People who want to be successful at social media marketing want to rule Instagram.

Your Instagram followers are not just a number; they are part of your community.

However, building your Instagram community is essential for getting more visitors and even making more sales.

18 tried-and-true ways to get more Instagram followers—no spam or bot accounts allowed.

1. Don’t Buy Instagram Followers

It takes time to grow on Instagram.

That being said, buying bots or followers isn’t the answer.

It’s against Instagram’s rules to buy followers, and while you might get a lot of new followers and engagement at first, it will hurt you in the long run.

Why? Instagram’s algorithm is so smart now that it often finds and deletes fake accounts and fake engagement.

So, if you want to increase your audience size, the best way to do it is to let it grow naturally.

It may take a while, but getting good followers who will interact with your posts and stick around is worth the wait.

2. Have a Strong Personal Brand and Value Proposition

Would you go into a store that you didn’t know what it sold? Most likely not.

In the same way, this is true for your Instagram account.

Whether you’re posting cooking recipes, styling tips, or motivational quotes, you need a clear value proposition to turn visitors into followers.

This doesn’t mean that all of your content has to be the same, though.

Focus on three to five content pillars that are related to your niche. This way, you can add variety without losing focus on your main point.

3. Create an Aesthetic Instagram Feed

Most of the time, your Instagram page serves as a resume, portfolio, and website all in one.

First impressions are still important, even if it’s not perfect.

A strong Instagram aesthetic could be the difference between someone clicking “follow” or “tap away.” You only have a few seconds to introduce yourself and show what your brand is all about.

Use an Instagram feed planner like Later’s Visual Planner to make a visual identity that fits with the look and feel of your brand:

You can see how your posts look together and how they make people feel when they visit your profile. This is the best way to get more followers on the platform!

4. Optimize Your Instagram Bio

People who visit your Instagram profile for the first time often see your bio. This is a great chance to tell them right away who you are and what you have to offer.

To set the scene, the greats keep their bios short, sweet, and most importantly, full of useful information.

You can use targeted keywords to talk directly to your audience in this space. These keywords will help you be seen by more app users as they search, making you more visible on the app.

Also, Instagram only lets you put one external link in your bio, so you need to plan how you use it.

Later’s gives you a link in bio tool that you can change to make a landing page with button links and an Instagram feed that people can click on:

This makes it easier to send people who follow you to specific websites that you talk about in your posts, since you won’t have to change the URL in your Instagram bio as often.

5. Write Your Captions for Instagram SEO

You could only search in Instagram Explore with usernames, location tags, hashtags, and profile names until not long ago.

Things have changed, though. You can now search with words:

That means using relevant, descriptive keywords in your captions can have a big effect on how easy it is for people to find your content.

Some of those keywords can be found in the name, username, and bio of an account, but most of them are in the captions you write.

Take the phrase “best time to post” as an example. When you search on the Explore page, a relevant Instagram post from Later’s account comes up:

If you use relevant, detailed keywords in your Instagram captions, your posts will be seen by more people and you’ll be shown on the Explore page. It’s a win-win situation!

6. Find the Best Hashtags for Your Followers

One of the best ways to grow on Instagram is to use hashtags.

And finally, hashtags are what make the search results on Instagram’s Explore page work:

If you use targeted hashtags in your posts and stories, you can reach people who are already interested in you, even if they haven’t connected with you before.

7. Create a Consistent Instagram Posting Schedule

If you want to grow on Instagram, you need to be consistent.

Later, they looked at more than 22 million Instagram feed posts (photos, videos, carousels, and Reels) to see how the number of posts affects the average reach and engagement rates.

One of the key takeaways?

If you want to reach more people, it’s always a good idea to post more Reels and use good hashtag and keyword strategies.

But making good content that your audience can really use should always be more important than making a lot of it.

8. Find Your Best Time to Post

As was already said, posting regular content on Instagram is important.

Putting up your content at the right time can also help you get more views and find new audiences.

It was found that the best time to post on Instagram in 2023 is 4 AM (local time across time zones).

Later looked at more than 11 million global posts of photos, videos, carousels, and Instagram Reels to get this information.

From Monday to Sunday, we found that users interact with early-morning posts more than any other time:

To put it another way, the first one to arrive gets the worm.

Accounts that post earlier get less competition and can get traffic from people who are scrolling through their feeds for the first time in the morning, even if it’s a few hours after the post was shared.

9. Make Sure Your Instagram Content is Accessible

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 2.2 billion people are blind or have trouble seeing.

So, if you don’t make accessibility a priority in your social media strategy, you might be stopping potential customers, clients, or connections from engaging with your content.

Here are five things you can do to make your Instagram account more open and welcoming:

You can add text or subtitles to videos (including Instagram Stories and Reels).

Write useful alt text for your Instagram posts.

Talk about what you see during videos and stories

In Instagram hashtags, you need to capitalize every word. This makes sure that screen readers read them correctly.

Lessen the use of emojis in captions and text overlay to make content that screen readers can read.

In the end, content that is accessible to more people can be enjoyed by more people, which can lead to more engagement, more followers, and a better Instagram experience for everyone.

