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The Ultimate Guide to Getting Fast Instagram Followers

James Parsons • Updated on March 28, 2024
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Instagram has been outed recently as the top social media site for engagement by far. Users of the platform are much more likely to like and comment on photos posted to the site than users of other platforms. Needless to say, if you’re a business and you have a space for photography, get on it ASAP. It won’t be long before businesses flood the site just as they have Facebook and Twitter, and engagement is going to drop. Best to get in and gain a following now, before the crash.

What follows are a range of tips to help you get started using the platform in a manner as effective as possible. They can be roughly divided into five categories; setting up a profile, creating content, optimizing content, making use of the platform and further optimization.

First, setting up your profile properly.

Fill Out Your Profile

Instagram does not have much in the way of a profile for you to fill out. You have about as much space as a long tweet to use to write a short description. Most successful Instagram profiles keep this description short and interesting. There’s no room for detailed value.

Use a Unique Profile Picture

Coke uses a picture of their bottle. Pepsi uses their logo. Other brands use iconic pictures relating to their business. The point is to have a profile picture that’s recognizable at a small size but interesting at a larger zoom.

Cross-Link Other Social Profiles

Again, you don’t have a lot of room to drop links to your social profiles. Generally all you need is a link to your website. Don’t bother with a Facebook link; you can directly connect the two profiles elsewhere. Include your Twitter, Google+ or other profile links only if you absolutely need to promote them.

Pick a Compelling URL


Your username becomes your URL. Avoid picking one that has nothing to do with your brand. The simplest usernames are typically brand names, but if your brand name is a little unwieldy, you can use a common nickname. If you use something other than your brand name, make sure you make it clear that you’re definitely the official account of that brand.

Next, on to creating content that users want to see.

Share Photos That Make a Human Connection

Instagram is positively filled with pictures of pets and meals. Some of these pictures have a human element that makes them compelling and emotional. Others are boring and receive little attention. Your job is to take pictures that include that human element, no matter what your subject matter. It’s up to you to find what your users like and cater to those ideas.

Make Use of Filters

Instagram filters are what pushed the platform over the top from a basic image host to a compelling social media platform. Making use of filters properly is a great way to both demonstrate your knowledge of the platform and make compelling images that much more interesting. You can find several detailed guides to filter use through a simple search.

Remember Quality Over Quantity

Instagram users see a personal feed of the images from all of their followers, in chronological order. If you’re posting too frequently, you’re going to drown out the other accounts they watch. This is likely to earn you an unfollow, so don’t do it. Remember the concept of quality over quantity; 2-3 good images in a day is plenty.

Consider Image Collages

This helps you get around problems with having too much to share and not enough space to share it. Group several similar images into a single collage; it counts as a single image. Use collages to tell a story, or just to share several pictures at once.

Third category: optimizing your content for business purposes.

Use Relevant Hashtags

Like Twitter, users on Instagram use hashtags to sort content and hold conversations centered around images and concepts. Use hashtags the same way you would on Twitter, except you can be a little more liberal with them. You can use up to 30 for any given image, though you may not want to cram 30 in every post. Pick active tags, or create your own for branded campaigns.

Time Posts Properly

Post timing is important if you want your images to be seen. As mentioned, Instagram users see images in unsorted chronological order. If you post when they’re offline, people who post more recently will cover your images. Find out when your users are most active and post during those times.

Use a Call to Action


Image descriptions are your sole place to put traditional SEO and content marketing strategies to work. Use a keyword, use hashtags, use what you need to make an interesting and useful description.

Geotag Photos

If you’re a local business, you can take advantage of some geotagging to link your images to your location. This helps local users find you when they search for content related to their city. If you’re a larger national brand, you may not be able to make use of this very frequently, so use it if you can.

Next up is making use of the platform.

Follow Other Users

Following users allows you to see what they’re doing, which can give you inspiration for future campaigns or content. In particular, you want to follow the people who follow you. Most fans are appreciative of the action and will further support you on Instagram.

Like Other Photos

It’s just good practice to like photos other than your own. If, for example, you create a hashtag for an ad campaign and your fans share images that go along with it, you can earn some goodwill by liking those pictures.

Comment on Photos

When you like pictures, take a moment to comment on them as well. Comments take more effort than likes, and users will understand that they’re not robotically created; someone at your company actually took the time to write something nice about their picture. Talk about a boost to your reputation!

Investigate Reciprocal Follows

Some brands can get away with visiting the reciprocal follow tags, but others are too large to pull it off. These tags are for people who will follow anyone who follows them. As a brand, your influence may be attractive, or it may be seen as an invasion. Either way, you should at least follow the users who follow you.

Finally, optimizing your presence online.

Connect to Facebook

Link your Instagram and Facebook accounts. Instead of uploading a picture to Facebook, use the Instagram feature to display it. This gives you further interaction between the two platforms and audiences.

Automate Minor Engagement

You can set up a program to automatically follow users who follow you and like images in specific hashtags. You don’t want to automate more than that; trying to automate comments is transparent and easily flagged as spam.

Use Instagram Embeds for Photos

When you post photos on your website, use the Instagram embed option. This displays your image surrounded by Instagram engagement buttons, so Instagram users can further engage with your page. If they aren’t Instagram users, they might convert just to follow your images.

Link to Instagram from Other Profiles

Just like you link to your Facebook, Google+ or Twitter accounts on each other, link to your Instagram account from each of them. This will help users find your official page, which is particularly useful if your username isn’t clear.


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