Digital Marketing

How to get more followers on Instagram

See 30 tips to increase your following on this social network.


11/12/2021 | By Hotmart

Instagram has become one of the most popular social networks in the world, with more than 1 billion users, and using it properly can help you leverage your business.

One of the best ways to promote your business on Instagram is by having a large and engaged audience. But how can you get more followers on Instagram?

While the number of entrepreneurs who use the network keeps on growing, it’s still very hard to increase your audience, especially if you’re just starting out now.

To help you on this mission, we’ve got 30 tips to get more followers on Instagram that work!

But, before getting started, we should mention that there are no magic formulas. All of our tips require dedication and hard work to lead to results.

Why do I need more Instagram followers?

One of the main reasons for more followers is because it expands your reach and helps you promote your brand.

The more people who have access to your social media channels, the larger the audience that will keep up with your brand and business. Consequently, the greater the chances of making more sales, since this audience is already interested in your content.

However, with constant changes made to social media algorithms in general, it’s increasingly difficult for your content to be seen by every single person who follows you. And it’s harder than ever to reach a larger audience, unless you want to invest in sponsored content.

This is because these tools try to increasingly segment the content that is sent to each user, in order to prioritize what seems more suitable for each person according to their preferences.

With these updates to the algorithms, getting more engagement on social media is hard work. But there are a few things you can do to increase your audience, and today we’ll talk specifically about how to get more followers on Instagram.

That’s what this post is all about, so keep reading!

Main Instagram updates in 2019

Before presenting the new resources that Instagram added this year, let’s take a quick look back at the updates that they launched in 2019:

  • Publishing the same post to multiple accounts (only for iOS);
  • Question stickers to answer during lives;
  • Countdown sticker;
  • Sharing of IGTV preview videos in the feed;
  • Instagram Music;
  • Number of likes hidden;
  • Creation of personalized filters for any users;
  • Scheduling of posts and videos in IGTV via Creator Studio.

Instagram updates in 2020

In 2020, Instagram launched even more new resources. If you’re the type of person who makes the most of platforms, then you’ve certainly used them all already.

Below, you can see all the functionalities that were added in 2020:

Infographic Instagram 2020

Reels, the “TikTok” of Instagram

Instagram is always paying attention to the biggest internet market trends. And the Reels function is proof of that, which was launched in response to TikTok

This new resource allows users to create short videos, up to 1 minute in length, and take advantage of the huge catalog of editing effects and background music. 

With Reels, you can:

  • change the speed of your video;
  • add a timer or countdown;
  • insert a soundtrack;
  • use filters and visual effects;
  • cut and add new scenes.

Banner versão desktop

Product purchases directly on the app

Entrepreneurs using Instagram to sell is nothing new. And now, the app lets consumers make purchases directly through the app using Instagram Shopping.

Brands can insert small tags in the photos of their products so that consumers can purchase them without leaving the post.

Posts that support the feature are flagged with a shopping bag icon in the bottom left corner. Users need only tap the tag to check the main product information.

In addition, now it’s also possible to insert purchase tags in the post caption. By clicking on the tag, the user is taken to the product’s purchase page.

Start of monetization tests of IGTV content

A resource anxiously awaited for by content creators began being tested in 2020: the monetization of IGTV videos. 

So far, there are two ways to monetize videos: ads and badges.

In the case of ads, when a user views a video in the feed and decides to watch the full content on IGTV, they’ll see a 15-second ad, which they can ignore. It’s similar to YouTube ads.

Meanwhile, badges allow users to purchase a kind of virtual badge that will be displayed in front of their name. Also, their comments will be highlighted.

Templates in Create Stories mode

This new feature brought a series of fun templates to edit and use when posting Stories on the social network.

Among the options that Instagram started to offer were: polls, favorite songs, drawing challenges, recommendations, quote of the day, and many others.

This ensures more variety when creating content to engage audiences, especially for businesses that do not yet have a professional dedicated to producing creative content for Instagram, such as a designer.

Access to direct messages and lives on desktop

One of the features most requested by users was computer access to direct messages, or DMs. Up until then, users could comment and like photos on Instagram from desktop, but they couldn’t send and respond to direct messages.