10. Work With Other Brands, Creators & Influencers

A great way to grow is to work with brands and influencers that share your goals.

You can benefit from brand association and reach a new group of people who might want to follow you.

The good news? You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a partnership. Some of the best ones are easy to do and help both sides.

For example, Glossier, a beauty brand, worked with Patricia Zhou, a content creator and dancer, on a Reel to test drive and get people excited about their newest product:

In the same way, you don’t need to work with huge influencers to make a difference.

Most of the time, Nano and Micro influencers get more engagement than Macro influencers, but they get fewer sponsored posts.

You will need more Nano or Micro influencers, though, to reach the same number of people as a Macro influencer. Your budget and bandwidth will determine the best strategy for you.

11. Start Creating Instagram Reels

You can still reach new people on Instagram with Reels, which are one of the best ways to do so.

Unlike other types of Instagram posts, like carousels, Reels have their own tab on the home feed navigation bar and a designated spot on the Explore page. This makes them very easy to find.

Like TikTok’s “For You” page, the “Reels” feed shows you interesting videos from both users you follow and users you don’t, which makes you more interested in them.

This means that the Reels you make can easily reach people who aren’t already following you, which will help you get more followers.

This will work best:

In the captions of your Reels, use keywords and hashtags that accurately describe what the video is about.

Use sounds that are popular on Instagram Reels

To get people to watch your Reels again, keep them short and snappy.

Make your own content

Add text to the screen for people who are watching without sound.

Instead of uploading videos with a TikTok watermark, try to get high-quality videos.

12. Optimize your Instagram Stories Highlights

Stories are only gone for 24 hours, but you can save them to your Instagram Story Highlights to make them last longer.

Check out how Sephora uses the Highlights feature on Instagram Stories to show off new deals and resources:

Making good highlights can help you get more people to know about your brand, get new followers, and show new visitors your best Instagram Stories content.

13. Create Memes and Other Shareable Content

To reach new people naturally, making content that people want to share is a good place to start.

There are tried-and-true formats like motivational quotes, useful carousel posts, and popular memes. One post that goes viral can reach thousands of people:

That being said, memes are especially good at going viral, especially when they use something popular at the time.

They usually have a mix of text and images (a photo, GIF, or video), and they’re often funny or clever.

To make a meme that goes viral, try to find a balance between the popular images you use, how your audience feels, and the niche of your brand:

Your meme is more likely to be shared far and wide if it hits home with people in your community.

14. Lean Into User-generated Content

A great way to get more people to follow you on Instagram and spread the word about your brand is to ask your community to share user-generated content (UGC).

Plus it’s really simple to find UGC! Followers can either tag your brand or use a hashtag that is unique to your brand.

As an example, look at Knix. This company gets pictures and videos from its customers and posts them to an Instagram Stories Highlight called #YouInYourKnix:

As a result? It’s easy for anyone to find Knix’s Instagram account if they see a user-generated photo!

TIP: You should always get permission from the original poster, even if they used your UGC-focused hashtag.

15. Run an Instagram Giveaway

One of the best ways to quickly get more people to follow you on Instagram is to hold a giveaway.

You can reach thousands of possible new followers and build a stronger sense of community around your brand if you know what to do:

Set clear entry requirements that will help you reach your growth goals. For example, ask people to tag a friend in the comments, share on Instagram Stories, and follow your account.

When you host an Instagram giveaway with a creator or brand that has a similar audience, it can be especially helpful.

16. Cross-promote Your Instagram Through Other Channels

Spreading the word about your Instagram account on other sites, like TikTok, is a great way to get more people to follow you.

You should first link your Instagram account to your TikTok account.

After that, make some TikToks that make people want to go to your Instagram profile.

If TikTok isn’t part of your marketing plan, you can use your website, email newsletter, podcast, or another social platform to send people to your Instagram.

17. Analyze High-performing Content

If you want to keep an eye on how well your brand is doing on Instagram, one of the most important things to look at is reach.

Reach tells you how much attention and value your post is getting by showing you how many different accounts have seen it.

You can use the results of a post to help you write better future posts if it gets more (or less) reach than usual.

What terms did you use? Was the “call to action” (CTA) in your caption set up to get people to click? When did you publish when people were most interested? What was different about the pictures you shared?

Lately’s Instagram Analytics is one of the best ways to keep track of your reach and all the other metrics that matter.

You can see how your posts, stories, and Reels are doing in a dashboard that is easy to use:

Are you ready to start keeping better track of your performance? Today, sign up for Later and check out the Instagram Analytics dashboard.

18. Connect With Your Community

One simple way to make your account bigger? Talk to the people who follow you on Instagram and make an active community.

Ask yourself how often you answer DMs and comments, whether you’re a brand or a creator. Do you make time to interact with people in real time on Instagram Lives or Stories?

The bond you have with your community will grow stronger as you get involved.

Your followers will also share your posts with their own followers if they trust and believe what you’re writing.

To get more Instagram followers, you can’t expect overnight success. But if you follow the 18 tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to building a community that is interested in what you have to say.

If you still need help getting more Instagram followers, you can talk to the professionals at 1Solutions. We have been using social media and growth hacking for more than ten years. With our help, you’ll get the social media followers you want.