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.


Run contests.

There are a number of contest-related hashtags, such as #FreebieFriday that people follow just to win stuff. Better yet, partner with an influencer and let them do the giveaway. Send them the product to photograph, and tell them to provide the winner’s address so you can mail the winner the product directly. Most bloggers would be happy to, especially since it adds value for their followers and costs them nothing.

There’s more to social media than Instagram.

Use to deliver whatever you post on Instagram, to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Unlike the built-in social share in Instagram (which only posts a link to your Instagram post), will post the actual image, making your Twitter, Facebook, etc. feeds look pretty and fun. Best of all, it encourages followers on other social networks to also follow your brand on Instagram, all the while keeping the brand image cohesive across all outlets.

Engage, engage, engage.

It’s important that you spend a good amount of time on Instagram each day (the struggle, I know) and comment and like other photos that are similar to yours. Make a list of Instagrammers you want to get to know, and build real relationships by commenting something thoughtful and relevant on a pic of theirs at least once per week. Lazy, one-word comments like “Cool!” won’t cut it — Influencers really appreciate thoughtful comments, and will engage with you if you show them that you respect them enough to really think about your comment.

12 Ways to Kick Ass on Instagram

Ask a question to get your followers to engage with your pic

Be witty! 

Post a funny, interesting, thoughtful or witty description along with your photo. Photos without a description get far fewer likes and comments. They also tend to lack the personal connection that Instagram is all about. While you’re at it — ask your followers a question related to the photo, to encourage comments.

Check out @urbanette on Instagram to see an example of all these tips in use. As you can see, we have a very cohesive feed with a glamorous and upscale feel, and tons of engagement. Feel free to comment on our feed with any questions or comments you may have.

What have you found effective at helping your get more engagement and followers 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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