How To
8 min read

The Definitive Guide to Getting More Instagram Followers

Soniya Jain

June 22, 2022

It’s no secret that getting followers for a new Instagram account is hard.

Attracting and engaging the right people in a competitive space can be tough. You may be tempted to try some shady software, buy followers, or even use bots to get more Instagram followers fast.

While these tactics may seem useful in the short term, they will not be beneficial in the long run. This is because only real followers who care about your brand can provide value.

In fact, the social media platform is very strict about growing followers through shady mechanisms. It means they regularly purge fake accounts and take action against users who buy them.

So, what's the right way to grow your Instagram following?

It involves putting in  the legwork to build real, valuable connections with your target audience. This takes time and effort.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to build those connections with your audience and how it can boost your business growth.

How does increasing your Instagram following boost business growth?

Your Instagram followers are your biggest asset on the platform. 

The more real followers you have, the more they can support various marketing goals. 

Below are some of the primary ways your Instagram following can boost business growth.

Improves your brand's trustworthiness and credibility

Growing your Instagram followers is not just a numbers game. It's about building trust with your audience and strengthening your brand credibility.

A person who follows you on Instagram is more likely to trust you. They see that you're:

  • Posting consistently
  • Interacting with others
  • Engaging with them

When people see that you have a lot of followers, they'll assume that you're authentic and that they should follow you too.

Creates more loyal customers

You can think of Instagram followers as potential customers. 

Having more followers means that you have more potential buyers, and therefore have a greater chance of closing sales. 

Followers are key to starting up a small business and building a successful brand.

Increases your organic content's reach

If you want to increase your organic content's reach on Instagram, growing your Instagram followers is an excellent way.

The more people that follow you, the more likely they will see your posts in their feeds. This also means that they will be more likely to engage with those posts because they're interested in what you have to say.

Your followers' engagement actions can push your content to new audiences that aren’t following you (yet!)..

Gets you more followers

It is easier to attract more followers when you have a large Instagram following. It's like the old saying, "the rich get richer."

This is because when people see that you already have a lot followers, they're more likely to want to follow you as well. Your followers provide your brand with “social proof.”

It's one of the primary reasons influencers often have millions of followers.

Reduces advertising costs

When you first start on Instagram, the quickest way to get exposure is to pay for advertising. 

However,  as your following grows, you'll reach more people organically. This means your advertising costs will go down.

Instagram's algorithm ranks posts based on how many likes and comments they get. 

So, if you post once a day, but your posts receive hundreds of likes and comments every time, Instagram will show those posts to more people even if they're not following you yet.

Streamlines customer support

Instagram is a valuable platform for communicating with potential and current customers. 

You can answer their questions in real-time and respond to any complaints or concerns they have about your product or service with direct messaging. 

It's also an opportunity for you to get feedback on how you can improve your products or services. This will help you make those products better for everyone involved.

12 Actionable tips to grow your Instagram following in 2022

Now that you better understand the value that real followers can bring to your business on Instagram, let’s focus on all the incredible ways you can grow this audience. 

The best part is that most of the methods and tips we cover below are free and easy to implement.

1. Optimize your Instagram bio section

Your Instagram profile (bio) section is like a mini-website that people can check out whenever they want.

Whether you are just starting or have been using Instagram for years, optimizing this section is a great way to grow your audience and get more followers.

It helps potential followers quickly understand:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • Why they should follow you

Here are some excellent tips to craft an Instagram profile section that will stand out and attract followers:

  • Choose a username and business name relevant to your content and brand
  • Add an on-brand profile picture
  • Add brand personality in your bio copy
  • Include a call-to-action in your bio
  • Include a trackable link. You can use something like Linktree for this purpose
  • Include relevant and popular hashtags in your bio
  • Add business contact info

Pro tip: You can also try to incorporate a keyword in your username and display name to boost SEO. For example, if you run a bakery store by the name Slice, you can refer to it as @slicebakery or Slice Bakery respectively.

Example of an optimized Instagram bio section. @hubspot

2. Set up a content calendar system

Posting quality content consistently is essential to growing your audience on Instagram.

An Instagram content calendar will help make sure that you're posting consistently and on the right days. It will also give you more time to think about what kind of content you want to share with your audience.

Here are some useful tips to make your Instagram content planning and posting efficient:

  • Schedule your content in advance using free-to-start tools like Hootsuite and Buffer
  • Keep an eye on new content formats
  • Create workflows for different content types
  • Optimize posting time to improve engagement
  • Create and use approved templates to increase the speed of content creation

3. Write great post captions

Captioning your Instagram posts is an essential part of the social media experience. Captions allow you to:

  • Tell your story
  • Give context to your photos and other media
  • Share more information with your followers

Captions are also your opportunity to include a call to action.

Here are some tips to make your Instagram captions great:

  • Start your copy with a good hook
  • Keep it simple and snappy
  • Encourage user action with a call to action
  • Include emojis
  • Add well-researched, relevant hashtags. Using 3-5 per post is a good number
  • Leverage storytelling
  • Adjust your captions based on how different types are performing

Pro tip: Make AI your friend and generate some remarkable Instagram caption copy with this completely free-to-use Instagram Caption Generator.

