So you want to grow your Instagram following? Instagram continues to be the most popular social media platform, and with so much attention available, it’s become the preferred method of customer acquisition and website traffic for several businesses across every niche and industry imaginable.

If your business isn’t currently leveraging Instagram you are missing out or if you are active on the platform but not experiencing the results you’d like, this post is for you. Instagram has so much potential that there are brands generating millions of dollars on the platform exclusively, without a website.

From artists, consultants, and even social media agencies, it’s possible to leverage Instagram to build a huge following and successful business. I’ve personally witnessed many brands multiply their monthly sales revenue tenfold by putting more emphasis and focus on growing their Instagram following.

There is a lot of information out there, but a lot of it is disguised to get the reader to purchase growth services that end up being fake bot followers. I thought it would be helpful to put together a list of actionable Instagram growth tips that can help you increase your audience with real followers that are interested in what your business offers.

Here are eleven tips to help you grow your Instagram following, requiring nothing more than a little effort and hard work.


1. Follow Similar Accounts & Turn Post Notifications On (1st Comment Goal)

The best source of new Instagram followers is from similar accounts, and you can easily put yourself in front of these people by being active on the platform. So many people use Instagram throughout the day, so it’s not a matter of making time to do this — it’s a matter of making it a priority.

Follow accounts that have an audience you would love to follow you and make sure you turn on notifications to be alerted when they post new content. Then, try to be the first person to comment on new posts.

Being first gets you more exposure and if your comment receives a good amount of likes in the first few minutes it will stick on top. This gets you seen by the type of accounts you want to follow you. If your comment is clever it will get people to click on your profile. From there, if you follow the rest of these tips you will see a steady influx of new followers.



2. Write a Bio Highlighting “Why” Your Account is Worth Following

You can have thousands of people click on your Instagram handle and check out your profile, but if they aren’t immediately interested or their curiosity isn’t immediately piqued they aren’t going to follow you. Why? You haven’t given them a reason to.

The very first thing someone is going to look at is your bio. Unless you are an A-list celebrity someone coming in contact with your Instagram for the first time is going to want to know who you are, what you do, and why they should follow you.

Write a bio that tells someone why you are worth a follow. For example, an SEO consultant might have something like “I help websites rank on the top of Google. Follow me for daily free SEO tips posted on my Story.”

Anyone interested in SEO is going to consider following that account for those daily tips — that is the “why” answered. Now if they continue to follow is another story and that is dependent on the value provided.


3. Use Emojis and Special Font in Your Bio

Have you ever seen an Instagram bio with crazy wild font and it made that profile stick out? Ever wondered how they did it? All you have to do is Google “custom Instagram bio font” and you will see the latest options available.

You simply copy your bio and it will return several different versions that you can then copy/paste. Some of the fonts can be hard to read. I’d suggest testing to see if it helps improve your follow rate, as well as testing just certain keywords. Making some major focus word extra bold for example will draw more attention to your bio without it looking unprofessional.

Also include some emojis in a clever yet subtle way. You don’t want to go overboard, but adding one or two is a great way to help draw eyes and focus on your bio.


4. Utilize Story Highlights to Entice Potential Followers

Let’s assume you use the first tip listed here and by commenting on relevant content you are seeing a large number of Instagram users click on your handle to view your profile. They are going to naturally look at the last few pictures you posted, but you need to make more of an effort to capture attention.

Make sure you always have new Stories posted, as they expire after 24 hours. This is a great chance to highlight your personality or emphasize what kind of value-add you provide to those that follow you. Whether it’s business tips, local real estate information, or funny skits — be consistent and always have some value running up there.

When a new visitor hits your profile and sees the highlighted profile picture they are going to click to view your Story 9 times out of 10. Leverage this curiosity to help increase your follow rate.


5. Create Custom Highlight Icons to Draw Attention

Instagram allows you to create “Highlights” which are custom categories you create and save Stories to. This is another great way to always have content for potential followers to engage with before deciding whether or not to follow your Instagram account.

Use custom icons for your Highlights. This creates a more visually appealing layout on your profile and you can make them in a way that turns them into CTAs, helping you attract more potential followers to check out each category.

If you have some design experience you can make them in Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. If you aren’t experienced in graphic design you can use a program like Canva to easily create them or just Google “free icons” and search pre-made options you can easily download and use.



6. Tag Larger Accounts in Your Stories to Attract Re-Shares

There is a major trend among brands to re-share Stories that have them tagged in them. They like to show their followers that they are popular. Smart marketers have caught on and are now tagging larger accounts that are relevant and have an audience they want to get in front.

You want to only tag one large account or brand — if you just tag a bunch of random ones you aren’t going to get any re-shares. Create Stories based on who you are tagging to make it appear authentic. If they feel it’s just a play to get a share they aren’t going to repurpose your Story.

Get creative. Think beyond just your niche also. For example, if you are out to eat, post a Story, and tag the restaurant saying how amazing it was. The same applies to a resort. They will love the praise and want to show their followers that their customers love them. The more eyeballs on your profile the better.


