When you’re crafting your digital marketing toolkit, you might be wondering how to get more followers on Instagram.
After all, creating a business account is only the first step. If you don’t have anyone following you, or more importantly – if you don’t have anyone relevant following you, then your efforts won’t pay off in terms of generating customers. You need to have a strong follower base to show great content to so they will convert into customers.
But how do you find these followers?
Well, here are 16 different ways you can get more followers on Instagram this year.
16 ways to get more followers on Instagram
1. Automate your Instagram growth
Growing your following on Instagram doesn’t have to be difficult, especially in 2023.
With an Instagram growth service like Kicksta, you can automate your growth just like you would your posting, analytics or any other task in your business.
The founders of Original Grain, an innovative watch brand with a new technique, knew that Instagram could be an important part of their marketing plan. Original Grain has grown to over 150,000 followers on Instagram with Kicksta’s help.
Because the founders automated their Instagram growth, they’ve been able to focus their time on perfecting their watches and creating impactful content to be used in Instagram marketing.
They’ve been able to monitor their analytics reports to see the consistent traffic Kicksta has brought to their account. Kicksta attracts real, organic followers who engage with their posts, not bots who just sit there and inflate follower numbers. If you’re looking for a way to quickly start getting more Instagram followers, consider automation.
2. Explore Instagram reels
Reels are going to continue to grow in popularity throughout 2023.
Whether you love video or hate it, it’s here to stay. If you haven’t created a Reel yet, now’s the time to do so. You can start with something simple. Just pick a song, point to various places in mid-air on-beat, and then add text where you’re pointing to that explains a concept or something about your business.
Reels are popping up in everyone’s Instagram feed, so make sure you’re there, too.
Top Tip for creating Instagram reels in 2023
When you’re starting out with Reels, it’s important to start by posting consistently. The more Reels you create, the better you’ll become. That said, it can sometimes feel daunting to take on a new form of media.
With Reels, try to create content that’s unique and relatable. Share glamour shots of your products or quick hacks of features your service offers. Create a lyric or dance video to hop on a trend, and then follow it up with something that only applies to your brand. As you test various video types and lengths, you can see what resonates with your audience.
Use your insights tools to analyze your Reels to know which are performing best and track trends.
And have fun with it.
Sure, this is business, but video should be enjoyable for you to make and for your audience to watch. It’s no secret that creators will reuse content from different social media platforms. That isn’t a bad strategy. In fact, it’s a good way to save time. However, if your marketing strategy is to simply repost your TikTok video, you might want to re-think that.
Tweak it a little or at least record it outside of the TikTok app so you don’t have the watermark when you upload to Instagram, unless you’re trying to cross-promote.
Drunk Elephant does a great job with their Reels.
This video feels like it could be something that any average person could have posted, not just a brand, which makes it feel relatable and accessible for many Instagram users.
3. Engaging Instagram stories
Instagram provides so many tools to encourage your followers in your Stories, use them!
Stories are one of the most popular elements of Instagram these days. Many people just get on the platform to scroll through Stories, rather than the feed.
Top tips for Instagram stories
There are many different stickers, like the question box or the poll sticker. Using these built-in engagement tools can help you generate responses from your audience. Use the poll to create this or that Stories, asking your audience for their opinions. A question box can lead to a lively Q&A. Gifs are just plain fun.
4. Optimise your bio to attract new followers
Your bio can make or break you when someone lands on your profile to hit that “follow” button. Here are some best practices for each piece of your bio:
- Profile picture: if possible, include people. If you’re going to have your logo, make sure it’s clear enough to see in a tiny circle.
- Bio: in your actual copy, make sure you use the right keywords – your bio is searchable, too!
- Branded hashtags: if you use specific hashtags related to your brand, include them in your bio so people can see and use them.
- Highlight: use the highlights to your advantage by saving FAQs, your brand’s story, product introductions and other pieces of information your followers might want to know.
Top tip to optimize your bio
To take your Instagram bio to the next level, though, use a link in bio tool to include multiple links to your blog, ecommerce page, and other social media sites. This is an important tip because now you can share multiple links at once, and you don’t have to worry if someone finds a post from weeks ago that sent them to your link in bio. You can just add additional resource links so everyone can find what they’re looking for.
