How to Get More Followers on Instagram: 26 Strategies for Social Media Managers

How to Get More Followers on Instagram: 26 Strategies for Social Media Managers

5 October, 2023
11 min read
Freya Laskowski

Instagram has become a pivotal platform for businesses to connect with their target audience, increase engagement, and drive growth.

Over 81% of Instagram users search for new products and services on the app. That’s why growing the number of Instagram followers is not just a vanity metric but a vital component of your business's social media success.

In this article, we give you 26 comprehensive organic and paid strategies to get more followers on Instagram. From crafting compelling content, maintaining a consistent posting schedule, engaging with trends, and diving into Instagram ads, this guide has everything you need to optimise your Instagram marketing strategy.

But there’s a catch. Not every strategy is a one-size-fits-all solution. As a social media manager, it's your role to navigate the terrain and pinpoint which tactics will yield your client's highest return on investment. To help you navigate this, we've outlined five crucial tips to equip you with the knowledge and expertise to make the right choices for your client's unique goals.

Whether you're a seasoned social media maven or just starting your journey to Instagram success, you’re in the right place to discover how to make strategic decisions to drive measurable results on Instagram.

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Why your business needs to get more followers on Instagram

Understanding the importance of growing the number of your Instagram followers is pivotal for companies in today's digital age. With a staggering 1.32 billion Instagram users worldwide, mastering how to get more followers on Instagram is no longer a mere option but a strategic necessity.

Your Instagram followers go far beyond being a vanity metric nowadays. It directly correlates with your brand's reach, engagement, and potential for business growth. The more followers you have, the broader your content's exposure. The result? Increased opportunities for engagement, conversions, and brand visibility.

A robust Instagram following enhances your brand's credibility and influence within your niche. It's a powerful asset that can generate leads, drive website traffic, and boost sales. 

Growing your Instagram following isn't just about accumulating numbers. It’s about establishing a thriving community, nurturing brand loyalty, and driving tangible business growth. Dive into these strategies to unlock the full potential of Instagram for your brand's success.

26 strategies to get more followers on Instagram

Here are 26 strategies to get more followers on Instagram. These strategies will increase your follower count and position your business for long-term success on Instagram.

1. Quality Content

how-to-get-more-instagram-followers-national-geographicSource: @stonehenge

Quality content serves as the bedrock of a thriving Instagram presence. Investing time and effort into crafting stunning photos and engaging videos that resonate with your target audience is crucial. 

National Geographic (@natgeo) delivers breathtaking, high-quality visuals of nature, wildlife, and cultural events. Their content educates and captivates, drawing in millions of followers who share their passion for exploration and environmental conservation.

Follow their lead by posting and delivering engaging content that resonates with your niche audience on a regular basis. Remember, quality always trumps quantity when it comes to content creation on Instagram.

2. Consistency

Speaking of posting regularly, maintaining a consistent posting schedule on this social media platform is vital for building and retaining your follower base. When you post regularly, your audience knows when to expect new content, increasing engagement and loyalty.


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Consider the example of fitness influencer Kayla Itsines (@kayla_itsines). She shares workout routines, transformation stories, and healthy recipes on her profile. By sticking to her posting schedule, she has cultivated a community of millions who trust her advice and look forward to her updates. 

Establish a posting rhythm that suits your audience and niche, ensuring you deliver valuable content over time.

3. Use Hashtags


Instagram hashtags are your passport to a broader Instagram audience and possibly the most effective Instagram SEO technique. Incorporating relevant and popular hashtags in your posts can significantly increase their discoverability. Take fashion brand Nike (@nike), for instance. 

Nike uses hashtags like #JustDoIt and #Nike to connect with sports enthusiasts and promote their products. Using these branded and trending hashtags strategically, Nike extends its reach beyond its follower count. 

Research and use relevant hashtags in your niche to grow your Instagram following. The right hashtag supports your post's visibility and attracts like-minded users interested in your content. Remember, a thoughtful selection of hashtags can help your posts find their way to the right audience.


Cracked: How to Use Instagram Hashtags to Grow Your Business

4. User-Generated Content

Encouraging your followers to create content related to your brand or niche can be a powerful way to boost your Instagram following. Consider Starbucks (@starbucks). They run campaigns like #StarbucksRedCup, where customers share their festive coffee experiences. By showcasing user-generated content, Starbucks engages its audience and turns them into brand advocates. 

