With nearly 1.4 billion monthly users, Instagram is the fourth most popular social media platform. Thanks to its massive user base, Instagram is one of the most powerful platforms for businesses worldwide. And, according to Birdeye data, 60% of businesses say that Instagram is a mission-critical platform.

If you want to improve your online presence, increase web traffic, and increase online leads, Instagram is the place to be. 

That said, Instagram can be a difficult platform to master. Many businesses don’t know how to gain followers on Instagram. A high follower count can help your business appear credible, become verified, and achieve your financial goals. 

In this article, we’ll teach you how to gain followers on Instagram and share 13 tips and tricks that work.

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Impact of getting more followers on Instagram 

There are countless metrics you can track on every social media platform. From impressions to reach, engagement to ad clicks, the list can seem endless. But on Instagram, your follower count is one of the metrics that matters most. 

A fast-growing Instagram follower count signifies that the platform is on your side. It signifies that whatever you’re doing is winning the heart of the Instagram algorithm. As you gain followers on Instagram, you’ll start to see a snowball effect. Often, the more followers you have, the quicker you’ll grow.

How to calculate monthly follower growth on Instagram

While there is no ideal goal post for the follower volume, the rate at which your Instagram followers grow is significant. To calculate Instagram monthly follower growth, divide the number of followers you gained in a month by the number of followers you had at the beginning of that month. Then, multiply that by 100% to get the growth rate percentage. You can find the numbers you need to calculate your growth rate in your Professional Dashboard on Instagram. 

According to reports, the current average rate at which Instagram accounts grow their followers is 2.07% and has fluctuated between 1.02% to 8.99%. 

The bottom line: Don’t worry about your actual number of followers or how you compare to your competitors. As long as you can maintain a steady stream of new followers, you’re on the right track. 

Instagram is an ever-growing social media platform that’s become a beastly marketing channel. For a business, this can be intimidating because there are countless features you can use to promote your campaigns, products, and services. 

How to gain followers on Instagram: Tips and best practices

There is a lot of debate over what content works on Instagram and what can bring likes, shares, and followers. We’ll cover that in the next section. But for now, here are a few detail-oriented action items that can help you on your quest to get more Instagram followers,

These tasks are quick and easy and can seriously impact your follower count.

1. Optimize your Instagram bio

Your Instagram bio is important. It might just look like a short introduction to your business, but it actually carries a lot of weight. If an Instagram user finds  your profile via the Explore page, your Instagram bio will tell them everything they need to know.  

You can optimize your Instagram bio by: 

  • Adding a clear description of your business, products, and services
  • Including your hours of operation and preferred method of contact (direct message, email, or chat)
  • Adding links to your online store or website 
  • Showcasing your latest product launch or campaign 

Pro Tip: Keep your Instagram short and straightforward. Add only the most essential information that your potential followers need to know. 

2. Apply for verification 

If you’re struggling to grow your follower count, it’s time to apply for a verified badge for your Instagram account. A blue check mark creates a sense of trust among your customers and followers. People on Instagram are more likely to pay attention if they see that blue check mark next to your name. 

While there is no minimum follower count required for verification, you should have at least a few thousand followers before applying. A verification badge comes in handy to get your follower growth up, but not for growing the followers for a new account. 

Check our detailed article to learn more about the Instagram verification process

3. Use the geotagging feature 

The best thing a business can do is treat Instagram like any other marketing channel. Focus on targeting your business’s ideal audience to improve engagement and conversion rates. One way to do this is by leveraging  the geotagging feature in Instagram.

If you’re a local business owner, tagging your location can help you find local followers. Customers will know you’re nearby, and they’ll be more likely to hit the follow button. 

Building a local community can help you steadily grow your followers on Instagram.

4. Find the best time to post

You can only turn Instagram users into followers if you actually reach them. Due to Instagram’s latest algorithm update, and its infinite scroll feature, the platform prioritizes “latest posts” over all other content. This means if you post at the wrong time, there’s a good chance that your content will not reach most Instagram users. 

The best time to post on Instagram can vary based on industry, product, services, target audience, and content type. Experiment to find out what works best for your content and stick to it. 

