9 Proven Ways To Increase Instagram Followers : Get Real Followers


Want to increase Instagram followers?

Read on this extensive guide which has been used by many pro Instagrammers to gain real followers in the record time.

Not a lot of users are aware of the latest features and strategies that would help you to grow your Instagram followership. And while this constant influx of new features can confuse, they also provide great opportunities for marketers.

In today’s article, we’ll cover the latest techniques to get more followers on Instagram.

But before we get into the how, let’s find out a bit about Instagram’s users.

Who uses Instagram?

Understanding your Instagram audience will give you an idea of how to effectively post that will organically get more likes and hence more followers.

Before we do that, let’s look at the interesting stats about Instagram (as of February 2019)

  • 1 Billion people use Instagram
  • 32% of internet users in the world use Instagram.
  • Adults from the age group of 18 to 29 constitute the majority of the users at 59%.
  • Female users (39%) are more likely to use Instagram than men (32%).

Based on the above data, it is clear who the highest demographic is.

It’s mostly young, urban women.

How To Increase Your Instagram Followers 

We went through the top 10 posts on the internet on how to get Instagram followers and distilled all the advice into one post. You can read about all the strategies in the detail below.

Here are best tips to get more Instagram followers:

  1. Identify your audience
  2. Use right hashtags
  3. Regularly update new content (Post + Stories)
  4. Cross-promote with companies that have a similar audience
  5. Offer free goodies for promotion
  6. Run an Instagram contest
  7. Put creative content
  8. Create an Instagram team
  9. Monitor your Instagram analytics

Follow the steps one by one because it’s easy to go wrong with Instagram marketing if you initially take the wrong steps.

1. Identify your audience.

Identify your audience
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Going through this process of understanding your audience is paramount.

Answer the following questions and write them down in a document:

  1. What is the age group of your audience?
  2. What is the target gender (predominantly male or female) or is it generic enough to target both?
  3. What is their lifestyle like and what are the products they buy?
  4. Who are 8 to 10 brands that interact with an audience similar to yours?
  5. Is your audience-centric to a certain location?

To identify these, head over to Hyperauditor.com and add your Instagram profile link. You can repeat the same process with any other Instagram profile that you are inspired.

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When you identify the following questions, you can easily figure out the kind of content to create, how often to create, and what kind of language you should have in your posts.

2. Use the right hashtags.

Identify your hashtags
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Hashtags might be annoying and not so useful on other platforms, but on Instagram, it’s the core of the platform.

There are good hashtags, and there are bad hashtags.

Bad hashtags are ones that people just used to get a rapid following. “like4like” is an example of a bad hashtag that people use when they want to get and give likes. This attracts the wrong followers, and it makes sense to stay away from them.

Good hashtags identify the qualities of your business and your product, and they relate to your audience as well.

You can use Ritetag to find best hashtags for your Instagram post.

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Hashtag Tip:

Some businesses are meticulous in their hashtags. You can create a bunch of hashtags for the following:

  • A hashtag for your brand as a whole. This can be the name of your brand combined with the products you sell.
  • A hashtag for your post. You can explain your post with hashtags. If you are a clothing brand and your post has a shirt with a penguin on it, some hashtag examples can be #shirtsformen or #penguinshirts.
  • A hashtag for your location. If your business is specific to a city, then you can add that as well. It helps in filtering out your audience.
  • Your own hashtag tagline. You can create your own company’s hashtag tagline. Make sure you use this across other channels and in your email communication as well. When this hashtag gains prominence, then your brand gets the most visibility. EX: Coca-Cola’s is “Open Happiness”.

Discovering good hashtags straight from Instagram can be a hassle. You can use tools like TailwindRitetag , Keyhole to find out top-performing hashtags that would help you get more Instagram likes.

Also, ride the wave of hashtag trends like:

  • #TBT (Throw Back Thursdays) – This is where you share a photo from your past.
  • #MondayMotivation – This is where people post motivational quotes and messages every Monday.

