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Instagram, Marketing

7 Ways to (Authentically!) Get Instagram Followers in 2021

How do I get Instagram followers? 

It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one point or another.

Getting more Instagram followers should be a top priority for any business that uses Instagram for marketing, but it’s not as easy as it once was.

Fortunately, there are lots of Instagram growth hacks to take advantage of. 

Read on to discover 7 ways to authentically get more followers in 2021:

get instagram followers

Get More Instagram Followers Tip #1: Use Instagram Reels 

If you aren’t sharing to Instagram Reels yet, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to get Instagram followers. 

Since Instagram Reels are available for anyone to view from the new Reels tab (as long as the Reel is shared from a public account), even users who don’t follow your account can discover your content. 

use Instagram Reels to get instagram followers

Sharing your Reel to both your feed and the Reels page is an incredible way to increase your reach well beyond your followers and possibly go viral.

There are also plenty of creative ways to use Instagram Reels for your business — we’ve seen businesses use them to share tips and tricks, how-to videos, go behind-the-scenes, and more.  

use Instagram Reels to get instagram followers

If you’re in need of some inspiration to get started, check out 15 Instagram Reels ideas!

That being said, Instagram Reels is still underused by businesses, so it’s a great time to jump on the bandwagon while competition is still low! 

Get More Instagram Followers Tip #2: Convert Your TikTok Audience into Instagram Followers

Looking for a unique way to get Instagram followers? TikTok could be the answer.

Thanks to TikTok’s unique algorithm, it’s possible for anyone to go viral on the platform and build a big following. 

Add this to the fact that you can add a link to your Instagram account from your TikTok profile and you have a winning combination for driving traffic to your Instagram account and maybe even nabbing some new followers along the way. 

The first step is to connect your Instagram account to TikTok — start by opening your TikTok profile and tapping Edit profile.

Now, tap Instagram and add in your handle.

get more instagram followers with tiktok

Give TikTok authorization to access your profile info:

get more instagram followers with tiktok

And that’s it! Visitors to your TikTok profile will now see a link to your Instagram account directly above your bio. 

get more instagram followers with tiktok

Speaking of your TikTok bio, why not use this space to direct visitors to your Instagram profile?

If you have a new IGTV video series, giveaway, or promotion on Instagram, you can use your TikTok bio to share a CTA to visit your Instagram.

tiktok instagram followers

Another great strategy to get Instagram followers from TikTok is to tease your Instagram content in your video captions. 

For example, if you’re a business that uses both platforms, you can use TikTok to share a preview or snippet from your latest IGTV video and in the caption, write “Head to my Instagram to watch the rest!”

You can do this with home renovations, recipes, illustrations, and more! While your audience is on your Instagram, maybe they’ll have a peek at your other content and decide to give you a follow.

Early Access TikTok Scheduling is available now on our new Starter, Growth, and Advanced plans – upgrade today to get started!


Get More Instagram Followers Tip #3: Brand Collaborations

The power of a collaboration or a co-marketing campaign for your business is huge — it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to get Instagram followers.

Teaming up with like-minded businesses and brands will introduce your profile to a new and engaged audience.

So when an Instagram user discovers your profile through a co-marketing effort, they’re likely to hit that follow button if they have similar interests or are the right demographic for your brand.

Plus, co-marketing campaigns don’t have to be complicated or costly! 

What’s more important is who you partner with. You want to make sure that you have a mutually beneficial partnership that will benefit both of your audiences.

We chatted with Jess Ruhfus, founder of Collabosaurus, a marketing tool that connects brands for clever collaborations and partnership, for her insights on the trends.

“Brand-by-brand collaborations can be incredibly powerful,” says Jess.

“In our experience, a brand-by-brand partnership can double your organic reach without any monetary spend. And they’re up to 25x less expensive than digital advertising!”

Instagram Stories takeovers, giveaways, competitions, or content collaborations are all fantastic ways your business can reach new audiences quickly and cost-effectively.

collaborate on Instagram

Get More Instagram Followers Tip #4: Promote Your Instagram Account on Your Website

Promoting your Instagram account on your website is another great way to get more followers — and it’s also easy to do!  

From plugins to code embeds, there are dozens of options when it comes to responsively embedding your Instagram feed on your website so it looks great on any device. 

embed instagram feed on website

Some website builders like Squarespace and Wix even offer templates that come with customizable options for embedding your feed. 

If you’re a Shopify user, you can find plenty of options on the Shopify App Store, like Instafeed by Mintt Studio and Instagram Feed & Slide Pro by Raptor. 

embed instagram feed on website

This is a great way to showcase your Instagram content to people who may not follow you yet! 

Get More Instagram Followers Tip #5: Optimize Your Instagram Posts

Are you paying attention to your captions, the hashtags you use, when you’re posting, and more? 

Creating “better” Instagram posts takes more work but it can help draw more attention to your account and help you get more Instagram followers. 

First, we recommend using a range of post types, from photo and video posts to carousels. 

The benefit of diversifying your Instagram content is that you can track your metrics to look for patterns. For example, if you notice that your carousel posts get more engagement and drive more new followers, you can focus on creating more. 

instagram post performance

Next, spend more time crafting better captions. In our new workshop, Elise Darma recommends the following formula for effective Instagram captions: headline, setup, share, bridge, and call-to-action. 

For the headline, you want to lead with something interesting or exciting — something that piques people’s curiosity. What’s going to interest your followers right away? 