5. Follow Instagram’s community guidelines

When it comes to community guidelines, Instagram is pretty strict. The platform has “shadow banned” several professional accounts for not following community guidelines. When your account is shadow-banned, Instagram won’t promote your content as much as it would otherwise. This can seriously limit your reach and subsequent engagement, which can lead to a slowdown on follower growth. 

Be careful when sharing images, writing captions, and replying to comments. Stay professional and follow the guidelines to prevent your account from getting shadow banned 

How to get more followers on Instagram: Content ideas to try

The content you post can seriously influence your Instagram follower count. Instagram monitors user activity like watch times, video views, post interactions, engagement, and story views when deciding which content to promote on the Explore page. Make sure you’re consistently posting compelling, engaging content to keep your follower count rising. 

Here are a few more things you can do to grow your followers on Instagram: 

1. Optimize profile for a new audience 

Getting Instagram users to follow you after finding your content on their feeds or Explore pages can be tough. However, sharing compelling content may encourage users to click on your profile to see more. 

You can give potential followers a reason to follow you by optimizing your profile and organizing your content for new visitors. Here’s how: 

  • Organize  your existing content into categories to showcase all the content you have to offer to your followers. 
  • Create Instagram story highlights that showcase important information about your brand, including product catalogs, shipping information, all location outlet information, and so on. 
  • Add a Linktree or similar extension to your Instagram profile bio so your followers can access all critical links regarding your brand.

2. Content design and branding guidelines 

Instagram is a highly visual and aesthetics-oriented platform. To attract the attention of Instagram users, you’ll need robust content design and branding guidelines. For best results, your content must instantly stand out and be recognizable by your audience. 

To do this, brands should: 

  • Develop an Instagram aesthetic or branded templates for their content. 
  • Create branding guidelines that include color, font, and imagery choices approved by your company’s leadership.. 
  • Create a unique style and language that appeals to your followers.

The average time spent on Instagram is 29 minutes, which usually involves a lot of  scrolling. Create visually engaging and aesthetically pleasing content to make users stop and engage with your content.

3. Experiment with content

Instagram has become a source of entertainment, information, and promotion for all businesses, which means users have a wide variety of content options. The  content you produce has to be engaging enough to catch their attention – and if you want them to follow you, your content will have to make a lasting impact. 

Even though Instagram trends are always changing, businesses can still:  

  • Create trending videos on Instagram reels
  • Create interactive content like puzzles, giveaways, and contests
  • Launch a content series that will hook your audience and keep them coming back to your business’s profile 
  • Post customer reviews, testimonials, and user-generated content 

For more Instagram content ideas,check out our detailed guide to posting on social media. 

Pro Tip: Optimize your content captions and descriptions for Instagram search by using your brand name in the text copy and hashtags. Keep tracking results to see what works best for your audience. 

Your analytics is only as good as the reporting method to use to understand it. Check out our free social media reporting template to get started on Instagram analytics today. 

4. Post consistently 

Instagram users and Instagram’s algorithm both prefer accounts that regularly post content. Consistent posting tells the algorithm when to expect content from your account. It can also help improve the reach of your content. 

You can make sure your followers see everything by posting daily at the same time.

Businesses that manage multiple accounts should maintain a content calendar to help with scheduling. By automating these processes, you can make sure that your content reaches your audience and that your account can gain new followers consistently.

To help you organize your content, here is a free content calendar template from Birdeye. Make a copy and start using it today. 

5. Collaborate for greater visibility 

When you have a limited number of followers, we recommend working with other brands, creators, and professionals who have lots of followers. Instagram offers collaboration tools such as the “Collab feature” and “Remix feature.” 

With the collab feature, you can post content that appears on your profile and your collaborators simultaneously. This means that you can benefit from your collaborator’s engagement and leverage that to grow your followers on Instagram.

The remix feature allows you to recreate, react, or add to a popular creator’s Instagram reel. By associating with popular content, you can boost your reach on the platform and improve your follower growth rate.

6. Invest in influencer marketing 

Collab and remix features are free tools businesses can use to improve their reach on the platform. But if you want to increase your followers on Instagram exponentially, you should consider investing in influencer marketing. 

