Instagram now has more than 800 million monthly users and sky-high user engagement levels.

And with 80 percent of accounts following a business on Instagram, it seems like marketers might be more keen than ever to get acquainted with Instagram for their business1.

I know we are at Buffer!

Lately, we’ve been sharing, liking, and trying new ways to grow Buffer’s Instagram account, and it’s been so much fun. Since Instagram is a platform we’re keen to focus on, we thought it would be fun to research some ways to grow a following there.

Whether you’re growing your own personal account or working on behalf of a company, read on to find out the 10 best tactics (with tools and examples!) we uncovered that could help you grow a bigger, more relevant audience on Instagram.

Buffer for Instagram now comes with direct scheduling! Schedule single-image posts or set reminders to post videos and multi-image posts at your best times to grow your Instagram following. Learn more today.

How to Gain a Massive Following on Instagram: 10 Proven Tactics To Grow Followers and Engagement

Top 10 Instagram Growth Tactics

10 actionable ways to supercharge your follower growth on Instagram:

1. Post consistently (at least once a day)
2. Try videos, live videos, and Stories
3. Study and use quality hashtags
4. Share user-generated content
5. Collaborate with others
6. Post at your best times
7. Use your analytics
8. Engage your fans
9. Host contests
10. Cross-post

line-end

1. Post consistently (at least once a day)

Visual marketing tool Tailwind studied more than 100,000 Instagram profiles in 2017 to understand how posting frequency affects follower growth and engagement rate2.

They found that the more often you post, the more likes and followers you get.

According to the study, profiles that posted seven or more times a week (or at least once a day) get more likes and gain more followers faster than those that post less frequently.

Tailwind Instagram study on posting frequency

Here’s the impact of posting more:

You can almost double your follower growth rate by moving from less than one post per week to 1-6 posts a week. You can more than double your follower growth rate again by moving from posting 1-6 times per week to once or more per day.

The key takeaway: Post consistently on Instagram. Brands that get into a regular flow with Instagram posts tend to see the best results.

With Instagram’s algorithmic timeline, consistency feels like a key element to getting your posts seen and appearing at the top of the timeline. If your posts are shared on a regular basis and picking up good engagement, then our hunch is Instagram’s algorithm may place your posts near the top of your follower’s feeds.

2. Try videos, live videos, and Stories

While Instagram started as a photo-sharing network, it has grown beyond just photos. With features like videos, live videos and Stories, brands can now create many different types of content to engage their fans and grow their following.

Here are a few compelling reasons to try posting these new content types:

  • The average engagement for videos is growing faster than the average engagement for images3
  • When you go live on Instagram, you will appear right at the front of the Stories feed4
  • More than 250 million people use Instagram Stories every day5
  • Sixty-eight percent of marketers surveyed plan to create more Stories in 20186

Sixty-eight percent of marketers surveyed plan to create more Stories in 2018

Free resources:
How to Create Beautiful Instagram Stories (and 10 Amazing Templates to Use)
Here’s All You Need to Know About Live Video on Instagram Stories:
A Video Marketing Guide On Creating Epic Content for Social Media

3. Study and use quality hashtags

We’ve explored hashtags a lot on the blog, but it seems that nowhere on social media are they quite as important as on Instagram. The right hashtags (and location tag) can expose your image to a large and targeted audience, and Instagram users don’t seem to get hashtag fatigue in the same way they might on other networks.

Due to its popularity, it’s even possible to follow a hashtag now!

Simply Measured did two studies and found that Instagram posts with both hashtags and a location tag get the highest average engagement7. In other words, hashtags could be your best bet for growing a fast following on Instagram.

For example, check out one of our recent top Instagram posts, where we used ten hashtags and a location tag:

Instagram post with hashtags and location tags

While Instagram allows for a maximum of 30 hashtags per post, TrackMaven found that nine hashtags seem to be the optimal number for getting the maximum engagement8.

With free Instagram tools like Display Purpose, Focalmark, and AutoHash, you can easily get quality, relevant hashtags for your Instagram posts. For instance, with Display Purpose, simply type in a few words about your image and it’ll recommend the top hashtags to use.

Instagram hashtag tool: Display Purpose

4. Share user-generated content

In a year, we grew our Instagram following by almost 400 percent  – from 4,250 to 21,000 followers. And a large percentage of this growth was a result of us embracing and sharing user-generated content.

The easiest way to think about user-generated content is this: brands taking the best-of-the-best user content from around the web and featuring it on their own social media or other platforms while giving credit to the original creator (user).

At Buffer, we started the hashtags #BufferStories and #BufferCommunity to showcase the unique stories of our users. These hashtags have opened up a huge variety of content options from curated stories of digital nomads to social media tips from marketers. Here’s an example:

Instagram user-generated content

Besides growing your following, digital intelligence firm L2 Inc found that user-generated content also increases the likelihood of an Instagram follower becoming a customer9.

