Written by Carlo Pacis
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55 Foolproof Ways to Get More Instagram Followers

Chances are, Instagram has become a big part of your social media marketing strategy.

And with good reason - it's one of the best ways to promote your business and connect with your customers.

But there's one question I hear all the time: How do I get more followers?

Fear not - I've put together 55 foolproof ways to get more Instagram followers for your business.

Let's get started!


Your Instagram Profile


#1. Choose a memorable username

Having a username that’s short and easy to remember means it’s easier for people who have seen your account once to find it again in the future. It also means there’s a lower chance that users trying to tag you in a post will have a hard time finding you. Your best bet is the name of your brand.

#2. Have an intriguing profile picture

Your profile picture is like your Instagram first impression. If you’re an individual, a photo of your face is a good choice as it lets people know who you are. If you’re a business, use your logo to establish brand identity and to make it simple for users to make connections with any other marketing materials they may have seen from your brand.

#3. Update your bio

Make sure your bio fits your business goals. Though brands like Adidas can get away with short, vague bios based on their sheer brand power, you’ll want to be a little more descriptive if you’re trying to grow your brand. If you’re selling products, mention what they are and briefly describe what makes them unique. If you have a physical store location, your bio is a good place to include the address, as well as your opening hours.



instagram followers

#4. Link your Facebook and Instagram accounts

Linking your Facebook and Instagram accounts allows you to automatically post the media you’ve posted on Instagram to Facebook. Not only does this make it simple to share the same piece of content across two of the biggest and best social platforms, it allows you to leverage the reach you have on Facebook to grow your Instagram profile. Make sure your Facebook captions link to your Instagram profile, so you can turn Facebook fans into Instagram followers.





Account Promotion


#5. Share your account on other social networks

Though other social platforms aren’t as fully-linked to Instagram as Facebook is, it’s still a good practice to reach out to the audiences you’ve built on other platforms. If you’re finding it difficult to drive people from one network to your Instagram profile, consider offering an Instagram-only coupon or some other offer as an incentive.

#6. Share your account to your email list

There’s a few ways you can do this. You can send a single email newsletter urging people on your list to follow your Instagram account, or you can consistently feature your account in some way in your email marketing communications (through a social icon or a short CTA) to make sure you reach both new and old subscribers. Like the previous tip, offering Instagram-exclusive offers is sure to boost your click-through rate.

#7. Promote your IG account on in-store materials

If you’re lucky enough to have a retail location, take advantage of it! Put up signs in your store advertising your Instagram account - even offer discounts in exchange for a follow from customers. You can also offer incentives in exchange for Instagram posts of your store with an @ mention; this pushes your brand out to your customers’ followers, helping to organically spread the word about your brand.

#8. Promote your IG account on shipping materials

If you run an e-commerce business and regularly ship out products to your customers, consider adding a small card to each shipment with your Instagram profile and a CTA saying something like “check out our Instagram profile for discounts and our new products!” Because these people are already customers, they’re likely to follow you for discounts in the future.

#9. Link to your Instagram account on your homepage

If your website is a large traffic driver, make sure you have social icons on your homepage to direct visitors to your social profiles. Though this may not be a huge source of new followers for your Instagram profile, every little bit counts!

#10. Embed your Instagram photos in your blog posts

If it’s a part of your digital marketing strategy, your blog is another channel you can leverage to drive traffic towards your Instagram page. When using examples from your business’ marketing efforts, embed Instagram posts instead of using screenshots. Not only does this ensure you retain the quality of your original post, it means readers can click onto your Instagram profile to follow you.

#11. Use Instagram Ads

Because Instagram is owned by Facebook, it also has the advantage of using Facebook’s incredibly powerful Ads platform. Though Instagram Ads are a better choice if you’re looking to achieve a certain business goal - for example, increasing sales or driving traffic - you can also use them to introduce your profile to people within your target market. Using precising targeting, you can reach people with quality content and entice them into becoming followers.


Instagram Content


#12. Have a unique content strategy

To put it simply, there’s a lot of Instagram users out there. To stand out, you’ll need to do something unique. I can’t tell you what that is, but if you’re able to put together a feed of one-of-a-kind content still related to your business, you’ll find it’s easier to draw in followers. That being said, don’t be afraid to do what’s tried-and-true - there’s a reason images of food and scenery are so popular.

