Everything You Need to Know to Get More Instagram Followers

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won't cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running! Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!

How to be an Instagram superstar and get more Instagram followers | Oh, She Blogs!

If you want to make money from your Instagram account, be it through sponsored posts or by selling items directly or using affiliate links, one thing is clear: You need to have a sizeable number of followers on the platform. “Sizeable” varies, but usually the point when bloggers begin getting tapped for sponsored posts is around 5,000 followers but the real sweet spot is 10,000 followers and up. Do you have an Instagram profile but lack the following that you need to gain traction? Wondering what you can do to get people to make the commitment to follow you AND get them to engage? Here are some practical tips that will help you get more Instagram followers.

How to Get More Instagram Followers

1. Use Quality Images

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised at how many people don’t understand why no one is following their Instagram profile, yet their Instagram feed is filled with poor-quality images. When taking pictures, make sure you take lighting, angles, and the actual subject into account. People love to see well-lit snapshots of interesting subjects from angles that make you pay attention. Instagram is a VISUAL space, so if your visuals suck, you won’t get the engagement you are looking for. If your photo skills are not up to par, you have several options: you can use quality stock photos, hire a professional photographer, or take some courses so that you can improve your skills.

Examples of Instagram accounts using quality images that really pop:


Young Adventuress on Instagram



Blair Eadie Bee on Instagram

2. Have a Branded Image

Think about your favorite brand or Instagrammer. More than likely, you can tell their products just by seeing them, right? That is because they have a branded image. They have conditioned you to be able to recognize them in the middle of a crowd. That is what you want your followers to be able to do when they are scrolling and see a photo from your account. You want to stand out. You can do that by creating a brand image that is instantly recognizable. Think about your overall feed before posting pictures and then try to create a cohesive flow through things like using a certain color scheme (or filters), using certain design elements, or even using a template.

Examples of Instagram accounts with a strong sense of brand:


Sambazon on Instagram


Instagram accounts with strong branded images: blacksburgbelle

3. Mix it Up!

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that having a brand image is the same as only putting out one type of content. Mix it up! Share your blog posts. Share funny stories. Post motivational quotes. Let people know what you are up to. Make your profile one that people want to browse for a bit.

These bloggers do a great job of mixing up their feeds:


Oh Joy! does a great job of mixing things up on Instagram.


Champagnesupernovablog does a great job of mixing personal and quotes on Instagram

4. Tell Stories

Again, you should be telling stories with your pictures. As much as Instagram is a visual place, it is also a place where people can tell stories and get to know one another.

The captions might be the best part of these Instagram accounts:


Savvy Everyday does a great job telling stories with her Instagram feed.


Sarahdshotts is a great Instagram storyteller.

5. Ask Questions

One way to get your audience engaged (and, thus, get more people to want to follow you) is by getting them to stop and think about something. When you ask the right questions of people in your target audience, you are sure to get some responses. This opens up the opportunity for you to have a genuine dialogue with people, which is one of the first steps toward building a relationship with them.

6. Give Value

Another thing that you want to do to engage people and make them want to come back for more is to provide them with value. Don’t just use Instagram as a platform to promote your blog. Use it to truly serve your audience. Let them see that you have things to offer to them that they could benefit from.

Both of these accounts do a great job of providing helpful information to their followers:


The Fitness Fashionista provides a lot of value to her Instagram followers


Instawithalex provides a lot of value to her followers by sharing Instagram tips and news.

7. Connect to Other Social Media Accounts

If you haven’t connected your Instagram to your other accounts or set up your blog so that people where to find you on Instagram, you are doing yourself a disservice. As a general rule, you should always let people on your social media accounts know all of the ways that they can connect with you. Further, when you connect your accounts, you can often set it up so that content that you share on one is shared on the others. This helps to bring more visibility to your content.

8. Use Relevant and Popular Hashtags

Everyone who uses Instagram is familiar with hashtags. However, there is a formula to using them properly. With a bit of research, you can discover the hashtags that you can use to gain more visibility and more followers. What I would do is come up with a list of keywords that deal with your brand and then search for each one in Instagram’s search bar. Focus on those tags that yield fewer than 400,000 posts. Using hashtags with too many posts will mean that you have way too much competition to be seen. Focusing on tags with too few posts means that it is likely not a tag that is very poplar, so it won’t really be something people are looking at. For each of these tags, click on them to see what the content includes, how people are engaging with it (are they commenting, liking, sharing, etc), and if it is something that your audience might find interesting. If you think it would engage your audience in a positive way, make a note to create similar content.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Using hashtags with too many posts will mean that you have way too much competition to be seen.” quote=”Using hashtags with too many posts will mean that you have way too much competition to be seen.”]

9. Follow People

If you want people to follow you, you should follow them. This goes for following people in your target audience, brands that you are interested in, and following people who have followed you.

The follow / unfollow method is a popular way to get more followers on Instagram, though it is not without controversy. The Instarevealed Decoded Guide does a great job of going in-depth about the method, as well as talking about other Instagram strategies.