Further reading: Check out our full guide to curating user-generated content on Instagram here.

5. Collaborate with others

Another great way to extend your Instagram reach and grow your following is to collaborate with others, either through partnerships or sponsorships.

For example, we once collaborated with Brian Fanzo, founder and CEO of iSocialFanz, by taking over each other’s Instagram Stories. Through the partnership, we were both able to provide value to our own audience and reach a new audience.

Instagram takeover example

If you have the budget for social media sponsorships, then influencer marketing might be suitable for you. Swedish watchmaker Daniel Wellington is a classic example. They grew their Instagram following from 850,000 to 2.1 million followers in one year by sponsoring Instagram influencers10.

Here’s an example of a recent sponsorship post:

Instagram sponsorship example

The Instagram influencers tag Daniel Wellington’s Instagram account in their sponsored post, which drives people to check out Daniel Wellington’s profile. Through this strategy, Daniel Wellington has amassed more than four million followers so far.

If you wish to explore influencer marketing, here’s a quick five-step influencer marketing guide to get you started.

6. Post at your best times

After looking at more than five studies on the best times to post, I learned that there isn’t a universal best time to post on Instagram.

Instead, every brand has its own best times to post. You have yours, too!

Timeliness of a post is one of the major factors in the Instagram algorithm. So a possible best time for you to post on Instagram is when your followers are most active. Here’s how you can find that information:

  • In the Instagram app, tap on your profile photo
  • Tap on the Instagram Insights (bar chart) icon
  • Scroll down to the “Followers” section and tap on “See more”

At the bottom of the page, you’ll see on which day of the week and at which hours of the day your followers are most active. For example, our followers seem to be most active on Thursdays from 9 am to 3pm ET. You could also look at where your followers are based and experiment with times that you think they’ll be active.

Instagram Insights Followers

Alternatively, you can use Instagram analytics tools like Iconosquare or Buffer for Business to find your best time to post using your Instagram data. This is especially helpful if you don’t have a business profile on Instagram and, thereby, no access to Instagram Insights. Here’s how the Iconosquare feature looks like:

Iconosquare best time to post feature

7. Use your analytics

One of the key ways to grow your Instagram following is to post high-quality content that your followers like and would engage with.

How do you know what your followers like? Again, Instagram Insights provides the data for you to understand which posts your followers like the most.

  • In the Instagram app, tap on your profile photo
  • Tap on the Instagram Insights (bar chart) icon
  • Scroll down to the “Posts” section and tap on “See more”

Here, you’ll see your top posts sorted by impressions. You can tap on the sentence at the top of the page and change the filters according. For example, you could instead see your top videos in the past three months sorted by comments.

Instagram Insights Top Posts

Do you notice any trends?

Does a certain type of image get more impressions or engagement? Post more of those images and see if your followers continue to like and engage with them.

You can even dive deeper into the data by selecting a post and tapping on “View Insights”. For example, I found that, with one of our recent posts, we reached more than 1,700 people who weren’t following us. If they like that post, there’s a high chance that they might end up following us for more similar posts.

8. Engage your fans

In the Instagram algorithm, engagement is one of the major considerations (perhaps the top consideration) when determining how many people to show a post to.

The more engagement a post has, the more people will see it in their feed. 

With many engagements, your posts may even be featured in the top posts of hashtags or in the Explore tab, reaching even more people. And possibly gaining more followers.

A great practice is then to engage your followers by liking or replying to their comments to your posts. Since they took the effort to check out your posts and commenting on them, it feels great to reciprocate by continuing the conversation. Here at Buffer, we use Buffer Reply to easily and quickly reply our fans on Instagram (Facebook, and Twitter).

9. Host contests

Our most commented-on Instagram posts are all contest posts, where we gave out Buffer swags as the prize. Here’s one of them:

Instagram contest post

These posts are great for increasing your reach on Instagram and gaining new followers. For example, you could invite your followers to comment with their favorite emojis or tag a friend to enter the contest.

With the help of either the algorithm or your followers, you could reach many people who might not have heard of your brand before. And if they like the posts on your profile, they might choose to follow you.

To help you get started, Social Media Examiner has an awesome primer on all kinds of Instagram contests.

10. Cross-post

Finally, make sure your existing fans know you’re on Instagram through cross-posting. Instagram makes it simple to share your posts to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, which could be a great tactic to get some extra exposure.