Instagram is an influencer haven right now. The platform helps these creators reach  a broad audience almost every day. Choosing the right influencers for your business segment can increase your credibility and presence on the platform.

Many local businesses have experienced an immediate increase in followers and sales by working with popular influencers on Instagram. 

7. Promote your Instagram account on other platforms 

If you have other social media channels for your business that are doing well, you can use that success to get more followers on Instagram. For example, you can promote your Instagram account and its content on other social media platforms, newsletters, and websites. 

Most users on other social media platforms are also on Instagram. By spreading the word about your account, you can make sure they also connect with your business on Instagram.

Thanks to its varied demographics and many business-friendly features, Instagram is an essential platform for businesses of all sizes. We know growing your followers on Instagram may seem like a difficult task, but these steps can help you see success on the platform. 

8. Leverage AI to generate content effortlessly

Marketers who fail to leverage AI in today’s world risk falling behind in a huge way. AI-powered social media management software like Birdeye can effortlessly generate captivating captions, suggest relevant hashtags, and even offer creative post ideas tailored to your audience’s interests and behaviors. This not only saves time but also ensures your content is optimized for engagement and reach. 

For those struggling with consistency in content creation, AI can offer a continuous flow of ideas and automate parts of the content creation process, ensuring your feed remains active and engaging. 

You can even leverage AI to automatically customize posts to reflect the unique characteristics and preferences of each location’s audience. This capability is crucial for multi-location brands aiming to establish a strong local presence on Instagram, as it allows for the efficient production of content that appeals to various demographics.

Birdeye has definitely been an excellent source of the user generated social content to our Fri-yay testimonials, which are super cute. They are created and branded by Birdeye with just a few clicks.

Meghan Bingham, Senior Operations Manager at Valley Vet Care

How to gain followers on Instagram: Frequently asked questions 

What happens after hitting 10K followers on Instagram?

In the past, the “Swipe up” feature was only available to accounts with more than 10K followers. However, that feature is now available to all accounts. Unfortunately, that means there are no unique benefits at 10K followers. 

Does Instagram pay you for followers?

Instagram does not directly pay you for your follower count. But if you have a creator account, you can leverage the monetization feature for your content if it is available in your region. 

How can I get 1,000 followers on Instagram? 

To build an initial following on Instagram, start by creating engaging content, participating  in trends, promoting  your account across all channels, and encouraging  your employees/clients to follow you. 

Why am I not getting followers on Instagram? 

Most accounts see a slowdown with the frequent algorithm changes on the platform. If you have hit a slump on Instagram, you can run contests and giveaways and experiment with content to see what works best for your brand. 

How can you get paid on Instagram?

Instagram has unlocked content monetization features in some regions. You can also make money via influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, and partnering with other brands. 

Can you buy Instagram followers? 

Buying fake or real followers on Instagram is strictly prohibited. If there is an audit, Instagram will remove all fake followers and ban the account. 

How to get more likes and followers on Instagram?

Business accounts must lean into Instagram reel trends, be active on stories, and post engaging content like giveaways, quizzes, and testimonials to get more likes and followers on Instagram. 

How to get more followers on Instagram for free?

To get more followers on Instagram, accounts must stay active and have a consistent posting schedule. Experiment with different types of content to see what works best to boost your follower count. 

How to gain followers on Instagram fast? 

There’s no magic trick to gaining thousands of followers overnight — the real trick is to publish high-quality content consistently. That said, here are a few tips and best practices that can help you. 
Post regularly and at the right times: Maintain a consistent posting schedule and post when your audience is most active for maximum engagement.
Post Stories and Reels: Leverage Instagram’s features like Stories and Reels to engage with your audience in diverse ways and boost your visibility.
Run contests or giveaways: Hosting a contest or giveaway can encourage engagement and attract followers. Ensure the rules involve following your account and tagging friends.
Analyze your performance: Adjust your strategy based on data about when your audience is online and which posts get the most engagement.

Connect to all your social networks with Birdeye Social

Instagram is a great place to promote your company’s products and services. But in order to reach all potential customers, you need to be on more than one platform. With Birdeye Social, you can connect not only to Instagram but also Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Google so that you don’t miss out on any opportunities. Watch our demo now to learn more.

2023 social media toolkit