Instagram’s algorithm has changed a lot over the years. As a result, Instagram users need to keep themselves current with the latest best practices to remain competitive in a sea of other accounts, but sorting through all the online tricks and tutorials is time-consuming and overwhelming. To save you time and help you get results on Instagram fast, we’ve gathered dozens of Instagram hacks and proven tricks to boost your visibility and grow your audience, such as:
- Using hashtags strategically
- Creating a consistent brand aesthetic for your Instagram feed
- Asking questions in your Instagram captions to start conversations
- Collaborating with other Instagram creators
- Creating interactive Instagram Stories
- Posting varied content in different post formats
- Using authentic storytelling
- Tapping into the power of video
- …and much more
How to Get More Followers on Instagram
Instagram growth relies on much more than uploading beautiful photos to the platform daily and using a couple of trending hashtags in each post. Today’s users need to learn how Reels could affect their visibility, how often to post on Instagram, and how to craft Stories that engage an audience.
There’s not a single winning strategy that works for every brand on Instagram. Instead, you should experiment with a variety of Instagram hacks and tactics to identify what your audience responds to most, and then do more of it. Typically, the most successful brands leverage a variety of Instagram hacks such as Instagram ads, influencer marketing, Instagram Live video, interactive Instagram Stories, and more to appeal to the varied interests and preferences of their audience.
By testing the Instagram hacks below and analyzing your results, you’ll create a fine-tuned strategy that’s completely customized to your business and highly engaging for your audience.
The Best Instagram Hacks to Boost Your Visibility and Grow Your Followers
For your convenience in finding the information you need, we’ve broken down this guide to boosting your Instagram visibility into the following sections based on common goals Instagram users have for their growth:
- Instagram Hacks That Increase Your Reach
- Instagram Hacks That Engage Followers
- Instagram Hacks to Improve Your Visibility Through Ads
- Instagram Hacks That Improve Brand Awareness
Instagram Hacks That Increase Your Reach
Screenshot from @joannagaines via Instagram
1. Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
You might have heard that posting several times a week, or even once daily, on Instagram is best for growth. That could be true, but only if you consistently upload high-quality content. If some content is excellent and highly relevant to your audience but other posts garner little to no interest, your visibility could suffer. It’s better to stick with a schedule that actually works for you, even if it means posting just once a week to deliver your best content possible.
2. Create More Reels
Instagram has recently emphasized video content, prioritizing Reels, its somewhat new feature. These short videos are catchy, quick to consume, and wildly popular on the platform, so they can be extremely helpful in growing your visibility and reach. A Hootsuite case study found that posting Reels did, indeed, lead to more engagement and followers. Still, the quantity and relevance of Reels to an audience play a significant role, too.
3. Use Your Insights as a Guide
Instagram Insights gives you a peek at how your account performs in terms of reach, so be sure to check it at least weekly. If you notice any notable dips or surges in reach, consider what you’ve posted this week and how your content might influence your account’s visibility.
4. Boost Your Hashtag Strategy
Learn how to use Instagram hashtags the right way to boost your reach. For example, you can search industry terms to find relevant hashtags to add to your posts, potentially increasing the number of people who view your content. Adding hashtags to Stories and Reels can also help.
5. Find the Best Times to Post
Posting on Instagram during some periods could garner more views and likes than posting during slower periods. Use Instagram Insights to learn when your audience will most likely use the platform and, therefore, what times are best for you to post on Instagram. If necessary, use an auto-scheduler to schedule posts during those periods.
6. Post Consistently
Like other social media platforms, Instagram typically favors accounts that post consistently. Your audience may also prefer to know that they can expect content from you regularly. A content calendar can keep you on track with posting content to Instagram on specific days or times to freshen up your feed.
7. Promote High-Performing Posts
The Instagram boost feature is ideal for use on content that’s already performing well. When you use it, you’ll pay a specific budget to get your post in front of more people on Instagram. If your content is already doing well with likes and comments, you know it already has a winning formula for Instagram, potentially making it perform incredibly with a boost. Learn how to boost an Instagram post.
8. Collab with Others on Posts and Reels
Instagram Collabs are relatively new for the platform. The feature lets you add another account to a post or Reel, triggering a post to show up on their feeds, too. Essentially, this gives you access to both your and your collaborator’s audiences for extra reach. You can choose a collaborator in the settings before uploading a post or Reel.
9. Use Geotags
Geotags are similar to hashtags, except they pinpoint a specific place rather than a topic. Adding geotags to your posts is an extra way to gain more potential reach by adding your post to a collection of others within that location. Add geotags in the settings before uploading a post. You can even create custom Instagram location tags.
10. Write Alt Text for Each Post
Alt tags are important for SEO, as they add a description or purpose to photos for screen readers and other accessibility purposes. Many people don’t know that they can add alt tags to their Instagram images to make them more accessible, too. When posting an image, scroll to Advanced Settings to find the alt tag attribute.
11. Repurpose Your Content
Once you add an Instagram post to your feed, don’t let that be the end of it. Share it to your Story, write a blog post about it, or hop on Instagram Live to let your audience know about the new information you just posted. Repurposing your content gives it new life and the chance to get in front of a broader audience.
12. Vary Your Content
Your Instagram feed doesn’t just need to include photos. Some of the best accounts share relevant memes, graphics, Reels, Carousel posts, and other types of content to keep their audiences interested. For instance, travel gear and accessory company Away shares quotes, travel photos, videos, and even fun games that increase engagement and reach, which is evident in its close to 600,000 followers.