And there’s a great advantage to cross-post! A Buzzsumo study of more than one billion Facebook posts from three million brand pages found that images posted to Facebook via Instagram receive more engagement than natively published images11:

facebook-image-engagement

You can also try embedding Instagram photos in your blog posts (see this post for an example) or adding an Instagram feed to your Facebook page for some additional discovery. Here’s a look at Buffer’s Facebook Page with an added Instagram feed:

Buffer Instagram on Facebook Page

One last tactic: How to drive traffic from Instagram?

One of the challenges of marketing on Instagram (and possibly a part of its joy for users) is that you can’t quite add links for your viewers to click.

If you want to send your followers to a specific link, it’s becoming a common practice to change the link in your Instagram profile and add the comment “link in bio” to a corresponding photo or video.

You could also use a tool like Campsite to create a mobile-friendly page where you can list multiple links and associate the links to the respective Instagram post (which you can then link to from your bio).

Instagram tool: Campsite

Wrapping it up: Anatomy of a perfect post

We’ve gone over quite a lot of tactics to remember and try! The kind folks at Made Freshly combined lots of these tips for growing a following into this fun, evergreen infographic:

IG anatomy high res

Bonus! Buffer for Instagram: Now with direct scheduling

We are so excited to share that Buffer for Instagram now comes with direct scheduling!

Schedule single-image posts or set reminders to post videos and multi-image posts at your best times to grow your Instagram following. Learn more today.

What are your Instagram experiences?

In our quest to grow our followers, it’s always helpful to remember what really matters in all of this: The friends we’ll talk to, the relationships we’ll create, and the fun we’ll have.

An easy way to keep this principle central is to spend a bit of time each day just hanging out and enjoying Instagram. You might respond to comments, like photos, follow some new friends, and comment on awesome posts. It’s the time spent showing and sharing the love that can pay off in new followers. It also creates a better social media experience for everyone.

We’d love to keep the conversation going—both in the comments here and on Instagram, of course! Lots of awesome friends shared their top tips for marketing on the social network, and we’d love to hear yours, too! Add your thoughts below!

 

You might also enjoy these Instagram marketing resources:
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Analytics: Metrics, Insights, Tools, and Tips

 

A Complete Guide to Instagram Marketing: The Playbook That Drives Results

 

How Instagram Stories Work: A Powerful New Way to Engage

 

Looking for a better way to share on social media?

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Written by Courtney Seiter

Courtney writes about social media, diversity and workplace culture at Buffer. She runs Girls to the Moon on the side and pets every dog she sees.

  • Hello Courtney! All of this stuff is great and a reminder for the things that we should be doing on Instagram with some very good reminders. Great check list, but my biggest, best take-away from this post is the way Jeff Sieh broke up his post into content and hashtags.

    It’s so elegant and simple, and so effective. Why didn’t I think of this earlier and why haven’t I seen this before?

    Too many hashtags turn me off, and I think I’m a hashtag nazi in a way that I always tell all of our brands to not use too many hashtags (on Twitter) and use only the key ones on Instagram. But with this little tweak – I think I’m changing the way I think.

    It’s a signal that we’re sending to the consumer on the feed that look, it’s not worth your time to read below this line because these are simply hashtags that we’re using to stay relevant, and be seen in the right searches and circles. You’ve consumed the content, the stuff below this black line is of no interest to you so why don’t you hit the heart and continue scrolling.

    Just so good.

    • Hey Avtar! Oh wow, that’s such an interesting point! I need to ask Jeff how he gets such cool formatting, that could make a big difference in post success!

    • Jeff Sieh

      @courtneyseiter:disqus and @avtarramsingh:disqus I learned those Instagram tricks from Jenn Herman and Sue B. Zimmerman! You need to follow them if you aren’t already.

      I write my post in Evernote on desktop where I have the line breaks already saved. Make sure that it’s still in plain text in Evernote. I also have all my relevant hashtags saved there as well.

      Then I just open up Evernote on my phone and copy and paste from there and it keeps the formatting! You can also write it on notepad or notepad on your phone and get the same results. Just copy and paste. Hope that helps!

      • That’s SO handy, thanks so much Jeff! Great tip!

      • The Evernote tip is very handy – thanks @jeffsieh:disqus. I’ve looked at some of Sue’s stuff and heard her on a couple of podcasts, seemed like fairly straightforward branding and marketing stuff that needs to be done at a basic level – but nuggets like this every now and then are so useful!

      • @jeffsieh:disqus Jeff, this Evernote tip is AWESOME.

        BUT…I’ve tried it and keep having issues with formatting when I copy the evernote text (simple formatted on the Evernote App) and paste into Instagram.

        I keep getting line breaks not working right and running lines with single words and bullet pints on them all into one line.

        I’m wondering if you might have some insight or a bit more explanation as to exactly how you get this great formatting across to Instagram.

        I’m jealous!

        Many thanks.

