How to Grow Your Instagram Followers

Is your Instagram account growing as fast as it should? Here are unique ways to grow your Instagram followers.

Instagram is a network in which many users haven’t determined how to build their brands. Each day Instagram user growth increases as people look to be visually stimulated by images posted within the network.

But, more importantly, brands are seeing the value of an Instagram presence. So, If you have a brand–for your organization or yourself–attributing Instagram to your business goals starts with building a large following.

Now here are some tactics I use to build my following. I tried thinking of all the cliche statements to drive my point home. I hope you enjoy…

How to Grow Your Instagram Followers


If You Build It, They Will Come

The first, and most obvious, step is to build your Instagram account so that it contains all the necessary elements to attract users. For instance, you should have a nice profile photo. I suggest you avoid using a brand logo as it may be a turnoff to potential followers. No one wants to see your brand’s product photos infiltrating their timeline.

Don’t you agree?

By having a brand logo as your profile pic, you convey that your brand message is more important than posting relatable content.


You Get Out What You Put In

I love this cliche because it’s true in life, digital marketing, and when you’re trying to understand how to grow your Instagram followers. In short, you must engage with other Instagram accounts to be successful. Like Twitter, you can follow as many people as you like as long as it’s within the Instagram terms.

I suggest following people within your industry, target audience, or anyone you consider an influencer. Once you engage with these people, the activity will be displayed under the apps “FOLLOWING” tab.

Often simply following someone will create a reciprocal follow.

Also, I would be mindful of who you follow as there are many accounts that post questionable content. If you are not selective during this process, you can end up with all kinds if craziness on your timeline.

It can make you nervous every time you scroll through your timeline. It’s like opening up Pandora’s box right before an office meeting, on your commute home, or waiting in line at the DMV. You never know what you’re going to get. So, be mindful of who you follow on Instagram. You never really know what they are capable of posting.

Leave No Stone Unturned

Another great way to grow your Instagram followers is to promote your account on every touch point that your customers will see. Leave no stone unturned. Place it on your website, your Facebook page, Twitter account, business cards, brochures, and letterhead.  Heck, get a neck tattoo! Do whatever it takes to let people know about your account.


Now that I think about it, maybe the neck tattoo is a bit much. I think we can agree on that.

Hashtag Marketing

If you want to grow your Instagram followers you MUST use hashtags. I cannot stress the importance of using hashtags on Instagram. Although hashtags gained popularity on Twitter and have completely shaped the way users converse online, it still has a more profound effect on Instagram.

On Twitter hashtags are used to categorize topics of interest and users can participate in these conversations via hashtags. Now here’s what’s different about Instagram:

Users use hashtags on Instagram like file folders on their computer.

They can view images based on all types of criteria such as a specific location, type of food, or color. They are not using the hashtag to participate in conversations, per se. Instagram users find images most relevant to their search via hashtags on the app.

For instance, if a user wants to search for photos about content marketing, they may use #contentmarketing #cmw #cmworld to view images around that topic. You can do the same with any topic of your choosing.

To grow your Instagram followers, here’s how you can use this to your advantage:

Include those relevant hashtags when posting images. It’s just that simple!

You can choose to use one or all relevant hashtags to ensure your content reaches your audience and vice-versa. When others search the same hashtag, your content will then be featured too.

Here’s an example of how my post was included in the #cmw hashtag:


Build A Hashtag

Another great way to grow your Instagram following is to create your own hashtag. By doing so, you will increase exposure every time a user includes the hashtag in your post.

For instance, if you have a question you want me to answer, you can post the question as an Instagram video, and include the #ASKJUNTAE.


Once this is posted, I can respond to the question and everyone following the user will notice my hashtag and eventually my Instagram account. Not to mention the user will also get her question answered.

It’s a win-win.

Hashtag Mojo

Leveraging popular hashtags will also help grow your Instagram followers. This tactic is just like participating in a popular conversation. Potential followers are more likely to follow your account if you have something interesting to contribute.

Here’s an example of my contribution to a popular hashtag that’s usually posted on Thursdays: #TBT for Throwback Thursdays. People use this hashtag when posting an image from the past.

On one Thursday, I posted an old picture of me doing an interview with football Hall of Fame member Tim Brown. As you can imagine, I gained plenty of Raider followers from this post as well.


Tag! You’re it!

You can also use tagging to grow your Instagram followers. As you post images, involve your community by suggesting they tag a friend that may like your post. When tagging a friend, both the tagger and their friend will help to broaden your reach and ideally gain more followers. You may also want to reward people with a comment, a like or even a surprise ‘gift’ for their efforts.

Here’s an example of how I was able to activate my following by posting a thought-provoking quote:


Since posting quotes are a popular trend on Instagram, asking users to tag a friend naturally increases engagement and eventually new followers.

Final Thoughts

To grow your Instagram followers, it takes strategy and patience. If you execute some of the suggested tactics in this post, you’re more likely to reach your engagement and following goals. Like any other social network, it begins with you actively posting on Instagram and engaging your audience.

Are you tracking your Instagram follower growth? If so, what tactic worked best?



Image Credit:

Header: Shutterstock
Instagram Tatoo:

Written by
Juntae DeLane

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