#13. Maintain thematic consistency

Before you start posting photos, think about what you want your Instagram feed to convey. Think about the types of photos you want to post, and what content you want to share with your followers. Create rules or guidelines regarding content and captions for your profile that each of your posts must follow, and you’ll find it’s easy to create a seamless Instagram experience for your followers.



instagram followers

#14. Go back through your feed and delete bad photos

Every so often, look back through your profile and see if you can weed out any images that might not be in line with the guidelines you’ve created for your account. You want new visitors to your page to look through your profile and see a consistent theme and quality - this will help sell them on what your profile is offering, and will increase the chance they’ll follow you.

#15. Post high quality photos

This is a simple rule, but one I see businesses breaking all the time. You don’t need thousands of dollars of camera equipment to post good photos to Instagram, but a blurry, over-filtered, low-resolution picture is a sure recipe for Instagram failure. Make sure your photos are lit well, edited tastefully, and feature your subjects in clear focus. Newer smartphones like the iPhone or the Galaxy are safe bets for the ideal Instagram photos.



instagram followers

#16. Share behind-the-scenes photos

One of social media’s greatest advantages is the connection it promotes between users. For many, social media serves as a way to add personality to celebrities or businesses. To capitalize on this, give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business. For example, preview new products or show what a typical day looks like for employees in your office. Doing this makes it easier for people to make personal connections with your business - and increases the chances they’ll follow you.



instagram followers

#17. Post quotes

Not everyone has time to take and edit photos, all the time. If you’re on a consistent post schedule, you can fill gaps with quotes or text that resonates with your target market. These types of posts are both engaging and easily shareable, even for people who might not necessarily be interested in your product. This helps you maintain your posting schedule, while reaching new people within your target market.



instagram followers

#18. Use an app like VSCO to edit your photos

Using a photo editing app like VSCO can be just what you need to take your photos from good to great. Lightly editing photos makes them look unique and helps them to stand out on users’ feeds. Consistently using only few different filters also helps to create an Instagram “signature” - a tactic that helps users pick out images that are from your brand. Just make sure you don’t go overboard with the edits!



instagram followers

#19. Use a collage app to combine pictures

The more, the merrier, right? Using a collage app like Instagram’s Layout allows you to stitch several photos into one. Though this isn’t always the best strategy, it can make room for some pretty interesting creative possibilities - which can pique viewers’ interests and turn them into your followers.

#20. Shoot creative videos

Instagram has been pushing video lately, upping the video length limit from 15 seconds to 1 minute just a few months ago. Take advantage of this, and get creative with the video medium to do things like showcase your products or your employees.



instagram followers

#21. Maintain your Instagram Story to keep followers engaged

Instagram’s Snapchat copycat product is starting to pick up steam. If you’re serious about your Instagram strategy, start taking some time to update your Snapchat story with any exciting news or new products. To increase engagement on your Stories, consider introducing limited-time discounts to post on your Stories.

#22. Post pictures of people

Photos with people in them tend to receive more engagements than those without. When shooting photos of your product, try to show someone using it - you’ll find these types of photos are more well-received by Instagram users.



instagram followers

#23. Tag people in your photos

In addition to tagging the people that are actually in your photo, you might like to try tagging influencers or other brands in your photos if you’re trying to grow your profile. Not only does it alert them to your photo, but it actually causes the photo to show up on those profiles’ “tagged photos” section, introducing the possibility that their followers might find your photos.



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Connecting on Instagram


#24. Share user-generated content

Always make sure to take the time to interact with the people who put effort into engaging with your brand on social. If someone’s posted a photo with your products on Instagram, you can like or comment on their photos - but why not go the extra step and share it on your business’ profile with an app like Repost? This not only makes the original poster feel appreciated, but it shows your followers how others are enjoying your products.

#25. Post media from events to be featured on the Events feed

Instagram recently introduced an “Events” feature in the Explore feed, that highlights exciting goings-on near users. If your business is at an event, make sure you’re posting live from the Event - it just might get you featured in many local users’ Explore feeds.

#26. Ask users to tag friends

There are a few reasons you can use to get users to tag their friends in your photos. You could have a CTA in your caption that says something like, “tag a friend who would like this photo” - or you could run a giveaway that requires users to tag friends in (and follow) to enter. This increases engagement and also drives up the chance you’ll end up on people’s Explore feeds.