Encourage your audience to share their experiences with your products or services using a hashtag. Repost and acknowledge their contributions, fostering a sense of community and trust that can attract more users to your profile.

5. Engage with Followers


Take a page from the book of makeup artist Huda Kattan (@hudabeauty). She often interacts with her followers by responding to comments, asking for opinions, and conducting Q&A sessions. By fostering a two-way conversation, she strengthens her connection with her audience, making them feel valued and heard. 

Carve out time to respond to comments, ask questions in captions, and engage with your audience's content. Creating a genuine connection can turn casual followers into loyal supporters eagerly anticipating your updates.

6. Instagram Stories


Instagram Stories offer a dynamic way to connect with your audience in real-time and boost your follower count. Consider how fashion brand Zara (@zara) effectively utilises Stories. They share behind-the-scenes glimpses of their fashion shoots, product launches, and user-generated content through Stories. 

This engaging format keeps followers hooked and drives traffic to their main feed. Leverage Stories by showcasing daily life, promotions, or exclusive content. Use interactive features like polls, questions, and quizzes to encourage engagement. These temporary posts provide a unique opportunity to captivate your audience and drive them to your profile for more. Try out our favourite Instagram Stories templates to get started.

7. Collaborations

Partnering with other Instagram users or businesses can significantly enhance your Instagram following. Take, for instance, a gourmet coffee shop collaborating with a local bakery. They promote each other's offerings, introducing their followers to complementary products and experiences. 


Instagram Collaborative Posts 101: How to Maximise Your Reach

Explore collaboration opportunities with accounts in your niche or industry to grow your Instagram following. These mutually beneficial partnerships can introduce your profile to new followers who share your interests, ultimately increasing your follower count and fostering a sense of community around your brand.

8. Instagram Reel


Instagram's Reels feature has taken the platform by storm, offering a fun and engaging way to gain more followers. Observe the success of lifestyle and travel influencer Zach King (@zachking). Zach features his street magic and crafts mesmerising short videos that often go viral on Reels. By showcasing his creativity and storytelling skills, he attracts millions of followers eagerly awaiting his next creation. 

Dive into Reels by creating eye-catching, entertaining, and informative short videos. Reels' discoverability and shareability can help your content reach a wider audience and attract new followers looking for captivating content.

9. Contests and Giveaways

Hosting Instagram contests and giveaways can rapidly expand your follower base while boosting engagement. For instance, fashion brand Revolve (@revolve) often organises giveaways, encouraging users to follow, like, and tag friends for a chance to win coveted products. 

These promotions create buzz, increase brand visibility, and attract followers eager to take part. Plan and execute well-structured contests or giveaways with enticing prizes. Such initiatives drive immediate growth and foster long-term engagement and brand loyalty.

10. Profile Optimisation


Your Instagram profile acts as your digital introduction. Optimising it is essential for attracting and retaining followers. Consider Einstein Bros. Bagels (@einsteinbros), the renowned bagel and breakfast chain. Their profile features an inviting bio, a recognizable profile picture showcasing their logo, and a link to order online. 

To grow your Instagram following, start with a compelling bio, a simple, clear profile picture, and a relevant link. Consider also using hashtags that help followers know what you’re all about. These optimizations make it easier for potential followers to connect with your brand and engage with your content effectively. 

11. Instagram Live

Harness the power of Instagram Live to connect with your audience and grow your follower count. Take the fashion brand Fashion Nova (@fashionnova), for instance. They regularly go live to showcase new arrivals, answer customer questions, and even host real-time giveaways.

Instagram Live offers immediate interaction and boosts discoverability, attracting new followers drawn to your dynamic, real-time content. 

12. Content Themes

Establishing consistent content themes on your Instagram profile creates a visually appealing and memorable feed. Mom influencer Tammy Hembrowl (@tammyhembrow) maintains a cohesive theme centred around parenting and female wellness. Her consistent use of reels, real-life experiences in parenting, and elegant aesthetics create a harmonious profile, enticing followers to explore her content. 

To boost your Instagram following, define and stick to your content themes. This attracts users interested in your niche and enhances your profile's appeal.