        Ian

        • Jeff Sieh

          @ianmakeitinmusic:disqus It did take some trial and error when I first started. Don’t give up! … 🙂

          One thing you might try is copying your post into notepad or textedit and make sure you have it formatted as plain text THEN copy it into instagram. There maybe some formatting issues that may be throwing it off.

          Hope that helps!

    • Talman Madsen

      Adding to the hashtag discussion – I have been seeing a lot of people add their first comment as
      “.
      .
      .
      .
      .
      #hashtag #hastag…” Instagram truncates a long message like this and you get your 30 hashtags without even having them appear as a dominating force in your post (the key is 5 line breaks I’m told). In Instagram the comment looks like .[…] I still however like to use a couple in the post! 🙂

      • Ah, great tip there! Seems like the copy/paste trick is going to come in really handy in a lot of ways!

      • Sounds like a plan! Another thing our team internally was talking about was using the hashtags in the comments. That way, you can put in all the hashtags in the world that you want there and future comments will hide that comment from people – therefore you get the search results and the traffic, and no real estate is used up. 🙂

      • Rachel Daley

        Interesting! That’s awesome because then your hashtags don’t distract from your caption or comments. But I’ve found that using 30 hashtags doesn’t really help thaaaat much. (correct me if I’m wrong). The key is finding hashtags that your audience uses/searches. If you find 6-9 solid hashtags that are really targetted for them, then you won’t need 30 🙂

    • Natasha

      I agree with you, Avtar! I’m also not a fan of a huge amount of hashtags and I like how Jeff Sieh separated them in the example above!

      Any ideas on how to do that? I just tried to mock up a line like his so I can add my hashtags below and couldn’t figure out!

      • Hey Natasha! Jeff mentioned that he writes his captions in Evernote and then copy/pastes them. I think you could use the notes app on your phone, too!

        • Natasha

          Well, that’s a great idea! Thanks for the tip, @courtneyseiter:disqus! Love the Evernote app.

      • Rachel Daley

        Hey Natasha,
        You can’t create line spaces directly in Instagram if you end the last sentence with punctuation or an emoji. Sometimes I use these guys ___________ to separate lines, but yeah like @courtneyseiter:disqus and @jeffsieh:disqus said, if you copy and paste from something like Evernote, the formatting should stay the same! (I copy and paste from my emails and that works too!)

        • Natasha

          Thanks, Rachel!

    • Elizabeth

      While I create a post I put all the hashtags after my content, but before publishing I cut all the hashtags (except sometimes 1 or 2) then paste them in the comment below immediately. Is there any difference to hashtags posted in comments as opposed to the post content? I haven’t noticed any. Except my posts have a simpler appearance, also when an image is hovered over in my IG widget on my blog, it’s also less cluttered (no hashtags, just info). Any thoughts appreciated.

  • Jeff Sieh

    @courtneyseiter:disqus thanks for including my Instagram post! I’m finding that I’m able to connect with Influencers on Instagram easier than many other networks. I think it’s because I’m not “lost in the noise” like you can be on others.

    • I was excited to; thanks for being an awesome example and adding even more value in the comments!

    • Rachel Daley

      Totally agree Jeff! I think it also has to do with the simplicity of the platform – great photos with the right strategies = killer engagement and FAST audience growth!

    • Ben Miller

      I agree with you Jeff. Anyway this is a great guide for people who are just starting with IG, I also did the same and got enormous results. Instagram has far better post reach that Facebook and Twitter. Regarding IG monetization, I’m using Instagram Pocket Rocket.. awesome and easy method to grow Instagram account and earn from it. I’m using it about 10 days, earned good so far (about $500). Anyways great article.

    • Deniz Ok

      Hi great article 🙂 By the way if someone searching for free instagram followers or likes even video views then visit immediately buycheapestfollowers . com and ask the livechat agents for a free test package

  • Ben Boykin

    Courtney, another great tip is to create a custom location, located just underneath the username, in which to create a call to action. As a part of an ecommerce marketing team which sells worldwide, we seem to find greater value in going this route.

    • Great one, Jim! So y’all have seen more success from that route even though it’s not a live link? Or maybe you’ve figured out a way around that?

  • Great guide to growing your following. I wrote off Instagram for a long time. Once I got into it recently, I’ve found it easy to quickly build a good sized following using many of the points made here.

    Thanks Courtney for this great post. I’ll certainly point others towards it.

    • Awesome, Ben, glad to hear that! Any tips you’ve found especially handy that you’d want to share?

      • Check for related hashtags to further the reach of your posts. You may tag something as #food but #foodporn is another very popular tag you could use to help get your posts seen by even more people. Tools like Iconosquare can help find these related hashtags.

