How to get more Instagram followers – from 0 to 10k!

How to get more followers on Insta
So you’ve just joined Instagram. You’ve understood how to post, you’ve put a great bio together, and you’ve got a strong caption game. Great! You should be approaching at least a thousand followers already, right? Well, no. Unfortunately, sometimes that just isn’t the case – not all accounts are equal and we can’t all be Prince Harry and Meghan Markle! (In case you missed it, their @sussexroyal Instagram account amassed 9 million followers in just three months!)
blog summary

When you’re starting your Avasam business (or indeed, any other business!) growing your social media following can be tough. You want to get on with earning, but social media channels like Instagram are so critical to your business success. You need to get those followers, as quickly as possible, so you can start marketing to them – but how? It’s especially hard if your brand is new. Only your nearest and dearest know about your business, and there’s only so much promotion you can ask them to do. They’ve only got so many followers and they don’t want to bore them with repetitive requests to like and share.

The toughest Instagram followers to get are the first 10,000. That’s because your account is so new, and other users don’t know why they should follow you. If your brand is new as well, it can be even harder! It’s not impossible though. Once you’ve got to the magic 10,000 followers mark, it gets easier, as your brand becomes more recognised and influential.

Basic ways to get more instagram followers

basic ways to get more instagram followers

When you’re building your Instagram following, it’s important to have the basics covered. Let’s check you’ve done each of these before we move on to the good stuff!

Polish your profile

We’ve talked about this before – but it’s so important to have a great profile, with a great bio. Make sure your Instagram username is the same as on other social media platforms where possible. If you can’t get the exact same username as elsewhere, try and get similar but with ‘official’ or incorporating other parts of your company name.

Make sure you’ve got the right information in your profile. Without the right information here, people will doubt the legitimacy of the account, or think it’s a bot. Set your image to your brand logo, put useful information in the bio section, and add your website link. Also, make sure you have notifications switched on – you’ll be able to see when someone tags you, and engage with them much quicker. Increased engagement = more chances of shares and follows.

It’s a good idea to have a minimum 15-20 posts on your feed before trying to grow your followers. You’ll need to be posting consistently, as this will help your account look genuine.

Decide on a posting schedule

This will help you plan your Instagram posts. You don’t need to be posting loads of pictures every day – in fact, too many will drive followers away! Research your target audience, and make sure you’re posting at a time that suits them. Although users hop on Instagram all day, every day, ideally you want your post at the top of their feeds. So, establish what is right for your target audience and customers, and post then. If you expect to have international followers, adjust the times you post. You might post extra posts to coincide with their ideal time on certain days.

Write great captions

Instagram captions is something else we’ve talked about on our blog before. Each time you post, you should be adding a great caption for the image, to make sure it’s engaging. Use a great comment – either witty or funny – with a call to action, using emojis and definitely using relevant hashtags. Content on your social media (images and written content) should reflect your brand, and Instagram is no exception.

Add your instagram handle everywhere

Add Your Instagram Handle Everywhere

This should be a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many people miss this! Look at every single way you communicate with people as an opportunity to market your brand – including your social media. That means updating:

  • Your email signature with an embedded links
  • Your company letterhead
  • Your invoices and packing slips
  • Your website should link to all your social media accounts
  • Each social media account should direct followers to your other social media channels
  • Banners you take to industry events
  • Leaflets
  • Brochures
  • Business cards
  • Compliments slips

This isn’t a comprehensive list though! If you spot a place that you could promote your social media accounts, use it. The more people that know you have an Instagram account, the more chance you have that they will follow you.

Instagram know that this is something that businesses want to do. That’s why they’ve created the Nametag function. It’s a scannable code that allows Instagram followers to find you quickly, so they can follow you. You can add your Nametag to offline materials such as letterheads and invoices – even business cards! Should you find yourselves at an industry event, you can use Nametags to connect with other users without fuss. Find your Nametag on your Instagram profile.

Use instagram stories

use instagram stories

If you want your followers to remain engaged with you, use Stories as part of your strategy. Stories allow you to post images or short video clips that remain live for just 24 hours. This means you can share more light-hearted, or candid clips about your brand that are much less polished. By posting on your Story, followers can become more interested and loyal to your brand. You can even use it to encourage interactions with your Story viewers, like using polls or asking for comments.