13. Optimise your Instagram Stories Highlights


Stories Highlights serve as a valuable resource for your audience. For instance, a DIY home improvement enthusiast like Joanna Gaines (@joannagaines) uses Highlights to group her stories into four basic categories: garden, food, fixer-upper, and Magnolia HQ. 

Well-organized Highlights help followers find relevant Instagram content and show your expertise. Choose Highlights that reflect your niche or expertise, offering easy access to valuable information. This can attract potential followers interested in your area of expertise, effectively growing your follower count.

14. Tagging

Tagging relevant businesses or users in your Instagram post or Instagram Story can increase visibility and engagement. Using appropriate tags connects with a broader audience interested in your niche or industry. This practice enhances discoverability and encourages tagged accounts to engage with your content, potentially leading to more followers who share your interests.

15. Cross-promotion


Collaborative partnerships can significantly boost your Instagram followers. Take the musician Shawn Mendes (@shawnmendes) and jewellery brand David Yurman. They've cross-promoted by featuring Shawn in their ads and photoshoots. This exposes Shawn's music to David Yuran’s audience while introducing David Yuran's followers to Shawn's fanbase. 

Consider cross-promotions with accounts relevant to your niche. These strategic partnerships can help you tap into new audiences, expanding your follower count and reach.

16. Instagram Guides

Leverage Instagram Guides to curate and share valuable content collections. For instance, wellness coach Angela Liddon (@ohsheglows) uses Guides to compile her favourite plant-based recipes, encouraging followers to embrace a healthier lifestyle. Guides are a powerful tool to display expertise and engage your audience. 

Create guides aligned with your niche, offering helpful tips, recommendations, or resources. This feature keeps your current followers engaged and attracts new ones seeking relevant, informative content in your area of expertise.

17. Engage with trends


Staying relevant on Instagram means actively participating in trending topics and challenges. For instance, during the "Dalgona coffee" trend, even celebrities like actress Priyanka Chopra (@priyankachopra) shared their creations. Engaging with trends showcases your adaptability and attracts users interested in current conversations.

Keep an eye on popular hashtags and challenges, and join the conversation. By being part of trending discussions, you can capture the attention of a wider audience and gain more followers intrigued by your participation in what's current.

18. Instagram Ads

Embracing Instagram ads has helped home improvement giant Home Depot (@homedepot) grow its Instagram account's following. Using precise demographic and interest-based targeting, Home Depot reaches potential customers likely to be interested in home improvement products. 

Consider running ads to promote your profile or showcase your best content. This strategy ensures that your profile gains visibility among users who share an interest in your industry, helping you expand your follower count.

19. Influencer Marketing

Collaborating with influencers who align with your brand can rapidly boost your Instagram following. For instance, Glossier (@glossier) often partners with beauty influencers like Emily Weiss (@emilyweiss). These influencers create content featuring Glossier products and share their experiences with their followers, introducing the brand to a broader audience. 

Identify influencers (or a trusted content creator) in your niche and build partnerships. It can start with a simple DM! Their endorsement can attract new followers genuinely interested in your products or content.

20. Promoted Posts

Utilizing promoted posts on Instagram allows you to reach a wider and more targeted audience. The restaurant chain Chipotle (@chipotle) runs promoted posts to showcase new menu items or promotions. With the ability to choose specific demographics, interests, and behaviours, you can ensure your content reaches users likely to be interested in your offerings. 

21. Sponsored Posts


Sponsored posts entail collaborating with influencers or other Instagram users to promote your content or products. Consider how Airbnb (@airbnb) sponsors posts with travel influencers and photographers. These partnerships showcase unique stays and travel experiences, attracting followers interested in exploration. 

To increase your Instagram following, explore sponsored post opportunities with accounts in your niche. These collaborations can introduce your profile to new followers who share your passions or target demographics, helping you expand your follower count effectively.

22. Shoppable Posts

Embracing shoppable posts on Instagram transforms your profile into a digital shopping destination. Consider a boutique home decor brand like "HomeStyle Haven." They use shoppable posts, allowing users to purchase curated home decor items directly from their Instagram feed. This seamless shopping experience enhances user engagement and entices followers who appreciate the ease of shopping for unique pieces with a single click.

