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Apr, 2018 13 min read
When you’re just starting out, it can be exciting to imagine how many followers your Instagram account
can get. But truth is, your first 10,000 followers are the hardest to get. Why? No one knows who you are
yet. You’ve still got to prove yourself as a successful brand and influencer. But that doesn’t mean it’s not
possible. If you follow this guide on how to get followers on Instagram, you can probably hit 10,000
followers in only six months.
How to Get Followers on Instagram
#1. Join Instagram Engagement Groups
Some Instagram influencers who are just starting out have seen their Instagram followers increase fast.
What did they do differently? They joined engagement groups.
While it can be tempting to join the biggest Instagram engagement groups, truth is you’ll get a more
targeted list of followers by sticking to your niche. You can find engagement groups for travel, beauty,
fashion and more.
In these groups, you can get followers and likes from people who have shared interests. But if you’re
serious about getting the attention, you should also return the favor by following fan pages for people
who join the group.
I’ve had friends get 2,000 new followers in only a couple weeks using this strategy.
While it might not help with immediate sales, it helps you gain credibility early on so your Instagram
page doesn’t show that you only have 38 followers. This is more of a short-term strategy for your first
few weeks on Instagram not a long-term one for getting Instagram followers.
#2. Repost Others’ Content
When I was building my store’s Instagram account, my entire posting strategy revolved around
reposting other people’s content. The only way to do this without getting flagged is to credit the original
poster in your description, every time.
When I first started, I’d take screenshots and add the pictures onto my Instagram. What really helped
my page take off was when I bought the Repost app. It allowed me to start reposting video content on
Instagram. One of the biggest home runs I had was when I re-posted a video that amassed 52,862 views,
got 1264 comments and 9,147 likes. At the time, I didn’t even have 10,000 followers so this was a big
Why’d I repost other people’s content instead of posting my own?
Because I knew that it was easier to repost content and that my visual and video content would never
be as good as someone else’s. Hey, at least I’m honest about it!
How did I know what to repost? I’d look at the numbers.
I was pretty active on Instagram so I’d browse the list of hashtags I came up with and used daily to find
the top performing posts that weren’t posted by other fan pages (so not my competitors) but by
individual people. I’d then watch the videos and look at the pictures to see which ones I had the biggest
reactions to. If I felt the urge to share someone else’s post, I knew I had to repost it onto my page.
#3. Get your Instagram Account Promoted on Buzzfeed
To get that Instagram followers boost, you need to find a way to tap into a massive audience. And no
one embeds Instagram posts into their content as much as Buzzfeed.
A Buzzfeed staff member wrote an article about how she grew her personal brand as an Instagram
influencer. She currently has almost 6,000 followers but the article she wrote on the platform might’ve
helped. Buzzfeed does have a Community section where anyone can post their own content onto their
platform, though you’ll need to follow their guidelines to build trust and to get visibility.
Is Buzzfeed not right for your niche? That’s cool. You can also use a tool called HARO where you get
emails three times a day filled with requests from reporters who are looking to get content and expert
quotes for their stories. Most allow a website link and social links. So you can hit two birds with one
stone by getting a link to your store and Instagram account.
#4. Ask Customers to Share their Photos
When you’re just starting out, getting followers on Instagram will be a lot easier with customer photos
in your feed. Why? It can help increase social proof.
If you’ve never had a customer before, reach out to influencers in your niche with under 5,000
followers. I know the number seems low but influencers with few followers want to monetize their
accounts and will be willing to take pictures with your products at a much lower rate. You can also offer
them an affiliate deal where they’ll get a commission for every sale they score with their customer
If you’ve already had a couple of sales, reach out to customers and offer a free gift or cash incentive for
taking quality images with the product they purchased. Offering incentives isn’t going to be your longterm strategy but for the short-term while you try to build your brand, this can help you grow.
As more customers start seeing customer photos on your Instagram, they’ll naturally start tagging you in
posts when they receive their products. If you comment on their post, repost the content and follow
them you’ll likely get them to follow back. Though some will follow you after tagging you in their post on
#5. Have a consistent style that hooks people in
I know this sounds like one of those ‘blah, blah, blah’ ways to gain followers on Instagram. But it isn’t.
Here’s why: people don’t follow you because of the content you’ve posted but because of what they
think the future content you’ll post will be like.
Say you have a corgi fan page, every day you post cute corgi pictures and videos without fail. If
Instagram users keep seeing your posts eventually they’ll realize that you always post the cutest corgi
content. So they follow you with the expectation that your account will always be more of the same
type of content.
Having a consistent style or theme is more than just a branding play, it’s about creating an expectation
for your Instagram account that your followers or potential followers can count on. They want to see
more of the same type of content, every day.
If you can deliver that consistency with every post, you’ll grow your followers at a faster rate over time.
#6. Ignore the Hashtag Rules
Many experts will tell you to only use 5 or 11 hashtags or some other arbitrary numbers. But when I was
building my store’s Instagram account, I ignored their advice and ran wild with it.
I’d copy and paste a list of hashtags from my phone onto my app. I’d sometimes switch it up to try
different hashtags but eventually I knew which ones usually worked best. I’d usually go as close to or
right to the max number of hashtags possible. 30. That’s the magic number.