Over 400 million people watch Instagram Stories every day – that’s a lot of potential views if you get it right! Just remember to keep your story authentic. If you’ve got a pet, or children in your office, things can go awry – what is it they say about working with children or animals? Instagram stories aren’t meant to be perfect – so if something goes wrong, laugh and post it anyway. Your viewers will appreciate you more for being real.

If you need a bit of help making a coherent story that looks good as well, good news! Instagram added templates to Stories this year. Templates allow you to make your Story more uniform, and on-brand. You could do this in Photoshop, but there are also loads of apps like Canva that can help you.

It’s also a good idea to keep your best content on your Instagram Story Highlights. This is where you can ‘pin’ the best bits of your Story. By keeping your best content there can help new followers understand what your Instagram, and your business is about.

Use a consistent, compelling style

Use a consistent compelling style

Because Instagram is all about the pictures, you need to have a consistent style. There are thousands of articles to be found about ‘Instagram Aesthetic’ for good reason! It’s not just about making your feed look fantastic though. The styling on your feed helps tie Instagram to your branding keeping it recognisable to customers. Not only that, but keeping your aesthetic consistent can even spark inspiration when you’ve run out of ideas.

When deciding your aesthetic, the primary thing should be keeping it on-brand. Question what sort of posts you’ll be sharing. What colours suit your brand? How do you want your followers to feel when they look at your feed? What do you actually enjoy posting about?

By creating a great style on your feed, you’re also telling followers what to expect from you. That helps potential followers – and customers – to decide if they want to follow you. When you add new followers, keep up with the same kind of content, with similar styling – it’s working.

TIP : Photos with faces get 38% more likes on Instagram!

Tips for a great instagram aesthetic

Use filters
You might be sharing pictures of lots of different types of products. That doesn’t mean colour has to be all over the place! Using filters, and customising the intensity can make your photos look great. Using filters, or presets from professionals mean your images all have the same feel, without taking ages to edit.

If you’re planning ahead, you can make sure your feed is beautifully curated, flow well and stay on-brand. If you want to see how your images will look in a certain order, no problem!There are tools such as Hopper HQ and Instasize to help you do exactly that. And by planning, you’ll never be rushing to find a photo that suits your feed at the last minute.

Look for inspiration
Don’t just look at, or think about your own feed. Look to others and see what they’re doing. Just like your brand and what you’re selling, your aesthetic should slowly evolve over time, gradually changing with trends.

Use white backgrounds
Using borders around your images can really make them stand out. Resize your photos (we suggest 4:3 or 2:3) and add a white background, to make your feed more minimalist.

Use hashtags

use hashtag

There are some experts who suggest that using a certain number of hashtags is the optimal number – 10, 15 maybe. But when you’re starting out, you’re trying to reach as many people as possible. Since you can add up to 30 hashtags on a post, make use of them!

That said, it’s important to keep them relevant to your brand and your products. Avoid widely used hashtags like #love or #OOTD (outfit of the day) that have been used thousands of times. It’s even more important if you’re a niche seller that you use hashtags that are relevant. If your post features a Robin Hood fancy dress outfit (because why not?) you might use hashtags:

#robinhood #fancydress #fancydressparty #princeofthieves #menintights #stagdo #costume #cosplay #fancydressseller #onceuponatime #merrymen #sherwoodforest#yourcompanyname #yourcampaignhashtag

Of course, you could still add #ootd to your post here, but only if it is relevant. If you’re going to an event in that fancy dress costume, also tag the event or use their hashtag. Anyone who is searching for that hashtag will see your post – even if that is for the next year’s event! Make sure you’re playing the long game here.

TIP : Don’t add these hashtags to your caption. Instead, add your post and caption as normal, then add your list of hashtags to the first comment on your post. By adding your hashtags to the first comment, as more comments are made, no-one will see those hashtags! That means your post gets found when people search, without cluttering up your caption.

You might worry that because you’re just starting out, people will see your hashtags. Don’t worry about this. As comments are made, your hashtags will move down the list and out of sight. Additionally, as your followers increase, your posts will rank higher for those hashtags – increasing your credibility and your posts visibility. This is a small trade-off for the odd follower wondering why you’re posting all those hashtags in your comments.

