11 Ways to Get More Followers on Instagram in 2020


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It’s no wonder brands and influencers are interested in the latest tips on how to get more followers on Instagram in 2020. Instagram recently reached 1 billion active monthly users, with over 500 million users on the platform daily!

What are the 500 million active DAILY users doing on Instagram? Sure, we’re posting myriads of selfies, following Insta-celebrities and crazy-talented photographers.

But, we’re also engaging with businesses.

That’s a fact that Instagram’s two million advertisers can attest to. According to advertising statistics, each of the one million advertisers (at the time) got an average of 120 engagements. Those came in the form of:

  • Website visits
  • Requests for directions
  • Phone calls
  • Emails
  • Direct messages

It’s clear to see – Instagrammers are open to engaging with the brands they follow!

So, how’s a brand get more Instagram followers?

Our most successful members use several techniques to grow Instagram followers organically.

Some methods involve building engagement, and others involve specific ways to get discovered.

Find the ones that make the most sense for you and give them a try!

Want to grow your Instagram followers faster? Get this free checklist for 16 quick, easy wins you can immediately use to build an audience.

1. Increase Engagement to Gain Followers on Instagram

What’s that? You came here to get Instagram followers and not engagement, you say?

Increasing your Instagram engagement can take you a long way towards reaching the goal of getting more followers. See, more engagement equals more exposure – even to people who don’t yet follow you.

Meri Geraldine is an Etsy seller who grew her Instagram account by 19,379 followers in three months, (that’s a 66% increase). She says,

“The main thing I’ve been seeing is that increased engagement leads to more engagement.

Instagram will show your most liked and commented on posts to more of your Instagram followers, and they may even bump you to the explore page of people who follow similar pages to yours.

You want the engagement in the first hour or so of posting for it to keep boosting.”

Meri Geraldine

How to Get More Instagram Followers with Bigger Engagement

We have a whole post full of techniques to boost Instagram engagement,  but here are a few ways raising your engagement can help your profile increase in Instagram followers.

Get Your Posts Into the “Top Posts” on Hashtag Searches

The “Top Results” spots for hashtag searches are determined by engagement.

Instead of being pushed out of the “Most Recent” tab in a few minutes or hours, your image will get some quality exposure right at the top of the feed.

This added exposure leads to, of course, more followers on Instagram!

To see the top results for a hashtag search, tap the “search” icon and enter your hashtag on the “Tags” tab.

Tailwind for Instagram helps you find and select hashtags that can get you here. Choose a good mix of niche, competitive, better, and best for your best chances of being found in a hashtag search.

Tailwind's Instagram Hashtag Finder in action
Tailwind’s Instagram Hashtag Finder in action

sign up for Tailwind for Instagram

Get Instagram to Feature You on “Search and Explore”

Instagram Search and Explore

Tap on the Search icon from Instagram and you’ll land on the Search & Explore tab.

Here you’ll see Stories, videos, and images – from accounts you are not following!

If you can get your posts here, more people will find and follow you!

According to Instagram, “Posts are selected automatically based on things like the people you follow or the posts you like.”

Instagram has hinted that context matters when using a hashtag when it comes to the Explore page.

But engagement is a top algorithm factor in general.

While we can’t be dogmatic here, the selection of these results seems to be highly influenced by engagement. If you look at your “Search and Explore” results you’ll probably notice something similar to what I found:

  • Posts in Search and Explore have TONS of engagement or,
  • They were liked or otherwise engaged with by people you follow already.

In both cases, the reason the posts ended up in my Search and Explore tab was engagement!

Get Discovered in Instagram Comments

When people see your thoughtful comments on the photos of those they follow, they may be inclined to check out your feed and follow you.

You’re probably already doing this with brands and friends you like. But think about what other accounts your potential followers engage with!

Commenting on these accounts is an effective way to get followers on Instagram who are likely to engage with your content.

2. Become So Irresistible on Instagram They Have to Follow

@cestmaria on Instagram - gorgeous!

Becoming irresistible will grow your engagement.

But it will do even more than that!

Think about what you do when you discover a new Instagram account.