7. Post Daily Stories and Reels to Attract Organic Views

Stories have been a great way to attract organic views for a while as Instagram started to show them more in the Explore feed. Now that they have copied TikTok and introduced Reels, they are quickly becoming the easiest way to grow your following on Instagram.

Why? Because Instagram is showing them in Explore, and using the right hashtags can get your Reels to go viral, even with a very small following. I’ve seen Reels on Instagram with 1.1 million views and the account that posted it had 5,000 followers.

This isn’t going to last forever, but while there the opportunity to capitalize on it go for it. It’s no secret that Instagram wants to take back the users that got hooked on TikTok. What better way than simply copying TikTok and having it as a feature within the Instagram app. Now users don’t have a reason to ever leave the app.


8. “Like” Posts from 100 of Your Competitors’ Followers Daily

The average social media users love attention — it’s why they are addicted to Instagram in the first place. “Likes” give them a sense of self-worth, so by showing a little love you can attract followers.

Dedicated just 10 minutes a day to like a few pictures from accounts that follow your competition or similar accounts you want to mimic in terms of followers. When you do this, these people notice a new account has liked a few of their posts. Curiosity gets the best of them and they will clock over to your profile.

If you’ve done everything laid out in this post you will see a high percentage of those people follow you. They almost feel obligated, knowing you took the time to like their content. Consistency is the key here. This gets you real followers with minimal work. So many people try to take the shortcut and they buy followers. These bot followers kill their engagement rate and make the account look fake.

Put in the work — you can implement this tip in less than 10 minutes each day.


9. Use Location Tags in All Posts

When the average user searches on Instagram they tend to use the “Tags” and “Places” option the most. Anytime you are posting content tag your location. If you are out to eat somewhere and you are posting pictures on your meal (seems to be the most popular post aside from Instagram models’ selfies) tag the restaurant.

Why? Because when other people are there they will often pull up Instagram and find the establishment via the “Places” search and look at the content tagged — both most popular and most recent.

This is an easy way to get more people to see your posts and click-over to check out your Instagram profile. Also, when traveling tag airports — this gets your post in front of thousands of bored travelers killing time by aimlessly searching Instagram. This is probably the most lucrative “Places” hack I’ve seen — give it a try.


10. Use CTAs in Your Posts Encouraging Tags

Who are some of the easiest people to get to follow your Instagram account? Your followers’ followers. Why? Because if they see their friend is following your account they are less likely to question it and just hit the ‘follow’ button themselves.

People have FOMO — so leverage that. You can do this in a non-spammy way as well. If you are posting a picture of some incredible sunset you can end the caption with “…who would you like to be here with?” and watch how many of your followers will comment just to tag someone.

This is a great hack to help increase the number of comments each post attracts as well. Or, if you are traveling and post a picture from the airport a simple “…if you had two round trip tickets to anywhere in the world who are you taking?” will see a flood of comment all containing tags.

This gets your Instagram seen by people who you share a mutual connection with. These people have a high probability of following you as well without having to ask them or pester them. Followers gained this way also have the highest stick rate.



11. Participate in Giveaways

Ok, so this is a bonus tip. All of the previous tips can be done with just a little elbow grease and your time — there is no cost. This one, however, isn’t free, but it’s very effective currently. You might have seen giveaways on large influencer accounts. The Kardashians are notorious for doing these.

They post offering a huge prize (usually cash and designer clothing and accessories) and all you have to do to enter is follow all of the accounts they follow. The more elaborate the prize, the more accounts that a contestant is required to follow.

For example, the Kardashian giveaways usually have 100 accounts to follow and cost anywhere from $12,000 to $20,000 to participate. It’s possible to gain anywhere from 80,000 to 120,000+ followers. While some will fall off, many of them will stick, especially if you have a strong profile.

Those large giveaways are priced out of most budgets, but the trend has trickled down and many smaller micro-influencers are doing these now. I’ve seen some priced as low as $500 to $1,000 and the gain can be 20,000 followers.

While they aren’t always highly targeted they are real, and if you are looking for rapid growth this is one strategy that will work if you are willing to spend the money.


Final Thoughts

It doesn’t matter if you own a local restaurant or have an eCommerce store that sells clothing — Instagram can help you place your brand and its offers directly in front of customers that have an interest in what you sell.

There is a large audience available, and that translates into a lot of competition for that attention. But, there are little things you can do, as mentioned above, that can help you attract followers that will engage with your account and can be later converted into customers.

Instagram has been a leader for a while now, and when Snapchat became popular we saw Instagram release Stories, which copied Snapchat and made them irrelevant. Now, with its new Reels feature, which is a copy of TikTok, look for Instagram to grow even more in popularity and use.

Do you have any questions about marketing your business using Instagram? If so, drop a comment below and I will do my best to answer it and help you leverage the platform. Instagram is something every business should be using to attract customers and users — including yours.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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