This changed with an update in 2020. Now, in addition to being able to send and reply to direct messages, users can also watch lives directly from their browser.

However, Instagram still hasn’t released the option to post images via desktop, a function that is still exclusive to the mobile version of the app.

Why does your business need to invest in Instagram in 2021?

Check out the main reasons below:

Large number of users

As mentioned earlier, Instagram has more than 1 billion active users and, of these users, it is estimated that at least 500 million access the social network every day.

The large active audience that frequently accesses Instagram, shows you just how important it is to consider using it and dedicating your efforts so that your brand can take advantage of its popularity.

Tools for businesses

Over time, Instagram has evolved, adapting and, especially, shaping itself to serve more and more users, and also meet the needs of brands in a more functional way.

Today, there are several options to promote businesses and make sales directly in the app, such as ads, online stores, CTAs, price tags in posts, etc.

It’s important to research and clearly understand what each of these tools do, to analyze which ones will make the most sense to promote your business. After all, some of these features are released for specific types of accounts.

It’s worth investigating each of these possibilities and understanding what tools are available for your account.

No geographic barriers

The digital environment has revolutionized the way we communicate and, above all, with whom we communicate. There are no geographic barriers between people, so it’s possible to reach people anywhere in the world.

This is great for brands or creators who want to get more followers on Instagram. It’s possible for people on the other side of the country — or the world — to become interested in your content and follow you.

Boosts small businesses

Small businesses often do not have enough resources to contract specific platforms to process data generated from their online presence.

Instagram, while not a CRM, can provide a good sense of how a business is performing, providing comprehensive data on reach, engagement, click-through rate, and lots of other useful information.

Stimulates audience engagement with brands

Since Instagram is a social network, people are more inclined to interact with posts, participate in advertising campaigns, and also give feedback.

A great advantage of being on Instagram is being able to better understand your audience, since a lot of people express themselves more easily in this environment. As such, it’s a great opportunity to do research organically, for example.

Strengthens brands’ visual identity and tone

Instagram is a social network with great visual appeal, which is why it’s ideal for strengthening your visual identity.

Your brand profile must, therefore, be organized in such a way that it shows the characteristics that identify and differentiate your brand in the market. So, when creating a post, it is important to consider what image, font, and other graphic elements are being used in the images and videos being shared.

In addition, each post has a caption or even text on the image. This textual approach must also express your brand identity, thinking about the tone of voice expressed in your language.

Undoubtedly, Instagram is a great place to showcase your brand’s identity in a very comprehensive and memorable way.

30 tips to get more followers on Instagram

There are several ways to get more followers on Instagram and increase your brand’s reach.

But remember that what’s more important than numbers is the quality of your followers. It’s no use having 1 million Instagram followers if none of them engage with your profile.

Below, we’ve broken down some of the best practices that will help you get more followers who truly care and engage with your brand.


Banner versão desktop

1. Understand the network

logo instagram

The first step to being successful on Instagram is to really understand it.

Learn about all the features it offers, the people that use it, the interactions on the platform, and any other information you can learn about performance standards of posts and the algorithm. 

Make sure you also keep an eye out for any new features or updates that are released, so you’re not left out.

To understand Instagram a little better, you can go to their Info Center for news and announcements.

2. Monitor and manage your account

If you want to use Instagram to promote your brand and make sales, or as a work platform, it’s very important that you have the right account to analyze and manage your results the best way possible.

To manage your Instagram account, change it to a professional profile. Just log on, click on the three lines in the upper right corner > Settings > Account > Switch Account Type.

With a business account, you can access new features, perform advanced analyses, and promote ads.

3. Learn to analyze your results

If you have a professional account, viewing your data alone isn’t enough, you need to analyze it. In other words, use the information to create actions to improve your profile. 

You can measure your performance on Instagram through:

  • Impressions: post views.
  • Reach: the number of unique accounts that saw one of your posts.
  • Profile visits: how many times your profile was viewed.
  • Site clicks: number of clicks on your website link.
  • Email clicks: number of clicks on your email link.
  • Follower metrics: gender and age, location, peak days and times.