Drivetime does a great job optimizing their Instagram profile, because they’ve included a link in bio tool, they have branded highlights, and their bio copy is short and sweet and contains a hashtag. Their highlight covers are on-brand, which adds to the overall professional look of their bio.
5. Create a strong hashtag strategy
Using the right hashtags is a great way to attract Instagram followers because it helps your posts land in front of the people who want to see and engage with your content. Even if you don’t use a particular keyword in your post copy, as long as it’s relevant you can use that keyword as a hashtag. Then, the people who are interested in and following that hashtag will be able to see your post.
Different kinds of hashtags
Did you know there were a few different kinds of hashtags that you could (and should) be using on your Instagram content?
Brand keyword hashtags have to do with your industry and your brand overall. Any strong hashtags that apply to your overall business fall here. This can also include branded hashtags that you’ve created specifically for your brand. You can use some of these brand keyword hashtags on any of your posts.
The next kind of hashtag is product category hashtags.
If you have a variety of products or product categories, they’ll probably each need a different set of hashtags. For instance, stickers and keychains are similar products, but they can use different hashtags. You should only use the product keyword hashtags that apply to the product or products you mention in a particular post.
Finally, location-specific keywords are most important if you run a business that serves people in a specific area.
If that’s the case, you’ll want to add hashtags of your location frequently. Get creative with the types of hashtags you use, though, especially if your city or town has a nickname. Even if your business isn’t location-based and you can serve customers or clients anywhere, it’s a good idea to add a location hashtag every once in a while, since that’s a great way to attract some followers or customers.
Top tip to creating a hashtag strategy
It can be difficult to decide which relevant hashtags to use, though. There are a few ways to make the process easier.
First of all, use a hashtag generator tool. As long as you have a few keywords to get started, this tool can help you find related hashtags. Another great idea is to see what hashtags your competitors are using. You likely won’t want to copy them exactly, but mixing in a few of their hashtags can be a good decision. Finally, as with any new tactic, track your hashtags analytics to see what’s working.
You don’t want to spend time using a hashtag that isn’t bringing you new followers.
6. Stay on top of your posting
Speaking of consistency, if you’re looking to get ahead in 2023, you need to make sure you’re posting consistently and at the right times. If you build up a strong following and then only post randomly, they’re not going to know what to expect from you and they might decide to unfollow. Instead, create a schedule and stick to it. You don’t have to post everyday, but decide what’ll work for your business and commit to it.
Top tip for Instagram posting best practices
If you’re worried about staying on track with your schedule, don’t be. You can easily have a secret weapon: use an Instagram scheduling tool. With a scheduling tool, you can create your posts in advance and set them to post on your schedule.
This way you never have to worry about what you’re going to post on a particular day or if you’re going to remember to post before you have to go to your doctor’s appointment or whatever else might be going on for you. It’s all prepared in advance. Instagram is slowly rolling out a native scheduling tool available right in their app. Soon, if not already, you’ll be able to choose when you want your post to go live in Advanced Settings, instead of hitting post right away.
7. Maintain a consistent tone and feed
Staying consistent is important for both attracting followers and keeping them.
If someone sees one or two of your posts, decides they like you and wants to follow, they’re going to want to continue to see the same tone. If you come across as knowledgeable to begin with, you don’t want to then change your tone and seem flippant and carefree. That’s not what your followers signed up for, so to speak.
Top tip for maintaining consistency across your account
Before you start posting (or before you publish your next post), think about what you want your tone to be on Instagram.
Are you going to be playful? Irreverent? Professional? Fun-loving?
There’s no right or wrong answer, but you need to make a decision for your brand voice and then stick with it.
Choose a few adjectives that describe your brand in the tone that you’ve chosen and try to use one of them in each of your next few posts while you’re getting the hang of this.
The blanket brand Minky Couture is very good at keeping their content consistent. Overall, when you look at their feed, you’ll see pale, pastel colors, happy people and, of course, their blankets.