You probably check out their bio (so make sure your Instagram profile is great with these ideas) and then take in the overall look of the feed.

Accounts we choose to follow tend to be:

The best accounts deliver all three. And guess what? You can make your grid look gorgeous all the time just like them with Tailwind’s 9-grid preview!

In fact, grab a free trial and then learn how to rock your grid and FORCE people to follow you!

sign up for Tailwind for Instagram

3. Follow Other Instagram Accounts – with Purpose

Don’t play the follow/unfollow game. We want real followers who are interested in our content and who will engage with it.

In fact, using a bot to follow accounts in Instagram followers has been shown to be a losing strategy in more ways than one.

Instead, follow some people who follow your competitors. Engage with their posts to get their attention.

Beware of leaving comments that make you look like a bot, (“Nice feed!”), like you’re a bit too enthusiastic (#instastalker), or like you’re trying to sell.

Being supportive and helpful will help you grow Instagram followers organically.

4. Share Your Instagram Account Everywhere

People who follow your blog or Facebook page may not even know you are on Instagram.

Tell them! Better yet, give them a reason to follow you there.

Does your Instagram account include behind-the-scenes glimpses into your creative process, announce sales, or share local landscapes?

These are things you’re unlikely to share anywhere else – and could be just the right tactic to get real Instagram followers to your feed.

Some blogs share their Instagram feeds right on the home page or sidebar to increase Instagram followers.

This is a great way to provide a preview of what they’ll get when they follow your Instagram account!

Cynthia, the AfricanUnicorn on Instagram
@cynthianyongesa, The African Unicorn, includes this Instagram feed on her website’s home page.

Do you have a brick and mortar business? A simple “we’re on Instagram” sticker could be all it takes to gain followers from store traffic!

If you advertise on print, TV, or even billboards, include your Instagram handle there as well.

Making good use of email marketing? Every once in awhile, remind subscribers of what they’re missing if they don’t follow you on Instagram.

5. Use Advertising to Get More Instagram Followers

With Instagram advertising, you can target the perfect audience of potential followers. Target those who like your competitors, are interested in products like yours, people who visit your site, or those on your email list.

Your marketing objective here is Reach – getting in front of as many people as possible.

Learn more about advertising on Instagram and how you can use the right targeting to get real Instagram followers.

6. Use Geotagging to Attract Local Followers on Instagram

Geo Tagging on Instagram

Does your business have any kind of local component at all?

When you add your geotag, people searching your location will spot your posts and may follow you.

Or, they may just stop by your store!

Learn how to effectively use geotagging on Instagram.

Want to effortlessly brainstorm hundreds (and even thousands) of share-worthy posts to grow a massive Instagram following? Watch this 100% free webinar to learn all our secrets!

7. Partner with Influencers or Complementary Businesses to Get More Instagram Followers

Who is the person or business that all your customers look to for advice?

Could you work with them to get your Instagram account in front of their followers? It could be as simple as asking them to regram one of your posts with a mention and a tag.

These partnerships are viable ways to get followers on Instagram and build relationships with other creators in your space.

Why would they want to do that for you? Well, unless they offer to share it with their audience out of the goodness of their hearts, you’ll need to sweeten the deal.

After all, they’ve spent years building up their influence!

If you have a similar following on Instagram, it may be enough to simply exchange regrams and gain followers that way.

Otherwise, you could offer to share their posts several times in exchange for their one share or vice versa. You could also approach them with a strictly monetary offer as well.

If an influencer or company shares your post or otherwise promotes your content, product, or service in exchange for money or other material gain, they must disclose that the post is an #ad.

8. Tag (Relevant) People to Get More Instagram Followers

Have you ever shared a quote from an influencer on Instagram? I know I have!

When you do, make sure you tag the influencer. Not only does this give them the credit they deserve, but they may notice, follow you, and then people who are interested in them may follow you as well!

Don’t do this JUST for an excuse to tag, though.

If you’re looking to get real Instagram followers, your approach should be authentic as well. Make sure your post is well thought out, puts the influencer in a good light, and is relevant to your account.

