What started as a social media platform has evolved into one of the most powerful marketing tools for businesses around the world. Instagram is home to more than 1.21 billion users. This means the right Instagram strategies can help your brand reach millions of potential customers and skyrocket your business’s revenue, as very few things can.
Sure, Instagram is a sea of amazing opportunities, but it also tags along with extreme, cut-throat competition. Growing on Instagram isn’t as easy as it once was. If you want to know how to increase Instagram followers and overtake your competitors, this guide is for you.
Today, we will share 15 brilliant hacks to supercharge your Instagram marketing game and grow your followers steadily (or rapidly) over time, so make sure you read this article until the end.
How to Grow Your Instagram Followers: 15 Ideas for 2023
Here is a list of the top 15 methods you must adopt now to grow your follower count on Instagram:
- Pick a User-friendly Username
- Optimize Your Bio
- Post Consistently
- Tap Into Trends
- Collaborate With Other Creators
- Stick to a Niche
- Avoid Fake Followers
- Post Shareable Content
- Switch to a Business Profile
- Cross-Promote Your Account
- Focus on Instagram SEO
- Run Contests & Giveaways
- Use Instagram Ads
- Engage With Your Followers
- Post What Your Audience Wants
We understand that a list of 15 can be pretty overwhelming, especially if all of them are equally adept methods, but the good news is that you can execute all the aforementioned tactics using a single too, i.e., Eclincher. It has a comprehensive range of features, perfectly capable of catering to all needs associated with increasing social media visibility.
How to Grow Your Instagram Followers: 15 Proven Methods
It’s time to dive into the details! In this section, we will discuss all the 15 Instagram tips to give your Instagram follower count graph an exponential arc in detail, explaining all the ins and outs of the strategies and areas you must be careful about.
1. Pick a User-friendly Username
Only a handful of users will follow you immediately after finding out about you. Most of the time, it will take a couple of tries for a user to start following your account.
However, for that to happen, you need to have a username that is easy to remember and looks legit. Imagine finally convincing a user to follow you, but the moment they look you up, they realize they don’t remember your username!
Complex usernames with lots of special characters and numbers are hard to remember. It also makes your account look slightly unprofessional because usually, it is the fake, copied accounts that load their username with special characters and numbers to replicate the original creator.
Also, having a user-friendly username makes it easier for you to gain followers through referrals and recommendations. People who hear about your content through a friend or acquaintance will never be able to find your account online if it isn’t easy to spell out.
Let’s take an example: if you look up the brand “Zara” online, you will see their Instagram handle is the same as the brand name with no extra characters on numbers. Needless to say, it’s pretty easy to remember, and there are almost zero chances of making a typing mistake.
On the other hand, if you scroll down, you’ll find plenty of other user names like “zara_roy_official05” and “makeup_by_zaara01”. Despite being growing influencers, none of these names is user-friendly and, thus, won’t attract a quality and massive audience.
2. Optimize Your Bio
It goes without saying that you must give your users a reason to follow you. Sometimes, when a user goes through your account or content by searching for it on the Instagram explore page, the algorithm will automatically show your future content on their feed.
This way, they will keep getting bits of your brand even without following you. But if you want them onboard as a new follower, you need to show them what more you can offer and why they should be one of the first ones to see it.
Your first chance to impress new users is through your bio. It is your best shot at communicating what your brand is all about and what you offer in a few catchy words.
It’s important to keep your Instagram bio short, crisp, and customer-centric. Do not boast; instead, show how your customers can benefit from your offering.
Wondering how to increase Instagram followers for business? Let’s take an example: Maybelline’s bio reads that its products are sustainable and free of animal cruelty. Now, if you are a potential customer with a firm belief in animal rights, this one sentence might turn you into a follower.
Let’s face it, almost every other beauty brand has the same products to offer, yet Maybelline stands out with animal cruelty-free products; and how did a customer learn about it? Via a bio!
3. Post Consistently
As we talked about before, only a few users will hit the Follow button the first time they come across your account and content. For the rest and the majority of them, you have to keep posting consistently and make your brand a part of their lives.
Instagram has thousands of creators and brands posting every second of the day. Netizens these days have a limited attention span, and on top of that, you have algorithms fighting for it from all corners, be it YouTube, Snapchat, or Tik Tok.
Hence, only consistent efforts to build a relationship with the customer will eventually turn them into loyal followers. Keep posting content your audience will appreciate and give them a taste of your unique style. Once they recognize you as one of the best in your niche, they will follow you.
