Let’s be honest: On Instagram, followers are your currency—the more you have, the greater your appeal to brands.
But earning those followers is tougher than ever. The days when you could simply buy Instagram followers and watch your numbers soar are gone. Now, such tactics are more likely to harm your account than help it.
The good news? The organic and genuine methods for increasing Instagram followers still work. Plus, some new strategies that align with Instagram’s latest updates and user preferences are proving effective. Below, you’ll find 14 tips to increase your Instagram followers in 2024.
How to get real followers on Instagram: 14 tips
1. Optimize your Instagram profile
Your Instagram profile is often the first impression potential followers get of your brand. It’s a snapshot that should embody your ecommerce identity, mirroring the style and messaging found on your website and across other channels.
Here are a few tips to improve your profile:
Make it consistent: Ensure your avatar, bio, and overall theme align with your brand. This includes using consistent colors, filters, and layout styles that resonate with your brand’s personality.
Engage with your content grid: Your posts and Reels should form a cohesive grid that tells your brand’s story. Regularly plan and schedule your content to maintain this harmony. Aim for a visually appealing layout that draws viewers in and encourages them to explore more.
Utilize the bio link: Utilize the clickable link in your bio effectively. Whether it’s linking to your latest collection, a special offer, or a sign-up page, this link is a direct gateway for potential customers to engage deeper with your brand.
Look at Letterfolk’s Instagram. First, the brand makes a solid impression with a consistent color scheme and graphics.
Then, there’s a thoughtful mix of content in its Instagram grid. This includes product highlights, customer experiences, and inspiring posts, giving a comprehensive view of what it offers.
Finally, the link in its bio is a smart move. It leads to a page with several options, including a shopping grid that reflects the Instagram content.
This seamless connection between Letterfolk’s social presence and ecommerce site makes for a smooth user experience.
2. Use Instagram Live
Instagram Live is a feature that lets you stream videos directly to your followers. It’s like Reels or Stories, but happens in real time. Creators get cool interactive features to talk directly with viewers, earn through Instagram badges, and you can save your Lives for future use.
For example, influencer Alfredo Lewi did a live chat with makeup artist @makeupbyloveandrea, partnering with K18 Hair. This kind of collaboration extends the brand’s reach and introduces creators to new audiences.
Here are handy tips for using Instagram Live to boost your following:
Host takeovers with influencers on your account.
Set up an AMA (ask me anything) or Q&A session for direct interaction.
Tease new products or offer exclusive access to live viewers; maybe even try Instagram Live Shopping.
Collaborate in a ’“room” with up to three accounts to widen your reach.
Show behind-the-scenes content to add a personal touch to your brand.
Conduct live tutorials or demos, and answer questions as they come.
Interview other creators or brands and promote the event on both accounts beforehand for more attention.
3. Establish your personal brand
If you’re the driving force of a founder-led brand, it’s wise to develop your personal Instagram in tandem with your business account. This strategy can significantly enhance brand recognition, boost your follower count, and escalate sales.
For instance, consider the approach of Package Free, a zero-waste lifestyle brand. The brand maintains a strong Instagram presence, but it’s the founder’s personal account that adds an extra layer of engagement and awareness.
By balancing these two accounts, you strike a powerful chord. Your personal account adds a human element, making the brand more relatable, while the business account showcases what’s on offer, encouraging Instagram users to buy.
4. Get up on feature accounts
Certain Instagram accounts feature the best posts from specific niches. These are referred to as featured accounts, and many of them have a massive following. If your post gets featured on one of these accounts, it could bring new followers to your profile.
You’ll find a feature account for almost every interest—travel, fashion, photography, pets, and beyond. For instance, @thepeoplescreatives is a feature account that shares creative pictures with its 177,000 followers.
To get your content noticed by these accounts, try using hashtags they often use. You can also tag them in your posts, or follow their rules for posting. This is an effective way to get followers who are already into the kind of content you post.