3. Regularly post quality content.

Visual Style

I cannot emphasize this enough. You need to be right up there with the quality of your posts to have any chance of getting a top quality following.

On Instagram, the standards of posts need to be very high. A lot of good brand pages have their own visual style or use similar filters in each of their posts.

The visual storytelling needs to be on point. Take a look at Bacher to see how they make product shots appealing. You feel like buying everything in the store.

Regularly post quality content
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This is a visually appealing post.

If you can’t afford a photoshoot, make sure you at least use stock photos. You can get free stock photos at Unsplash.

Before you post, you need to create a repository of posts, at least 15 – 20 of them. This allows you to post content even during weekends and holidays.

There’s research that has shown particular Instagram filters lead to more engagement and likes. Figure out which ones work best.

Always be aesthetically pleasing. This is a minimum basic requirement on Instagram.


There’s something about captions that captures the eye of the reader.

Think about it:

  • What makes a meme hilarious?

It’s not just the image, it’s the text.

It’s the same on Instagram. Have an interesting caption for your images. Think of the caption as just as important as the visual element.

Look at the image below; it’s just a normal image, but it becomes really funny because of the text.

Have an interesting caption
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If you put yourself in the shoes of your audience, you’ll know how important it is to creatively craft every post.

People come to Instagram to entertain themselves and have fun. They want to watch interesting stuff, look at interesting products, and tag their friends. Let them do that!

Post Timing and Frequency 

They relate this to how often you post.

Most millennials access Instagram daily. They do it 6 to 7 times a day and spend close to 15 minutes there each visit. Power users end up consuming all the content in their feed until they run out of content.

So there is a lot of content that a user goes through daily.

If you aren’t on their feed constantly, you will be forgotten.

“Out of sight, out of mind.” It’s as simple as that.

Have at least 2 to 3 posts planned for every day and mix them up. Also, be a bit flexible and post about things that you are thinking about or experiencing.

You can use a tool like Tailwind which will help you schedule posts in advance. The best part is, they auto-post for you and this ensures your Instagram feed is always updated.

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People love impromptu posts.

4. Cross promote with companies that have a similar audience.

Collaboration is one of the key ingredients on Instagram.

For every top brand, there are hundreds of smaller brands trying to get the attention of people.

As everybody is trying to get ahead, it only makes sense to grow together.

Identify a few of the smaller brands that cater to your audience and reach out to them. Pitch a collaboration or a cross-posting.

You will promote their business to your followers and they will promote yours to theirs.

This is a good way to exchange similar audience sets.

5. Offer free goodies for promotion. 

Free goods for promotion
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One of the ways product companies get traction is through free goodies.

Let’s say you have a sports clothing company and you are competing against a hundred other companies in a similar niche.

First, identify a few mid-level influencers. Not the top tier ones but the second level ones who are easily accessible and are open to quick partnerships. Give them your free gear and get them to talk about you.

If there are 10 influencers with about 100,000 followers each, your potential reach is close to 1 million people. How else do you reach 1 million people without paying a bomb?

6. Run an Instagram contest.

Contests! People love contests that are easy and fun to do and also gives them an opportunity to get some free goodies.

Contests that people don’t have to move to do is even better. Here are some things you need to keep in mind while creating a contest:

Here are some things you need to keep in mind while creating a contest:

  1. Have a defined start and end date for the contest.
  2. Make it very easy to participate in the contest.
  3. Ask people to do something simple and preferably something that makes them look good.
  4. Keep the value proposition clear. What do people get?
  5. Imbibe virality in the contest by making people comment to participate in the contest.

You can use a tool like Gleam to run such a contest.

7. Make your content fresh.

You cannot be obvious or be doing the same thing everyone else is doing on Instagram.

I’ve seen this across many profiles, they focus on not straying too much from their brand, and they become rigid and predictable with their content.

Do not become predictable. If you are predictable, you become boring.