For example, electronics brands like Apple or Xiaomi post once every day or every other day. On the other hand, companies like Cosmopolitan and Elle, which are mainly content-based, post multiple times a day.
Depending on your brand and industry, you have to find the sweet spot of posting frequency. As important as it is to post regularly, going overboard might annoy your users and make them restrict or unfollow your account.
The best way to ensure you don’t disrupt a regular posting schedule is by signing up with an Instagram scheduler app, such as Eclincher. Its bulk posting and auto posting features are perfect solutions for individuals who might not have the time to regularly update their Instagram feed manually.
4. Tap Into Trends
It’s no secret that the best way to grab attention and meet a wider audience is to tap into trends. Instagram is popular for a) inventing trends and b) stirring them and — there’s no better way to put it — ‘making a big deal out of them,’ especially in the reels section where single trending audio can give you instant access to millions of users.
There are many reasons to follow a trend on Instagram. For starters, if audio is trending on Instagram reels, it means the social media giant will itself push any content published with that audio. This means your content will be promoted without any extra effort or investment from your end.
Another reason to be a part of Instagram trends is a simple fact that your audience likes it. As a marketer, one of your primary jobs is to find out what your users might like. Trends minimize your struggle as you would be hopping on popularly-loved content with little to no chances of failure.
One of the most important things to take care of while tapping into a trend is timing your content right. Here again, you have to hit the sweet spot. If you are too early, you will neither get the boost from Instagram nor be a part of the hype.
On the contrary, if you are too late to the trend, chances are that the audience would already have been bored of posts belonging to that particular trend, and the whole strategy might backfire.
5. Collaborate With Other Creators
Whatever social media platform you are on, collaborating with other creators will never not be a go-to strategy to increase your follower count. The biggest reason for collaborating with others is that no matter how much your brand grows, there will always be a certain section of the audience you are yet to reach.
So, instead of wasting your time reaching out to every last user from your target audience, tap into the audience of other collaborators. The way you choose to collaborate with other creators and brands depends on the kind of service offering.
For example, if you are a brand, you can hire influencers to promote your products and services on their account or simply give a face to your social media ad campaign. Either way, you will be improving your brand’s value and reaching out to a whole new section of users, courtesy of the influencer.
On the other hand, if you are a creator yourself, you might want to co-create content and post it on both accounts. This will help you trade audience reach, benefiting both parties at a minimal cost.
However, you must keep in mind while collaborating with others that you should only work with influencers and personalities from your field; otherwise, the attempt to reach a new audience reach will be futile, and even if successful, it won’t be sustainable since the audience was never interested or belonged to your niche, to begin with.
6. Stick to a Niche
Let’s take the example of a few popular content creators, starting with Khaby Lame, who gained massive popularity on Tik Tok and Instagram shortly after he started creating videos during the lockdown. All of Khaby’s videos had a similar approach where he picked up videos where the original created something ignorant, and he acted out the same sequence with an easier solution and in a sarcastic tone — the highlight!
Similarly, if you look at brands like Tinder, you will find that they are constantly putting out relatable dating memes on their Instagram page.
As you can see, in both these cases, the creator (or the brand Tinder) has chosen a particular way to approach their audience, and they stick to it. Now, if they decide to mix it up, they might lose their individuality and be lost in the crowd of hundreds of other brands doing the same thing.
So, the key to making it big on Instagram is to create a niche for yourself that makes you distinguishable and recognizable.
7. Avoid Fake Followers
The most straightforward answer to ‘How to increase real followers on Instagram?’ is to avoid the fake ones. You must be aware of the notion that the more followers you have, the more likely people are to trust you. This makes it tempting for new brands to buy fake followers and use them to lure in new, real followers.
While fake followers might make your profile look pretty at the outset, they do more harm than good in the long run.
Firstly, if Instagram gets a sniff that you are buying fake followers, they might punish you by locking your account or limiting your reach.
Secondly, fake followers do not engage with your account. Even if you have a high follower count, the engagement on new posts will be negligible when you MUST get maximum engagement for your Instagram captions, reels, stories, etc. This will unveil your secret to real users who will be able to call out your plot easily, which might ruin your chances of getting into their good books ever again.
Also, Instagram algorithms boost posts that are already performing well. This means the more engagement your post gets, the more Instagram will push it to newer audiences.
Now, if your followers do not engage with your content, your engagement ratio will drastically drop, telling Instagram that your content is not worth pushing. From then on, none of your posts will get a natural boost.
