There are currently over one billion active users on Instagram. Whether you're running an account for your small business or for a large company, the question is this: how do you stand out and gain followers? Of course, having a ton of followers doesn't necessarily guarantee more engagement or loyal customers, but naturally building your presence can help you get there. We've compiled the best tips on how to organically grow your Instagram following.
1. Post consistently.
If an account rarely posts, it doesn't matter how great the content is. Having a regular posting schedule allows more opportunities for people to see your content. It may not seem like it would make that much of a difference, but users will notice and follow accounts that are a great source of consistent content. According to a Tailwind study, accounts that post every day gain followers more quickly.
Keep in mind that quality of content is still hugely important, so work to create a balance of quantity and quality.
2. Use hashtags.
Being thoughtful with the hashtags you include in your posts can be a great way to gain followers. Use hashtags relevant to the content so your posts can be discovered through the search tab. Users can follow hashtags, so your posts might show up on their feeds even if they don't follow you yet. You can include up to 30 hashtags in a post on Instagram, and we recommend putting these at the bottom so they don't clutter the rest of your caption.
There's plenty of hashtag-generating tools out there, like Inflact, that can generate hashtags based on keywords, photos and URLs.
3. Engage with your audience.
Engagement is one of the most important aspects of growing your Instagram following, and it goes both ways. Get the audience to engage with your content and then engage with your audience. There's lots of ways to connect with your potential followers: responding to comments, answering questions in DMs, using the interactive Stories features. When users see that an account is responsive and welcoming, they'll be more likely to follow. Building up your community is essential to gaining more followers, but just remember to be authentic.
4. Experiment with different content.
Instagram has come a long way since it's launch in 2010. It has become a lot more than just posting photographs; the platform is now a hub of IGTV videos, Reels and Stories. If you take a look at the Explore page, Reels and IGTV videos are displayed larger than photos. Instagram likes to push the newest features, so take advantage of this by experimenting with these features. Creating different types of content can help you reach a wider audience, and having more than just still photos for users to explore on your profile will keep potential followers engaged and interested in the content you're posting.
5. Use paid ads.
Lastly, think about utilizing paid ads on Instagram. You can pay for ads to appear on users' feeds, as well as in Stories and on the Explore page. When creating the ads, you can target people based on location, demographics and interests. This is a great way to get your posts in front of people that don't already follow you but are likely to once they see your content. Paying for this space on users' feeds can help to increase your following and engagement.
Learn more about using ads on Instagram: https://business.instagram.com/advertising.
It's worth it to put in the work to grow your Instagram presence organically rather than being inauthentic or using the follow for follow method. At the end of the day, it's best to have the most engaged and loyal followers as you possibly can.