How to Get Instagram Followers: 12 Effective Methods


12 Ways to Kick Ass on Instagram

12 super-effective methods to help you grow your following and build credibility using Instagram.


Reward your fans.

People want to feel like their comments / voice is heard. If you notice that someone shared a photo of your product, DM and ask for their mailing address, then mail them more product as a Thank You. They’ll be very likely to promote you again if you are gracious and recognize the value the first time.

12 Ways to Kick Ass on Instagram

We shared a Laduree pic, but they lost an opportunity for more promotion by not thanking us and sending a box of sweets


My (until now) top-secret tip: Instagram automation. There are several companies who do this. For just a few bucks a month, they will automatically comment on and like other people’s photos, as if you were doing it yourself. It’ll leave one of a number of preset comments (which you can modify) on the photos posted by the followers of your brand’s competition (so you can engage with your competition’s clients). It can also comment on and like photos that have the hashtags you specified. So, for example, Urbanette is an empowering luxury lifestyle magazine, and therefore we set Instagress to comment on and like photo people post with the tags #luxurytravel #luxuryfashion #handbag #ecofashion #empowering #feminist #NYC #ootd, etc. because we think that future readers of will post photos with these tags. Make sure to do some quick searches to see what kind of images come up for the hashtags you’re considering.

You can also automate the posting of photos, and schedule them to post at a later date using tools like Hootsuite and Buffer. Hootsuite even lets you auto-post based on their algorithm to get the most views, and their basic services are free!

Which leads me to…

Hashtags are your friends. 

Get to know what hashtags are popular, which are used for what, and then use them. Don’t overload your post description with hashtags, instead, stick the bulk of them in the first comment.

12 Ways to Kick Ass on Instagram

Put the hashtags in a comment

Partner with influencers.

Nowadays brands are competing with an onslaught of competition and press releases in bloggers and editors inboxes. Influencers are also getting used to being paid thousands (or tens of thousands — per post!) for the advertising they provide. If you mention that you’re willing to pay for the social media or article promotion, you’ll get a reply (and if you don’t, make sure to follow up — us influencers get a lot of email each day!). If your emails aren’t getting a response, find out their address and mail them a package with some product and a nice card stating that you’d like to talk about sponsoring some social media posts, to open the conversation about working together. Many Instagram influencers will go above and beyond for their advertising clients, and, once they’ve been paid to try your product, will become genuine fans and continue to promote your brand on Instagram.

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A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 63 Comments

  1. Food pictures with filters, Black and white photos, random boob shots. There is so much more easy ways to raise IG followers.

  2. Crystal Reagan

    FILTERS! always go with the filters. Don’t overpopulate your posts with hashtags and just trust the filters! And if it helps, You can never go wrong with BNW. It looks elegant on serious photos and also looks good on wacky shots.

  3. What a helpful and inspiring post! Thank you, Hilary!

  4. Megan Phillips

    A picture is worth a thousand words…Instagram proves that. Your advice teaches how it can be worth a million! I don’t yet have a brand to promote but your advice certainly gives me a lot of food for thought. My favorite tips are about having a congruent theme to tie the pictures together and asking my followers questions. You mentioned that we should put the hashtags in the first comment. Whats the logic behind that? Great article and I appreciate you sharing your secrets with us :-).

  5. Frances Seifert

    You’re a brilliant woman, Hilary! You never run out of great ideas!

    • Awww thanks so much! I read a TON, so that helps. I feel like I’m never not working and thinking about the next article…

  6. Nicky Bryan

    Thank you for the advice and tips. I’m so motivated to start an Instagram account for my Etsy store. 😀

    • Oh – you definitely should! It would help with sales and be a good way for fans to follow and remember your shop.

  7. Catherine White

    Those are some geniues ideas, can be applied by just anyone! I love how simple yet effictive they are. Big thanks!

  8. Emma Blackwood

    ???? this is one of the most helpful aritlces you’ve ever published. i’m so excited to try it all out. ?

  9. Influencers is just what I need for blog / Instagram. I’ll search for some and contact them. Thanks for the great ideas.

  10. Evelyn Sandler

    Great advice, especially for beginners. I’ll share this article on my Facebook timeline. 🙂

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