There’s a lot of ingredients for when it comes to being successful on Instagram. You need to think about the content you share, research high-quality hashtags, come up with attention-grabbing and engaging captions and so much more… To help you level up your Instagram game, we’ve managed to get hold of eight Instagram experts that are growing their following fairly fast and generating a great deal of engagement.

1. Sarah Daisey Clark (Instagram: @sarahdaisey)

“My Instagram strategy is based around creating an authentic connection with my followers. To do this, I make sure to reply to all comments on my photos and I always answer DMs. I also share glimpses of my everyday life on InstaStories.

In my captions, I try to provide value to my followers by sharing my experience at the featured place or including an interesting fact about it. I love discovering new things on Instagram, whether it’s a place I’d never heard of before or an interesting historical or cultural tidbit, and I think my followers do too. I try to avoid short, generic, or cliche captions and instead attempt to start a real conversation. This often causes people to respond with a comment, leading to higher engagement and a more likely chance of Instagram boosting my post to the Explore page.

Finally, I engage frequently with accounts in my niche– female travel bloggers. Instagram is all about building a community and spreading the love. If you’re in it just for yourself, you won’t be successful. By engaging with fellow female travel bloggers, I’ve become virtual friends with many of them. Now I am able to turn to them for advice or support, or just to share travel recommendations. Plus, Instagram rewards reciprocity and will likely suggest your account to people who follow influencers in your niche if you are an engaged member of the community.”

2. Chris Rusev (Instagram: @ralics)

“Two main Instagram strategies that I have followed in the past year is to make sure I block all unactive followers that I have and to make sure I engage with the posts that I naturally like and find interesting.

To keep my account tidy I use Cleaner App for Instagram. The app is amazing as it finds all the inactive and bot followers and gives you the option to block them. That, in the beginning, may result in engagement drop but helps so much in the long run. The reason why I think this process is so important to be done is the explore page. Instagram algorithm is becoming more and more clever and tries to feature only users who are very genuine and the less bot/inactive users are related to your account the bigger the opportunity to be featured on the explore page. I already had several posts going viral using the strategy including a feature on @artofvisuals. Then again this is only a small part of the equation as quality of content is king.

Also, just be yourself and genuinely drop a comment to a post that you think is worth that comment. Do not do it just out of expectation to receive that comment back, be true, like the stuff that you genuinely like and Instagram has its own ways to reward you for that. You will be surprised how clever the algorithm has become and liking stuff that does not associate to your likings will only result in dummying the app about the stuff that you like and therefore not getting all the rewards that you would if you would be genuine in terms of engaging with others.

These are the two strategies that I have implemented in the past year and have seen huge results from, especially in terms of discoverability.”

3. Tom Bourlet (Instagram: @spaghettitraveller)

“We post once per day, ensuring each image is as stunning as the last, while including all pertinent hashtags to help increase reach. Any more than one post per day and we felt the interaction rate was affected and unfollows could increase, therefore once per day is our sweet spot. When we are featured in national publications we make sure to request a mention of our social profiles as well as a website link.”

4. Jack Kosakowski (Instagram: @JackKosakowski1)

“Using square videos with short text is one of the most effective ways to get engagement and scale your Instagram following. Take podcast interviews or webinars and edit out a 1 minute clip that you find has major wisdom and make a catch phrase to include in the text of your square video. Then take that video and put 25 dollars behind adspend over a 7 day period. This will help you start getting visible, valuable, and connected to all the right people on Instagram!”

5. Cecile Blaireau (Instagram: @thefrenchiemummy)

“I have been posting regularly at peak times to reach a maximum of likes. But I am not stressing out too much about it. I am not posting every single day just for the sake of it! I also try to do 3 stories a day as it really helps in reaching more people.

Regarding engagement, I like and comment a lot on feeds similar to my niches. I probably spend an hour or so every day! I am also very careful with my hashtags. I only use ones specific to my niches and not overused so that I can be in the top posts.”

6. Sonia Begonia (Instagram: @soniabegoniablog)

“It’s incredibly important to give as much as you take to your Instagram niche community. Don’t be that influencer that merely follows for a returned follow. Engage on others’ posts as much as others engage with yours (I prefer to give twice as much).

Be genuine with who you are. People want to follow someone who is relatable, because after a while it can become depressing or lower your overall self-esteem to see fairytale lifestyles. That is just my opinion. It’s not about being perfect online, but being perfectly honest.”


7. Scott Eddy (Instagram: @MrScottEddy)

“My biggest platform is Twitter, and my most effective strategy was to drive traffic from other platforms to IG, which gave me my core audience, and it continues to work today. Now I am very active, and engaging with other accounts, and it seems to be working well.”

8. Gareth O’Sullivan (Instagram: @garethgoesplaces)

“Instagram is my favourite social network for growing an engaged audience. I’ve gained a loyal active audience by regularly sharing content from my travels and activities that I get up to. During my travels, I try to take as many pictures as I can. Mostly every time there’s usually at least 30-40 decent photos that I’ll be able to share to my Instagram. I’ll then upload those to an app called “Preview” which I mix up the photos to create an attractive consistent Instagram feed theme and follow that pattern for the current series of posts. Sticking to a consistent theme definitely makes your Instagram look more attractive.

Every post on my Instagram always has a location tag, a set of highly-researched hashtags and usually a few user tags on the post itself. All of this has helped with growing a targeted following and increasing my reach which generates more engagement and has landed me in the top posts section very often for a variety of hashtags. Depending on how creative I get with the content, sometimes I manage to hit the Explore page, although that is quite tough!

Another thing that’s definitely helped is by networking with fellow Instagrammers in your niche. I stick to the travel niche so I’ve got quite a few connections who are travel bloggers too. We tend to always help each other out by engaging with each other’s posts. When a large account engages with some content, their followers will see that activity in the “Following” tab situated on the Notifications screen. If their followers find it attractive or the content generates curiosity, they’ll most likely check it out and you never know, they may end up engaging and following if they like what they see.”

Over to you…

So overall, there’s a lot of factors that come into play to be successful on Instagram. Feel free to share with us in the comments below what’s worked well for you. We’d love to hear! In the meantime, don’t forget to download our eBook on growing a targeted active following on Instagram – we’ve leaked the 10 key secrets.


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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