The Most Effective Ways to Grow Your Instagram Following

The Most Effective Ways to Grow Your Instagram Following

Looking for a shortcut to building a large, engaged Instagram following? It may be less likely to grow millions of real followers overnight. So, these proven strategies can help you cut down the time you spend on Instagram and maximize your growth.

In this blog post, we'll share some tips and techniques. You can use it to grow your Instagram following and create engaging posts more effectively. Let’s get started!

Why Instagram growth?

If you are reading this blog, you will likely already have a specific goal or purpose in mind for your Instagram account. It could be anything from personal branding and creative expression to your business promotion and social influence. Whatever your focus is, it’s nice to know how this platform can help you achieve your objectives.

Instagram is great for personal branding as it allows you to showcase your personality and tell your story with photos, videos, and graphics. It also allows you to reach a larger audience and increase your credibility.

Receiving hundreds of notifications on your phone and having your posts go viral can feel like your hard work is paying off and is an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

Businesses on Instagram have an excellent chance to build loyal communities, increase brand awareness, and, most importantly, drive sales. In fact, this “photo-sharing” app has the biggest influence on shopping habits among other social media platforms. Staggering 72% of users say they make purchase decisions based on what they see on Instagram.

Overall, you might just feel good about yourself when you see your Instagram account and content reach a larger audience

Misconceptions about Instagram growth

Before we dive into some Instagram growth tips, let's address a few common myths that might be holding you back. By debunking these myths, we can move forward with a clearer understanding of how to grow your Instagram presence effectively.

Myth: Buying fake followers will help you grow your Instagram following.

Fact: Yes, you will have more Instagram followers but at what cost? Fake Instagram followers are just that - fake.  They don’t engage with your content and add no value to your account. Instagram algorithms can easily detect a spike in your follower growth and “shadowban” your account for going against their guidelines. This will affect your overall engagement and reach, preventing you from reaching people who really matter to you. Additionally, Instagram often deletes Bot followers from their platform, so buying followers wouldn’t even be a good investment for your online presence.

Myth: You have to spend hours on Instagram to grow your followers.

Fact: Organic Growth is not that difficult, especially if you have your Instagram strategy in place and know how to create engaging posts on social media. You can build a loyal and active following just by spending 30 minutes of your time every day.

Myth: You need to have perfect content on Instagram to be successful

Fact: High-quality content helps catch people’s attention, but you don’t need a high-resolution camera to take the most crystal clear photos or videos. What matters the most is your authenticity. This is something that draws people in and keeps them coming back from more.

Next, let's list the best Instagram growth tips for busy people

Create Your Content Pillars

If you're having difficulty identifying your niche or finding topics to cover in your content, it may be difficult to achieve long-term organic growth on Instagram. That's why it's so important to narrow your focus to a specific niche that you are passionate about and can consistently create content for.

So, what are content pillars? To put it simply, these are the main topics or themes your content revolves around. You can pick several content pillars and build your strategy around them.

The themes and topics of your account should address your niche’s pain points and struggles and offer a solution.

For example, if your account is about Instagram growth, your content pillars would be  related to Instagram growth struggles, best content ideas for different niches, mistakes you need to avoid, how to use each format to maximize your reach, etc.

If your account’s more fitness related, you could be talking about exercise routines, nutrition, motivation or self-care, etc.

Having your topics already laid out helps you to cut back time and energy coming up with new ideas and lets you focus on creating valuable posts.

Don’t Post At The Best Time

Instagram posting time graph

You might be thinking that the best time to post on Instagram is during your followers' most active hours.

But here's a tip: try posting about 30-40 minutes before those peak hours.

This way, your post will show up as soon as your followers open the app, giving you more exposure and an engagement boost. Just make sure to keep an eye on your Insights to see when your followers are most active and adjust your posting schedule accordingly.

Schedule Your Posts And Stories

We all know how crucial consistency is for success on Instagram, but actually sticking to a consistent posting schedule can be a challenge. Having a system in place can make it easier to maintain a strong presence on the platform.

Meta Business Suite is a great tool to organize all of your content in one place and schedule them according to your own schedule. It is completely free and trusted. You won’t need a third party to schedule your posts, stories, or Reels.

Content batching process

Many successful brands you see online aren't posting new content every single day. In fact, they're probably using a technique called content batching to save time and energy.

Content batching helps you focus on creating a larger volume of content in one go rather than feeling pressure to come up with something new every day.

Create a content calendar and figure out how many posts you want to publish per week.

Here is the best formula for starters:

Two Reels

+ One Carousel

+ One single image per week

+ One - two stories per day

You already have your content pillars, so it should be easy to choose what you’ll post about.

It's a good idea to analyze your top-performing posts and see what's working. By looking at your insights and engaging posts on social media, you can identify which posts are driving the most engagement and consider repurposing them in different formats.

For example, if one of your Reels performed particularly well, you could turn it into a Carousel or a single image post to reach your target audience who enjoys image-based content more. On the other hand, if a Carousel received a lot of saves, it might be worth turning it into a Reel to see if it can achieve similar success.

By repurposing your best-performing content, you can save time and effort while creating engaging posts on social media that drive an engagement boost.