8. Post Shareable Content
If you want to skyrocket your follower base’s growth, you must focus on turning your existing followers into loyal promoters. The goal is not only to reach individual feeds but also to reach out to their friends, acquaintances, and contacts through shares, either personal DMs or stories. This is one of the best solutions to the query: How to organically grow your Instagram followers?
For example, let’s say your content isn’t shareable and you reach 16k people; the life of that post will end then and there. On the other hand, if you have shareable content, some of those 16K users might reshare it on their stories or DMs too.
Even if half of them reshare your post and if each of them has at least 100 followers, your total reach instantly goes over 800k. This is why we can see brands creating relatable memes and reels instead of regular product and service images.
Also, you must ensure the quality of your posts stay intact, if not improve, throughout your journey. And you will have enough time to tend to quality content creation only when you are following a predecided content plan. The best way to both create and stick to an impeccable content upload plan is to use Eclincher’s Visual Calendar.
9. Switch to a Business Profile
For a brand or creator to get overnight success on Instagram is a white swan event. Generally, it’s a long game played with multiple marketing strategies and understanding your customer base over time.
The first step towards growing your Instagram follower base is to understand what your target audience likes and dislikes, which is why it’s indispensable for you to switch to a business profile.
An Instagram business profile gives you detailed insights on every individual post as well as for your entire account. It shows the number of people seeing your post versus the number of people engaging with it. It also shares the user’s gender, age, and location so you can create content according to their preferences.
A business account on Instagram also gives you access to premium business features like Instagram ads and promoted posts. Also, in case you weren’t already aware, the best way to increase your reach on IG is through promotions, which can only be created through business accounts.
Another benefit of having a business profile on Instagram is clickable links on stories. Instagram is infamous for not letting users share links, be it on stories or posts. By adding links to your Instagram stories, you can redirect the traffic to your blog or website instead of limiting audience connection and interaction to Instagram alone.
10. Cross-Promote Your Account
It’s ill-advised to limit yourself to one platform. Promote your Instagram handle on all the other platforms you are active on to tap into different sections of your target audience.
For example, if you have a website, you can display your Instagram posts in a carousel under each blog. This will not only keep your website visitors hooked to your site for a long time but will also give your Instagram account additional exposure.
Similarly, you will find a lot of brands using video content marketing to promote their services on YouTube often display their social media handles in the description box as well as in the video. The rule is pretty simple here: the more exposure your Instagram handle gets, the higher your follower count will be.
11. Focus on Instagram SEO
Yes, you read that right! Just like Google and other search engines, Instagram also has its own algorithm, which can be manipulated into your favor through search engine optimization.
The first thing you need to do to grow as a brand on Instagram is to make sure your account is searchable. Unlike popular brands like Apple or Nike, small businesses should try to incorporate their primary keyword in their username or bio. This will make their accounts pop up whenever someone searches for content related to their industry.
Also, as a beginner, when you do not have as many followers as you would like on your own, your best bet is to get under the “explore” tab to reach out to new audiences. To do so, make sure you use appropriate hashtags. Use a blend of popular keywords with a broader reach and not-so-popular keywords with less competition to reach the maximum number of new users.
The most significant SEO factor on Instagram is user retention. As long as your posts can retain users on Instagram, it will keep boosting your content. So make sure your content is designed in a way that encourages people to react, engage and share.
12. Run Contests & Giveaways
There are fewer better ways to get people to follow your account than incentivizing them. There are a lot of businesses and creators online these days, implying that it’s only getting tougher to find a niche that no one else is catering to. If you are struggling to find a USP that will give you an edge over your competitors, running contests and hosting giveaways is a great start.
For example, if you have a beauty brand, you can create a campaign offering face masks and serum to the top five lucky winners. Usually, brands impose a condition wherein the participants have to follow them first to enter the giveaway officially.
There are three ways you will benefit from organizing giveaways. First, you will get tons of new followers on Instagram hoping to win a free gift. Even if they don’t win, they might still follow you as long as your content is aligned with their preferences.
Secondly, you can also ask participants to tag their friends, exposing you to an even wider range of audiences.
Also, if your product is really that good, the winners might continue to shop from your brand and recommend it even after the giveaway is over.
13. Use Instagram Ads
With thousands of brands and content creators online, it’s quite challenging to come up with unique strategies that no one else is already using. Every brand out there is constantly optimizing its Instagram profile, posts, and tricks to bag the maximum number of followers it can. Hence, sometimes you need an extra push from Instagram itself through Instagram ads.
The best thing about Instagram ads is that they give you an expected return on your investment. This helps you plan your ad budget in a way that aligns with your goals.