Truth is, you add all those hashtags in the first comment. And as your page engagement grows, no one
will ever see the first comment because they’re too busy tagging their friend in your post.
Sure, when you’re starting out people might see it. But if the goal is to increase visibility, the easiest way
to do it is to add more hashtags. As you gain followers, your posts will rank higher for those hashtag
keywords giving you even more visibility.
If you’re hashtags are niche specific, you’ll increase your likelihood of being found by a relevant
audience which will help you grow your followers as well. So avoid generic hashtags like #love or
#picoftheday if you’re selling fashion, for example.
#7. Use your Instagram Posts in Blog Posts
If you have your own personal or business blog, you can embed your Instagram pictures into your blog
– Don’t forget to follow Oberlo on Instagram while you’re at it.
Say you have a fashion blog, you might write a blog post about styling tips. You can choose posts from
Instagram where you show pictures of your layered outfits or a trendy outfit look. You’d then go onto
the Instagram website on your desktop, go to your page, click the post, click the ‘…’ icon and click
Embed. Then you copy that link into your blog post’s code section.
Over time, more people will be visiting your blog and will be more likely to check out your Instagram
I know that this is more of a long-term game. Especially if you’re not getting traffic today. But adding
your Instagram posts right from the beginning gives you a higher chance of visibility when six months
from now you really start seeing massive returns.
#8. Follow People who Like Competing Pages
To get that Instagram followers increase you need to find people who follow brands. Who are your
biggest competitors on Instagram? Write them down. Then, browse their posts to see who’s
commenting on their posts. Follow them and engage with them.
Keep in mind that when choosing competitors on Instagram it’s better to go for the smaller brands.
Why? Because if you were selling makeup brushes and trying to get people who comment on Sephora,
there’s a good chance that they’re not the right audience despite being in a similar niche. Bigger brands
tend to have more customer loyalty.
However, if you have a competitor who has 100,000 fans on their page, they may not have a loyalty to
When commenting on posts of those you follow, don’t scare them off with a sales pitch or the same
comment for every person you message. If they ask a question on their post, give them an answer. Look
at the types of comments others are giving and use that as a guideline for what you can comment too.
As you keep engaging and following people, you’ll start to amass a strong following of your own.
#9. Work with Influencers – How to Get Followers on Instagram
Another way to get an Instagram followers increase is by getting influencer shoutouts or having
influencers do an account takeover.
If an influencer has a loyal following, they can give you a shoutout that’ll result in new followers for your
account and possibly a few sales.
Be sure to write up a contract that prohibits the influencer from sending fake traffic. We once worked
with an influencer who gave us a shoutout and we got 2,000 fake followers on our account. It was
obvious she used a bot. When you get a sudden rush of fake follower on your account you risk getting
your account banned.
If you’re looking for a more effective approach to get new followers, ask the influencer you work with to
do an account takeover on your Instagram Stories. That way, people will have to follow your page to
view the story. You’ll need to get him or her to let their audience know a few days in advance.
#10. Host Giveaways
If you host giveaways on Instagram and have a small audience, you might be able to get more followers.
But if you host giveaways on your website and include an option to follow you on Instagram and other
social networks, you’ll have a much bigger reach.
If your audience size is small you can post your giveaway in certain giveaway facebook groups or on
When I first started working in marketing, I’d reach out to giveaway blogs. I’d send them some free
products in exchange for a review post. Most agreed to it for the free product though some did ask for
payment as well. They’d do a product review post filled with pictures and their experiences with the
product. At the end, their audience would enter to win the product under the condition that you send
that customer the product. We’d get hundreds of new followers on all our social accounts. This is a great
way to get new followers if you don’t have an audience. But it might not be as targeted than if you were
to host a giveaway on a relevant niche blog.
If you’re just starting out, giveaways can help you get more followers on Instagram. However, if you do
them too often, you might not get the right type of audience you want. If your goal is to get sales,
giveaways won’t necessarily help you get more of them. Though you can try this giveaway hack to get
more sales. But if you’re only looking to get Instagram followers fast, this strategy can work quite well.
Apps to Increase Instagram Followers
When I first started building my store’s Instagram account, I used a bot, an app to increase Instagram
followers, called Instagress. It worked really well at first which allowed me to easily build up the first few
thousand followers. Eventually, I stopped because I didn’t need it anymore. Unfortunately, Instagress
and other apps to increase Instagram followers usually get shut down. And some people who use them
can get their entire Instagram account shut down. While they can work well, the risk just isn’t worth it.
The apps to increase Instagram followers that you can use are marketing automation tools like Bufferor
reposting tools like Repost.
How to Get Followers on Instagram According to Three Influencers
Juanika Dildy is the founder of the popular website The Ladypreneur. Her Instagram account has gained
over 16.1k followers. Here’s her advice on how to gain followers on Instagram:
What’s been your secret to getting over 16k followers?
Engagement makes the difference. It’s important that your followers know that you appreciate them
just as much as they do you. For increased engagement, users should search the hashtags used to
attract followers, find users that stand out, like a few pics and comment. You’ll gain the curiosity of
those you’ve engaged with, they’ll follow your page, and tag their friends on your posts.
Did you use any apps to increase Instagram followers?