How to Grow Your Instagram in 2023 (14 Tips and Tricks)

Discover all the ways you can grow your Instagram using Instagram’s native features, built-in SEO, and more.

How to Grow Your Instagram in 2023 (14 Tips and Tricks)

Gaining more followers on Instagram can feel like a huge accomplishment. But growing on Instagram isn't only about hitting a follower milestone. Improving your Instagram engagement rates and having a positive impact on the people who follow are just a couple of the great ways to grow on Instagram.

In this article, we're going to share 14 tips and strategies for how to grow your Instagram with content:

How to Grow Your Instagram with Content

Content is king on social media, but some types of content are a little more effective than others. Here are five types of content that will help you grow your Instagram presence.

1. Engage with Followers over Stories

You can grow your Instagram by posting new Instagram Stories on your profile. Because Stories show up at the top of people’s feeds, it can be easier to get eyeballs on your Stories than other types of content. Top of feed = top of mind, after all.

Another bonus: Stories only last 24 hours, so you can post frequently without overwhelming your followers’ feeds. There are countless Instagram Story ideas that encourage people to click your Stories often. By sharing new Stories every day, you'll have people regularly going to their Stories section just to consume your content.

The Poll sticker on Instagram Stories is a great way to get both engagement and feedback

Stories can be quite the interactive experience as you can run polls, create quizzes, and get feedback. By maximizing your use of all the cool features you can add to your Instagram Stories, you can truly create an engaging experience for your Instagram followers to connect with you and engage with your content in a fun way.

2. Create Instagram Reels

Another way to grow your Instagram: by creating Instagram Reels. IG has been pushing Reels for a while, so jumping on the train instead of resisting will boost your engagement and growth on the platform. On Instagram's main feed, Reels are often highlighted prominently making them the ideal choice for the type of content you should create. And that's not just a guess; Instagram data supports this tactic. About 91% of Instagram users watch videos on the platform each week.

There are so many creative ways you can use Reels. You can create Instagram Reels that educate people about your product, like a cooking tutorial using your enamel pans. If you don’t have a physical product, you can make educational videos about your industry or share the behind the scenes of your company culture (this is a good one for tech brands or SaaS companies) so people can get a feel for your company values. Reels can also share advice or tips from an expert on your team who help inform people about your niche, company, or product.

Not a videographer? Not a problem. You can create Reels with photos instead. In fact, there are plenty of Reels trends that are just photo dumps set to catchy, trending songs.

3. Grow Your Instagram with Carousels

Brands looking to grow their Instagram should consider creating more carousel posts. On Instagram, engagement rates tend to be higher for photos compared to videos. However, carousel posts have the highest level of engagement of all content types on Instagram. People love scrolling through a series of pictures.

If your brand hosts an in-person event, you can create carousel posts with up to ten photos in the post. Alternatively, you can create educational tips where you provide value and teach your followers something new. Reddit style posts with quotes often perform well for carousel posts. As long as you hook people in with a good theme in the first picture, you'll likely have people scrolling through your entire carousel post to see all of your content.

4. Promote User-Generated Content

You can grow your Instagram account by sharing user-generated content on your profile. You can encourage user-generated content via a branded hashtag too. Brands who actively encourage people to tag them in content about their brand will get more followers directed to their profile from their followers’ accounts.

Workout clothing brand Gymshark uses UGC in almost of all of their content, encouraging users to tag them for a chance to be featured and sourcing awesome, organic content at the same time.

If you sell a physical product, you can ask people to share content using your product. For example, if you sell clothing you can include a line in your Instagram bio to "Share what you wear" and include your company's hashtag. You'll organically start to build up more user-generated content by explicitly asking for it.

If you sell a service, you can ask people to share reviews or results from your programs on their Instagram account. For instance, if you teach people how to create online courses, you can tell people to create a post about their course launch on Instagram and tag you for helping them get started. You can also encourage people to share milestone results in their online course journey on Instagram using a branded hashtag.

#GymsharkWomen, the branded hashtag Gymshark uses to source UGC, has 2.6M posts

5. Create Timely Content

The key to viral success on Instagram is to jump on trends the moment they happen. There's always a new catchy song or audio clip that people create content for. The moment you hear a soundbite you like, you can create content using that clip so people can find your content easily when looking up the file.

Social media is similar to the news in the sense that real-time events get more engagement. For example, when Taylor Swift's Eras Tour started, everyone was turning to Instagram to find clips from the concert in anticipation to see how it'd turn out.

Keeping up to date with big events, news, and cultural moments like that can help you stay on trend and send a little of that traffic your way. Use tools like Google Trends to see seasonal trends for your niche to ensure that you're always showcasing things when they're most searched for. Remember to plan ahead, you want to be at the start of the wave instead of the tail end of it.