4. Promote your profile on other channels

If you want to grow your Instagram following, you need to promote your profile on other channels. The more people who know about your account, the more likely they will follow you.

Here are some tips for promoting your Instagram profile on other channels to increase your following:

  • Embed your Instagram content in your website's blog posts
  • Add a link to your Instagram account in your website's footer for easy access
  • Add the account’s link to your YouTube channel page
  • Cross-promote your Instagram content on other social media channels

5. Collaborate with influencers in your category

Influencer marketing is a trend that's been growing for years and shows no signs of slowing down. Influencers have a large audience base and can help you reach out to new people.

Here are some tips to make your influencer collaboration fruitful for Instagram account growth:

  • Choose someone who aligns with your brand identity. You want to find someone who fits well within your community and whose content resonates with your audience
  • Look at their past collaborations to learn about their quality of work and track record
  • Ask them if they are interested in collaborating with you before sending them any proposals or offers. This ensures they will be receptive to what you have to offer.
  • Make sure that they are getting something out of it, whether free products or a monetary fee. Then they'll have an incentive to share your content with their followers, which will help increase awareness of your brand.

For example, the French team of Heads & Shoulders shampoo brand leveraged local influencers to generate video content that boosted their brand awareness multifold.

6. Follow others to get follow backs

When you follow someone, they will receive a notification from Instagram that says, "x has followed you." 

If they decide to check out your profile, they'll see that you've followed them and might decide to follow you back. This can lead to more followers for you.

If you're looking for ways to gain more followers on Instagram, this is one of the most effective strategies. It's easy and doesn't take much time at all. Only follow people who are seriously into what you have to offer. Following people who are not your potential clients or customers will not produce results. Be picky about who you follow.

For this strategy to work well, here are a few tips:

  • Maintain a great profile
  • Follow people who fall into your target audience
  • Create content that will resonate with potential followers

7. Experiment with newer content formats

When you're just getting started on Instagram, it can be challenging to figure out what types of photos and videos your audience wants to see. 

That's why experimenting with different types of content is one of the best ways to grow your following on Instagram.

One powerful strategy for experimenting is using the “explore and exploit” technique.

In the explore stage, you try new content formats and run them long enough to have some actionable engagement data. Then you retain what worked and scrap what didn't work.

You should then double down on what content format worked for you. For example, if you notice the exploding vertical video format, Reels, has high engagement on your account, invest more in that strategy to see if you can scale it.

Always stay on top of content trends on the platform by repeating the explore and exploit tactic.

8. Engage with your audience via post comments

Engaging with followers in Instagram comments is a great way to show your followers that you care about them and listen.

The same goes for engaging with:

  • Other brands
  • Influencers
  • People with similar interests 

By commenting on posts relevant to yours, you can reach out to new users who might be interested in what you have to offer.

Here are some tips to make the most of Instagram comments for follower growth:

  • Pin popular comments on your posts
  • Choose your engagements wisely
  • Use emojis in the comments
  • Trigger a new conversation thread with a question
  • Spend time writing quality replies
  • Be positive and authentic

9. Run contests

Running contests  provides an opportunity for you to get closer to your community and help you get more engagement from your posts.

Running contests is also an easy way to boost your reach on Instagram as people share your contest-related posts with their followers.

Here are some tips for running contests to increase your Instagram followers:

  • Make sure it’s easy for participants to enter and win
  • Offer prizes that are relevant to the contest theme
  • Have a unique hashtag for the contest. This will help you track its progress and keep it fun
  • Ask people to tag their friends in the comment section of their entry post so that they can involve more people

10. Tag other people and accounts

When you tag someone on Instagram with an @ mention, they receive a notification. As a result, they are more likely to engage with the post and share it with their followers. 

Also, your post will appear under the Tagged section of their Instagram profile.

Adding relevant tags to your Instagram Stories is also an option. With a few taps, someone can share your content to their Story post. All who view their Story can see your username and access your account with a click.

Please tag only relevant users and avoid spam at all costs. You shouldn't tag someone just to get their attention. Tag only those in the photo or those connected to your post's content.

11. Learn from Instagram Analytics

If you're an entrepreneur, small business owner, or social media influencer looking to grow your Instagram following, you should know how to use Instagram Analytics.

Analytics will help you determine what strategies are and aren’t working for your brand.

Here are a few interesting ways you can use Instagram Analytics to grow your following:

  • Optimize your posting times by monitoring when your audience is most active
  • Get detailed analytics for all your posts and test different kinds of content
  • Guide your content strategy with demographic information such as age and gender
  • Track your follower growth rate and profile views over time

12. Give Instagram ads a try

Instagram ads are highly targeted and can help you reach the right audience at scale. You can try out a small campaign to monitor follower growth and then scale it up.

Instagram ads are especially powerful to reach and engage users that may be hard to attract organically in the initial days of growing your account.

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Closing remarks

To build a strong following on Instagram, it takes

  • Hard work
  • Real engagement
  • An authentic and valuable brand

However, the numerous business benefits that the right kind of audience can unlock could make an Instagram strategy worthwhile for you.

So get out there and start using these methods to attract the right followers to your Instagram account.

Ready to start but not sure how to write copy that’s optimized for engagement? Then CopyAI's suite of AI-powered copywriting tools is just a free trial away.

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