Social Media Marketing 5 min read
04 Aug 2021

Growing Your Instagram Following: 10 Proven Ways To Do It

Growing Your Instagram Following: 10 Proven Ways To Do It

We all know how powerful social media is. I know people whose days start with sharing a tweet and end by posting an Instagram story.

Not only people...but businesses also use social media for commercial purposes.

They use social channels to create awareness and build a community.

Sephora, National Geographic, and BuzzFeed are good examples…

But as they say, appearances can be deceiving.

Just because something works for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you as well.

No, I don't want to discourage you. But having realistic expectations is good, right?

So, the first thing you need to do is choose the right social media channel.

Sure, you can have a presence on every channel available to date.

But there is a problem.

You'll end up exhausting all your resources and marketing budget while trying to target everything.

So, what is the solution?

Choose two or three social channels that best align with your business goals.

When you're starting a new business, it can be thrilling to imagine how you can sell your creative products through Instagram.

While Instagram doesn't make sense for all industries, not using it can be a lost opportunity for some.

If your product is visual, your business needs to be on Instagram.

Still not convinced? Here are a few reasons Instagram should be part of your marketing strategy.

Fuel your IG marketing strategy using Debutify. Our 40+ add-ons have everything you need to get started.

Why Does Your Business Need To Be On Instagram?

Visual Content Converts Better

I came across a Kissmetrics study recently. This study found that visual content received 94% more views than text-only content.

Now, what does that mean?

This means that visual content is easier to digest than long text-based articles. 

Let’s take the example of American Express. Check their Insta handle and see how they’re selling credit cards there. Sharpie is another example. As well as Oreo, Starbucks, Disney, and the list goes on.

These brands are killing it on Instagram...

You Can 'Soft Sell' Your Products On Instagram

If you want to increase your sales without being salesy, Instagram can be your safest bid.

When you grow your Instagram followers, they value your brand and are more likely to make a purchase. 

Millennials Love Instagram

Millennials are on Instagram most of the time. They use it before going to sleep and when they wake up.

You're probably wondering...

Who will be your future customers in, say, 5-10 years? Millennials?

You got that, right!

Instagram Is Just Plain Fun

Well, this is the reason we use Instagram all the time. Is it just plain fun?

You can be as creative as you want. You can share stories and show the world who you are.

Let them know what your business is all about.

Remember, the more creative and transparent you are on Instagram, the more followers you will get.

Getting Followers On Instagram

So you decided to create your account on Instagram?

Great! What’s next?

Now, you need followers.

Getting the first 10k followers will be the hardest.

Why? Because nobody knows who you are and what you offer.

It's time I tell you a little secret... 

You can actually get 10k followers in no time if you read this guide till the end.

This article includes tips to grow your Instagram followers. I will also share a few Instagram follower hacks to help you grow your following.

So keep reading if you want to rock your presence on Instagram like other popular brands.

10 Proven Ways To Grow Your Instagram Followers

1. Optimize Your Account

You only have 150 characters to tell people who you are and what your business is all about. So make sure you make the most of that character count.

If you’re looking for inspiration, have a look at the Outdoor Voices Instagram bio. 

They include a short tagline with a CTA (Call-to-action) for followers to tag posts with the popular Instagram hashtag #DoingThings.

 Optimize Your Account

Did I mention they also have a trackable link in their bio to keep a record of clicks they get through Insta? 

If you’re not sure what to include in your bio, start with the basics.


  • a clear description of your business
  • a CTA (Call-to-action)
  • a link
  • a branded hashtag

That’s it!

Up next is...

2. Join Engagement Groups

Ever wondered what sets successful brands on Insta apart from struggling ones?

They join Instagram podcasts and engagement groups.

By joining podcasts, you can increase engagement and grow your Instagram followers.

But there's a catch...

While it can be tempting to join large pods, it often results in impersonal engagement.

So, if you want to make the most of this tip to grow your Instagram, make sure you follow niche pods. They're more targeted and bring a significant change in follower count.