In-depth strategies to get more instagram followers

In depth strategies to Get More Instagram Followers

Now you’ve got the basics covered, there’s a whole other world of strategies to look at! Each one takes time, and some work well with others, so don’t use this as a checklist. Not all these strategies are going to be right for every business. Read through, choose the ideas that are right for your business and build those followers carefully!

Instagram engagement groups

Instagram Engagement Groups

This can be a tactic that works well, especially for those who are new to Instagram. It’s been proven that one of the fastest ways to grow your following is using Facebook! This cunning idea is that you join a Facebook group – or several – and members will like and follow your account. There are hundreds of these groups, so find the ones that are right for you. That might not mean the biggest groups, especially if you’re working within a particular niche.

It’s good etiquette to follow and like back – these groups run on good will. If you’re the guy that joins up, takes the likes and follows but doesn’t give back, you risk being removed. You don’t need that kind of negativity this early on in your campaign to find new followers! Make sure you’re repaying the favour. You never know who might be involved in the group that might help your business really take off.

You can expect to gain up to 2000 new followers in just a few weeks using Instagram engagement groups. It’s not a long-term strategy, but it’s one that could be worth following in the first few weeks your account is live.

And it’s important to say, you might not see thousands of sales from these particular followers, but that’s OK. This is all part of a much bigger, long-term strategy. With more Instagram followers comes more brand awareness, and it’s after that you’ll start seeing additional sales.

Repost content from other accounts

repost content from other account

Ok, we’ll start this point with the most crucial thing. Instagram’s policy is that you must ask permission before you repost content that others have posted. The easiest way to do this is to send them a DM – a direct message. Once you’ve secured permission, you can repost the content.

So why repost from other accounts? Well, for the most part, it’s easier. If you’re building your business, you’ve already got a lot to do, so this is an easy way to help you. Use hashtags to find the most popular posts, so you can repost content that people like.

How to repost on instagram

Use repost for instagram – An app available for both iOS and Android
Use Instapost – Another app available for iOS and Android
Use downloadGram – no app, simply use the web page to download and post as your own
Use a screenshot – No apps or webpages required, but this won’t work with videos!

When you’re reposting, it’s also polite to tag the account you’re borrowing from. Usually this is done with the phrase ‘regram: @theirhandle’ in the caption. This means that while you benefit from their great content, you’re also helping build their followers in return. Include a flattering comment about the image, and the account owner is more likely to feel positive. You might even be able to use this positive interaction to partner up with them – leading to even more potential followers.

Get your Instagram account promoted elsewhere

Get Your Instagram Account Promoted Elsewhere

When you’re trying to grow your brand, and your Instagram followers, cross-promotion is key. By talking about your Instagram account on your other social media channels, you’re likely to pick up followers. We talked about cross-promoting in the basics section above. But if you’re just starting out with your brand as well, your existing followers probably already know about it. That means you need to think bigger. Much bigger.

By writing longer articles for platforms such as Buzzfeed or Medium, you can expose your brand to thousands of followers. That exposure will equal more Instagram followers, and ultimately your end goal: more sales. There are plenty of platforms you can write for, so think about your target audience and find the right platform.

Buzzfeed articles tend to be light-hearted and fun – quizzes, or celebrity inspired comparisons and so on. If your business is selling fashion, you could write about how to get [name a celebrity] style on a budget. What about an article about the biggest trends of the summer? You’ll be able to promote your own products, but be careful of turning your article into one big advert. That said, there’s a whole section about shopping that you can write for on Buzzfeed, so check that out! Find an idea, check there isn’t already one article (or more) that already exists, and start typing. It doesn’t have to be rocket science – funny can be the right tactic on Buzzfeed.

If you’re looking to build your business as an authority in your niche, Medium is a good place to start. Medium articles are generally more serious in tone. That means you’ll need to use a much more authoritative tone. You’ll need to come across as knowledgeable in your field – credibility is key. If there’s a reason you’re an expert at what you do, it’s a good idea to mention it. Don’t make qualifications up though – it’s so easy to find out when someone is being generous with the truth. Think about the damage exposure could do to your brand – honesty really is the best policy.