10. Like People’s Photos

Don’t be the type of follower that likes people’s profiles but never engages with them. Be the type of follower that you want! This means that you should take the time to actually check out people’s content and engage with them. The more you engage with others, the more they will engage with you.

11. Use Videos

I’ve mentioned that Instagram is a very visual platform. People tend to focus on pictures when they think of visuals, however videos are a part of that as well. In fact, Instagram’s videos are giving Vine a run for their money, especially since Instagram just increased the video length from 15 seconds to 60 seconds. Don’t write them off!

12. Post Consistently

You don’t have to be on Instagram 24/7, but you should definitely take the time to figure out when your audience is online and how often they like to see posts from you. It will take some playing around to figure it out, but it is worth it. (Apps like Iconosquare will provide you with this information! Unfortunately Iconosquare is no longer free.) Once you have figured out a good posting schedule, you can use a variety of social media management tools to schedule content.

13. Host Contests, Challenges and Giveaways

People enjoy contests, challenges and giveaways. Think of some ways that you can get your audience engaged in these that would align with your brand.

Loop giveaways, where a group of people get together to give away an item and promote it to all of their followers, are particularly popular. The way to enter these giveaways is to usually stipulate that you must follow everyone hosting the giveaway, which means you could gain a bunch of new followers! (However, it is worth noting that that these may not be quality followers as they could just be following you for a chance to win the prize and then may unfollow as soon as the giveaway is over.)

14. Use Trends to Your Advantage

I am sure you can think of some hashtag trends that are part of Instagram culture. Some examples could be #ManCrushMonday #WomanCrushWednesday, #SelfieSunday, #MotivationMonday, #ThrowbackThursday, etc. Take advantage of these trends.

15. Share Sneak Peeks and Special Content

Everyone likes to feel like they are getting something that not everyone has access to. Whenever possible, treat your Instagram followers to something that is just for them. Perhaps pictures that give them an inside look at your day. Or a sneak peek at something you are working on.

Is anyone better than Kim Kardashian when it comes to sharing everything on Instagram?

Kim Kardashian shares everything on Instagram

16. Show Your Personality

Don’t confuse branding with boring. You can be professional without dimming your personality. In fact, your personality is something you should bank on in social media because it is unique to you. Let your personality show through in your posts.

17. Use the Right Filters

There are a lot of different filters that you can use to make your images great. Play around with them until you find the one(s) that get the most engagement from your ideal audience and that suit your vibe the best. If you don’t like the filters on Instagram (and I don’t blame you), check out apps like VSCO, Afterlight and Color Story.

18. Check Out Your Competition

There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of espionage, as long as you are ethical about it. Check out your competitors to see what they are doing that gets a positive response from your ideal audience. If it works for them, it very well may work for you. Just put your own spin on it. Remember, you don’t want to reinvent the wheel, but you still want to be true to you.

19. Be Intentional

Don’t do anything without a purpose. Before you post anything, ask yourself why you are sharing it, what you want your audience to get from it, and how you want them to respond to it.

20. Create a Call to Action

If you know what you want your audience to do – ask them to do it. This could be an invitation to follow your profile, comment, share, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.

Foundr Magazine does a great job of encouraging their followers to like photos and tag other users.

How to get more Instagram followers: Foundr Magazine does a great job of encouraging followers to like photos and interact.

21. Become an Instagram Suggested User

OK, we’re half-kidding with this one but the quickest way to get more Instagram followers is to become an Instagram Suggested User. The accounts that Instagram features usually grow their accounts by 100,000 or MORE during the time that they are a suggested user. Of course, the big question with this is… how do you become an Instagram suggested user?! Instagram says they have the following requirements to be an Instagram Suggested User:

  • Bring a unique perspective to Instagram by sharing inspiring, original photos and videos
  • Are actively engaged in and help cultivate the larger Instagram community
  • Inspire creativity in fellow Instagrammers by doing things like participating in @instagram’s Weekend Hashtag Project or bringing people together in the real world through an InstaMeet

Previous Instagram Suggested Users have their own theories about how they made the list. Check out this post, this post, and this post for some tips, although keep in mind that nobody except Instagram really has the answer.


Do Tell: Do you have any more tips for how to get more Instagram followers? We’d love to hear them!

Tiffany Hathorn

Tiffany Hathorn

Tiffany Hathorn is the blogger/wordsmith at Single Mommy Warrior, where she talks about life as a single WAHM. She is mom to a 5-year-old superhero. When she is not working with clients on creating engaging content for their brands, she can be found hanging out with her son, working on her novel, or engaging in Netflix binges.
Tiffany Hathorn

Latest posts by Tiffany Hathorn (see all)

Leave a Reply

35 Comment threads
5 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
34 Comment authors
panthergirlSteve HoweBrianSpotlight ChaserMar Recent comment authors
Notify of
Rachel Bucher

Great tips!

Lisa Koivu

Thanks Rachel!

