When you’re just starting an online business, it can be exciting to imagine how you can successfully sell your product through Instagram … once you’ve built a following.
But the truth is, your first 10,000 Instagram followers are the hardest to get. Why? No one knows who you are yet.
You’ve still got to prove yourself as a successful brand and influencer. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
If you follow this guide on how to get followers on Instagram, you could hit 10,000 Instagram followers in as little as six months. No jokes or tricks!
Read on to learn how to increase Instagram followers in 2021. And if you want to build a killer Instagram strategy, don't forget to check out for our newest Instagram course.
Our Instagram course helps you build your Instagram account from scratch, give your audience the content they want to see, AND get sales.Build a killer Instagram strategy
How to Get More Followers on Instagram
#1. Get Instagram Followers by Joining Instagram Engagement Groups
Ever wondered what people who get Instagram followers fast do differently?
They join engagement groups (aka. Instagram pods).
While it can be tempting to join the biggest Instagram engagement groups, the truth is you’ll get a more targeted list of Instagram followers by sticking to your niche.
This tactic is best for entrepreneurs just starting to learn how to get followers on Instagram.
You can find engagement groups for travel, beauty, fashion and more.
In these groups, you can get followers and likes from people who have shared interests.
But if you’re serious about getting their attention, you should also return the favor by following fan pages for people who join the group.
I’ve had friends get 2,000 new followers in only a couple weeks using this strategy.
While it might not help with immediate sales, it helps you gain credibility early on so your Instagram page doesn’t show that you only have a handful of followers.
Remember, this is more of a short-term strategy for your first few weeks on Instagram, not a long-term one for getting loyal Instagram followers.
You can learn other awesome Instagram tricks like this one in our free Instagram course.
#2. Repost Others’ Content to Get Free Instagram Followers
When I was starting out with social media marketing and building my store’s Instagram following, my entire posting strategy revolved around reposting other people’s content.
While doing this, I made sure to credit the original poster in my descriptions, every time. It’s the only way to gain free followers without getting flagged.
When I first started, I’d take screenshots and add the pictures to my Instagram. What really helped my page take off was the Repost app. It allowed me to start reposting video content on Instagram.
One of the biggest home runs I had was when I re-posted a video that amassed 52,862 views, got 1264 comments and 9,147 likes. At the time, I didn’t even have 10,000 followers so this was a big freaking deal. The best part? I didn’t run ads or anything. I got Instagram followers free.
Why’d I repost other people’s content instead of posting my own?
Because I knew that it was easier to repost content. Plus, my visual and video content would never be as good as someone else’s. Hey, at least I’m honest about it!
How did I know what to repost? I’d peek at the numbers.
Hashtags are a great way to get new followers. I was pretty active on Instagram so I’d browse the list of hashtags I came up with and used daily to find the top performing posts that weren’t posted by other fan pages (so not my competitors) but by individual people.
I’d then watch the videos and look at the pictures to see which ones I had the biggest reactions to. If I felt the urge to share someone else’s post, I knew I had to repost it onto my page.
So if you’re just learning how to get followers on Instagram, this high-impact strategy is simple enough for a beginner.
Important: Instagram has now updated their policy and you’re required to ask for permission before reposting.
#3. Get Featured on Buzzfeed to Grow Your Instagram Followers
To get that Instagram followers boost, you need to find a way to tap into a massive audience. And no one embeds Instagram posts into their content as much as Buzzfeed.
A Buzzfeed staff member wrote an article about how she grew her personal brand as an Instagram influencer. She currently has almost 10,400 followers, but the article she wrote on the platform might’ve helped.
So if you want to experiment with Buzzfeed, head over to its Community section where anyone can post their own content onto their platform.
Of course, you’ll need to follow their guidelines to get visibility and build trust.
Is Buzzfeed not right for your niche? That’s cool. You can also use a tool called HARO where you get emails three times a day filled with requests from reporters who’re looking to get content and expert quotes for their stories.
Most HARO reporters allow a website link and social links. So you can hit two birds with one stone by including a link to your store and Instagram account.