        Many see great success by finding a niche and defining a style for themselves. All of their posts have a very common look and feel to them that gives them a bit of a signature look. While this certainly isn’t required, it is something many like and follow for.

        It’s still early in the game for Instagram so test and see what works best for you. Iconosquare offers some great analytics to show you how you’re doing. It gives breakdowns of which filters get the best engagement for you, days of the week and times you’re posting most often, your most common hashtags and Instagram’s most common and tons more.

        I’d love to see Buffer do things like share a look where the employees like to work from, how they personalize their laptops (and Kindles), employee pets, and tons more. Match the favorite activity to the employee? Really a great spot to give an intimate view into how a company works and has fun.

  • Ivan Siladji

    No exaggeration… This is hands down by far the best post I’ve read on trowing followers on Instagram… Thank you.

    Ivan Siladji
    http://www.ivansiladji.com

  • Rachel Daley

    Thanks so much for including our Anatomy of the Perfect Instagram Post infographic! Some really great tips curated here! EPICCCC

    • Rachel, thanks so much for all your great tips and the awesome infographic!

  • We use video often to showcase our products. Over easter this year we did a 15 second video showing our 8 kg chocolate easter eggs. we sold 2 of them @ $550 each from instagram. We posted a great photo of our strawberry balsamic truffles and that day had 6 people from instagram come into our store and bought them. We are getting constant new followers, sales and great interaction from @perfectionchocolates on instagram. We love to collaborate with other instagrammers. @courtneyseiter:disqus Thanks

    • Wow, what a cool case study on video, John! Way to get in there early and congrats on your success!

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  • Love this post Courtney! I am getting a client setup on Instagram today! THANKS for the timely post with very valuable tips to get us going to the right foot. 🙂

    • Happy to help out a bit; I’ve been learning a ton myself!

  • @courtneyseiter:disqus I would add crowdfire to the list: https://crowdfireapp.com/ And also iconosquare: http://iconosquare.com/

    Iconosquare lets you browse instagram and makes it much easier and quicker to like photos and leave comments, since you can use a keyboard and mouse. It also provides stats, and even shows you the best times to post based on your audience.

    Crowdfire lets you grow your userbase by allowing you to follow people quicker. You can even easily see followers for a brand or person whose audience you think will also like your stuff. You can then follow them, engage with them etc.

    It has a lot of other features, too many to talk about in a comment 😀

    Regarding hashtags, I started off by adding popular hashtags, but what I found was that while it does increase likes, they never felt genuine, and while I got likes, it didn’t increase my follower count or long term engagement. I think a lot of people just go around mass liking photos tagged with popular hashtags.

    It’s also easy to get discouraged when trying to grow your instagram account. One think I think people tend to miss, is that when you see accounts (non celebrity) with thousands and thousands of followers, their accounts typically were featured by instagram as a suggested user, or featured in their blog etc. That is the number one fastest way to grow your follower base. Obviously it’s up to someone from instagram finding your account and liking your content enough to feature you.

    Another thing I’d suggest, this is something I need to work on as well, is pick a theme for your account. If you look at popular accounts they either have a single theme, or their photo style is consistent.

    This means that for example, if I love HDR photography, and an account only posts HDR photos, I might be more likely to follow them, because I know exactly what to expect.

    Hope this helps 🙂
    Oh and feel free to checkout my
    https://instagram.com/abdulnusrat/

    haha 😀

    • Great tips, Abdul; thanks so much for taking the time to share this awesome info!

  • BrowsingItaly

    Hi Courtney, fantastic post on Instagram tips! I have so much fun on Instagram and if I may add my 2 cents, in addition to following and liking accounts, initiate conversations by commenting on other posts and replying to comments on yours, like you would for other social media networks.

    Another tip is to create your own hashtag. If you can come up with a relevant and fun hashtag that gains traction, it will could help build a following and a nice community.

    One last tip is that you could also partially schedule a post for Instagram. I hope Buffer would soon come out a similar feature so I can just use one tool for all my scheduling hint hint 😉 Latergramme is a free tool where you can schedule a post adding comments, tags, etc. At the time scheduled, you are sent a push notification and would still have to post manually to your account.

    Hope this helps 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the tips; I’d love to have Buffer for Instagram also! Maybe one day 🙂

  • Wow. Amazing post. I never use filters while uploading photos. But after reading this will surely use this. Thanks for great tips. 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing the experience with us, we will try to use some of these.

  • ronellsmith

    I’ve only recently started playing around with the platform, but two huge benefits of using Instagram jump out at me immediately, especially for marketers:

    1. It gets them thinking more about visuals, which pulls them away from thinking text-only (e.g., blogs) and can provide a huge boost to their marketing.

    2. It trains brands to go where there prospects/customers are, where they can then see whose sharing what, making it possible for them to mimic others’ success.