5. Share user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is any content—like videos, photos, reviews, or audio—created by customers or followers about a brand. It shows potential customers how others interact with and value your products, increasing their trust and likelihood to purchase.
And when you share a customer’s post, it can make them feel special and more loyal to your brand. They might even start telling their friends about you or come back to buy more.
Using UGC is a powerful strategy to increase your Instagram followers and sales. People are 56% more likely to buy a product if they see a photo of it shared by other customers.
6. Create a hashtag strategy
To grow your Instagram following, a solid hashtag strategy is essential. Here are the steps for creating one:
Pick relevant hashtags
Choose hashtags that closely relate to your brand. Skip the very popular ones and go for those that match your business and audience.
Organize your tags
Group your hashtags. For example, if you sell handmade candles, use tags like #HandmadeCandles, #EcoFriendlyHome, and #ScentedCandles. Add some local tags, too, like #MadeIn[YourCity].
Use hashtags in Stories and Reels
Regularly use these hashtags in your Stories and Reels. This helps new people find your content.
Refresh old posts
Add new hashtags to old posts to give them a second chance to be seen.
These simple steps will help you reach the right audience and grow your Instagram community.
7. Interact with your competitors’ IG followers
Engaging with followers of your competitors is a smart decision, as these individuals have already shown interest in products or services like yours.
On Instagram, there are several ways to engage:
Follow people who are already interested in similar brands.
Like their posts, Stories, or Reels to show your presence.
Comment on their posts to start a dialogue.
Tag these users in your content when it’s relevant.
Send direct messages to begin personal conversations.
This kind of active engagement is a great way to demonstrate that you’re keen on building genuine relationships with potential fans and customers.
A vast majority of consumers—88% to be exact—place a high value on authenticity when choosing brands to support.
By engaging directly and personally, you show that there’s a real person behind your account.
8. Use location tags to get followers from your vicinity
Have you ever tagged a city or venue in your Instagram posts? If not, it’s a strategy worth considering.
Location tags put your content in front of tourists and locals who are exploring those specific areas on Instagram. When you tag a location, your post becomes part of that place’s unique Instagram feed and Story. This is an effective way to reach a targeted audience based in a specific locale.
Consider this post from pinesnprints, a brand that creates stickers, prints, and illustrations inspired by daily life.
By tagging Singapore in it, it manages to showcase its offerings to both residents and visitors exploring content related to that location.
9. Ask for more followers in your posts
Asking for more followers on Instagram might feel a bit forward, but it’s a tried-and-true method.
Think about it: YouTubers always remind viewers to subscribe. Why not apply the same tactic on Instagram?
Every now and then, in your captions or during your video content like Reels and Stories, just give a friendly reminder for users to follow you.
When you do this, make sure to highlight the value for them. Tell your audience what they’ll gain by following you—maybe it’s insider tips, a sneak peek into your daily life, or exclusive content. Give them a reason to hit that Follow button.
And here’s a tip for creators: Nudge your current followers to subscribe to your Instagram Subscriptions. This feature lets you offer special content to paying subscribers, and it’s one of the simplest ways to earn money on the platform.
10. Collaborate with like-minded brands and creators
Another way to achieve Instagram growth is through strategic collaborations. Look for brands and creators that can complement your business. If you specialize in outdoor apparel, for instance, collaborating with a travel influencer or a camping gear company could be ideal.
When collaborating with other companies, ensure the partnership feels authentic and adds value to both brands. The key is maintaining a balance where both companies benefit and contribute equally.
For example, luxury womenswear brand Rosie Assoulin and sustainable shoe brand Allbirds teamed up to co-create these stylish, eco-friendly summer slides.
This partnership worked well because both brands contributed to the item’s unique look and design. Of course, having a shared audience interested in style and sustainability made things easier for both businesses.
11. Host a contest
One of the best ways to encourage a follow is by hosting a contest or giveaway. Typically, you’d ask participants to follow your account, like and comment on the contest post, and maybe tag a friend or two.