When you’re just starting out, getting followers on Instagram will be a lot easier with customer photos in your feed. Why? It helps increase social proof.
If you’ve never had a customer before, reach out to influencers in your niche with under 5,000 followers. I know the number seems low but influencers with few followers on Instagram want to monetize their accounts and will be willing to take pictures with your products at a much lower rate.
You can also offer them an affiliate deal where they’ll get a commission for every sale they score with their customer referral link.
If you’ve already had a couple of sales, reach out to customers and offer a free gift or cash incentive for taking quality images with the product they purchased.
Offering incentives isn’t going to be your long-term strategy but for the short-term, while you try to build your brand, this can help you grow.
As more customers start seeing customer photos on your Instagram, they’ll naturally start tagging you in posts when they receive their products.
In a nutshell, if you comment on customers’ posts, repost their content and follow them, you’ll likely get them to follow you back.
Though some will follow you after tagging you in their post on their own. Get that word-of-mouth going!
#5. Gain Instagram Followers by Having a Consistent Style
I know this sounds like one of those ‘blah, blah, blah’ ways to gain followers on Instagram. But it isn’t.
Here’s why: people don’t follow you because of the content you’ve posted but because of what they think the future content you’ll post will be like.
Say you have a corgi fan page, every day you post cute corgi pictures and videos without fail.
If Instagram users keep seeing your posts,they’ll eventually realize that you always post the cutest corgi content.
So they follow you with the expectation that your account will always be more of the same type of content.
Having a consistent style or theme is more than just a branding play, it’s about creating an expectation for your Instagram account that your followers or potential followers can count on. They want to see more of the same type of content, every day.
If you can maintain that consistency with every post, you’ll gain followers on Instagram fast while fostering confidence and trust in your brand.
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#6. Use Hashtags to Get Followers on Instagram
Many experts will tell you to only use 5 or 11 hashtags or some other arbitrary numbers. But when I was building my store’s Instagram account, I ignored their advice and ran wild with it.
I’d copy and paste a list of hashtags from my phone onto my app. Then, I’d sometimes switch it up to try different hashtags. And eventually, I figured out which ones were right for my brand.
Usually, I’d go as close to or right to the max number of hashtags possible — 30. That’s the magic number.
Truth is, you add all those hashtags in the first comment. And as your page engagement grows, no one will ever see the first comment because they’re too busy tagging their friends in your post.
Sure, when you’re starting out people might see it. But if the goal is to increase visibility, the easiest way to do it is to add more hashtags. As you gain followers, your posts will rank higher for those hashtag keywords, giving you even more visibility.
If your hashtags are niche specific, you’ll increase your likelihood of being found by a relevant audience, which will help you grow your followers on Instagram as well.
So avoid generic hashtags like #love or #picoftheday if you’re selling fashion, for example.
#7. Use Location Tags to Get Followers from Your Vicinity
Did you know that it’s possible to make your Instagram Stories and posts discoverable by tagging your location? The “location tag” reveals the city you’re in or the venue where the video or the image was captured. Plus, it allows your posts to be categorized with all content tagged for that specific vicinity.
So if you’re a local business, you can use these geotags to make it easier for people to find and follow your Instagram account. Locations also have their own distinct feed, Story, and hashtags – you can contribute to these by using a location sticker in your own Stories.
#8. Embed Your IG Feed On Your Blog to Grow Instagram Followers
If you have your own personal or business blog, you can embed your Instagram pictures on your website. Don’t forget to follow Oberlo on Instagram while you’re at it!
Say you have a fashion accessories blog. You might write a blog post about the best accessories men should include in their fashion list . You can choose posts from Instagram featuring standalone images of your products or a curated visual of items that pair well together.
You’d then go onto the Instagram website on your desktop, go to your page, click the post, click the ‘…’ icon and click Embed. Then you copy that link into your blog post’s code section.
Over time, more people will be visiting your blog and will be more likely to check out your Instagram account too.
I know that this is more of a long-term game. Especially if you’re not getting traffic today. But adding your Instagram posts right from the beginning gives you a higher chance of visibility.