    RS

  • Great post. I’m digging Instagram, too! I’ve found that color can play a big part in tying your whole profile together. I’ve got a lot of comments on my use of orange.

    • Oh wow, really interesting finding, Rob! Will have to try that!

  • THE HIVE PUBLICITY

    Really good tips ! I’ve been using some of them for a while on @thehivepublicity and I’ll start applying some of others that you suggest.

    There’s something I’ve learnt about SMM, more specifically IG, is that trial and error is crucial. We must try different strategies until we find the one that suites better for our brand and target market.

    Cheers !

    Luis Cristofori

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  • Emojis are a real winner on any social platforms, For the more sophisticated use of emoji we can layer them on the image we are posting on instagram to convey a direct essence of image with the help of emoji. I read you another article concentrating on Emoji and their impact Both of these articles are must read.

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    How do you create a tab in Facebook? We haven’t been able to customize our nonprofit’s FB page with tabs or things like that since the days of FBML (the old Facebook coding language, if we’re remembering right…)

    • carolina

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  • Instagram is quick social media and the Info graphic you used to differentiate between various types of Images like light, dark, low saturation, duck face :D, Well everything looks as it is.

  • Laura

    Excellent article you explore everything one needs to know about Instagram marketing and the best strategies to get more followers. Your strategies are sound and have been proven to show great results but i’m wondering if there is space for someone to buy followers or likes from websites like http://instagramfollowers.website to kickstart their marketing efforts.

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  • Great post! I’m looking to get my newer Instagram account (hecpara) a bit of a kickstart soon with my photography, and will be using these tips! Thanks =]

  • Courtney, love the post. If you’re cool with it I’d love to add a little more value by plugging my Instagram Growth Hacking Course which is 100% free. http://igexplosion.com/growth-hack/ — In the course I go a little bit more in-depth on a lot of the concepts you’ve discussed in your post. Thanks again!

  • Masad Baba

    Is it taboo to have the company or brand LOGO — in small size tucked in a particular corner — on each image?

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  • Hi Courtney, great post. You mention quality hashtags and today I’ve launched my app which hopefully helps with finding those hashtags: http://IQta.gs

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  • Alex Larson

    Thank you a lot for this tip, Courtney! I’ll keep in mind your growth tactics. On the other hand @@avtarramsingh:disqus is totally right. Too many hashtags are annoying reason to unfollow. Anyway you must take into account it takes time (months or years?) to increase followers. I’d rather pay for followers and likes. For real followers and likes. I’m using Schedugram for managing and zengram.net for boosting, just in case.

  • I am also interest of this how to gain massive following on Instagram.i think that with in 5-6 years it will be a most popular social networking site of the world. so that i want to be a popular in Instagram,,
    for buying Instagram following me..
    thank you,,,

  • Marie

    Hi,
    i m fashion designer in New York, i was looking some real Instagram followers will help my business to grow in online market. one of my friend suggest to promote my Instagram profile through third party, After i searched on Google, i found a website SocioBoosters, i really happy with their service specially Mark Johnson is a nice person. Actually the followers are really high profiles users and they are active with my daily activity. thank you very much !!!

    • petra heylen

      Sociobooster is very expensive, And are these actualy real or fake followers?

    • Rafaela Souza

      You could try http://cheapinstafollowers.com – it generates real followers and real interactions, not fake ones that have no use.

  • KatarinaKate

    I think the easiest way to promote Instagram accounte is to use special servises like https://zen-promo.com/. By that way you can cet thousends of followels so fast.

  • Gautam Kabiraj

    Hello Courtney,
    That was one really amazing read! Your article was rather much more detailed than mine.
    If you got a minute, please check out my recently published article:
    “70 Free And Legit Ways To Increase Instagram Followers And Likes”.
    Here’s the link: http://www.geeksninja.com/2016/07/70-free-ways-increase-instagram.html
    Thanks you!

  • Diana Horseleecher

    This day we have many enough ways to do this. Sometimes I’m busy, sometimes I’m lazy, so I prefer to use services as zen-promo.com . There are many things to customize, but I love it just because I must nothing to do. I can even turn off my PC.

  • Social followers

    Found this on MSN and I’m happy I did. Well written article.

  • team dayone

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  • Tracy

    All the ways have some hard points. So I prefer to use zen-promo (com) to find followers. It uses interaction to attract people and it works effective enough for me.

