Instagram has over 700 million monthly active users.

That’s an enormous number. No wonder why both people and businesses struggle to get noticed on the platform.

I’ve grown various Instagram accounts, both personal with strict niches and also business profiles. Some of the results have been incredible.

I receive various messages on a regular basis with questions on how to grow an Instagram account. The aim of this article is to answer exactly that.

I’ll cover how to use hashtags to get more followers on Instagram, which hashtags get you the most followers, who to follow on Instagram and I’ll also be giving you some top tips for creating high-quality content.

Before I go into those, let’s first cover why you should utilise hashtags on the platform.

Why You Should Utilise Hashtags

Hashtags are one of the keys to success on Instagram.

They are vital for reaching a larger audience and getting noticed by potential prospects and your target audience.

Think of hashtags like keywords that are specific categories.

Instagram has a limit of thirty hashtags per post, so make sure you don’t waste them and use them effectively! Keep on reading and you’ll know exactly how to identify the exact hashtags that you should use to increase your reach and engagement.

How to use Hashtags to get more followers on Instagram

To get more followers on Instagram, you need to utilise hashtags effectively. Identify keywords that are suitable for your content that you are looking to rank for. Research the engagement of the keywords and then consider using them. Ideally, long-tail hashtags with fewer posts (100,000 or less) usually allow you to rank higher and feature in the top 9, compared to those with over 1,000,000 posts.

A common question I get asked is which hashtags get you the most followers on Instagram. Whilst it’s important to use hashtags, you need to consider the content you share. The content you share needs to be eye-catching and engaging, then the selection of hashtags you include need to be researched well and high-quality. Using too many popular hashtags won’t give you a chance to stand out. You need to use hashtags that are suitable to your niche, relevant to your target audience and aren’t overpopulated.

I would recommend creating a list in Google sheets or your preferred app with around 20 keywords that are relevant to your business, to your content, and what your audience would likely use to discover more about the products and/or services you offer. Then use Instagram’s related hashtags feature to find another 10 which aren’t overpopulated. That’s how you will find out what hashtags to use to get more followers on Instagram.

Engaging with your target audience

Another strategy to supercharge your Instagram growth is to regularly engage with your target audience. This can be done via commenting on their recent content, like a few of their posts or even by dropping them a follow.

Below are a few answers to many questions I’ve come across when it comes to engaging with your target audience.

How do I find my target audience on Instagram?

Identifying your target audience on Instagram is quite simple. You will need to put in some research and find out which hashtags your audience is likely to use. Once you’ve found that, identify top influencers who post using those hashtags and analyse their accounts. Look at who their followers are, and who they follow, if they match your criteria, you’ve found a sample of your target audience. Continue doing that and analysing their behaviour. Soon, before you know it, you’ll have a list of influencers that with a following that are your target audience.

Who to follow on Instagram

Many people are aware of the following strategy across various social media networks. It does work effectively if you identify your audience correctly. In order to find out who to follow on Instagram to get followers, you need to identify your target audience, follow and engage with the community of big accounts and influencers in your niche.  Leave high-quality interesting comments with 5+ words. Usually, a question works best.

My top strategy

When it comes to engaging with my audience, there is one strategy that I usually always follow and the results are almost always a success. Once you have identified your target audience, like a single photo of their content, usually the most recent, make sure it doesn’t have too many likes (3,000+) because otherwise, you may go unnoticed.

Once you’ve liked that piece of content. Wait 10 minutes, go back and leave a comment either on that post, or another post of theirs. Wait 5 minutes and then follow them. This may seem time-consuming but you will give them 3 notifications all at different times, which they are then more likely to view your profile and depending on the content you share, you may receive a follow and more engagement.

Three content strategies to get more Instagram followers

1) Collaborating with Influencers

Collaborating with Instagram influencers within your industry are a great way to help you build a following and increase your brand publicity potentially resulting in social growth and sales.

When it comes to working with influencers, you should identify who receive the most engagement, keep an eye on their content theme, and analyse their follower’s activity. If they look like the ideal influencer, consider reaching out to them via Instagram or drop them an email if they have contacts options enabled.

For my travel Instagram account, I’ve collaborated with various brands. One of which reached out to me via direct message on Instagram, wondering if they can reshare one of my pictures and provide them a travel tip. They tagged me and featured the post on their website with my travel tip. After they posted, I started to gain a few more followers and they received a lot of engagement on that post they reshared.

That’s just one of many different ways you can collaborate with influencers.

2) Sharing Blog Posts

Providing value to your audience will keep them coming back and will attract more users to follow you providing you’re sharing them in an engaging way. The main barrier when it comes to doing this is that Instagram only allows you to add a single link to your Instagram profile.

You can’t include links in your post captions either. So, creativity is needed. If you can give value to your audience there and then without them having to do several clicks to view a blog post on your website, you’re more likely to get engagement on your content.

Here’s an example of a blog post I shared on the Creation Agency Instagram.

5 Essential Components to Master Your Webinar Process

A post shared by The Creation Agency (@creationagency) on 

3) User-Generated Content

Depending on your business, consider resharing user-generated content. Make sure to ask and credit the content owner. Most if not all people love it when a brand features their content, especially if they have a large online presence.

I’ve done this plenty of times with brands and have had great success from growth. They’ve had more high-quality content. So it’s a win-win.

You could promote to your followers or run a campaign where your audience needs to use a certain hashtag in order to have their content reposted. That works quite well, you’ll have confirmation you can reshare the content, and you’ll also increase brand awareness and interest to other users who follow those sharing content with the hashtag.

Hopefully, this article has been helpful and provided you with answers to questions on how to grow your Instagram following, what hashtags to use and other strategies that will help you with Instagram success. If you have any questions, send me a tweet.


Gareth is the Content Marketing Manager at SkillsLab. He's a versatile digital marketer with experience on various platforms. When Gareth's not working he's usually jetting off around the world sharing his experiences on his blog and Instagram. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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