Shoppable posts prove invaluable, particularly for e-commerce businesses. They draw in new followers interested in your products and shopping convenience, making it a powerful strategy for growing your Instagram following.

23. Story Ads

Running story ads on Instagram is an effective way to boost your follower count. Major brands like Coca-Cola (@cocacola) use story ads to promote products and engage users. These full-screen ads appear between users' stories, offering a prime opportunity to capture attention. 

Story ads will showcase your brand or content to a broader audience. This interactive format can pique the interest of potential followers and encourage them to explore your profile.

24. Carousel Ads

Carousel ads on Instagram allow you to tell a compelling story or showcase many images in a single ad. For example, automobile manufacturer BMW (@bmw) often uses carousel ads to highlight different features of their cars. This interactive format engages users and provides a richer ad experience. 

Carousel ads present your brand or products more fully. The engaging format can capture the interest of potential followers, encouraging them to explore your profile for more information or content.

25. Targeted Campaigns

Implementing targeted advertising campaigns on Instagram is a strategic approach to growing your follower count. Consider a scenario where a fitness brand aims to reach fitness enthusiasts interested in yoga. By leveraging Instagram's precise targeting options, such as demographics, interests, and behaviours, the brand can ensure its ads appear in front of users who are most likely to engage with yoga-related content. 

Plan to launch targeted campaigns that boost your profile's visibility among individuals who closely align with your niche. This focused approach can result in a more engaged and relevant audience.

26. Branded Content Ads

Including branded content ads in your Instagram approach can significantly boost your follower count. Think of a food blogger partnering with a restaurant chain for a sponsored post. The restaurant reaches a larger, targeted audience by promoting it as a branded content ad. Using Instagram's precise targeting options, such as demographics and interests, these ads effectively attract users who share a genuine interest in your niche. 

To grow your Instagram following, consider using branded content ads to broaden your reach, connect with potential followers, and boost engagement with your content and brand.

How to decide which strategies to use to attract real Instagram followers for you client

Not every strategy we listed will work for every company. As a social media manager, you must thoroughly know what will give your client the best possible return on investment. You can’t know perfectly, but following these five tips will be ahead of the curve.

1. Know your client

Start by deeply understanding your client's business, industry, and goals. What sets them apart? What are their core values and objectives? This knowledge forms the foundation for tailoring Instagram strategies that align with their unique identity and aspirations.

2. Know the target audience

Delve into your client's customer base. Who are their ideal customers? What are their preferences, pain points, and behaviours? You can customise strategies that resonate and engage effectively by comprehending the target audience and tracking how they're engaging with content through Instagram Insights.

3. Explain your strategy and tactics 

Communication is key. Clearly outline your chosen Instagram strategies and tactics to your client. Ensure they understand the reasoning behind each choice and how it connects to their broader goals. Transparency fosters trust and collaboration.

4. Connect everything to KPIs

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Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your client's objectives. Whether it's increased website traffic, higher engagement rates, or more sales, these metrics are tangible markers of success. Continuously take stock and adapt your strategies based on KPI progress.

5. Project business outcomes

Beyond metrics, project the anticipated business outcomes resulting from your Instagram efforts. Will it lead to brand expansion, revenue growth, or enhanced customer loyalty? Creating a clear endgame vision ensures everyone is on the same page for the expected results.

Remembering these five tips will empower you to make informed decisions, optimise your client's Instagram strategy, and drive measurable success that aligns with their unique goals and aspirations.

Wrapping it up

Your Instagram followers are a significant part of your marketing success. It's not just about accumulating numbers. It's about fostering a community, creating brand loyalty, and driving business growth.

This comprehensive guide uncovered 26 organic and paid strategies to supercharge your follower count in spite of constant Instagram algorithm changes. These strategies can transform your client's Instagram presence into a powerhouse for their brand.

Seize this opportunity and embark on a path to Instagram success. As a social media manager, your role transcends mere new follower acquisition. It's about making strategic decisions that align with your overall digital marketing objectives, your client's unique business goals, and ultimately lead to measurable growth.

To kickstart this journey, get our free Instagram audit checklist. This resource will help you assess and optimise your Instagram strategy so that every move aligns with your client's goals and leads to measurable growth. Then get Sendible’s publishing tool to simplify your Instagram workflow and take your efforts to the next level.

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