With this data, you can understand the behavior of your followers and create more personalized campaigns to get more followers.

4. Analyze the competition

A good strategy to know how to evolve towards your objective is to analyze the competition.

You can use benchmarking to analyze your competition on Instagram, compare results, collect information, and later apply what you learn to your own account.

This will mature your strategy and help you learn new ways to attract audiences that are interested in your content, but don’t follow your profile yet. 

5. Think of your persona

A persona is basically the definition of your ideal customer. Creating a persona results in a document that describes the characteristics of someone who would be your ideal customer, their occupation, hobbies, and likes.

Answer these questions:

  • Who do you want to reach with your posts?
  • What kind of content attracts your potential buyers the most?
  • What topics are being tackled in your niche and what still needs to be explored?

This will help you create more personalized strategies, since you’ll be able to think about your persona before each campaign, and ask yourself: “Would this person be interested in this?”, “Is my content going to be relevant to them?”, “What should I do to attract this person?”

When you understand who your buyer persona is, it’s easier to create posts that really catch their eyes.

And the more you think about the audience you want to reach, the more likely you are to get more followers on Instagram because of your posts. 

It’s important to know that you don’t need to limit yourself to one buyer persona; create as many as you’d like, as long as they truly represent the type of audience that follows you or has the potential to follow you.

6. Use #hashtags

#Hashtags are very popular among internet users, in a variety of situations, but they are especially present on social media posts. 

They consist of the # symbol (sometimes referred to as ‘hash’, or ‘pound’), followed by a keyword, which identifies the topic of the post.

Take a look at an example from one of our posts:


Why is it important to use hashtags?

Every time you post and use a specific hashtag, you can direct your content to users who are interested in your niche

Let’s explain this a little bit better with an example:

Imagine you took a picture of your breakfast and shared a few tips about what to eat after waking up on your Instagram.

If your focus is on healthy eating, it’s a good idea to add hashtags such as #preworkout, #healthyeating, #nutrition, or other keywords that relate to what you do.

It’s also a good idea to take advantage of trends and use hashtags that are popular to promote your posts. For example, #tbt, which has a peak in usage on Thursdays. If the topic of the moment is related to your business, your chances of getting more followers increases.

In addition,  if you follow these tags, you’ll have an idea of what your competitors have been posting, what the market trends are, and you’ll be able to make your profile more visible to others. 

This means hashtags are an excellent way of getting more followers on Instagram, as you can promote your content to people who search for keywords related to your business, even if they’ve never heard of your brand.

But don’t overdo it! Avoid using too many hashtags, or hashtags that are too generic, such as #instagram, #follow, or others that have nothing to do with your niche.

7. Incentivize engagement

As we discussed with the updates, Instagram is always looking for ways to make sure that its main value is engagement.

And not just engagement, but real engagement. In other words, forget about paying for bots to engage with your content. The algorithm can identify programmed behavior and it penalizes accounts that use it. 

Instead, look for ways to incentivize real engagement between your content and your followers: 

  • Use CTAs with questions at the end of your captions, for followers to respond authentically.
  • Respond to all comments.
  • Post quizzes and ask questions in your Stories.

Be creative and always invest in relevant content. If your content is original, engagement happens naturally, and your reach and visibility also increase, in turn increasing the possibility of getting new followers.

8. Interact with other profiles

It’s very important that you interact with other profiles, especially profiles in the same area of interest.

Remember the hashtags in the previous tip? 

Take advantage of them and start interacting with profiles that use the same keywords you do. 

Just make sure you don’t start following your competition instead of your potential buyers. 

Another way of interacting is to always reply to comments in your posts. 

Besides increasing engagement, which was our last tip, interacting with other profiles solidifies your relationship between your brand and people who are interested in what you have to offer. And when you reply to comments, you show them that you care about what they have to say. 

Also, try to like and post comments on posts from your potential buyers, as this is another way of showing them that you care. 

But be careful not to SPAM, which is our next tip. 

