How To Get More Followers on Instagram in 6 Easy Steps

Empty Lighthouse is a reader-supported site. This article may contain affiliate links to Amazon and other sites. We earn a commission on purchases made through these links.

Getting new followers on Instagram is kind of the new benchmark of internet popularity these days. Everyone from big brands to high school hipsters are looking to gain a bigger following and have more influence.

Here's a few easy steps to gaining more followers:

1.) Take Advantage of Popular Instagram Hashtags

Unlike Twitter, Instagram doesn't show you the most popular hashtags on the platform. However, people are searching for them.

So use hashtags that will get some attention and relate to your post. This is absolutely the best chance you have of something going viral.

Some of the most popular tags are #love, #instagood, #tbt, #follow, #photooftheday, #picoftheday. Don't be afraid to use popular hastags and don't make your hashtags too long. Think about it this way... what do you search for on Instagram?

Important: Do not flood your post with a ton of hastags. It won't get you very far and will most likely be flagged as spam. Rule of thumb, use only 3-4 hashtags max.

2.) Take Selfies. Lots of Them.

Now I'm not one to encourage more selfies, but undoubtedly they are the key to earning more followers. If you're a company, have every employee take a selfie and add it to the feed. If you are just an awesome person, don't hold back.

New York Daily News recently reported that the most popular Instagram accounts have tons of selfies. Think about it this way, what are the more interesting pictures you find on the internet? Animals? Sunsets? Scenery? No.

They're of people, obviously. Quote:

"They've just announced the conclusions of a study that examined 1.1 million photos on Instagram and the biggest finding is that despite the infinite number of potential subjects for a smartphone-snapped photo, pictures featuring human faces, and not cats or dogs, generate the biggest positive response.

In fact, if an image features a person's face it is 38 percent more likely to be liked and 32 percent more likely to attract comments."

Pictures of you, your friends and what you guys are up to every minute of the day will go a long way. It paints a picture of your life and helps people connect to with you, even if they don't know you. Another cool statistic from the NYDT article is that pictures of people are 38% more likely to get comments and likes. Lastly, don't flood your feed with half-naked photos of yourself.

For one thing, you might regret it later. But it doesn't necessarily lead to more followers either. Keep it in you pants... or shirt.

3.) Follow and Connect With Others

Be pro-active. You can't expect to be part of a social network without being social. Go out search and discover. Sure there are lots of stories of people developing relationships purely from Instagram, but that's not really the objective here...

we hope. But if you express interest in others, they may develop the same interest in you. These followers can help get you noticed in the future and more importantly, make your Instagram experience more meaningful.

Importantly, start small. Use the suggested friends feature on Facebook, email and other platforms. Stick with people you know first. These followers will be your path to Instagram super stardom.

If you don't know how, open up Instagram and go into your settings by clicking on the bottom right icon. Next, click the gear icon in the top right of your Instagram profile.

Select 'find and invite friends.' So get out there and connect. Don't be afraid to follow celebrities, companies and other Instagram rock stars.

4.) Think About When You Post To Instagram

Instagram is a feed of information and it's organized by newest first. That means that in order to stay relevant, you have to post alot and post at the right times. So what's the right time to post on Instagram?

Well, that's debatable, but here are a couple hints:

  • For Everyone: Peak time for the entirety of the platform is 5-6pm on weekdays
  • For Teenagers: Peak time for teenagers is 3-5pm on weekdays (after school of course)
  • For Companies: Peak time for companies is peak time for everyone, but also on Sunday evenings

These are just peak times, so you should remember to post often in order to stay current. Your followers are following LOTS of other people, so let's say they follow 100 people and they check Instagram 4 times a day.

Well, that means you're going to have a rough time trying to match that 4 times. So be practical and be an active poster.

5.) Use Instagram Video

Instagram video is the answer to Vine's booming popularity. It is the next level of social awesomeness and it should not be ignored. Just like you snap selfies and capture your life in pictures, don't be afraid to post lots of videos.

Videos are more likely to get clicked on and if you combine them with solid hashtags, your posts are bound to get noticed. Entertain but don't be afraid to share thoughts and ideas.

Remember, people follow you on Instagram to be a part of your life, and video is a better connection than pictures.

Don't forget to keep a healthy mix of both pictures and videos. Here is a quote from Socially Staked:

"In my opinion, there's nothing better than a quick instructional video that teaches you how to do something really cool.

These kind of videos can inspire action! When a person is motivated to do something because of your brand, that's how your brand becomes memorable. Use Instagram video to do this."

You are a brand and companies are a brand. So use video to expand your brand. And don't forget to stay current with technology. These days, there are so many tools you can use for video editing, filters and more.

6.) Shouts are worthless, get creative with your photo editing

Most people will tell you to shout out people so that you will get a shout out too. This may seem cool and all, but the reality is that no one follows the shoutout unless it is by a celebrity.

Instead, drop the shout outs and take advantage of the Instagram filters.

Or, better yet, there are great iOS and Android apps available for avid mobile photographers, like Snapseed and Adobe Photoshop Express, or creative apps that let you create collages like Fuzel or PicCollage.

You will get noticed on Instagram by standing out, so don't be afraid to get creative and use the platform as a means of self-expression. By standing out, you have a shot at being featured on Instagram.

Whereas there are no tips to making this happen (as it is controlled by Instagram), you will gain a ton of followers by getting featured. The only conceivable way to get featured is to standout.

"You can't always distract the viewer by adding filters to your blurry, underexposed shots. With the apps on this list, you'll be able to do so much more.

These tools will help make some necessary adjustments to your photos before you start adding effects to enhance them. (You might even be ready to ditch the Instagram filters once you check out these apps.)" -Mashable

If you have an interesting perspective or niche, and continue to get noticed by Instagram users, you may eventually catch Instagram's eye and be added to the featured users list.

This will give you thousands of followers over the course of a few days.

Final Advice For More Followers

One thing that is highly recommended not to do is purchase followers. If you go on Fiverr, you will see people offering you 1,000 followers for $5. Sound too good to be true? It is. These are bot accounts that get approved temporarily and act as a follower for a short amount of time.

Instagram will pick up that they are spam accounts and remove them from the system. So a couple weeks after your purchase, they go away.

Don't get overly focused on the number of followers you have, in most cases it is about quality, not quantity. And eventually, that quality will grow your followers!

Instagram is an extension of yourself just like any social network. Be engaging and individualistic, be you. Most importantly, BE PATIENT. You are building a brand here and that does not happen overnight. In all likelihood, if you're not a celebrity or brand name, it will take many months. But don't worry, it will be worth it when you're a complete and utter Instagram rock star.

Got your own Instagram tips? Share your thoughts in the comments below