But instead of the usual “like and tag” routine, why not ask your followers to share a piece of content that aligns with your brand’s values or campaign theme?
It could be a photo, a short story, or a creative piece of artwork. This approach encourages deeper engagement and creativity, making your contest more of a community-building exercise than just a follower-boosting tactic.
Note: Make sure to follow Instagram’s promotion guidelines and check the legal side of running contests in your region before planning this activity.
12. Get an Instagram shoutout
An Instagram shoutout is like a public nod or recommendation from one Instagram user to another. To get a shoutout, you can reach out to Instagram users who have a good number of active followers and ask if they’d feature your account in one of their posts or Stories. It’s better to look for accounts that align with your brand or content style.
Getting a shoutout helps increase your Instagram followers because it exposes your account to a new audience. This audience is already active and engaged, making them more likely to follow accounts that are recommended by someone they already trust.
This method is much more effective than chasing fake followers, who don’t really engage with your content. Genuine, active Instagram followers are key to building a strong Instagram presence.
13. Post when your audience is active
To get active followers on Instagram, it’s important to post at the right times. Tap into your Instagram analytics to find out when your audience is most active. Then, schedule your posts to coincide with those peak activity periods.
For efficiency, consider using a social media scheduling tool. It can post your content at these optimal times, even if they fall outside your regular working hours.
14. Create an Instagram Guide
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, and header, 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.
Getting followers on Instagram: three influencers weigh in
1. Juanika Cuthbertson (@ladypreneur)
Juanika Cuthbertson is the founder of the popular website The Ladypreneur. Her Instagram account hasmore than 29,000 followers. Here’s her advice on how to gain 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.”
2. Talia Koren (@workweeklunch)
Talia Koren is the mastermind behind the popular Work Week Lunch, which has an astounding 477,000 followers and counting. We asked her what the best way to get Instagram followers is
“When you’re starting from zero 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. Also, resist the temptation of buying followers, as most of them won’t engage with your content.”
3. Gracie Parish (@gracieparish)
Gracie Parish is an Instagram influencer who grew her Instagram following to an impressive 34,000. We asked her to share her advice on how to get followers on Instagram:
“I take a lot of time to engage on Instagram. Each week, I comment on as many posts as I can. This tactic has worked in my favor, as people started recognizing and following my account. You can implement this tactic by commenting on different posts related to your niche.”
Using Instagram followers to drive business growth
Now that you’re set to grow your Instagram followers, focus on crafting content that truly engages. Quality trumps quantity—make every post count.
As your follower base expands, remember: This is more than a numbers game. Your Instagram is a vital bridge to new customers and business growth.
Keep adapting, stay on trend, and let your Instagram journey transform followers into valuable opportunities. Here’s to turning your social media savvy into success!
How to get more followers on Instagram FAQ
Can I buy real followers on Instagram?
Buying Instagram followers might seem tempting, but it’s a no-go for brands. These fake Instagram followers (or bots) fall short in delivering the engagement that real Instagram followers bring. What’s more, Instagram often bans these fake accounts, meaning any temporary boost in numbers they provide is just that—temporary.
The better strategy? Focus on quality. Post high-quality content regularly, vary what you share in your feed, and tag relevant users. This approach leads to an increase in your follower count, and more importantly, in genuine engagement on the platform.
How do you get more Instagram followers for free?
If you want to grow your presence on Instagram but don’t have the budget to run paid ads or promote Instagram posts, try these tactics to gain more followers:
Create Instagram Reels.
Find and use popular hashtags related to your brand.
Go live on Instagram.
Post at the right times.
How many followers do I need to start monetizing my Instagram account?
There’s no set number, but engagement and niche relevance matter most. A few thousand engaged followers can be a solid start for partnerships and affiliate marketing. To unlock features like Instagram Shopping, aim for at least 10,000 followers.