9. Avoid SPAM

SPAM is the act of constantly sending unsolicited messages to people who have not shown interest in your product or service. (To learn more about this, read our post: What is SPAM and how to avoid this harmful practice)

In the previous tip, we suggested you interact with other profiles on Instagram by following new users and by liking posts. 

However, you have to be careful not to spam anyone. 

Don’t follow random profiles just so they’ll follow you back, and don’t like posts only to get more likes yourself. 

Everything you do to get more followers on Instagram should be done with the best user experience in mind. 

So, don’t interact with people who don’t show any interest in what you have to offer. 

And remember to use hashtags to make sure you know who the users that really want to see your content are. 

10. Post at predetermined times

Instagram is a dynamic social networking site, which is why it’s a good idea to post content regularly. 

But besides being consistent with your posts (which is our next tip), consider posting at predetermined times in line with the preferences of your buyer persona.

Tip #5 is a very important one, because you can gain a lot of insights from it to learn about the best practices for your posts. 

When you define your buyer persona well, you understand their consumption habits, tastes, and preferences in general. 

If you have a commercial profile on Instagram, you have access to information such as the days and time your followers are most active on the network. 

With this information, you’ll have everything you need to plan the best times to post and increase engagement.  

Then it’s just a matter of using the new Creator Studio update to schedule your posts for the desired day and time.

11. Be consistent with your posts

Besides determining when your followers are most active on Instagram, you need to be consistent. This consistency in your posts will be important not only to keep the followers you already have, but also to get new followers. 

If you constantly publish interesting posts, users will view your profile as an authority in your niche. 

In the previous tip, we mentioned how Instagram is a dynamic social networking site. That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to post every single day, nor to post more than once per day. 

Think about the time when people are most active and show them something interesting frequently. 

You should, however, be careful not to overdo it. Overposting can lead some people to lose interest in your profile and unfollow you.

There isn’t an ideal number of posts! 

The secret is to analyze how your followers react to your posts and then decide on the perfect number of posts for your profile.

12. Make videos

The video format is a favorite among internet users, especially because it’s such a practical way to consume content. So, why not post videos on your Instagram feed?

Short videos, up to 1 minute long, are very popular on Instagram feeds.


In these posts, you can talk about things that interest your persona, such as tips related to your niche, and add subtitles, so that everyone can understand every detail in your video.

And there’s also the option of creating ‘stories’, which are shorter posts that can be viewed for a period of 24 hours or highlighted on your profile. You can also go live and take advantage of IGTV, which we’ll discuss further below.

Having more than one kind of post on your Instagram feed shows people that you really make an effort to offer great content in different formats to please as many people as possible.

13. Provide value to your followers

There’s no point in having many posts if they don’t provide real value to your followers. 

You need to post images and videos that are interesting to your audience! 

Understanding your buyer persona means that you are aware of what they want, and what content makes them want to learn about your business.

Having an Instagram profile that only promotes your product or service won’t get you very far. You need to show people that you understand what their needs are, and most importantly, that you want to help them find a way to solve their problems. 

When you post something that really interests your target audience, it’s more likely that you’ll get more followers, since your focus is not just on selling, but creating quality content for your audience. 

14. Promote sweepstakes and contests

Have you ever seen contests and sweepstakes on Instagram profiles that draw a prize for users who tag friends on a specific post, share, or like an image? 

Promoting contests is an excellent way to get more followers on Instagram, especially when you ask your followers to tag friends on the contest post.

When they do that, it’s very likely that their tagged friends will visit your profile, and if they like the contest, they will also tag other friends, and maybe even start following you.

This is a great way of promoting your business. And it goes without saying that you should promote real contests and deliver the prize you promised!

15. Develop partnerships

Knowing other people in your market is essential for you to develop strategic partnerships

Of course, you don’t need to associate yourself with your direct competitors, but it may be a good idea to be able to count on other people in the same niche. 

Imagine you’re an English teacher. Why not develop a partnership with an agency that promotes trips to English-speaking countries? 

You will then be able to promote your lessons on the agency’s profile, and also promote their trips on your profile. 

But don’t think for a second that you need to limit yourself to obvious partnerships.

It’s a really good idea to have shared content with people that are already known, have lots of followers, and that you believe your audience will also like.