#27. Participate in the Instagram Blog’s Weekend Hashtag Project

Instagram’s Weekend Hashtag Project is a series the Instagram Community Team put together, featuring a weekly designated theme and hashtag. For example, #WHPescape highlighted Instagram users’ idea of a perfect weekend retreat, and #WHPfreetime showcased what Instagram users did on their free time. Participating in the Weekend Hashtag Project means your account could be featured on Instagram’s blog - which means a huge surge of traffic (and followers) to your account.



instagram followers

#28. Like pictures on your Explore feed

Your Explore feed is made up of posts related to the posts you’ve liked and the people you follow. So, if you’ve been actively engaging on Instagram with your business account, it’s likely your Explore feed is filled with posts from people in your target market. Like these photos to increase engagement with other accounts within your industry.

#29. Leave short comments on others’ photos

Though likes are great, comments are more personal ways to interact with other accounts. Avoid saying things like “great photo!” - rather, make some comment about the subject of the photo. “Cute dog” works a lot better than “nice shot!”.

#30. Comment on photos from popular Instagrammers

Make it a point to engage with posts from Instagrammers who are popular in your industry. These users have tons of followers who see their content - meaning if you comment on their photos, there’s a chance these users will see your comments. This could lead to them viewing your profile, and - if your content is good - giving you a follow!

#31. Respond to commenters

Social media should never be a one-way street. If you get comments on your photos - yes, even generic, engagement-seeking comments like “Nice photo!” - take a second and respond. Even as little as a simple “Thanks!” will get you some brownie points, and maybe even a follow. And always, always @ mention the person in comment replies so they see it.



instagram followers


Who to Follow


#32. Follow suggested users

Instagram’s suggested users feature uses an algorithm to connect you with users who are relevant to your account in some way - meaning that it’s easy to find accounts from users within your industry. Following these accounts could get you a follow back.

#33. Follow back users that follow you

Follow back accounts within your industry that follow you - if any users check this account’s followers, they’ll see your account. This has the potential to get you a few followers.

#34. Follow accounts that your competitors follow

Chances are, the accounts your competitors follow are users in your target market. Following these accounts could get you a follow back - and because they’re in your target market, they’re a much higher value follower than others.

#35. Follow accounts that follow your competitors

Same deal here. If these users are interested in your competition’s products, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll be interested in yours, too. Follow them and there’s a pretty good chance they’ll check into your account to see what you’re about. If you pique their interest, they’ll


Influencer Marketing Strategies


#36. Host an influencer takeover

Hosting an influencer takeover allows you to step away from your normal photos and let somebody else take the reins - and it opens up your account to your chosen influencer’s audience. Have the influencer promote the takeover on their account in the days leading up to it so their followers have followed you by the time it begins.

#35. Connect with influencers to feature your product

Paying or partnering with influencers to get them to post a photo featuring your product is another way to introduce your product to another audience. On top of this, the influencer’s audience will be more receptive to your product because it’s being featured by someone they admire and trust.



instagram followers





Photo Captions


#36. Use CTAs in your photo captions

Though it might get annoying if you do it every time, consider adding a CTA in your captions like “follow us to get special Instagram discounts” to urge users who view your photos to follow your account. Sometimes, all they need is that little push.

#37. Ask questions in photo captions

Another way to get viewers to engage with your posts is to ask questions in photo captions. Getting them thinking and engaging increases the likelihood that they’ll turn into followers.



instagram followers

#38. Geo-tag your photos

Geo-tagging posts allows people in similar areas to see your photos more easily. Though this likely won’t be a huge driver for your follower count, it’s still a decent way to get your posts seen, especially by users near you.



instagram followers

Hashtag Strategies


#39. Use hashtags related to your photo

Using hashtags related to your photo helps you target users who are interested in topics related to your brand and products. It allows them to find your photos through Instagram’s search - and if they find your profile interesting, they’ll likely give you a follow.

#40. Use popular hashtags

Though popular hashtags are less effective when trying to reach users within your target market, but they’re useful when trying to reach a wider group of people. This isn’t a great way to get high-quality followers, but it is a good way to up that count. Use a site like
Websta to find the most popular hashtags.