This is a short-term tactic you can use in the initial few weeks. But you'll have a handful of followers. And something is better than nothing.

Some of my friends got up to 1500 new followers using this strategy.

It's your turn.

Let’s move on to the next...

3. Experiment With BuzzFeed

I love BuzzFeed for two reasons.

First, they have a massive audience. Second, no one embeds posts in their content as much as this platform does.

So, if you want to tap a wider audience, I'd suggest you experiment with BuzzFeed. Click their community section. There you will find content posted by many other people.

Share your post, and you're ready.

Don't forget to go through their posting guidelines before submitting anything.

If you think BuzzFeed is not the right option for your business, fret not. You can try HARO.

Haro sends emails thrice a day filled with requests from reporters who need content.

The best part?

Those reporters also allow a site/social link.

Sounds good, right?

You can also...

4. Add Customer Photos In Your Feed

Getting more followers on Instagram will be easier when you have social proof.

And what else could be better proof than photos of your customers in your IG feed, right?

If you're starting and have zero customers, don't worry. 

You can connect with micro-influencers looking to monetize their profiles. 

They will take pictures of your products at a much lower cost. 

If you've had a few sales, you can offer an incentive to those customers to share their photos and tag you. 

Another tip you can try is...


I have another secret to share.

You know people don't follow you because they're in love with what you post.

In fact, what you post builds expectations. When the reader gets across a few of your posts, they get an idea of what kind of content they can expect from your brand.

Say you have a gel nail art page on Insta. Every day you post nail art pictures and products.

As a result, many users will follow your account because they want to see the same type of content on your Insta page.

Sure, you can create variations - but sticking to your niche is a surefire way to get more followers.

The choice is yours. Here are some Instagram Content Ideas to help you.

Next on our list is...

6. Go Wild With Hashtags

If you’re wondering how to make your content shine on search results, hashtags are your answer.

I have a story to share. When I started building a presence on Instagram, experts told me to use 5 or 7 hashtags.

What I did next will surprise you...

I ran wild with them… ?

Can you guess the number of hashtags I used?

Over 30…  ?

Yes, you read that right.

But I only used the ones that were relevant and skipped generic ones.

So yes, the more, the better (but relevant, of course).

So what else can you try? Let’s find out...

7. Use Geotags

You can also make your stories discoverable using geotags.

What is Geotags?

It is a location tag that displays your current location. Or reveals the place where you have captured your videos or photos. 

You must use these tags if you're a local business and want it easier for your target audience to find you. 

Next, we have...

8. Cross-Promote Your IG Feed On Other Channels

This one's important!

Don't you think your followers on other social networks also need to hear about your Instagram page?

Here are a few ways you can cross-promote your Insta handle on other channels:

  • Embed your Instagram pictures in your newsletters and blogs
  • Include a link to your Instagram bio in your emails
  • Include a link to your Instagram handle in your other social profiles

Don’t stop reading. There are still two options left for you...

9. Work With Influencers To Grow Your Instagram Followers

You can also partner with famous influencers to grow your Instagram followers.

If they have a genuine following, their shout-outs will get you more followers.

I’d suggest signing an agreement to ensure you won’t get fake traffic.

That happens and may cause you to get your account banned on Insta. No one wants that.

We’re down to our last option.

10. Avoid Fake Following

Buying fake followers and likes isn't worth it. ?

Fake followers not only will deceive new followers but also create little to no buzz.

Only real and loyal followers will like and share your content and engage with your brand.

How Are You Growing Your Instagram Followers?

We have shared some of the best tips to grow your Instagram following. If you're also interested in knowing the latest Instagram features that can help you grow your business, check this out.

Using these Instagram follower hacks will help you increase your reach.

But if you want quick results, Instagram marketing isn't for you.

Building a genuine fan base takes time. Are you ready to give your Instagram marketing strategy the time it deserves?

Share your thoughts down below.

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes is the CEO at Debutify. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies, and mentoring programs.

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