Start doing this, and six months from now, you should really start seeing massive returns.
#9. Follow People Who Like Competing Instagram Pages
To get that Instagram followers increase, you need to find people who follow brands.
Who are your biggest competitors on Instagram? Note them down. Then, browse their posts to see who’s commenting on their posts. Follow them and engage with them.
Keep in mind that when choosing competitors on Instagram, it’s better to go for the smaller brands.
Why? Because if you were selling makeup brushes and trying to engage people who comment on Sephora, there’s a good chance that they’re not the right audience despite being in a similar niche. Bigger brands tend to have more customer loyalty.
However, if you have a competitor who has 100,000 followers on their account, they may not be as loyal to that brand.
When commenting on posts of those you follow, try to not sound salesy
And never use the same comment for every person you message.
If they ask a question on their post, give them an answer.
You can also look at the types of comments others are posting for ideas and inspo..
As you keep following and engaging with people, you’ll start to build Instagram followers organically.
#10. Work With Influencers to Get More Insta Followers
Another way to increase Instagram followers is by getting an Instagram shoutout for having an influencer do an account takeover.
If an influencer has a loyal following, they can give you a shoutout that’ll result in new followers for your account and possibly a few sales.
Be sure to write up a contract that prohibits the influencer from sending fake traffic.
We once worked with an influencer who gave us a shoutout and the result was 2,000 non active Instagram followers on our account. It was obvious she used a bot.
When you get a sudden rush of fake followers on Instagram, you risk getting your account banned. No one wants that.
If you’re looking for a way to get real Instagram followers, ask the influencer you work with to do an account takeover on your Instagram Stories. This way, people will have to follow your page to view the story. Make sure to ask them to inform their audience a few days in advance.
#11. Host Giveaways to Build Your Instagram Followers
Hosting giveaways is another effective way to get followers on Instagram .
If you host giveaways on your website and provide visitors with an option to follow you on Instagram and other social networks, you’ll have a much bigger reach.
If your audience size is small, you can post your giveaway in certainFacebook groups. Getting featured on giveaway blogs might also help spread the word about your promotion
When I first started working in marketing, I’d reach out to giveaway blogs. I’d send them some free products in exchange for a review post.
Most agreed to it for the free product though some did ask for payment as well. They’d do a product review post filled with pictures and their experiences with the product.
In the end, their audience would enter to win the product under the condition that we send that customer the product. The result? Hundreds of new followers on all our social accounts.
This is a great way to get new IG followers if you don’t have an audience. But it might not be as targeted than if you were to host a giveaway on a relevant niche blog.
If you’re just starting out, giveaways can help you get more followers on Instagram. However, if you do them too often, you might not get the type of audience you want.
If your goal is to get sales, giveaways won’t necessarily help you get more of them. But if you’re only looking to get Instagram followers fast, this strategy can work quite well.
#12. Organically Grow Your Instagram Following Via Partnerships
If you’re just learning how to get followers on Instagram, it might be best to partner with another brand. This can be a quick way to grow your follower base organically.
A trick I learned while working on my case study was to take my own product photos. Instead of reposting other people’s content, other brands reposted one of my photos crediting me. One of them had nearly 300k followers, so I ended up getting a few new Instagram followers from their audience.
I didn’t have to do any upfront work aside from taking my own photos. I didn’t even have to reach out to get new followers on Instagram. They reached out to me. And they weren’t the only brand to do so.
#13. Create Instagram Guides That Attract New Followers to Your Account
Instagram Guides are a new way to share educational and fun content with your followers. The content format gives users a simpler way to consume useful tips and recommendations. In an IG Guide, you can add an introduction, title, text, headers, and even curate videos and images (that you’ve published on your feed).
You can create a Guide about:
- A place – review a city, sports venue, exotic location, etc.
- A product – offer guidance on the products available in your Instagram Shop
- A post – curate a thread of your existing posts with headlines and commentary
To get started, click the plus symbol in the upper right corner of your Instagram profile, choose Guide, and tap the appropriate option.
