Your complete guide on how to increase Instagram followers

We provide 11 tips that are guaranteed to increase your Instagram following.
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Want to know how to get more followers on Instagram? Our complete step-by-step guide breaks down everything you need to know.

If you’ve recently been researching how to grow your Instagram, you may have come across those seemingly too good to be true ways to do it, like paying for followers or using bots. 

Although it can be tempting to use these options to fast-track your follower growth, Instagram’s increasingly intelligent algorithm will soon detect that your legions of fans aren’t interacting with your account.

As a result, Instagram will swiftly reduce the reach of your organic posts, so your content is seen by fewer people and you’re less likely to pick up new followers.   

The good news is that there are ways to grow your account without getting on the wrong side of the algorithm. In this guide, we share the 11 fail-safe steps to gaining more followers on Instagram.

How to increase followers on Instagram

  1. Update your bio so it attracts your ideal followers
  2. Know who your ideal follower is and speak directly to them through your content
  3. Be consistent with your posting
  4. Make the most of short-form video content
  5. Create connection through your captions
  6. Create content that invites interaction
  7. Have an effective hashtag strategy
  8. Get involved in conversations
  9. Post more original content and lean into the algorithm
  10. Embrace new features
  11. Consider ad-spend to boost your visibility


Let’s take a look at each of those steps in detail.

#1 Update your bio so it attracts your ideal followers

With over 1.386 billion Instagram accounts demanding attention, you’re going to need a bio that attracts your ideal followers. The bio can be a missed (and free) marketing opportunity when it’s not used to its full potential. When crafting your bio to boost Instagram followers, try to include the following things:

  • Title: Tell potential followers exactly what you do in simple language
  • Audience: Be up front about who your account is aimed at
  • Benefits: Tell people what they can expect from following you
  • Contact info: Make it easy for followers to get in touch
  • Freebie: If you have a freebie, include a link

#2 Know who your ideal follower is and speak directly to them through your content

Have you ever been scrolling through Instagram and come across a post that made you stop in your tracks and think, ‘they’re talking about me’? This is the power that having an ideal follower profile to hand gives you.

When you map out who your perfect follower is, what they want, what they’re interested in, and their daily habits, it makes content creation so much easier. You’ll instinctively know what they want to see, hear, and feel, and your content will be perfectly aligned.

When you’re laser-focused on your ideal follower, your content will also create scroll-stopping moments for other platform users who are your ideal followers, making them more likely to follow you. [We recommend using an image like this one or have it as a downloadable template – link to original source embedded]

#3 Be consistent with your posting

When you’re focusing on how to get more followers on Instagram, having a consistent posting schedule and a solid strategy will help keep you on-track. The Instagram algorithm loves consistency, but this doesn’t mean you have to show up every day.

It’s much better to be realistic about what you can comfortably achieve so you can maintain a regular and consistent presence, whether that’s posting every day or three times per week.

cat on desk with post it notes

#4 Make the most of short-form video content

Since the rapid rise of TikTok, Instagram is now also favouring short-form video content (less than 1 minute long). Many content creators have seen the benefits of releasing Instagram Reels as they’re being rewarded with organic boosting and an expanded reach by the algorithm.

The great thing about Reels is that everyone has a fair shot at success. Even if your account is just starting out, with the right Reel you have the potential to go viral, be seen by millions of people across the world and get free Instagram followers as a result.

#5 Create connection through your captions

Although Instagram is marketed as an image and video sharing platform, the caption that goes alongside the visual is equally important. Instagram’s algorithm effectively scores every post you release to decide whether it’s valuable content and should be seen by more people.

One way you can help your value score is by creating insightful and engaging captions. The longer someone spends reading your caption, the more valuable the post will be perceived by the algorithm, improving its chances of being seen by more new people.

#6 Create content that invites interaction

The most popular and effective Instagram posts are the ones that invite interaction. They may spark conversation and debate or feature high-profile influencers who naturally attract attention.

If you want to know how to gain followers on Instagram, the easiest answer is to release content that inspires reactions. You want each post to lead to valuable actions like comments, saves, and shares. The more valuable actions your posts attract, the more likely it is that you’ll appear as a ‘suggested account to follow’ or in the ‘you may also like’ feeds of your ideal followers.

Influencer campaigns are also highly effective at grabbing attention and getting reactions, not only from your existing follower base but from potential new Instagram followers too. Brands that use influencers find that trust is built much faster. When people see someone they know and like getting involved with a brand, they’re more likely to form a faster connection themselves with the company.

woman on phone with laptop in background

#7 Have an effective hashtag strategy

Once seen as an optional extra for social media posts, hashtags are now one of the leading ways to get Instagram followers for free. When you use hashtags on your posts, you’re effectively telling the Instagram algorithm who you want your content to be shown to.

When you add hashtags to your captions, the Instagram algorithm translates them into interests. It then actively searches for other people who it believes shares those interests and presents your posts to them.