If you’re into writing longer pieces (as well as growing your business!) look at getting published in bigger publications. Search #journorequest on Twitter, or look at HARO. This isn’t a quick win though, so this option is if you already have suitable content or you enjoy writing.

Use Instagram posts in blog content

use instgram post in blog content

We talked about promoting your Instagram account in other places. Your blog is the easiest place for you to talk about your Instagram account – you have complete control over it! Whether your blog is for personal or business, you can embed Instagram pictures into your posts.

If your blog is for your business, and on your brand’s website, you can give much more back-story to the post. It might even be the main discussion of your blog post! Or perhaps it helps illustrate a point in a blog post discussing wider topics. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, as long as you’re writing for your audience.

How to get an embed link for an Instagram post

  • Go to Instagram on your desktop
  • Go to your feed
  • Click the post
  • Click the … icon on the post
  • Click Embed
  • Click Copy Embed Code
  • Paste the link into the relevant section on your blog

Note: you can only embed images from a public Instagram account.

As more people visit your blog, more people will see your Instagram posts embedded in your blog posts. If they like your blog, they’re likely to visit your Instagram account and follow you there too.

TIP: Make sure you’re directing traffic to your website from Instagram! Each time you publish a new blog post, either add a post to your Instagram feed, or post about it in your Story.

Adding your Instagram posts to blog content isn’t a quick fix to add hundreds of followers instantly. But it is a long-term strategy that can definitely going to continue to help your Instagram become more popular. As people buy from you, they’re likely check out your blog as part of their customer journey. Even if they don’t follow you on Instagram at that point, they will know you have one. When they’ve received their order and they’re happy with their purchase, they’re likely to post about it. When they tag you, and you’ve comment or like their post, they’re more likely to follow you. And when they follow you, they’re likely to make additional purchases, become loyal to your brand… and so on!

Ask customers to share their photos

Ask to customer to share their photos

When you’ve made your first sales, ask your customers to post pictures of themselves with your products and tag you. You might do this by mentioning it on your packing slip, or you might prefer to email them a day or two after they receive their order to prompt them to post. Either way, asking them to share photos of their order is a good idea, and here’s why:

When customers shop online, they aren’t seeing the item, or your service the way they would in a brick-and-mortar store. That means they’re using other ways to establish if you’re trustworthy, whether other customers are happy with their purchases. They’re looking for social proof – evidence from existing customers that you’re a brand they would want to use. Seeing your products on another customer – particularly if they both fit your target customer profile – helps them decide. People often ask friends for opinions about brands they’re thinking of buying from on Facebook, but Instagram provides visual evidence. A photo of a garment on a ‘regular’ person is going to be trusted far more than the photoshopped image on a size 6 model!

With existing customers, you could also consider offering a gift or even cash for posting images on their social media. It might not be a long-term strategy, and for some new brands it might not even be feasible. But while you’re building your Instagram followers, it is a strategy that has potential to increase your exposure.

When customers share their pictures, whether organically or because of an incentive, they’re also expanding brand awareness for you. That means when they have tagged you in a post, thank them by interacting with them. It doesn’t have to take long – it could be as simple as a heart emoji in your brand’s colour ?. They’ll be pleased you commented, and you’ll have shown that you care about your customers – which builds trust further. As more people tag you, other customers will also tag you with their purchases, further growing your followers.

You can also look at reposting customer content on your feed – just remember to ask that all-important permission. Many people will be flattered and happy for you to repost, especially if you mention how great their picture is! But be prepared to be declined. If the answer is no, don’t push them to say yes. A simple thank you and comment about looking forward to them shopping with you again will be much better received. Staying positive leaves a good impression of your brand, so they’ll be more likely to make future purchases.

Host competitions

host compitition

A great way to drive Instagram engagement is to host a competition. Promote it on your website, and other social media channels as a way to get people to your Instagram feed. Here’s an example of how your copy could read:

We’re running a competition to give away this luxury picnic set! Here’s how to enter:

  • Head to your Instagram account
  • Follow us @[companyname]
  • Post a photo of the place that you would head to for your first picnic if you win
  • Tag us and the friends that you’d take on your picnic!
  • Add the hashtag #dreampicnic

It’s that easy! We can’t wait to see your pics – head to Instagram now to get started!