You’ll notice a few of their posts are more red-white-and-blue forward, and those posts were for their Presidents Day sale. It’s important to remember that even if you’re committed to keeping your feed consistent, especially visually, you can break that mold if you have a good reason, like a holiday or a promotion.
8. Optimize your captions for engagement and search
Much like you would optimize your blog post for SEO, you can optimize your Instagram caption for search, too. Believe it or not, people are using Instagram to search for plenty of things, including businesses. Make sure you’re using the right keywords so you can land on the right results pages.
If you’re a photographer in Chicago, make sure that most of your captions include the phrase “Chicago photographer” if you’re trying to find potential clients.
Top tips for caption optimization
The captions of your Instagram posts should start with a catchy headline.
If you’re writing long captions, you only have a couple of lines to capture your audience’s attention and convince them to hit the “read more” button. Start with something catchy that makes them want to keep reading. Then, farther into your caption, ask them a question.
This will give them a very easy way to leave a comment on your post, which helps boost your engagement overall.
Whether you’re looking for a way to break up lines in your caption or just want to add some fun, try mixing some emojis into your copy. This will add some visual appeal and help people skim through your content.
Finally, use strong calls to action (CTAs) in your captions so your audience knows how to respond. Sometimes someone might want to engage with you, but they aren’t sure what kind of comment to leave.
When you ask them a question, like we mentioned, or tell them “tag your friend who’s interested in learning this,” you make it easier for them to engage with you. Working to increase your engagement rate, whether that’s through deciding to curate your content, use templates or stick to a posting schedule, is a practice that will pay off in the long run.
Engagement from real followers will make a big difference in your Instagram marketing strategy.
9. Work with Influencers
Influencer marketing is the real deal in 2023.
People trust the influencers they know and love, and your brand can benefit from that. If you’ve never tried working with an influencer, this is your year. Think of a good pitch and then try it. Begin by following them and engaging with their content so that they know you exist before you slide in their DMs and pitch a partnership.
Once you’ve engaged with them, then you can start working on adding a partnership to your content strategy.
Top tips for working with Influencers
Believe it or not, it’s an excellent idea to consider working with a micro influencer. Major influencers with millions of followers don’t have as strong of a connection with their audience as micro influencers do. In this world, that connection means everything because it means the followers are ready and willing to trust what the influencer has to say and recommend, and that trust is more important than follower count. Also, make sure you share the same target audience. Working with an influencer is only effective if their audience will be interested in your brand.
The protein powder brand Ritual works with influencer Carissa Stanton, better known on Instagram as @broccyourbody.
Carissa recently posted a Reel of a smoothie recipe that used the Ritual protein powder. She’s built her following to know that she prioritizes good, tasty recipes. Anyone who follows her can tell that she cares about what she recommends.
So, when she posts a recipe and recommends a certain brand, her followers can be confident in that ingredient and that partnership.
10. Take advantage of the location and tagging tools
People like to support local businesses, so the more you can use the location tag, the better. Even if you’re an online company that can help people in various locations, using the location feature can be helpful.
Also, whenever it’s appropriate, tag other people or brands in your posts. It might seem counterintuitive, but it works.
Top tips for adding your location and tags
Shoutout or mention other Instagram accounts in your posts when possible and tag them in your content.
This will help you show up in their tagged photos, and they might even share the post out of appreciation! If they did, this would expose your content to more users who might be interested in checking out your brand.
11. Engage your followers with giveaways and contests
Giveaways and contests help boost your engagement. This shows Instagram that your content is valuable and makes the algorithm more likely to boost your posts and share them with new people. It also helps potential new followers see that people actually do engage with your posts, so your content is worthwhile.
Top tip for giveaways and contests
Whenever possible, try to build your contests around User-Generated Content (UGC). Ask people to post about your brand on their profiles and tag you for a chance to win. Not only will you be able to re-post those posts, but you’re also generating endorsements from real people. Their friends are going to see them speaking highly of you and be interested in checking out your page.
12. Be authentic and relatable
2023 is all about authenticity.
