If I had a pound for every time I am asked if there are easy ways to grow following on Instagram. Unfortunately, the short answer is “no”. There is no silver bullet when it comes to getting more Instagram followers.

I am often having this same discussion with clients. Then we analyse lots of other accounts (it’s never their competitors that have a greater following) and we try and work out how they have done it. For example, there is a particular account that has thousands of followers and gets hundreds of likes for every post. We happened to meet them at an event and asked them how they did it. Apparently, they were advised to post a reel a day for 30 days. For much of that time, nothing of any significance happened – they got a few likes then towards the end of the 30 days – BOOM – it suddenly went from a few followers a day to 1500 followers a day. Then when it eventually pestered off, it slowed down to 300 per day.

It doesn’t always have the same effect

Now, we would all like a bit of that but is it achievable? We started researching and came across other accounts that have tried the same. One reported after taking the time to painstakingly post reels every day for 31 days in July, while their reach grew exponentially, their followers actually decreased by one. Now, I have a theory about why. If they weren’t consistently posting reels daily before and then started posting regularly, how many people actually switched off and unfollowed them? Did they try too hard and post contrived content just to hit the number of reels/Perhaps there was little value in what they were posting. This is the danger – trying to cheat the system will often have an adverse effect. 

Does having a business profile make it harder?

Now of course, often those accounts that have great followings are individuals, not business profiles. No matter what you try with a business profile, it won’t have the same desired impact as with a non-business account. That’s not to say you won’t stumble across a little nugget that drives lots of traffic. Our own personal view is that the algorithm doesn’t want to make it easy for businesses when you could be spending money on ads to grow your following. 

So, how do you gain followers on Instagram?

Of course, there are many tips and tricks you can find but you will likely generate a handful of followers a day rather than hundreds. Still, they must be part of your Instagram posting strategy:

  • Hashtags – searchable terms that enable your content to be found – consider what your customers might be searching for
  • Optimise your bio – use keywords etc and make sure you are clear about what you do etc
  • Follow others in your industry and other relevant accounts – don’t over-follow or follow for followers – stick to the daily limit
  • Interact and engage with other accounts – scroll your feed and like and comment on others’ posts, engage with those that comment on your posts
  • Be consistent with your content
  • Share your content to stories and encourage others to share
  • Collaborate with others – collaborating reels with other accounts is a great way to reach more than just your audience. In fact, with a collab post, you can up to 5 collaborators per reel – that’s a lot of additional followers – some even do joined dup giveaways to gain traction with followers.

Slow and steady wins the race

We have tried many ‘tactics’ to try and grow followers, some of them have seen us unwittingly stopped from following for 24-48 hours while others have just produced greater results. Collabs have seen us grow followers a little, so has a great post but nothing that has seen us suddenly see the followers increase by hundreds. If we get featured in ‘for you’ pages or if we are lucky enough to get story shares and collabs, then we see a lift but that doesn’t mean that we can abandon the daily tactics of optimising our posts and ensuring they have maximum potential to be seen.