you’re working on something else.

9. Use Geotags and Locations of Interest

Tip from Noelle Fauver,

Geotags are an interesting way to grow your Instagram following with more local users because if your consistent about using geotags and use them at popular areas that fit within your niche like an art gallery for artists or yoga studio for wellness influencers—users can get to know you in a new way and people can find and follow you based on their locations of interest.

10. Use infographics

Tip from Peter Tzemis,

One of the best, non-spammy ways to grow your Instagram is through the use of infographics. I know for me, it took me from 5,000 to 35,000 in just a few months doing that. It’s best for health and fitness accounts, but I’ve seen it used across multiple industries.

Bonus! Sharing Inspiration and Tagging Others

Tip from Zoe Abel,

Share inspo content from other accounts that makes sense for your audience (and credit them of course). If someone posts an inspo photo I like, we’ll reshare it and tag them. They will usually engage with it and sometimes share it to their stories and tag us. Also always tag a people in your stories. If someone posts a photo wearing our designs, and we just click the arrow to share it to our stories, it won’t notify them. If you manually tag them, they’ll see it and usually repost it to their stories too.

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