The benefits here are clear to see. A Facebook follower, or a visitor to your website starts following you on Instagram and they tag you. Mission complete, you’ve gained more followers! It doesn’t stop there though. They tag their friends in their post, their friends also see your post and are likely to enter your competition. Your brand gets more exposure, you get more followers, and it’s at minimal cost. Not only that, after the competition has finished, when someone searches for #dreampicnic, they see all the entries tagging you! That person may not be interested in your products right now, but it’s still helping to increase brand awareness.

You can also use influencers to help you with this. They might receive the prize as their compensation, but also receive promote one to give away. You can create a massive giveaway to help promote your Instagram account. It depends on your products, and your prize as to whether giveaway posts are right for you. We also talk about how you could host giveaways with other brands further down.

Work with influencers

work with influence

We talked about working with influencers when we looked at snapchat. Asking an influencer to do a shout-out or to tag you in their posts can be a great way to increase your followers. You’ll need to offer compensation in return for their posting about you – either a gift, or cash. Influencers with bigger followings are more likely to require cash payment. That means unless your gift is particularly spectacular (hello Chanel handbag?) look for newer influencers with smaller numbers of followers. They’re more likely to take you up on your offer, because they’re working to increase their business too.

The point of working with an influencer is that you want them to create unique and engaging content. That means allowing them to use their own voices – they know the sort of content their followers enjoy, after all. Allow them to have free reign, even if you ask for them to work with certain guidelines. We’ve read thousands of blog posts and Instagram posts in our time, and it’s clear when an influencer has been given guidelines that are too tight – it just reads like an advert. If your influencer is creating content that reads like an advertising bod wrote it, rethink your guidelines.

You could also get your influencer to do an Instagram takeover on your Stories. They tell their followers, over a number of days about the takeover. Each time they post, followers will be prompted to wonder who you are, and they might follow you then. On the day of the takeover, to see it, their followers will need to follow you.

Be careful when working with influencers though. Establish your goals – you want to increase your Instagram following – but how are you going to measure it? How does the collaboration benefit them? How many posts will you ask them to do? Will you have a campaign with several posts, maybe across their blog and other social media too? Make sure your expectations, and theirs, are clearly established up-front. We talk about this in our What to Avoid section, but your contract with them should ban them from using bots. You’re looking for real followers, not fake ones!

Partner with other brands

partner with other brand

Similar to working with influencers, you might choose to collaborate with a brand. Let’s say your brand specialises in selling bedding. You’ve got all types of pillows, duvet covers, and sheets aplenty in your inventory. You might choose to partner with a brand that sells beds, or a brand that sells pyjamas. You might even choose to link with a brand selling aromatherapy products like bubble baths designed for before bed.

With these brands, you could do takeovers on each other’s Instagram accounts, and that could be mutually beneficial. What could be even more lucrative is to partner with all three brands! Between you, you could create a massive giveaway, and cross-promote on all your social media, websites and so on. Although this idea has massive potential and has worked in the past for some brands, it can also be tricky. Be sure to work with brands you trust, and create contracts that protect all of your interests.

There’s another interesting idea when it comes to working with brands on Instagram. Are you creating your own photos for the products you sell, and posting your shots on Instagram? If your photography is outstanding, or you create a particularly clever or funny post, your supplier might repost your post. That means they’ll be crediting you in their posts, or on their website. If you’re selling branded items from a household name, they might repost your image on their Instagram. If they do, they’re obliged to credit you – exposing your brand to potentially thousands of followers who love their products. When they look at your feed and see you’re selling other items they love, they’ll follow you. Not only have they become followers, they’ve become potential customers as well. The household name wins too, because it doesn’t matter where the customers are buying their products from. Win-win all round!

Follow people who follow your competitors

follow people who follow your compititors

You probably already have a good idea who your Instagram competitors are. They’re likely to be similar names to your brand’s competitor. Even if you think you know, do some research. If you’re starting out, you’re not going to go after followers of big brands you’re trying to take on. For example, if you’re selling perfume, you’re not going to instantly be competing with Boots, Debenhams or The Perfume Shop. They might be selling in similar niches, but customers who are following these brands have already developed brand loyalty. While brand loyalty is a goal for later, when you’re growing your Instagram followers, it’s not the right time.