How to Optimize Your Instagram Account for Growth

While consistently producing great content is key to any Instagram strategy, there are other steps you can take to boost your chances of discovery on the app. Here’s a few:

1. Optimize Your IG Bio

You can optimize your Instagram bio to help you attract more Instagram followers to follow you for your Instagram posts. The goal of the bio is to help people immediately understand what it is you do and offer. It's not just about attracting Instagram followers but making sure they're the right target audience so they stay connected.

This social media agency has an IG bio that tells you exactly what they do.

In your Instagram bio, you'll want to include a single sentence about what it is you do. You could also include a value proposition or benefit that you offer to customers or people who follow your page. Your bio can also include a branded hashtag so that new followers can check out the user-generated content people have created for your brand and loyal Instagram followers can engage with your brand online.

The link in your Instagram bio is a great way to grow your Instagram and also your business. Your bio link is what will connect your Instagram followers to your website so that they can sign up for your program or buy a product you're selling.

If your homepage is your main landing page, you can include your website in the bio. However, if there are various pages you want to highlight to your Instagram followers, you might use a tool like Linktree to create a link landing page that directs people to various pages.

1Password's Linktree gives several options, depending on what you're looking for

The best pages to highlight in your link landing page are: your main landing page, product page, latest blog posts, contest details, shoppable feed, your latest ebook, a webinar, or even a podcast.

3. Optimize Your IG Content with SEO Strategies

Your Instagram marketing strategy should include some fundamental SEO. You can include keywords in your captions and ensure that you're including relevant keywords to your pictures.

You can also use SEO-driven Instagram hashtags to be found through Instagram's search. You'll want to think about the general name of your niche when choosing hashtags to use. For example, if you own a marketing agency, you'll search relevant #marketing hashtags that you can use for your posts and choose the top relevant marketing hashtags when creating an Instagram post about marketing.

Another Instagram SEO strategy you could use is for local SEO. You can add location tags if you own a small local business in your area. If you own a restaurant you can be listed as a place on Instagram. Include your Instagram handle on your menus and table signage or have wait staff encourage people to tag your place when they dine there.

This restaurant shows up for local results in Toronto thanks to their Instagram SEO

Unlike traditional SEO, the Instagram algorithm also allows you to search by Audio. Using popular audio clips will allow you to appear alongside other videos using the same file. If you're more of a trendsetter, you can create your own audio clips that people can use for their videos to give you even more reach.

Ultimately, these are all the ways you can be found via search on Instagram. But you still have to play the Instagram algorithm game. Just because you can be found via these methods, doesn't mean you don't have to still work towards getting more people to view your videos. The more engagement your posts get, the higher you'll appear in results for Tags, Places, or Audio.

4. Optimize Your IG Reels with Subtitles

Not all Instagram users watch videos with the sound on. In these cases, some people prefer watching Instagram Reels with subtitles on as it allows them to read what's being said when they have their audio off.

Adding subtitles to your Reels makes them more accessible and allows a more diverse audience to consume your content. Not everyone is a native speaker so being able to read text can make your videos easier for some people to understand. Plus, having subtitles on Instagram Reels allows hearing impaired or deaf Instagram users to enjoy your content too.

By adding subtitles to Reels, more people can consume your Instagram content which can give you more Instagram followers. Instead of scrolling past your video, those browsing in the Instagram app will continue watching your video when they can read your content.

Additionally, adding captions to your Instagram Reels provides another space to add keywords and relevant search terms, which will help boost your content in search results.

5. Optimize Your Posting Schedule

There's always someone on Instagram no matter the time of day. However, if you're looking to maximize your reach on Instagram, optimizing your posting schedule can be beneficial for your Instagram growth.

The best times to post on Instagram are in the morning when people wake up, at lunch, and in the evening. These tend to be the times when people aren't at their desk working and actually have a chance to take a quick social media break. If your target audience is in a different time zone than where your business is located, you might want to change your posting times to that of where your target audience lives. For example, if you own a SaaS company in India but most of your customers are in North America, you'll likely post in an EST timezone to ensure you reach them. You can use Instagram scheduling tools like Buffer or Later to schedule posts in advance.

Beyond finding the right time of day to post, it's crucial to ensure that you post content daily so you maximize your chances of being found via the Instagram algorithm. The more at bats you have, the better you'll get at crafting the content that engages your audience.

What NOT to Do to Grow Your Instagram

Finally, let’s take a look at some strategies you should avoid when growing your Instagram. These range from tactics that just aren’t very effective all the way to things that can actually get you in trouble with Instagram and may result in your account being suspended.