The point of your account should be is to give different content to your audience each time.

Certain content styles trend more than others. For example, text message and Facebook screenshots usually end up trending for a while.

For example, text message and Facebook screenshots usually end up trending for a while. They are usually fake but they make people laugh and they engage exceedingly well.

Other things that trend well:

  • Quotes with a Twist

Quotes have been popular for a long time, but make sure you don’t add obvious quotes like “Never Ever Give Up” unless you can make it look different (maybe with a funny image). Also, add quotes that are new or outrageous. These get people’s attention.

  • User-Generated Content

People like to be covered by brands. You can show pictures of people using your products or taking pictures of your establishment or doing anything with your product. Contests also include user-generated content. Make sure to have a dedicated hashtag for user-generated content.

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Outsource your content to your audience.
  • Text Screenshots

Have fun conversations in the form of text screenshots. Text screenshots are images of a text conversation between two people. It could be between a parent and a child or even a conversation between a dog and an owner. You can make these conversations very entertaining.

  • Behind the Scenes of your Business

An inside scoop of your business humanizes the brand and also gives insider access to your audience which helps them connect with your company better. If you notice, actors on Buzzfeed’s videos have become celebrities in their own right because they are constantly being put out there.

  • Video Posts

This has been mentioned a lot of times on ShoutMeLoud. Do videoVideo marketing is big, is getting bigger, and will be the biggest form of content consumption in the foreseeable future. Videos have better engagement and they say more in a lesser amount of time.

  • Beautiful Product Shots

You’ll need to create that aspirational feeling among your audience. They should want your product and you can make them feel that way by making your products look beautiful.

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An example of a product shot from Vans. An image of your product in its natural environment adds more value to the user.
  • Offers and Discounts

People go crazy over discounts, and if it’s from their favorite brand, then it’s basically done and dusted. Make sure to promote your discount posts and have a strong call to action asking people to buy.
A checklist of what needs to be in a good post:

  1. A high-quality image with beautiful filters.
  2. A call to action that engages people and goads them to take any action that you want.
  3. A post that isn’t pixelated and is in line with Instagram’s image conditions.
  4. A post that will evoke a reaction from your audience.
  5. A post that is relevant to your audience.

8. Create an Instagram team. 

It isn’t easy handling Instagram. You need to jump onto popular hashtags and ride that wave continuously. You need to come up with post ideas every day and if you don’t have a stream of videos or memes coming directly to your inbox like 9GAG, then it can be hard to come up with new content.

This is why you need a team, or even if you don’t have a team, a dedicated time set aside only for Instagram duty.

  1. Make sure to create a repository of memes and videos. Test this content for relevancy.
  2. From this repository, make sure to create 10 to 15 posts in advance. Create a content calendar. Know what you are going to send out 2 weeks from now. This will ease your worries.
  3. Always be peeled toward trending hashtags that you can jump on that’ll bring you a lot of traffic. Have you seen the Buzzfeed articles of people’s tweets about some incident that has happened recently? You can be in one of those lists if you create posts speaking about an incident while it’s trending.

9. Monitor Instagram analytics.

Monitor Instagram analytics
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Instagram is serious business and you can always benefit from a tool like Iconosquare.

Iconosquare is an Instagram analytics tool that gives you insights into your Instagram performance.

It’s an all-in-one tool that helps with:

  • Organizing your Instagram media.
  • Managing your comments and monitoring posts.
  • Scheduling new posts.
  • Finding an influencer in your niche.
  • Finding which hashtag and filter brings about the best engagement.
  • Identifying the location of your followers.

9 Ways To Get More Instagram Followers

As we conclude this post, I hope you have a better idea of what to do on Instagram.

One of the most important aspects of any marketing effort is patience.

You need to keep at it, even when you don’t see the numbers growing. You need to measure your numbers and be consistent.

Initially, make sure to schedule days that you will post no matter what.

That consistency will bring results.

What are some things you do to get more followers on Instagram? Let me know in the comments below!