Here’s the top 10 hashtags of all time:

  1. #love
  2. #instagood
  3. #photooftheday
  4. #tbt
  5. #beautiful
  6. #cute
  7. #happy
  8. #fashion
  9. #followme
  10. #me

#41. Use a branded hashtag

If you find your brand is growing and people can’t seem to stop taking pictures with your products, consider creating a hashtag specific to your brand that people can post with. This helps to create a community of users, who can spread your brand to their followers so you can increase your own following.



instagram followers

#42. Find local hashtags

Local hashtags are a sure strategy to reach users near you. Post photos in areas that are distinctly local, and tag them with hashtags related to your area. This forges a connection between you and your immediate market, and could help you get the attention of potential customers.

instagram followers





Post Timing


#43. Maintain a consistent posting schedule

Posting consistently keeps current followers engaged and interested in your content and product, and shows people visiting your profile for the first time that you’re a source for regularly-posted, high-quality content.

#44. Schedule posts with Later or Buffer

Not every marketer can take time in the middle of their days to set up and post an Instagram post. By using a tool like Later or Buffer, you can pre-plan your posts - edits, captions, and all - and schedule them to post at a later time and date. This helps a ton with maintaining that post schedule.

#45. Post at high-traffic times

Though Instagram no longer organizes its feed chronologically, it does place some importance on post recency. This means posting at high-traffic times is likely to get your posts noticed by a larger number of people, leading to a higher chance you’ll get followers.

#46. Post at low-traffic times

Interestingly, the opposite may also hold true. Posting at low-traffic times means you’ll be competing with fewer people to be at the top of your followers’ feeds, increasing your chances for high engagement.

#47. Post often

Followers - real followers - tend to put some time into considering whether or not to follow someone. One metric often used to make this decision is post frequency. Posting often shows potential followers that they won’t be following a “dead” account, increasing the chances that they’ll reward you with a follow.

#48. Don’t over-post

On the other hand, there is a such thing as too much Instagram. Posting too much can have several negative effects: it shows a misunderstanding of optimal post scheduling, and can clog up followers’ feeds - meaning they’re likely to get annoyed and unfollow you.

#49. Find the best posting times (test) - think about audience

This takes some time to get right. Test posting at different times to measure engagement. Check the likes, comments, and follows you receive at different times, and tailor your post schedule to match. Also think about your target market - if you’re in LA trying to reach customers in Sydney, you’ll want to schedule posts during times they’re awake.


Analytics


#50. Use analytics tools to refine your Instagram strategy

If you want to dig deeper into your Instagram performance, consider investing into a service like Iconosquare or Crowdfire to look further into the people you follow and the people that follow you. These apps allow you do things like find people to follow (or unfollow), identify follower influence, and benchmark your performance against competitors - and will help you maximize your Instagram potential.



instagram followers

#51. Set up your Instagram for Business account to get more detailed insights

One of Instagram’s little-discussed features is its suite of Business Tools. If you haven’t already, create an Instagram business profile for your business. This allows you to do things like add contact information to your profile, see impressions, top posts, and follower counts; and create promoted posts directly from the Instagram app.



instagram followers


Instagram Campaigns


#52. Run a teaser campaign to entice customers into following you

Much like a movie trailer, running a teaser campaign on Instagram for an upcoming product launch can catch viewers’ attentions. Because they’ll want to know what comes of the teaser, there’s a good chance they’ll shoot you a follow.



instagram followers

#53. Run co-promotions with other brands

Find complementary products in your industry and reach out to them suggesting a co-promotion. Running a giveaway or contest of some sort together allows you to promote to each others’ audiences - both of which are full of followers who will be interested in your products.

#54. Run a giveaway

Three things are sure in life: death, taxes, and the fact that everybody likes free stuff. Running a giveaway is an easy way to get a surge of new followers - just require them to follow to enter (even better, get them to tag a few friends as well). Just make sure the prize you give away is something from your brand, so you know the followers you gain are interested in your product.



instagram followers

#55. Run a contest

An Instagram photo contest is one of the top methods to engage your existing followers and gain new ones. By using a third party app like Wishpond’s Contest Tool, you’re able to create a beautiful contest page featuring your contest details and a gallery of photos from your participants. This helps to generate user content for future posts, and increases your number of engaged followers.






There you have it! 55 awesome, foolproof ways to get more followers for your Instagram account. Let me know in the comments if you try any of these, and how they worked for you.

Written by Carlo Pacis

Carlo is a Content Marketer at Wishpond who lives and breathes all things social media. He also has an obsession with music, sneakers, and coffee. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram @carlonathan.