  • Thanks for sharing these tips! Cross promoting is SO important – I’m all for that.
    I’ve shared some different tips over on my website – http://www.elisehodge.com.au – I think they’ll be helpful for someone! 🙂

  • kaitlyn catalano

    Thanks so much this was very helpful. Do you think it’s helpful or hurtful to mention a popular instagrammer in your post if you share a recipe or something. I just worry about it redirecting the viewer away from your page. Thanx ?✌️@eak_nkd

  • Ashley Fowler

    Hello! So in the past I have used hashtags to gain traffic on my Instagram – likes, comments, and NEW followers, and it worked great… But recently with my new Instagram account (birdcagecreations) which is a business account (same as before), I’m noticing that the only like and comments on my photos are from FOLLOWERS ONLY, no new viewers! Is there a reason that non-followers are not seeing my photos under the hashtag pages? When I visit the hashtag, I can see my photo listed… Help!

  • Loic Alix-brown

    hey guys, i thought i would let you know i managed to grow my account to 10k in under two weeks following your info but also some really good tips in a 240 page guide written by the IG Ascend team. You want to check it out: http://www.igascend.com

  • pokefixer

    Hello all, i find it very cool that you give some ways on how to increase your audience on instagram, but i mostly like to be the person who uses the smart and easy way so i grab bukkits out of my pocket and buy some follower + likes.
    I usally use http://social-rocket.net/ because its fully automaticlly and since 2014 they are delivering everything on time !

  • Drake Nicholson

    Amazing article 🙂

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    what can i do for u

  • Anton

    My 2 cents here – I have used noworriesbot.com for a while and really happy with it. Getting more than 100 real & active followers a day with little to no effort. It also has post scheduling, so I schedule a week in advance and forget. Highly recommend.

  • David U.

    11th way to increase number of followers – use special services such as zen-promo.com – it allows you to find real people and you can set option to search in your own city. Very useful.

  • Ruiz Delapa

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  • Michael

    Well… too many ways. My girlfriend uses some service called zen-promo to gain her followers. So, it must be there are a lot of ways that you have overlooked in your article.

  • Quinten Thijs

    Hi
    Thanks a lot for the tips. I discovered the postive effect of hashtags and it has helped me so much lately.
    I would like to invite you to take a look at my Instagram page, I’m a nature/travel inspired photographer, trying to create a consistent feed: http://www.instagram.com/quintenthijss
    Some feedback would be appreciated!
    Wish you all the best
    Quinten

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  • Nick Fanilov

    Thank you for article. Instagram analytics is very important, we use smartmetrics.co, it tracks about 30 metrics and provides different tips how to optimise our account.

  • Abegail Smith

    hi! nice article!

  • Adam Woods

    I’m using Rexam’s Instagram Pocket Rocket.. awesome and easy method to grow Instagram account and earn from it. I’m using it since released, earned good so far (about $500 in 10 days).

    • nirra

      Glad it worked for you. In my opinion it already has methods you can find with a simple Google search. When I told the seller I already knew his methods and asked for a refund he refused. I told him if I had known the tools and methods he was selling were ones I already knew I wouldn’t have purchased the book and he still refused. I would not recommend purchasing from him at all! He deleted my comment too so all the reviews are positive. That should have been a red flag for me before purchasing but they say hindsight is 20/20. Unscrupulous seller!

  • John

    Hi, i found this blog rather interesting, but i want to say that if you’re a buiseness man or if you need likes (or followers) fast – better some services like “likesman com” (for example) because it’s easy to use, not so expensive and much faster. I hope i’ll help somebody who need it.

  • Very useful tips! Without such tricks are too difficult to promote. Thank you very much !!

  • muhammadbilal

    Very nice list of your blogs, I really needed these Instagram blogs, Thanks

  • Adam Woods

    I’m using Rexam’s Instagram Pocket Rocket.. awesome and easy method to grow Instagram account and earn from it. I’m using it about 10 days, earned good so far (about $500).

  • Adam Woods

    I’m using Instagram Pocket Rocket.. awesome and easy method to grow Instagram account and earn from it. I’m using it about 10 days, earned good so far (about $500).

  • thanks for sharing. https://vizyu.com/

  • Nick Kelmor

    Yeah, they are proven but they work not effective that they are meant. I prefer to deliver such work to professionals from zen-promo. But it’s my choice and I don’t insist. It’s up to person

  • Adam Woods

    I’m using Instagram Pocket Rocket… awesome and easy method to grow Instagram account and earn from it. I’m using it about 10 days, earned good so far (about $500).

  • Just awesome stuff 😉

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  • Kire Jovanoski

    The hard way is follow – unfollow by yourself and the easy way is using help from websites. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqqIHfy9QO0 this video helped me to get my account to 4000 followers in a week.. You can get alot more but I was afraid to use it more cuz I dont want to get my account banned..