Look to your competitors with around 100,000 followers on their Instagram account. They’re out there, and their followers are less likely to have developed brand loyalty yet. Start following some of their followers – particularly the followers who have large numbers of followers. Comment on their posts – but don’t be obvious that you’re promoting your brand. So, our fledgling beauty brand might start commenting on posts about makeup with a simple ? or ‘beautiful’.

Don’t take the approach of ‘this looks great – you should try this!’ – it’s way too obvious you’re recruiting customers. Not only that, you’re implying they could do better if they had your product – what a backhanded compliment! You want them to feel warm fuzzy feelings when they view your comment, so keep it simple and not salesy.

You might also target people following brands that are influencers themselves. Sticking with our beauty brand example, there are thousands – if not millions of beauty influencers. For new businesses, commenting on the most popular influencer’s accounts may get you seen by their followers. It’s unlikely that you’ll make a connection to work with them as we talked about previously. If that’s your aim, look for newer, or smaller influencers.

When you’ve left comments, the account owner will be naturally curious who you are, and will view your profile. It’s not just the account owner though! Their followers may see your comment, and click through to your profile. If they like what they see, they’ll follow you, and become potential customers.

Continue to follow people, engage with them, and your Instagram following will begin to increase dramatically. Not only that, but engaging with people also helps you get on the coveted Explore page, which we discuss below.

Use Instagram analytics tools

use analytics tool

There are inbuilt analytics tools that present plenty of data about your following. You can use your Instagram analytics to find out which post or Story performed best, but there’s so much more. You can use it to experiment with your feed – how did your image perform when you added a white background? What about a blue background? Does showing your products in everyday environments get better engagement? You can use the information in your Instagram analytics such as likes, comments and clicks to establish which ones perform best.

Analytics are exclusively available to business profiles. If you’ve set up with a personal one by mistake, don’t worry – it’s easy to switch over!

  • Go to your profile and tap
  • Tap Switch to Business Profile
  • Tap Switch to Business Profile and select the Facebook Page you’d like to associate with your Business Profile on Instagram with
  • Make sure your profile is set to Public
  • On the Set Up Your Business Profile page, review your profile, make any changes and tap Done

Although Instagram Analytics can be useful, there are tools providing more interesting information when you’re trying to grow your followers. Tools like Sprout Social, Curalate and Keyhole provide information such as engagement rate, new followers, unfollows and inactive accounts. You can use that information to understand your followers better, and to help shape your strategy for getting more followers.

Instagram follower apps

Instagram Follower app

Let’s be clear: we’re not talking about using bots to add extra followers here. We talk about bots towards the end of the article, but ultimately, they’re the wrong approach to take. What you can use to help increase your Instagram followers are marketing automation tools like Hubspot and Hootsuite. They can help you refine your content, give you advanced analytics and overall improve your Instagram game, so they’re well worth your time and investment.

Instagram sponsored posts

instagram sponser posts

This might be prohibitively expensive if your brand is just starting out. But if you want to reach more followers quickly, Sponsored Posts are a way to do it! Over 75% of users take action on Instagram ads, so it’s well worth considering the investment. As Instagram adverts are cost per click, and they depend on a variety of factors, there’s a lot to consider before jumping in. On average, cost-per-click is around $0.70 – $0.80.

There are currently five types of ad formats that get put into users’ feeds and Stories:

Story ads
Photo ads
Video ads
Carousel ads
Collection ads

They’re designed to be non-disruptive, and they have different calls to action on each of them. There is masses of information and tools to help you with Instagram sponsored ads, so get to know about them. Even if they’re not right for you today, they might be in the future! It’s worth knowing about how they work and how they can help grow your business.

Get on the instagram explore page

get on the instagram explore page

The Instagram explore page is where users can look to find content that Instagram thinks is suitable for them. Sounds like the holy grail of finding new followers, right? What’s more, it costs absolutely nothing to get your posts on there. Well, when we say nothing – we mean nothing but time. Unfortunately, there’s no magic way to get on that page – and sorry, but you can’t pay your way on either. However, if you’re already following most of the guidelines that we’ve talked about here, then you’re already halfway there:

  • You’re posting high quality, relevant content that your followers like
  • You’re posting at optimal times for your audience
  • You’re tagging and hash tagging relevant followers, brands and suppliers
  • You’re interacting with other Instagram users, in an authentic and organic way

When you’re meeting these criteria, your posts are likely to start making the Explore page. And although the Explore page is the ultimate way to gain more followers, like all good things, it takes time. Once you start getting featured there, you’re getting unrivalled advertising – the type you’d have to pay thousands for elsewhere. Keep creating relevant content, posting at the right times, interacting with your followers and other accounts!