Instagram allows users to share Guides in DMs and across Stories, so if you manage to publish a few high-quality Guides, those who see them will be naturally inclined to share them with their social circle.
And because the Instagram algorithm favors posts with high engagement, if many people end up sharing your guide, it may even appear in more people’s feeds. As a result, you can potentially gain a lot of new followers by creating an Instagram Guide.
#14. Use Instagram Analytics Tools to Gain More Instagram Followers
Instagram analytics can give information to you about your following, but there are many free tools in the marketplace that can give you more interesting information.
Things like engagement rate, new followers, Instagram unfollowers, and inactive accounts can give you insight that will shape how you get more followers on Instagram.
The best Instagram analytics tools in the market right now include:
All these Instagram analytics tools provide valid and highly informative information that can help you better understand your audience.
And they can also highlight the right content that you can use to get your Instagram followers to increase.
Instagram Followers Apps
When I first started building my store’s Instagram account, I used an app called Instagress to increase my Instagram followers.
It worked really well at first, which allowed me to easily build up the first few thousand Instagram followers.
Eventually, I stopped because I didn’t need it anymore. Unfortunately, Instagress and other tools to increase Instagram followers usually get shut down. That’s because they are designed to artificially engage people through likes and comments. People who use them can get their entire Instagram account shut down. While they might work, they just aren’t worth the risk.
Additionally, you can use these free Instagram apps to improve your follower count:
Discover Instagram accounts that have unfollowed you, those who haven’t followed you back, and similar accounts you should be following through Followers for Instagram. This Instagram follower app is perfect to understand how to make your followers happy and what content to post in order to get more followers on Instagram. Reach out to those who unfollowed you to find out why and start to improve your Instagram follower metrics today.
Inactive followers are a much talked about topic within any social media platform, and Instagram is no different. Inactive Instagram followers could be spam accounts or accounts from people who no longer engage on the platform.So if you are looking to grow your following and engagement level, it would be a good idea to trim your list of inactive followers. Crowdfire identifies your inactive followers, recognizes when people unfollow you, and helps you find new followers.
There aren’t any effective tools for Instagram unfollowing or following accounts in bulk. Tracker for Instagram gives you this option in their app. The app also provides analytics so you can analyze how followers engage with your account. You can also use it to identify ghost followers: those who followed you but never interacted with your posts. You can then block them to reflect the real number of Instagram followers your brand currently boasts.
Want to become an Instagram master? Sign up for the free Instagram course taught by Instagram guru Gretta Van Riel.
How to Get Followers on Instagram According to Three Influencers
Juanika Dildy is the founder of the popular website The Ladypreneur. Her Instagram account has gained over 26k followers. Here’s her advice on how to gain followers on Instagram:
What’s been your secret to getting over 26k followers on Instagram?
Engagement makes a difference. It’s important that your followers know that you appreciate them just as much as they do you.
For increased engagement, you should search the hashtags used to attract followers, find users that stand out, like a few pics and comment.
You’ll gain the curiosity of those you’ve engaged with, they’ll follow your page, and tag their friends on your posts.
Did you use any apps to increase Instagram followers?
Initially, tools like Instagress were useful for engagement, but with the ability to target followers and sponsor content, they’re no longer needed.
What advice would you give someone who asks you how to get followers on Instagram?
Post, post, post! The more users [you have seeing] your content, the more familiar they’ll become with your brand, causing them to like, follow, and share.
The more you post, the more users feel like they know you.
Imagine if you woke up at midnight to a noise in the kitchen. You run downstairs to find Oprah drinking a cup of coffee.
Most people wouldn’t call the cops, why? Because they’ve seen so much of her content, they feel like they know her. Some would even feel privileged to have her in their kitchen.
That’s the effect that constant content provides for influencers.
If you had to name one thing you do differently than anyone else on Instagram, what would that be?
My account encourages, inspires AND informs. It influences my followers with a brand voice that relates and educates. It attracts the “SHE-E-O” and the girl next door.