That way, your audience gets to know this person’s profile, in the same way that their audience will be exposed to your content. 

João Pedro Resende, CEO and cofounder of Hotmart, always creates different content with lots of people both in and out of the digital market.

Partnerships are vital to attracting users from other Instagram profiles. 

You can even combine the last tip and run contests with your partners.

Together, you can draw a prize with one of the contest rules being that participants need to follow both accounts.

16. Promote your Instagram profile

What’s the point of having an Instagram profile filled with interesting posts, if you don’t promote it?

So, use your other social networking sites to show your followers that you also have an Instagram profile that is constantly being updated. 

This will help you get more followers on Instagram, since some of the people who follow your Facebook page, for instance, may not know you have an Instagram profile.

Besides that, talk to other people and tell your customers, friends, and family members that you have an active Instagram profile. They might also help you promote it!

Lastly, a great way of increasing your number of followers is by using the geolocation tool (GPS). 

Turn on your GPS when you post something, especially if you have a physical store. When you do this, your posts will appear as suggestions to others who use GPS and post in the same area. 

17. Invest in ads

If you can invest in Ads, you definitely should!

We’re not saying you should spend a lot of money on this kind of strategy, but it’s worth creating paid ads to promote your posts even more.

Instagram itself already has an ad tool, Instagram Ads. You can use it to create campaigns to advertise your products and services and target them to a specific audience.

But ads go far beyond just making sales.

Since you can post multiple types of content, you can use this strategy to increase the reach of your posts and thus, create a community of engaged followers.

When you invest in ads, you can promote your brand to many Instagram users, including those that don’t follow you. That’s why promoted posts can help you get more followers.

18. Contact digital influencers

A digital influencer is someone who is able to influence behaviors and opinions via the content they share on their social media profiles and other means of communication

Usually, they are very popular, and followed by many people who trust their recommendations. They can be big influencers, with millions of followers, or nano influencers, with a smaller, but more loyal and segmented audience.

A good way of getting more followers on Instagram is to partner with these influencers for them to promote your brand. 

Most of the time, influencers agree on a fee to be paid in exchange for this promotion.

If you have money to invest in this kind of post, it’s a strategy that can bring significant visibility and reach to your profile. However, remember to contact influencers that make sense for your business.

And if you don’t have money for this kind of partnership, but already know someone who is a digital influencer or has a large following, why not talk to them and ask them to promote your product or service on their profile?

Remember the tip about hashtags? Why not create one for your brand and ask digital influencers to use it when they post anything related to your niche?

19. Maintain a harmonious feed

Color psychology was studied by many renowned philosophers and scholars, such as Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, and Isaac Newton. It states that each color brings out a certain reaction in people. 

The effectiveness of color psychology is still a matter of debate, and there are many scientists that question it. Regardless, if your objective is to increase your number of followers, why not try to apply color psychology to harmonize and organize your Instagram feed?

At the very least, your Instagram will have a standardized look, which may even make it more visually appealing.


Think about the kind of reaction you want to elicit in users, or create posts with your brand’s colors.

That way, you can even have a well-defined visual identity on your Instagram profile.

20. Post Stories regularly

Stories are short posts that appear at the top of your feed for only 24 hours, but that can also be permanently highlighted on your profile.

Take a look at the Stories highlights on the Hotmart profile:


As it is a more immediate and instantaneous feature, it’s a great way to show your or your business’s daily life and get closer to your audience.

With every new update, Stories becomes more robust and an increasingly essential strategy for anyone working with the platform.

You can post short videos, photos, boomerangs, gifs, and add countless interaction effects and stickers to engage your audience.

21. Take advantage of IGTV

IGTV is one of Instagram’s biggest features. It allows users to post longer videos, up to 1 minute in length, and is becoming increasingly popular on the social network. 

If you want to really take advantage of IGTV, you need to plan complete and quality content that delivers relevant information to your audience. This will help increase your reach and get more followers.

And if few people used to spend time watching videos on Instagram TV, now, with the option to share a preview on feeds, people are embracing this new feature thanks to the desire to watch videos in full.

