7 min read

Top Tips to Grow Your Instagram Following

Top Tips to Grow Your Instagram Following

If you're still sleeping on Instagram as just a place to post cat memes, you're missing out on a major opportunity. This platform is a powerhouse for businesses and personal brands looking to connect with their people and stack some serious cash.

Let's be real—with over 1.35 billion users scrolling the 'gram every day, the potential reach is absolutely bonkers. But the question is, how do you cut through the noise and get those eyeballs on your content? 

We'll explore the strategies and tactics that actually work so you can start building a real, engaged audience that cares about what you're promoting.

Reels: The Not-So-Secret Weapon for Explosive Growth 

If you haven't been living under a rock, you know that Reels are the hottest thing on Instagram since, well, Instagram. They've got the potential to skyrocket your reach and engagement like nothing else.

Peep these stats: Reels get an average of 42% more likes than regular posts, and they're shared FOUR TIMES as often. That's the kind of viral power you need to get in front of fresh faces and grow your following.

But here's the thing - not all Reels are created equal. You must get strategic with your content to leverage this format for maximum impact. That means:

  • Hopping on trends early and putting your unique spin on them
  • Keeping it real and relatable (save the polished, corporate BS for LinkedIn)
  • Finding the sweet spot between education and entertainment 

And for the love of all that is holy, don't just use Reels as a glorified ad for your products. As social media maven Trilce Jirón Garro puts it, "Share facts. Provide tips about the industry you're in. Entertain viewers." Give people a reason to care about your brand beyond what you sell.

Cross-Pollinate Your Content for Maximum Reach

Alright, so you've got some fire Reels ready to go. But why stop there? One of the smartest (and easiest) ways to get more Instagram followers is to repurpose your best content across multiple platforms. 

Think about it - even if there's some overlap, you've likely got unique audiences on TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, and beyond. Cross-posting your top-performing Reels and posts increases your chances of being seen and followed.

Of course, you can't just copy-paste your content and call it a day. Ensure you tailor your posts to each platform's vibe and audience preferences. A little remixing goes a long way in getting your brand in front of as many potential followers as possible.

Optimize Your Profile to Make a Killer First Impression

Your Instagram profile is like your digital storefront. It's often the first thing people see when they stumble across your brand, so you better believe it needs to make a strong impression.

Think of it like this: your profile is a mini billboard for your brand. Every element - from your avatar to your bio to your grid - should work together to instantly communicate who you are, what you're about, and why someone should smash that follow button.

So, how do you craft a profile that stops the scroll? It all comes down to consistency and personality. 

Make sure your visual elements (logo, colors, fonts, etc.) are on-brand and cohesive across your feed. Bonus points if you can extend that aesthetic to your Stories' Highlights, covers, and link in the bio landing page.

And don't sleep on your bio, either. This is prime real estate to showcase your brand voice, drop a CTA, and give visitors a taste of what they can expect from your content. Keep it punchy, proofread like your life depends on it, and make sure that the link in the bio is clickable and up-to-date.

Harness the Power of Partnerships 

Real talk: growing your Instagram following alone is like climbing Mount Everest in flip-flops. You could probably do it, but it's going to be a lot harder than it needs to be.

That's where partnerships come in clutch. By teaming up with influencers, creators, and even other brands, you can tap into new audiences, borrow some trust and credibility, and get your content in front of the right people.

But before you send DMs to every influencer, pump the brakes. The key to a successful partnership is alignment—you want to work with folks who share your values, vibe with your aesthetic, and have an audience that would actually vibe with your brand.

Build Your Personal Brand to Boost Your Business

Newsflash: People connect with people, not faceless corporations. So, if you're a founder or the face behind your brand, it's time to step into the spotlight and start building your personal Instagram account alongside your business account.

This is a one-two punch of brand-building goodness. By showcasing the human side of your company and giving followers a behind-the-scenes peek, you're creating an emotional connection that goes beyond just your products or services. Plus, having two accounts working in tandem doubles your chances of discovery and engagement.

Get Featured on Niche Accounts for an Instant Credibility Boost

In the Wild West of Instagram, there's a secret weapon for growth that most folks are sleeping on: feature accounts. These are basically curated feeds that showcase the best content in a specific niche or industry - and some of them have millions of followers just waiting to discover your brand.