Your followers want to see that you’re a real person or brand they can relate to easily. Gone are the days of the perfect, highly-curated feeds, but that doesn’t mean you should just throw random pictures on your feed. You still want to create a nice-looking page, it just doesn’t need to be so manicured that nothing is out of place. When you’re authentic, your audience will be able to recognize you across social networks.
They’ll know you’re the same brand posting quality content on Instagram as you are on LinkedIn.
Top tip for authentic and relatable content
Believe it or not: memes. Everyone loves memes right now. If creators don’t jump on the meme train, they might be left behind. If you’re not sure where to start, scroll through your explore page and see what memes appear there. Use those as inspiration for creating your own.
One company that uses memes very well is Bark Box.
It helps that their main subject matter involves dogs, which are easily meme-able, but they still execute this well. One of the great parts about creating or posting memes is that they’re easy to share with friends, so you might just see an increase in post shares.
And those shares are likely to lead to more followers.
13. Create more presence on video
We mentioned this earlier regarding Instagram Reels, but there are more ways to use video on Instagram.
IGTV and Instagram Live aren’t going anywhere, so they should be a part of your Instagram strategy. IGTV can be a great place to put product demonstrations. Your audience wants to see this, so it’s likely to get strong engagement.
When it comes to Instagram Live, try doing a Q&A or something else where you are generating engagement while you’re on Live. You can always save the video and use it as an IGTV so you’re getting multiple uses from it.
Top tip for creating video content
Most importantly, have a plan for your content before you begin to film, especially for IGTV.
Longer-form content can feel overwhelming to create, but having a plan can make it feel more manageable. Even if you don’t have a true script, if you know what you’re filming and what you’ll be talking about, you’ll feel more in control. Another great idea is to know how you want to break down this long video into smaller pieces.
Are you going to pull out a few 15-second clips to put in your Stories? Are you going to re-publish this on YouTube? The possibilities are endless.
14. Create content worthy of sharing and saving
Instagram’s algorithm is all based on proving to Instagram that people are interested and engaging with your content. If Instagram sees people are sharing and saving your content, they will know it’s worth seeing, and it’s more likely to show it to more people. This, in turn, can help new potential followers see your content.
Top tips for getting people to save and share your content
Start mixing in some inspirational posts to your currently planned content.
Just like on Pinterest, if you’re posting inspirational content people will save it to come back to later. It’s also easy for people to share their Stories, because it’s something that anyone wants to hear.
Additionally, post relatable or educational content. Again, it’s easy for someone to share because it applies to many people. As you test out new kinds of posts, keep an eye on your metrics to know what’s working best for your brand.
15. Hop on popular trends
Trends are popular for a reason: many people enjoy what they’re about.
Whether it’s a new dance or trending audio on Reels or a new hashtag and post style for your feed, try jumping on a trend the next time you see one. It’ll bring you new Instagram followers and it might just be fun.
Top tip for following Instagram trends
Stay aware of what’s trending right now by spending time on Instagram regularly.
Scroll through your feed and spend time on the Explore page to see what’s popular. Sometimes following trends mean posting a variety of different things. Califia Farms does a great job of sharing different types of posts.
They have recipes, they have photos, they have videos, they tag influencers and they post promotions. They know what their audience enjoys, and they’re willing to post a variety of types of content depending on what’s important on Instagram at the moment.
16. Monitor and adapt your strategy
In social media, things move fast.
To attract new followers in 2023, you have to be consistently analyzing and adapting your content to stay in the game. If you aren’t monitoring your analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t, you’re going to fall behind.
Top tip for social media strategy
Take advantage of Instagram analytics and post insights. They’re built into your app, and they’ll show you what posts are resonating best with your audience.
From there, you can decide how to move forward and what content you should create more of so that your audience continues to engage with it.
Time to get started
So there you have it: 16 ways to optimize your strategy on Instagram and attract new followers at the same time.
Many of these are small changes to what you’re already doing, but some might take a little more time and effort to roll out as part of your social media marketing.
Which one will you implement first to help drive traffic and improve brand awareness?
No matter what you start with, you should see an increase in your number of followers soon.
Guest author: Samantha Hackett is a Marketing Coordinator at Kicksta with expertise in all things Instagram and social media marketing.