Growing Your Followers on Instagram: An Insider's Strategy

Create a significat pool of followers based on relevant (but not too popular) hashtagged posts


Author: Ashley Segura

Just about every brand is on social media these days. Which makes sense since 53% of consumers say they’re likely to buy from brands that are transparent on social.

Social media is no longer just a place to be social with your friends and family, and it hasn’t been that way for years.

It’s quickly become a place to interact with your favorite brands, discover new businesses, and receive customer support in real time.

One of the best ways a brand or business can do that is by growing their following on Instagram. What used to only be a social network for the younger generation now has 90% of its users following a business.

With location maps, hashtag searches using keywords, and influencer partnerships, this social media network is a great place to grow a loyal following.

But how does one grow such a following? Hashtag rabbit holes as I call them! Never heard of a hashtag rabbit hole? I’ll break it down for you step-by-step.

  1. Hashtag Research. Do hashtag research on Instagram or using hashtag tools like to discover hashtags based on your keywords. The tricky part here is choosing the right keywords.
    The keywords need to make sense with your latest post and your brand.
    That means starting a search for keywords like #travelcouple and #digitalnomads for a suitcase company who just posted an image of a couple in their 20’s traveling through Europe with their suitcase and laptop bag line.

  2. Choose the Right Hashtags. When choosing hashtags, you want to look for hashtags that have at least 10,000 posts, but no more than 500,000.
    The reasoning behind this is to make sure you reach a popular hashtag, one that may be new and trending, but isn’t too popular it’s oversaturated with posts by the profiles with millions of followers.
    Include the hashtags you discover on your recent post so you’ll also be found by these relevant profiles.
  3. Engage With the Hashtags. Once you have a small handful (starting with 10 hashtags), start going through posts for each of those 10 hashtags, liking, commenting, and following the users sharing the top and recent posts.
    Make sure to comment with an actual response, and not just a copy and pasted, “Nice shot” kind of comment.
    That’s a huge red flag that your a bot and/or someone not worth following. It’s also important to follow some of the profiles posting within these hashtags. Don’t worry, if you chose to follow 50 new people a day it won’t mess up your metrics or make your brand look weak. You can unfollow them a few days later if you’re really nervous about the follower to following ratio, but it’s not always necessary.
    Plus, the more you engage with them the more engagement you’ll receive back on each new post.
  4. Rinse and repeat. You can keep going down the rabbit hole of liking, commenting, and following based on relevant (but not too popular) hashtagged posts each time you share a new post.
    Remember to focus on hashtags that make sense for the content you just shared.
    This will help you find new hashtags and potential new followers each time you post on Instagram.

There really is no end to this strategy. You can spend hours each day coming up with more hashtags, liking, commenting, and following. The more you do this the faster you’ll gain new followers too, relevant followers who are likely to be your target demographic.

Keep an eye on the data while you experiment with this strategy, monitoring which hashtags generate you the most new followers and which posts are shared during that time. This will help you analyze which hashtags to research next and more of what content to create.