Instagram only shows the first 1-2 lines of your caption in the feed, so make sure it counts!

instagram caption

For the setup, you want to give context as to why your followers should care and why they should keep reading. What’s in it for them? 

instagram caption

Next, you’re going to share what you really want to say to your followers, whether it’s a story or a how-to tip. This is the “value” part of your caption, so feel free to use as much space as you need. 

instagram caption

Next, use a short bridge sentence to reiterate why your followers should care and what’s in it for them. 

instagram caption

And finally, you’re going to lead visitors to a call-to-action. This can be as simple as leaving a comment on the post, sharing it to their stories, or clicking the link in your bio. 

instagram caption

Following your caption (or in your first comment), you should use as many as 30 hashtags to make your post as discoverable as possible. 

hashtags to get instagram followers

The effect that Instagram hashtags have on boosting discoverability is a lot like how keywords can improve your SEO (search engine optimization). 

If you have a public Instagram account and add a hashtag to a post, that post will be visible on the corresponding hashtag’s results page. 

And since hashtags are used with the intent to discover new content, using the “right” hashtags can put you in front of your target audience, even if they haven’t connected with you before.

Finally, after you hit publish on your post, it’s time to give it some promotion for added visibility! 

A great and easy way to do this is by tapping the paper airplane icon below your post and sharing it to your Instagram Stories. 

And there you have it! That’s how you create the perfect post for Instagram. 

Sign up for our free workshop on how to get your first 1000 Instagram followers!


Get More Instagram Followers Tip #6: Actively Engage with Your Community

A lot of the time, people will sit back and wait for new followers to come to them. But this isn’t the most effective way to grow. 

Instead, Darma recommends following the 80/20 rule.  

With this rule, 80% of your time should be spent engaging and connecting with other accounts, while only 20% should be spent creating content.

This is the opposite of what many accounts do, but it’s a much quicker path to long-term growth! Here’s how to do it:

First, go into the hashtags on one of your recently published posts to find other posts that are using that same hashtag. 

instagram engagement

Next, like five of those posts, comment on three of them, and reply to one of their stories. 

Replying to stories is a great way to get Instagram followers because when you do it, you create a private direct message thread between you and the other account. 

And once you have that connection, you can send them links, messages, photos, videos, and ultimately forge a deeper relationship with them. 

instagram engagement

According to Sarah Nicole Landry of The Birds Papaya, interacting and engaging with other accounts in this way is hugely important to growth. 

“In an 8-hour workday, I commit 4 hours every single day to community engagement. This includes commenting, replying to DMs, commenting on other people’s posts, replying on my own, and going and actively engaging on other pages similar to mine or not.”

instagram engagement

As you engage, the relationship with your community will grow stronger. And, when you have people truly who trust you and believe in what you’re saying, that’s when you’ll begin to see a greater ROI, Sarah explains.

Even if you don’t have 4 hours to spend engaging on Instagram, be sure to check and answer your Instagram comments and DMs every day or every few days! What’s important is that you incorporate these strategies in a way that’s sustainable for you and your business.

TIP: Use Later’s Conversations feature to keep track of all your Instagram comments. You can reply from your computer instead of your phone, and even view your conversation history with a commenter.

conversations on instagram

Get More Instagram Followers Tip #7: Post More Consistently

There’s no denying the importance of consistency on Instagram.

By keeping to a regular posting schedule, you’re essentially letting your followers know what to expect from you. It builds a consistent experience for your audience.

Posting more consistently can also help with your Instagram engagement. When your followers expect you to post, they’re more likely to interact and engage with your content. 

You’ll be more top of mind and, thanks to the algorithm, top of their feeds too.

That being said, keeping a consistent posting schedule isn’t always the easiest to do. Life sometimes gets in the way and that post that was supposed to go out on Tuesday — well, it’s getting pushed further and further into the week.

If you’re looking for a quick solution, you could consider scheduling your Instagram posts with Later — you can easily schedule your photos, videos, carousel posts with just a few clicks!

instagram scheduler

By planning and scheduling your Instagram posts in advance, you can build a regular posting schedule and get content out even on days when you’re super busy. 

Plus, by using Later’s Best Time to Post feature, you’re more likely to rack up a lot of quick engagement on your posts because they’re publishing when your audience is actively scrolling through Instagram.

best time to post on instagram

What about posting frequency — as in, how often you should post to Instagram?

Unfortunately, there’s no hard-and-fast rule for posting frequency — some brands can get away with just 1 post per week, while others will post as many as 30 times a day!

But how much is too much?

It really depends on your audience, industry, or niche, and how much time you have to dedicate to your Instagram marketing strategy. For example, a fashion brand with several unique product lines might have an easier time posting more frequently than a SaaS business.

This also ties back to the quality vs. quantity debate. As we’ve said before, posting for the sake of meeting a regular schedule isn’t going to do your brand any favors, especially if the content you’re posting is subpar.

A much better strategy is to post great content on a less frequent basis!

With over 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram, it’s no surprise that getting more Instagram followers is a big priority for most businesses.

Let us know if you have any other strategies for getting Instagram followers in the comments!

Ready to get more Instagram followers? Sign up for a Later account today and start visually planning and scheduling your content!

Written By

Benjamin Chacon

Benjamin is a Content Marketing Strategist at Later and recent transplant from Toronto. You can follow his day-to-day on Instagram @benjaminchacs.

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