Find and Use The Most Relevant Hashtags

Instagram hashtag illustration

If you don't have the time or resources to do extensive research on the best hashtags for your posts, here's a quick and easy guideline to follow

First, we need to find hashtags for your account that are related to your

  • Content or Topics

For example, if you sell handmade jewelry, you might use hashtags like #handmadejewellery or #customjewellery

  • Niche or Industry

For example, if you are a beauty blogger, you might use hashtags like #beautybloggerlife

  • Location (if necessary)

If you are visiting Paris, you might use hashtags like #parisjetaime

  • Target audience (people most likely to show interest in your content)

If you want to target vegan community, you might use hashtags like #vegancommunity.

  • Special Events or days

Here is a good example - #NationalCoffeeDay☕ or #WorldEnvironmentDay2023

If you have a smaller account, it's best to avoid using "top performing" hashtags or those that are extremely popular and have millions of posts, like #love or #photos. These hashtags are used so frequently that it can be difficult for your posts to rank at the top for a long time, leading to less reach and engagement.

Instead, try using more specific, niche hashtags that are still relevant to your content but have a lower volume of posts.

To find relevant hashtags, you can either use online hashtag generator tools or look at your competitors and see what type of keywords they are using.

One way to organize your hashtags is to create a google doc file or Excel spreadsheet and list out as many hashtags as you can find for each of your content pillars. Be sure to categorize your hashtags based on the number of posts they have, as it's recommended to use a variety of hashtag sizes in your posts.

Here is a chart you can refer to:

   The size of hashtags

Number of hashtags to use

500k posts

1-3 hashtags

100-500k posts

2-4 hashtags

50k-100k posts

4-5 hashtags

10k-50k posts

5-8 hashtags


6-10 hashtags

So, if a hashtag has 500k or more posts, don’t include more than 3 of them in your captions.

Use 2-3-5 formula:

  • Include 2 popular hashtags - 50k to 500k posts
  • 3 medium size hashtags - 10k to 50k posts
  • 5 small size hashtags - 1k- 10k posts

You don’t have to use all 30 hashtags, but it’s important to have at least 5-10 of them.

Hashtags act as your keywords, and it helps you optimize your Instagram SEO, so it’s best to add them to your captions rather than comments. It will help the algorithm categorize your content and show it to your intended audience.

Run Contests

Running an Instagram contest is a great way to get your brand in front of a larger audience and increase awareness about your products or services.

It can also help you gather information about your target audience and generate leads for your business. For example, you can ask people to follow your account and tag a friend in the comments to enter the contest.

  • Start by setting a goal for your contest. In this case, your main goal would be to grow your Instagram following.
  • Choose the prize that is relevant to your target audience.
  • Make it easy for people to enter the contest. Ask them to follow your account or brand hashtags and tag their friends under the same post.
  • Share that post on your stories and across other social media platforms to get as much reach as possible.
  • Monitor and manage the contest carefully to ensure that it runs smoothly.
  • Announce the winner(s) and share their content on your Instagram account.
  • Consider running a series of smaller, more frequent contests to keep your audience engaged and attract new followers over time.

Engage with your target audience

Engagement is a crucial element of your Instagram growth strategy, so it's important to make it a priority. You don't need to spend hours engaging with your followers, but try to set aside at least 20 minutes of your time each day specifically for this purpose. Taking the time to build relationships with your audience can pay off in the long run by helping you grow your community and increase engagement on your own posts.

  • Start by answering your Dms and all comments.
  • Reply to at least 5 stories of your followers.
  • Leave comments on peer and larger accounts in your niche.
  • Go to one of the top-performing hashtags and like at least 15 posts, and make sure to leave meaningful comments.

Consider using the follow/unfollow method; it’s been proven that targeting the right audience with this strategy can result in at least a 25% follow-back rate. It could give you a quick boost and set you off to attract and grow your Instagram followers faster.

Keep Instagram’s guidelines in mind, and try not to perform more than 200 actions per day.

Post user-generated content

If you want to post more engaging posts on social media, consider sharing your user-generated content. You could also think about sharing stories that show your product in action from a consumer.

A shoe shop, for instance, can share a video of someone running the Boston Marathon in its shoes. A software company may create a reel highlighting the efficiency benefits of its product from a real-life business and so on.

Find the balance for a long-term strategy

When it comes to Instagram, it's important to find a balance between tactics that can produce immediate results (such as running a contest or using popular hashtags) and strategies that focus on building a strong foundation and creating a consistent presence on the platform. These quick wins can be effective in the short term, but they may not have a lasting impact on your Instagram presence.

On the other hand, long-term strategies take more time and effort to implement, but they can pay off in the long run by helping you build a loyal following and achieve your business goals.

It's important to incorporate both quick wins and long-term strategies into your Instagram plan to ensure sustainable growth on the platform.

Quick wins:

  • Running a contest or giveaway
  • Using popular hashtags
  • Collaborating with influencers or other businesses
  • Posting at times when your audience is most active

Long-term strategies:

  • Developing a content calendar and posting consistently
  • Engaging with your audience by responding to comments and messages
  • Building relationships with your followers and other businesses on Instagram
  • Creating a cohesive brand image and aesthetic
  • Focusing on creating high-quality content that resonates with your target audience

In conclusion, growing your Instagram following can be a time-consuming process, but it's worth the effort if you want to achieve your goals on the platform.

If you’re having trouble staying consistent with your Instagram growth strategy, Social Boost offers the most effective engagement strategy that will help you build your community.

Our team of over 130 experienced Instagram experts can work with you to develop a customized plan that takes your target audience and business goals into account. Our Instagram growth agency offers a variety of engagement tactics, including the follow/unfollow method, to help boost your organic growth.

So, are you ready to start growing?