1. Don’t Buy Followers

Black-hat methods of buying followers put your Instagram account at risk of being shut down. Buying Instagram followers violates Instagram's Terms of Service. But it's also just not helpful when it comes to growing your account.

After all, most of the followers you'll buy through third-party sites will be fake accounts. So, it only appears like you have a ton of followers without any of the real engagement from a true audience. If your goal is to sell a service or product to your Instagram followers, there needs to be a real person behind the Instagram account. Plus, the follower needs to be interested in what you're selling. If you really want to buy your way to a bigger following, you'll be better off running Instagram ads targeting the right audience so that the right people follow you organically.

2. Don’t Overuse Hashtags

Adding hashtags to your Instagram post is a great way to be found via tag searches. People often use Instagram as a search engine so having hashtags in a post is a great way to be found. However, there are limits on how many hashtags you can add to a post.

On Instagram, you can add up to 30 hashtags on your Instagram posts and up to 10 hashtags on Instagram Stories. You'll be blocked from adding more than these amounts. However, even though those are the maximum, you don't need to add that many hashtags as it can look a bit spammy. Add a few relevant hashtags in the first comment of your Instagram posts or a couple in your Stories to be found by the right people. As long as they're hyper-relevant, it'll still show up in the hashtag section of Instagram's search.

3. Don’t Post Copyrighted Content

Posting copyrighted material without permission or licensing is against both copyright law and Instagram’s Community Guidelines. That means your account can get suspended or banned for this kind of behavior. If you don’t have enough content of your own to post consistently, try sourcing user-generated content (either organic or paid UGC) to fill out your feed.

You can also legally use stock photos but we don’t recommend it. The pictures and videos you share should be unique and relevant to your brand. Taking unique pictures will be key to your Instagram growth strategy. Beyond avoiding stock photos, you also don't want to flood your Instagram profile with selfies. Mix up the style of photos you have on your account to keep things interesting for people. If your profile is all selfies, stock photos, or even Twitter quotes, your account's growth may be slower. Experiment with photo styles and video content so people always find something fresh and new on your Instagram feed that makes them want to follow you. You can use an image editor to help you create attention-grabbing photos.

4. Don't Follow for Follow

When you're just starting out, it's tempting to follow everyone that follows you on Instagram. Follow back strategies are a popular strategy to grow your account. However, it's not really all that sustainable. Most of the time, people will unfollow you shortly after you've followed them. Additionally, going on aggressive following, liking, or DMing sprees could get your account flagged by Instagram as that can look like spammy or bot-like behavior.

If you want more followers for your Instagram account, let people follow you organically and only follow people whose content you're genuinely interested in. New followers will come when you focus on creating content that resonates with people. So, instead of focusing on getting more followers on Instagram, focus on creating better content for Instagram.

Growing your Instagram to attract more Instagram followers to your Instagram feed doesn't need to be complicated. Creating engaging content, experimenting with different ideas, and optimizing your Instagram profile can all be beneficial ways to make your Instagram posts stand out. Take advantage of all the cool features Instagram offers to maximize your growth. And take the time to scroll through your own feed to see what other brands are doing on the platform.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Growing Your Instagram

1. How can I make my Instagram account grow faster?

You can make your Instagram account grow faster using various strategies. The main rule is that you want to create engaging content first and foremost. Beyond that, you can use hashtags, encourage tagging, run giveaways, and other marketing strategies to help you grow your Instagram account faster.

2. How can I get 1,000 followers on Instagram?

You can get 1,000 followers on Instagram by creating new and engaging content on a consistent basis. Committing to at least one piece of Instagram content every day is a great way to build your followers. Having a niche focus is a great way to build a relevant audience on Instagram, too. When people know what to expect from your Instagram account, they'll be more likely to follow you.

3. What makes an Instagram account grow?

People follow Instagram accounts because it relates to them. People follow Instagram accounts for various reasons. Someone might follow a makeup artist to get makeup looks for their wedding or a jiu jitsu fighter because they're looking to get better at martial arts. Having a consistent focus on the niche of your Instagram account is what helps the right people find your account and follow you.

4. How do some people grow so fast on Instagram?

Some people grow fast on Instagram because they use hashtags, interact with other accounts, use location tags, and respond to comments on their posts. Building relationships with people who follow you is crucial to your long-term success on Instagram.

5. How to grow your Instagram by 500 followers?

You can grow your Instagram by 500 followers by creating a mix of engaging content on Instagram. By posting new Instagram Reels, posts, and even Instagram Stories, you can give people a reason to follow you. Stick to a consistent theme or niche for your account so people understand what you offer right away when viewing your Instagram bio.

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