    • Deniz Ok

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  • jaywi

    Very well written article!
    It gave me some tips when I wrote my own article around this subject.
    Thank you very much for the tips and knowledge.
    Feel free to check my article out http://www.veloceinternational.com/how-to/helpful-tips-grow-instagram-following/ and let me know what you think:)

  • Gareth Hardy

    This is great, thanks Courtney. We currently use http://www.socialgr.am which I think works in a similar way to this.

  • We have grown one of our Instagram accounts 100% organically to 53k followers https://instagram.com/vanila.design/ and that is part of our company https://vanila.io .

    We started at the mid of summer 2016, and did steady and slowly.

    How we did it ?

    – Follow > Unfollow > Crowdfire to see who unfollow you. (CrowdFire doesnt support Instagram features anymore)

    – Have your own hastag

    – Use some apps to easy repost others posts.

    – Post great and interesting content

    Repeat!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/aa5b3044f1886ac2fb1ad285b6c0166f40c3e2cb4ee86fea44e4d59150ec4337.png

  • Ben Miller

    It’s quite easy to make money on Instagram. You can start your own business easily. Just create an account. You’ll have access to the entire web and unlimited selling potential…
    The risk and investment is so minimal, and the earning potential is huge. You can outsource freelancers for cheap to do all the technical parts.
    Just find your niche, you don’t need any previous knowledge or skills. All you need is the perfect idea!
    I’m using Instagram Pocket Rocket.. awesome and easy method to grow Instagram account and earn from it. I’m using it about 10 days, earned good so far (about $500).

  • Maria

    This is a really useful article, I especially liked the stats about filters! It’s always great to know what the optimal way is to edit your images. I’ve also written an article on –>How to grow your Instagram<– from personal experience . I've managed to go up to 36k followers in a year which isn't DRASTIC, but it has helped me monetise my page.

  • Robert Mayfield

    There are many different ways to grow you Instagram account and make money from it and many different ways to build an entire Instagram business. If you are limited to a strict budget, it does not mean you can’t be successful. I’m using Instagram Pocket Rocket.. awesome and easy method to grow Instagram account and earn from it. I’m using it about 15 days, earned good so far (about $1000).

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  • Thanks for the guide on growing an Instagram account, there are truly some gems in here.

    To push on with learning how to grow accounts, I thought that readers might be interested in UniversityGram, more specifically http://www.universitygram.org/account.html – the page which can teach readers how to improve an account, with the rest of the website being dedicated to giving methods on gaining followers and likes. Don’t give up now!

    Thanks again for the insightful guide, the methods are being applied to my accounts as we speak, and I hope to see good results! See you around!

  • Maduraiweb Madurai

    Very helpful tips. I especially MaduraiWeb agree about keeping track of what is working so you can focus more on that and get rid of what’s not. Helps tp save time and energy.

  • petra heylen

    Also a good way to get a lot more followers is to participate in a giveaway, it will cost you a little but it’s better then buying followers as I see with a lot of bloggers that have an account with more then 10K

  • Nikhil Rana

    The post covers all the point but there is one more point which i would like to add which is: you should post pictures at 2 am or 5 pm. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5af3c26ffcb3696886e8a49413a1761c424c2d09ba6ae3ae155e045f41da6f9f.jpg
    You can check out more tips at: http://bit.ly/2ohNrSj

  • Sober Sista

    If you’re serious about it, you might want to check out an HR company like Mohr Publicity.

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  • Eric Fishborn

    This is good tips but some of them I’ve already known and I can add something else. I think that the best way (or one of the best) to get followers is using apps and special services like, for example, zen-promo(.com) that can find real and active followers on Instagram. Some people think it’s cheating and wrong but I can say it’s fine because it’s in terms of Instagram, it does’n create bots and fakes, it’s just good help for promotion. Especially for companies who just go local. Why such help can’t be?

  • Rafaela Souza

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  • There are so many things to building an instagram account than scheduling posts, you need to have a active profile, participate in trending discussion and get on grounds where your people are. It is also very much necessary to be there for your followers whenever they need. A really good profile with lots of engagement will help get genuine followers. http://instagramempire.peterfitzer.com/offer

  • Author Caujuan Mayo

    Wow that was a great article. Have you ever tried using http://instapoppin.com/ to grow your followers?

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  • Hello Courtney,

    Instagram nowadays very popular among youngster because they can share a lot of things with the help of Insta. Many celebrity choose Instagram and leave other social media platform. Thanks for sharing this amazing tips.

  • Cameron Kinney

    I recently tried a growth agency called https://relaxedsocial.com/
    I have seen lots of growth in followers and engagement. I would definitely recommend that over purchasing fake followers.

  • Laurie

    @courtneyseiter:disqus Thanks for a great article! I particularly liked the USC and the tag a friend ideas! I’m going to try them both out on the two brands I work for! @thepiggystory @cocoandnanajewelry

    Thanks!
    Laurie