Jessica Bradshaw

Thanks for these tips!! That is exactly what I am working on right now…building my Insta. These are great! Pinning to remeber.

Lisa Koivu

Thanks for stopping by, Jessica! It can take awhile to build an Instagram following… but it’s so worth it! Good luck!


Great tips! This is very helpful info in growing a following 🙂

Lisa Koivu

Thanks Cara!

Danielle Greco

Great post! I love those instagram accts you’ve used as examples. I will check out that insta revealed site! Thanks for sharing these tips, I’m always looking to improve my insta skills, it’s one of my main focuses with my blog. 🙂
Danielle | AccordingtoD.com


Thanks! Im currently working on growing my instagram account so all of these are great tips! I am going to start implementing them!


you have some great tips on here! i just try to be authentic and positive with my instagram


I’ve been wanting to up my Instagram game for quite awhile now and just need to get it done. These are some really great tips. I’m going to start working on my branding. Thanks!


These are all great tips! Thanks for sharing this!


These are fabulous tips! I have definitely used many of these to grow my following! I used to LOVE loops giveaways, but quickly found that I would lose almost as many followers as I would gain, including loyal followers who un-followed because of seeing the loop on my feed (and then comment this was the reason they were leaving). Definitely something to be weary of!

xo Ashley


Awesome tips! These accounts look great too.. off to check some out 🙂


This is so great and cohesive! Pinning this for later because I really struggle with IG.

xoxo, Jenny


Such a helpful post! I love Instagram. It’s my best source of blog traffic. But, I definitely could be doing more of what you’ve listed above. Thank you for sharing the wealth 😉


Chris Huston

This is great information! Thanks so much for sharing. Now I have a question for you — how do you get emojis on your bio:)

Lisa Koivu

In your Instagram bio? I set it up on my phone, but if you’re doing it on a mac I recently learned that you can hit control + command + space bar and an emoji box will pop up!

Heather Davis

Great tips! I am still trying to learn Instagram.

Lisa Koivu

Thanks Heather! Let me know if you have any questions!

Alison | So Chic Life

So many great tips can’t wait to try these out.


This is a GREAT post. Seriously the best advice for upping your IG game.

Carly @ FitLiving Eats

What a thorough and helpful list! I think quality photos is key and creating a consistent look. A goal of mine is to incorporate more giveaways and some video into my account!

Tisa Jackson

thanks for sharing, I’m going to give a few of these tips a try.


These are such great tips – I am almost at 2,000 and am working hard to grow my following. It takes a lot of time and consistency to get the right kind of followers, but good pictures really are the key.


What great tips. I having been doing many of these already but I did learn some new things!!


Great article! I actually hadn’t heard about ‘suggested users’ before. Its something to strive for!–I also realized I really need to focus more on story telling.

Anna Oates

Really amazing tips! There were a few that I’ve never thought of!


[…] .uc137a5cb388e05082384c298cca23e1f { padding:0px; margin: 0; padding-top:1em!important; padding-bot… […]


[…] as part of a number. If you’re looking for other ways to grow your account, check out 21 ways to increase your Instagram following for 20 alternative […]


“10. LIKE PEOPLE’S PHOTOS” In my opinion, this is one of the best way to get targeted Instagram followers. You must just find other users in a similar niche as your own, like your competitors, and browse through their followers, liking 1-3 photos of each person. These people will already be interested in a similar brand, so when they see that like, chances are they will follow you!

Thanks for the super in-depth post!

Mary Grace Faulkerson
Mary Grace Faulkerson

It was worth the read! Thank you for sharing helpful tips 🙂


Great tips! I’m going to try out the “keeping up with trends” idea.


This is well-written and very helpful! Thank you! Much better than the follow/unfollow method (which I don’t ever want to do.) Best wishes!

Abhinav Shan

Bringing in more followers into Instagram requires some work. Thanks for sharing your ideas on increasing Instagram followers. Social media optimization also plays a part. You can find more discussion regarding this topic at our question and answer website.


Thank you very much for this great article, it’s very useful and pleasant to read!!


Hey! Thank you for sharing these helpful tips.. Good Luck!

Spotlight Chaser
Spotlight Chaser

Very well explained tips. Becoming popular on Instagram is no easy task, but when you put a lot of hard work into your goal, you can achieve it.


This is a very good post. But I’ll tell you, the follow/unfollow method on Instagram equals “spammer” in my book. I ALWAYS unfollow anyone who pulls that with me.

Steve Howe

Thank you for the tips. I am new to Instagram and have a lot to learn. Do you have any advice on how frequently someone should post?


Nice ideas, although the Suggested User thing doesn’t exist on Instagram anymore. 🙁 Also unfortunately many people are using paid automated systems to drive up their follower numbers, post automatic likes and comments (the reason you see “Great Shot!” on quotes and memes) and that gives little credibility to the number of followers and likes. The changed algorithm on IG has also made it impossible to see the feed chronologically so often your best posts won’t be seen by any of your followers until days or weeks later. It’s a shame that it doesn’t really seem possible to organically grow… Read more »