The beauty of feature accounts is that they come with a built-in seal of approval. If your post gets reposted by a major player in your space, it's like getting a big fat co-sign from an influential friend. Suddenly, you're not just another rando on the explore page - you're a brand vetted and deemed worthy of attention.

So, how do you get your content in front of these coveted curators? It's all about hashtags, baby. Most feature accounts use a branded hashtag to source UGC (user-generated content) from their community. By tagging your posts with these hashtags, you raise your hand and say, "Pick me, pick me!" 

When you do get featured, make sure you're ready to capitalize on that surge of new eyeballs. Your bio should have a strong CTA, a link to your website or shop, and a feed that showcases your best content. The goal is to turn those one-time viewers into long-time followers, so make sure you're putting your best foot forward.

Find the Hashtags That'll Hook Your Dream Audience

Hashtags are like the secret sauce of Instagram growth. When used correctly, they can help you get discovered by new followers, tap into relevant communities, and even go viral. But when used incorrectly, they can make you look spammy, desperate, and out of touch.

So, how do you find the right hashtags for your brand? It all starts with knowing your niche inside and out. You want to use tags that are specific enough to attract your dream customers but not so niche that no one is actually searching for them.

For example, let's say you're a small-batch hot sauce brand based in Austin, Texas. Instead of just using broad hashtags like #hotsauce or #spicy (which have millions of posts and competition), you might try more targeted tags like:






The goal is to get your content in front of people who are already interested in what you're selling. By niching down with your hashtags, you're increasing your chances of being found by followers who are likelier to engage with and purchase from your brand.

Of course, finding the right tags is only half the battle. You also need to know how to use them strategically in your posts. Here are a few pro tips:

  • Use a mix of popular and niche hashtags to cover your bases
  • Put your hashtags in the first comment instead of the caption to keep things clean
  • Create a branded hashtag for your biz and encourage UGC
  • Switch up your hashtags regularly to avoid being marked as spam
  • Use Instagram's "related hashtags" feature to find new tags to try

And don't forget about hashtags in your Stories and Reels, too! These tags are clickable and searchable, just like in your feed posts. By sprinkling them throughout your content, you're giving yourself even more chances to be discovered by potential new followers.

Post When Your People Are Actually Online

Imagine this: you spend hours crafting the perfect Instagram post, nailing the caption, hashtags, and visuals. You hit "share" with a sense of excitement and anticipation, waiting for the likes and comments to roll in. But then... crickets. What gives?

It could be that you're posting at the wrong time. The Instagram algorithm is a fickle beast, and one of the biggest factors in determining your reach is when you post. If you share content when your followers are asleep, at work, or just plain not online, you're essentially shouting into the void.

So, how do you determine the best time to post for your unique audience? It's all about that data, baby. If you've got a business or creator account (which you absolutely should), you've got access to Instagram Insights – a treasure trove of analytics that can help you crack the code on your posting schedule.

Take a deep dive into your Insights and look for patterns in your top-performing posts. What days and times tend to get the most engagement? Are there any outliers that surprised you? Use this info to build a posting schedule that aligns with when your followers are most active and ready to interact.

But don't just set it and forget it – your audience's behavior can change over time, so it's important to check your Insights and adjust your schedule accordingly regularly. And if you really want to take the guesswork out of it, consider using a scheduling tool like Later or Hootsuite that'll automatically post your content at optimal times based on your account data.

Of course, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to when you should post on Instagram. It depends on factors like your industry, time zone, and niche. But here are a few general best practices to keep in mind:

  • Weekdays tend to have higher engagement than weekends
  • Posting during "off-work" hours (lunch break, after 5 pm) can boost your reach
  • Aim for consistency in your posting schedule to train your followers to expect your content
  • Don't be afraid to experiment with different times and track your results

The bottom line? Post when your people are actually online and ready to engage with your content. By aligning your sharing schedule with your audience's habits, you'll maximize your reach, grow your following, and build a community that can't wait to see what you'll post next.

Get Those Followers

The possibilities are endless when you build a loyal, engaged community on this platform. You can turn those followers into customers, brand advocates, and even IRL friends. You can use your influence to make a real impact, whether through spreading important messages, fundraising for causes you care about, or just making someone's day with a funny meme.

But it all starts with putting in the work to create content that resonates, authentically engages with your audience, and shows up consistently. There's no magic formula or overnight success story—just a whole lot of trial and error, creative experimentation, and genuine hustle.

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