9. Launch Account Takeovers to Gain Followers

Is there an influencer you trust enough to let them take over your account for a day? Creating posts, videos, stories, and live video to share with your followers will not only grow your engagement, but the influencer is likely to bring some of their own followers to the takeover.

Many of them are likely to follow you, too!

This strategy to get more Instagram followers works best for those with whom you’re partnering.

Ideally, the takeover benefits them as well – or there’s always the option to pay! Again, they need to make it clear that they are being compensated for their participation.

10. Encourage Existing Followers to Help

Your followers might be more than willing to tag a friend in a comment, thereby drawing their attention to your profile.

Sometimes they just need to be reminded to do so! This can be as simple as adding “Tag a friend who needs this in their lives!” to your caption.

Your current following may be the perfect advocates to grow Instagram followers organically!

According to a study by CoSchedule, 49% of people share social content because it’s useful or entertaining.

Further, “… they say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about and potentially change opinions or encourage action.”

When a follower tags a friend, that’s an Instagram social share. So make sure your content fits that description – useful or entertaining.

One of THE most useful and entertaining types of Instagram posts are contest posts!

In fact, our study showed that those who use contests increase in Instagram followers 70% faster than those who do not. One reason for the accelerated growth is that you can require entrants to tag a friend to enter. Get more ideas on using contests to grow your Instagram following.

View this post on Instagram

Want to win a StrongBoard Balance? 💪🏼 Enter the @jillianmichaelsworkoutjunkies giveaway! ・・・ 1️⃣ Follow us. 2️⃣ Follow @jillianmichaelsworkoutjunkies. 3️⃣ Tag a friend in the comments below for one entry. **Tag 3 or more friends for 10 entries. 4️⃣ Like this post ❤️ ・・・ The winner will be selected randomly from ours and Jillian Michaels Workout Junkies Instagram and Facebook comments, so make sure you can see yours below! ・・・ **Contest ends September 30th at midnight, & the winner will be announced the following week after confirming they meet the entry requirements. Good Luck! ・・・ This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Instagram or Facebook. Anyone can enter!

A post shared by StrongBoard🔺Balance Board (@strongboardbalance) on

This contest post gives entrants more entries for more tags! Remember to make your prize relevant to your product or service to attract the right audience.

11. Post More Often!

Among all of our recommendations on how to get more followers on Instagram for free, this one is a big one.

An original study by Tailwind analyzed over 100 thousand Instagram posts from a three-month period so see how posting frequency affected Instagram success.

We found that you can nearly double your follower growth rate by moving from less than one post per week to 1-6 posts a week. You can more than double your follower growth rate again by moving from posting 1-6 times per week to once or more per day.

It can be tough to come up with ideas and images for every day of the week, so we created our 30-day Instagram Jumpstart Challenge. Thirty days of Inspiration will get you in the habit and help you gain followers fast!

Join in today!

Tailwind Makes Posting Daily Easy!

Don’t have time to jump into Instagram to prep and plan your posts every day? That’s where Tailwind comes in.

Our Instagram scheduler makes it easy to visually plan out weeks of posts in just one sitting.

It also tells you the best times to post on Instagram and suggests the perfect hashtags to complement your post. Give Tailwind a try today and experience the impact of auto posting!

Start a Free Trial of Tailwind for Instagram!

Sign up with Instagram

What’s Next in Your Plan to Get Followers on Instagram?

Growing your Instagram following is a great way to connect and build relationships with customers, potential customers, and influencers in your industry.

We’re excited for you to test one of our tips on how to gain followers on Instagram. Which will you try first??

📌 Pin Me:

11 Ways to Get More Instagram Followers

Alisa Meredith is Pinterest Product Specialist at Tailwind — a Pinterest marketing tool,  scheduling tool, planning tool and analytics platform. She is a sought-after speaker and teacher on Pinterest and Promoted Pins in particular, having spoken at Social Media Marketing World, Agents of Change and appearing on The Art of Paid Traffic and Social Pros podcasts. Alisa has invested heavily in becoming an expert in her craft – realizing (and loving) the fact that the learning never ends!  She lives in coastal North Carolina with her pampered pets Pepe the couch potato Cavapoo, and more cats than she’d like to admit to.

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