Somewhat annoyingly, Instagram doesn’t tell you if one of your posts made it on the Explore page. Because everyone’s Explore page is different, you might have made it onto several and never know! But there are a few indicators that show you made it. Look out for posts getting more likes than usual, or comments from accounts that you’ve not noticed commenting before. Once you’ve had that kind of interaction, the key to keeping it going is to keep interacting – replying, liking, reposting.

What to avoid when growing your instagram followers

What to Avoid When Growing Your Instagram Followers

Do Not Use Bots

Let us repeat: DO. NOT. USE. BOTS! It’s clear when an account goes from 12 followers to 2000 followers in less than a day, it’s dodgy. Fake activity on your account is very likely to lead to your account being banned. So although it might be tempting, just don’t do it. You don’t want your account banned at this stage!

Five tips to spot a bot

  • Check how the account comments. If there’s a load of comments like ‘Nice!’ or ‘This looks great’, there’s a good chance it’s a bot.
  • Check their photos. If the account has thousands of followers, but terrible photos, the followers are likely to not be real.
  • Follow the account. If they unfollow you immediately, or very quickly, it’s probably a bot.
  • Dismiss the follow request. If they try to follow you again, suspect bot activity.
  • Look at their follow to follower ratio. If they only have a few followers but they’re following thousands, it’s dodgy. Avoid!

If you think there’s suspect activity going on, there are ways to help you find out. IG Audit is free, and scans 200 followers at random on the account you enter. Based on those followers, you’ll get an Estimated Real Followers percentage score – the higher the better. There’s also paid tools offering more in-depth information – try and Social Audit Pro.

Don’t link your Instagram account to Twitter and Facebook

You don’t want your Instagram posts to automatically publish on those platforms. You’ll use each platform in a very different way, so be careful to set this correctly. You’ll be using Twitter for short messages, and although you might use images, people aren’t there primarily to see pictures.

There are plenty of tools that can help you curate your content in the right way across the different social media channels. Some of them are even completely free! Do your research to find what works best for you, but Hootsuite, Sprout Social and are some of the most well-known. They can all help you post your images at the right time using scheduling.

Avoid using poor quality images

You’d think on such a visual platform as Instagram, that this would go without saying. Get high quality images, using great tools such as filters or presets. Make sure backgrounds are clear – if you’re going for lifestyle shots, get rid of any litter, including cigarette butts! (Please don’t just pile it up at the side of where you’re shooting though! If you’re moving it anyway, it doesn’t take much extra effort to put it in a bin!)

Don’t be too salesy

If all you’re using your Instagram account for is to promote your products, you’ll lose those followers you’ve fought so hard to win. Although sales might be why you’re there, you need to be less explicit in your purpose. If you find yourself writing ‘buy them now, link in bio’ on a caption, think again. We recently posted a huge list of Instagram caption ideas!

The Takeaway

Although it might seem hard to do at first, growing your Instagram followers is possible. By using the tips we’ve talked about here, you’re likely to surpass 10,000 followers in no time. Then, it’ll be on with growing to 100,000 and a million! Keep updating your profile, playing with what works in your feed and how often you post. Soon you’ll figure out where the sweet spot is for you, and then the sky really is the limit!

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Dawn Matthews
Dawn has worked in technical and customer supporting roles for over 20 years. Most of her career was spent in technical services at top rated UK universities, which has given her a keen eye for detail. A lucky escape led her to the field of eCommerce in 2017, and she’s never looked back. Dawn studied in the field of social sciences with the Open University, achieving an MSc in Forensic Psychology at the same time as working two jobs. She regularly applies principles of psychology from her studies to her work, and outside of her role at Avasam she is busy writing her second book. Follow Dawn on LinkedIn at

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