So, whenever you post to IGTV, make sure you post a preview that generates curiosity and motivates your followers to click on “keep watching”.

22. Go live

Another feature that should be taken advantage of to engage your followers, increase your reach and, consequently, get new followers is the Instagram Live function, that is, livestreams.

Remember the tip about promoting contests? A great way to bring the two strategies together is to perform the draw and reveal the contest winner(s) via livestream.

Another idea is to do a live Q&A session to answer questions and interact with followers. This strategy may sound simple, but it strengthens the relationships between your brand and audience and can increase people’s trust in the business.

And remember that public lives appear in the “explore” section and can be discovered by people who do not follow you. So it’s a great way to gain visibility.

23. Don’t buy followers

This tip is not about something you can do to get more followers on Instagram, but rather something you should really avoid doing. 

We know how hard it is to have a business of your own and how promoting it is hard work. 

And there are many ways of spreading your content, like buying followers, which may be tempting. After all, wouldn’t it be much easier to simply pay for followers? 

However, when you buy followers, the profiles that follow you often have no interest in what you’re offering. 

Not to mention that when you buy followers, you’re often paying for fake followers, i.e., accounts that were set up with the sole purpose of following accounts that pay for followers.

So, don’t buy followers. Instead focus on creating quality content and getting more followers organically.

24. Connect your Instagram account with other social networks

In addition to all the other tips we’ve listed in this post, it’s also important to connect your Instagram account to the other social networks you use.

To do this, go to Instagram settings and under “Account Settings” select “Linked Accounts”. After that, just select the social network accounts you wish to connect to.

You can also share your posts on other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr,, and Ameba, increasing your profile’s reach and getting more followers.

25. Make an editorial calendar

It’s no use following all of the above tips if you don’t organize yourself carefully. After all, planning is the watchword in any digital marketing strategy. And Instagram is no different!

In this sense, try to prepare an editorial calendar, defining, in advance, the themes of the posts that you will publish on your profile over the coming days and months. By doing this, you’ll save time and be able to better distribute posts.

And while it’s possible to post more ephemeral content, it’s always a good idea to carefully plan the topics you’re going to cover in your profile. Not to mention that, if necessary, you can always change your plan in advance.

26. Use Reels

Reels is a relatively new tool. It emerged to compete with Tik Tok — which made waves in the digital world.

Reels is a great resource for creating humorous and light content. Although it is widely used by digital influencers, many companies are also using it to their advantage.

A big advantage of this feature is that it has its own tab, with greater reach than feed posts, for example. With Reels, your content can reach people who do not yet follow your profile and you can attract new followers.

27. Make the most of carousels

Another Instagram feature that’s worth taking advantage of is the carousel — a format in which you can upload up to 10 images in the same post.

These carousel images are more likely to hold users’ attention for longer on the social network and, therefore, tend to have more visibility.

So, a good tip is to vary the content format and use this option to post images or videos in carousel format.

28. Interact with your audience and don’t keep them waiting

A very valuable tip: interact with your audience. It’s very important to answer DMs and comments as soon as possible. This increases engagement, gives your profile more visibility, and attracts new followers.

It’s worth mentioning that it is important to respond to both positive and negative comments. In both situations, you have the opportunity to show that you care about responding to audience questions and complaints.

29. Vary the format of your posts

Instagram emerged with a strong focus on posting and sharing photos. However, nowadays it’s videos that ensure the greatest engagement and reach within the network.

Does this mean that from now on you should only post videos? Of course not! Ideally, you should vary the formats of content you post: images, reels, carrousels, IGTV.

30. Find a tone of voice for your brand

Finally, it is very important that your brand’s identity is demonstrated in the language or tone of voice used in all communications.

If, in addition to Instagram, you want to build an online community without having to worry about algorithms, why not connect with your audience on Hotmart Sparkle?

Hotmart Sparkle has lots of features that will help your digital business, read more about it here.

Don’t waste time and put all our tips into practice so you can get followers on Instagram and increase your brand’s reach and engagement. And if you want to learn how to make an editorial calendar to plan your posts, check out our step-by-step guide.

This post was originally published in September 2017 and updated to include more complete and accurate information.