Like this post? Share it with your friends!

Here are some more Instagram posts to check out:

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Authored By
Hey Shouters! I'm Kishen and I'm a serial Entrepreneur and Author. I've written multiple books on Marketing and Growth and have helped startups grow their business! You can connect with me on Linkedin!

19 thoughts on “9 Proven Ways To Increase Instagram Followers : Get Real Followers”

  1. Mikaela Pierre

    Wow I didn’t know running a contest on instagram can gain some followers too, indeed a very informative article! Thanks!

  2. Incentafan

    Hi Kishen! These are some great tips on how to organically grow an Instagram profile! As an admin at Incentafan, I also advocate for the “fake it till you make it” thinking. By making a profile look more popular with non-organic followers, more real people start to follow and engage.

  3. Prateek InstaDP

    Very Nice article.
    I use hashtags to get more followers and likes on Instagram.

    Thanks for sharing this article with us

  4. Blue Astral

    Hey Harsh, Thanks for your information but I am more confused about #hashtags on my Instagram account if you can guide me about hashtags or is there any tool to find then please suggest. And I am waiting for you reply.

    1. Megri UK

      Hello Astral, I was wondering why you are facing issue with #hashtags, as I have seen it mostly provide the suggestion regarding popular tags as per our writing thoughts. I advise you to start typing your thoughts and you will instantly receive the good suggestions. To get the task done more easily I refer you search for popular social media hashtags posts, the internet has a number of good posts to provide you the required information.

  5. Lokesh Kumar

    Thanks for the valuable blog I am using a social pilot app where I easily add my social media profile. Social Pilot Social Media Tool is a complete package to schedule and manage all of your social media accounts at one place like Instagram, twitter, linked etc

  6. Sinu

    Hey Kishen!!

    Great Article, Instagram is indeed a fastest growing network among social media, it’s the best way to attract the younger audiences. Great tips by the way!!

  7. AlJarhi

    We tried cross promotion and it we were happy with the results!

  8. Navneet Singh

    No doubt, Instagram has a lot of potential audience for any niche and creating a strong follower profile can help you growing pretty well,
    thank you for the amazing work you produce consistently.

    Thanks for sharing it for us.

  9. Tushar Pingale

    Also Add Follow for Follow :-p Just Kidding. Good Article and i was not knowing lots of tips you have explained.

  10. sharanu patil

    nice post has given many details to increase Instagram followers….. thanks for the use full information

  11. Carlos

    I have been struggling with Instagram. Ill give it a try to redo the strategy with this tips.

  12. Anglomoz

    This is a very insightful post. Instagram is nothing but a goldmine even Facebook needs to tighten up

  13. rakesh sharma

    That is a pretty informative post about Instagram. No doubt, Instagram has a lot of potential audience for any niche and creating a strong follower profile can help you growing pretty well. But again, with heavy competition, it is not that easy. Let me try some of the ways mentioned in the post.
    Thanks for sharing it with us

  14. Arun

    Great article!
    This guide will help a lot for those who want to have more Instagram followers.
    Thank You for sharing this post.

  15. Md Shanto

    That is a pretty informative post about Instagram. No doubt, Instagram has a lot of potential audience for any niche and creating a strong follower profile can help you growing pretty well. But again, with heavy competition, it is not that easy. Let me try some of the ways mentioned in the post.
    Thanks for sharing it with us.

  16. siddhartha sinha

    These are some of the Things that I was not knowing on How to Increase the Followers in Instagram

  17. Rohith

    i have an instagram account with 74k followers . how to make it 100k followers ?
    in starting it was viral , but not now !! need help

  18. Jayant Gosain

    That is a pretty informative post about Instagram. No doubt, Instagram has a lot of potential audience for any niche and creating a strong follower profile can help you growing pretty well. But again, with heavy competition, it is not that easy. Let me try some of the ways mentioned in the post.
    Thanks for sharing it with us.

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