You don’t simply have to rely on Instagram’s native advertising to promote your brand; you can also opt for other forms of promotion like collaboration and influencer marketing.
Also, there are many meme pages (yes, we cannot discount those) and digital magazines with millions in reach, offering ad slots to growing brands.
If this is your first time using Instagram advertisements, it’s best to choose the native promotion system, which gives you greater flexibility in choosing who you want your ads to reach.
That said, Instagram ads are a paid solution to the ‘How to increase my Instagram followers?’ trouble. Do you want to know how to grow your Instagram followers for free? Try Facebook’s Creator Studio.
14. Engage With Your Followers
Your customers do not want to engage with a silent brand that does not respond to any of their concerns or questions. While it is certainly impossible to reply to hundreds of comments, make sure you engage with at least the first few relevant ones.
For example, if you post your product and someone comments on a query related to the price feature or availability, make sure you get back to them on the comment before you DM them.
Similarly, if someone leaves a negative comment on your post, reply to them publicly in the comment section, clearing the air around the issue and reinstating customer belief in your brand.
You have to understand that customers heavily rely on the reviews and experiences of fellow users before deciding to do business with your brand. So, if a customer comes across a comment where you have not responded to a user’s queries, they will perceive you as an unresponsive brand that does not bother reaching out to its customers.
Similarly, if a customer comes across a negative review and sees you have taken no action or even justified yourself, it will be a little hard for them to trust you, and understandably so.
Engaging with your followers is also a great way to build personalized, long-term relationships, which will ultimately improve your customer retention rate.
Does an Inbox Management feature wherein all customer conversations are directed to a single inbox sound appealing? Surely, it does! Sign up with Eclincher to get your hands on this feature now.
15. Post What Your Audience Wants
The moment you convert your Instagram account from personal to business, you need to give up thinking about what YOU want and focus on what your users expect from you. Posting what your target audience wants is the only sure-shot way to grow on Instagram and quickly.
The easiest way to understand your target audience’s preferences is by analyzing the engagement you get with your existing posts. Check your Instagram analytics and see what kind of posts are driving the most attention and what posts are failing to catch eyeballs.
You might also see brands and content creators posting polls on Instagram stories, asking the kind of content their followers want to see. This is an underrated but effective tactic. Sometimes, your followers will pour their hearts out and share their opinion and content requests in the comments. Listen to your followers, engage with them and see what is trending to find the perfect content for your brand.
How to Increase Instagram Followers: Comparison Table
The following table is a summarized version of all the 15 methods discussed in detail above. We have compared all the tips across relevant parameters like effectiveness, whether or not they are free or require using tools and the duration of their application.
|Tip||Effectiveness||Free/Paid||With or Without Tools||Long-term/Short-term|
|User-friendly Username||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Free||Without tools||Long-term|
|Optimized Bio||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Free||Without tools||Long-term|
|Post Consistency||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Free||With or without tools||Long-term|
|Instagram Trends||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Free||Without tools||Short-term|
|Collaborate with Other Creators||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Both free and paid||With or without tools||Short-term|
|Stick to a Niche||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Free||Without tools||Long-term|
|Avoid Fake Followers||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Free||With or without tools||Short-term|
|Post Shareable Content||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Free||Without tools||Long-term|
|Switch to Business Profile||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Free||Without tools||Long-term|
|Cross Promotion||⭐⭐⭐||Free||With or without tools||Long-term|
|Instagram SEO||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Free||With or without tools||Long-term|
|Contests & Giveaways||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Paid||With or without tools||Short-term|
|Use Instagram Ads||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Paid||With tools||Short-term|
|Engage with followers||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Free||With or without tools||Long-term|
|Post What Your Users Want||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Free||Long-term|
Conclusion: How to Increase Instagram Followers
We hope you now have a comprehensive answer to how to increase Instagram followers. It takes practice, consistent efforts, and patience to grow your followers on Instagram. There is no universal trick that works for everyone the same way. You need to keep testing and see what works best for you.
But rest assured, as, with the 15 tricks mentioned above, you can cut through most of the initial struggles.
To get a headstart, pair your Instagram marketing strategies with Eclincher, a leading social media marketing tool. With access to the best premium features and unlimited support from the Eclincher team, none can stop your business from growing at a breakneck speed. You will get a visual calendar at your disposal for keeping your team members up to date and in sync with the upcoming posts and their timelines. What’s more, facilities like bulk posting and inbox management will see you through most difficulties associated with scheduling posts on a dynamic platform such as Instagram.
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