Having a well-researched hashtag strategy will give your content an organic boost and help you gain followers on Instagram. Here’s an easy way to research hashtags on Instagram:

  1. In the search bar, type in # followed by a keyword that relates to your industry
  2. The search will present you with a varied range of hashtags that relate to that keyword
  3. Look through the list and make a note of any you’d like to use; the sweet spot is to find hashtags with between 100k and 1m posts
  4. Change the keyword to see if any other hashtags come up that are relevant for your content
  5. Every time you post, select the best hashtags for that post from the list you curated and add them underneath the caption (not in the comments)

If you need some inspiration for different keyword themes, you can search using these five hashtag types:

  1. Location: Places, neighbourhoods, events, cities, and countries
  2. Branded: Campaigns, events, slogans, brand name
  3. Industry: Events, your niche, community conversations
  4. Community: Regular conversations, clubs, specific groups
  5. Descriptive: What your content is actually about

#8 Get involved in conversations

Instagram rewards creators and pushes their content to more people by evaluating how engaged the creator is themselves on the platform. You can gain followers on Instagram simply by responding to comments and DMs on your posts. But, there are also other ways you can get the algorithm onside and that’s by getting involved in conversations outside of your own feed.

Social media platforms like engagement to be a two-way street. If people are interacting with you, Instagram wants you to interact back but also use the platform to proactively connect and engage with other accounts and content. 

Whilst he does have his critics, Gary Vaynerchuck developed the $1.80 strategy which speaks perfectly to the concept of giving engagement to gain Instagram followers. When you’re involved in the conversation on trending posts that are relevant to your business, brand or ideal follower, you’ll be seen by more people, be working in the algorithm’s favour and increase your chances of growing your Instagram following.

#9 Post more original content and lean into the algorithm

In another move to compete against its biggest rival TikTok, in mid-2022 Instagram announced that it would be favouring original content over reposted content. Creators on the platform who are releasing videos and images they’ve made themselves are being rewarded by the algorithm and seeing organic growth in reach (and followers) as a result.

It may feel daunting to create all your own original content, but if you’ve mapped out your ideal follower profile like we covered earlier, you’ll at least know the type of content they want to see.

When creating original content, don’t put pressure on yourself to make it perfect. The most viral videos aren’t always the most beautiful, they don’t have to feature word-perfect creators and they aren’t filmed using expensive equipment. Grab your phone, know who you’re making the video for and just go for it. 

smart phone on laptop

#10 Embrace new features

With fierce competition between the platform giants, every new feature that’s rolled out has been strategically designed to keep users on their platform for as long as possible. When new features come out, the algorithm will swiftly adjust to reward creators who use them. If you’re an early adopter of any new features, Instagram will favour your content, presenting it organically in more feeds. This leads to a higher reach and an increased opportunity to grow your Instagram followers. 

#11 Consider ad-spend to boost your visibility

We’ve covered how to get free Instagram followers, but you can also use ad-spend to speed up the process. Once you’ve decided which paid option is best for you, you’re ready to set up a mini-campaign with the goal of attracting new followers.

The secret to successful ad campaigns on Instagram is experimentation. A/B split tests where you release slightly different versions of the same post are a great way to evaluate what type of content works best to gain new followers on Instagram. Review the performance after a few days and you can then choose to go all in with just one post or keep them both running.


How do I measure the success of my Instagram growth strategies?

To measure the success of your Instagram growth strategies, you should utilize Instagram’s built-in analytics tool, Insights. This feature provides comprehensive data on follower growth, engagement rates, and the performance of individual posts and stories. Insights can show you metrics like impressions, reach, profile visits, and actions taken on your account, giving you a clear picture of how your content is performing. Additionally, you can use third-party analytics tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or Iconosquare. These platforms offer more detailed reporting features, allowing you to track long-term trends, compare your performance against competitors, and generate custom reports. By regularly reviewing these metrics, you can identify what strategies are working and make data-driven decisions to refine your approach.

What specific tools or apps can help streamline the Instagram growth process?

Several tools and apps can help streamline the process of growing your Instagram following. For scheduling and planning posts, apps like Later and Buffer are highly effective. They allow you to plan your content calendar, schedule posts in advance, and ensure consistent posting even when you’re busy. For creating visually appealing content, Canva is an excellent tool. It offers a wide range of templates and design elements that can help you produce professional-looking graphics and stories. To optimize your hashtag strategy, Hashtagify is a useful tool. It helps you find and analyze trending hashtags relevant to your niche, enhancing your content’s discoverability. Other tools like SocialBee can assist with social media management by providing features for content recycling, audience targeting, and analytics.

How can I handle negative interactions or backlash while trying to increase engagement?

Handling negative interactions or backlash on Instagram requires a strategic approach. First, set clear community guidelines that outline acceptable behavior and ensure these are visible to your followers. When negative comments arise, address them promptly and professionally. Acknowledge the concern, offer a solution if possible, and maintain a respectful tone. Instagram provides moderation tools that allow you to filter out offensive comments and block or restrict users who violate your guidelines. It’s crucial to distinguish between constructive criticism and trolling; engage with the former to show you value feedback but avoid engaging with trolls to prevent escalation. Consistently monitoring your account for negative interactions and maintaining a positive, constructive dialogue with your audience can help mitigate backlash and foster a supportive community.

Get started

Now you know how to grow your Instagram account by leaning into the algorithm rather than resorting to buying followers or using bots.

If you’re ready to grab the right attention (and lots of it), get started with your first Instagram influencer campaign on Vamp.

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