Talia Koren is the mastermind behind the ever so popular Work Week Lunch which has an astounding 484k followers and counting. We asked her what the best way to get Instagram followers is and this is what she told us:
What’s helped you grow your Instagram followers to a six figure number?
I listen to my audience and give them what they ask for. It shows that I’m invested in them and in return they give me their time and attention.
Also, consistency. I show up every single day with valuable content in posts and in stories that helps them instead of just talking about myself.
Lastly, I pay close attention to the changes to the platform. Using new features like story highlights and understanding the changes to the algorithm helped me grow too.
Have you used any tools to help you grow the number of followers on Instagram you have?
I don’t use any tools outside of the analytics within Instagram. They’re great! Analytics are important because they help you figure out what’s working and what’s not.
We often get asked how to get followers on Instagram, what should someone starting out focus on?
When you’re starting from 0 or less than 1,000 followers, don’t pay attention to the number so much. It’s going to go up and down and it’s going to be slow. Instead focus on ways you can connect with and help others and get them talking about you.
What do you think separates your Instagram account from others out there?
Well, my account isn’t that different from many out there, but I don’t post any pictures of myself. It’s not about me it’s about my audience! I also use stories as a vlogging channel which my followers love.
Gracie Parish is an Instagram influencer who grew her Instagram following to an impressive 37.9k. We asked her to share her advice on how to get followers on Instagram, here’s what she said:
What steps did you take to get over 37,000 followers on Instagram?
I take a lot of time to engage with my followers through Instagram, emails, Facebook, and Pinterest.
I take time each week to respond to as many followers as I can as well as I make sure to engage with my followers on their posts as well.
Through collaborations, I have been able to cross-promote with many bloggers or brands that I feel fit my brand and this has really helped grow my following.
What’s had the biggest impact on increasing your Instagram followers?
I work really hard on building authenticity on my blog to create a more authentic relationship with my followers.
To do this, I only promote brands and products I truly believe in.
Through five years of blogging, I really realized how to pick the brands that fit my blog and style best as well as the brands that my followers enjoy seeing, which has contributed to my success.
If someone asked you how to get followers on Instagram what advice would you share?
Be yourself and don’t lose confidence in yourself. Building a blog took years of hard work, and if you are able to maintain a brand and stay true to yourself, your followers will take notice of that.
I would also advise someone to not get discouraged in the beginning, because it takes a lot of time and practice. No [influencer] was an overnight success.
What’s the one thing your Instagram does differently than other Instagram accounts?
One thing my instagram does differently than other accounts is I really try and give followers insight into my real life.
While a lot of my content is sponsored, I really try to post real, authentic content as well to help my followers get to know me better and give them the content they are asking to see.
A lot of bloggers get caught up in the business aspect and while a blog is a business, it is important to not lose your authenticity and to stay real with your followers.
How to Get Followers on Instagram Summary
Figuring out how to get followers on Instagram is the hardest in the beginning.
Once you’ve passed your first 10,000 followers, you’ll need to continue using some or all of the strategies in this article to keep growing your account to 100k or even beyond one million.
Don’t forget to update your profile regularly, especially your Instagram bio to include new CTAs or interesting news.
At the end of the day, you’ll need to put yourself out there more than you ever have before.
Maybe posting on Instagram three times a day every day of the week is hard to fit into your schedule But eventually, all that effort will pay off. And you’ll have gained an Instagram following you can be proud of.
Summary: How to Get Followers on Instagram in 2021
#1. Join Instagram Engagement Groups
#2. Repost Others’ Content
#3. Get your Instagram Account Promoted on Buzzfeed
#4. Ask Customers to Share their Photos
#5. Have a consistent style that hooks people in
#6. Hashtags to Get Followers on Instagram
#7. Use your Instagram Posts in Blog Posts
#8 Insert Location Tags in Posts and Stories
#9. Follow People who Like Competing Pages
#10. Work with Influencers – How to Get Followers on Instagram
#11. Host Giveaways
#12. Partner with Another Brand
#13. Create an Instagram Guide
#14. Use Instagram Analytics Tools
How many followers on Instagram do you have right now? Comment below!