13. Share Posts to Your Story
Use this trick sparingly to increase your reach on Instagram. Scroll through your feed for a post that is likely to resonate with your audience. Then, share it on your Story. For best results, look for posts that already have excellent engagement, like a viral video, increasing the chances that it will work well for your audience, too. This is an ideal way to have consistent, relevant content on your account, introduce your brand to other brands you look up to, and boost your potential reach.
Instagram Hacks That Engage Followers
Screenshot from @jamieoliver via Instagram
14. Pose Questions in Captions
Get your audience talking by asking a question or two in your post captions. Make the questions relevant to your post. Questions prompt your audience to think of something to say in the comments, which can increase your post’s visibility in other feeds.
15. Host Instagram Giveaways
Instagram giveaways give your audience the chance to win something from you or a brand you partner with. When you host a giveaway, you might offer some optional entry methods, like following your account or tagging a friend. (Important: You can’t require anyone to follow you for an entry.) These optional entries can boost your visibility and encourage others to join in the fun, too.
16. Follow the Trends
Find what’s trending on Instagram by heading to your Explore page. Find any noticeable trends — hashtags people are using or Reels they’re creating, for example — that make sense for your account. Hop on the trend by making your own trendy post.
17. Make Interactive Stories
Instagram Stories provide an opportunity to really engage with your followers. Add polls, ask questions, use a slider, or create a multiple-choice sticker for others to interact with. You’ll get notified when someone uses an interactive element, allowing you to respond quickly to that interaction and strike up conversations with your community.
18. Ask Followers to Turn Notifications On
In your Instagram Lives or post captions, remind followers that they can turn on their notifications for your posts to get alerts when you’re Live, add a new post, or add to your Story. It’s a simple way to get quick jumps in engagement as soon as you’re active on the platform.
19. Host More Lives
Instagram Live videos let you interact with your audience in real time. Ask them questions, respond to their questions and comments, or play games with them in your Live videos. When you go Live, your stream appears near the beginning of your followers’ Stories bar, so they’ll easily see you’re currently streaming.
20. Interact as Much as Possible
Log into Instagram at least once a day to respond to DMs and post comments. Instagram prioritizes engaged accounts in its algorithm, and your responses help keep your followers engaged with your account.
21. Hire an Assistant, If Needed
Keeping up with Instagram and your other social media accounts can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re running a primary business, too. If possible, hire a social media assistant to help respond to and moderate comments to keep your followers engaged in interactions.
22. Use More Carousel Posts
Later collected data on Instagram posts from 2021 and 2022 to see what types of posts led to the most engagement. According to its study, Carousel posts were the highest performers for in-feed posts. This is, perhaps, because you can share a lot of information in one Carousel post, giving your audience more to respond to.
23. Repost User-Generated Content
Ask your audience for content that you can repost on your feed to keep it topped up. Host a themed photo contest or ask followers to pose with their favorite product from your company. Then, repost their content — with permission and credit, of course — to your profile. You could also ask for testimonials to repost to your Stories or in-feed posts.
24. Create Memes People Want to Share
Sharing an occasional meme that your audience can relate to can also increase your likes, comments, shares, and reach. Dash Hudson explored a few popular Instagram accounts to see whether regular content or memes performed better on the platform. In 4 out of 5 of the accounts, memes led to a higher engagement rate and effectiveness rate.
25. Use the New “Add Yours” Sticker
One of the latest features to hit Instagram is the “Add Yours” sticker for Stories, and it’s definitely one to add to your repertoire. The sticker invites other users to add their own photos that fit a prompt you create, like “Show me your favorite family-friendly activity” or “Let me see your workout today.” Join in on others’ Stories, too, to get more eyes on your account.
26. Add Emojis to Your Captions
Instagram Hacks to Improve Your Visibility Through Ads
Screenshot from @lit2lift and @drinkculturepop via Instagram
27. Learn How to Create an Instagram Ad
Instagram Ads can increase your follower count and visibility by targeting the people who are most likely to have interest in your brand. You can create Instagram Ads using the Facebook Ads Manager. Click the Create button and decide on your campaign objective, such as brand awareness or engagement. Then, Ads Manager will give you some extra options based on your objective. Continue walking through the guided setup to define your budget and add your creatives and messaging.
28. Test Ad Formats
Try different ad formats to see what works best for your Instagram account. Experiment with different messaging formats, images, and CTAs (calls to action). You can use Instagram Insights to get an idea of your top performers.
29. Improve Your Targeting
Target the people who will be most interested in your ads by drilling down your ideal customer. How old are they? What do they like and dislike? Where do they live? What do they do for a living? Use this customer persona to target a pinpointed group when you create an ad.
30. Use More Video in Your Ads
Video is becoming more popular on Instagram, so use that to your advantage in your ads by promoting a video instead of an image. Shoot a quick, catchy tutorial of a product or share some footage of your service in action.
31. Target a Lookalike Audience
Lookalike audiences are groups that have already interacted with your content. You know that engaged followers already love what you do, so targeting another group with similar interests and behaviors can be an excellent way to build your followers.
32. Promote Influencer Content
Find influencers that are happy to promote your brand through partnered content campaigns. Instagram’s branded content feature lets businesses promote influencer content about their brands to share with their audience. You’ll get authentic content from other influencers, which could bring their followers over to you.
33. Make Ads Look Like Regular Content
The best Instagram ads don’t look or feel like ads. Instead, they behave like regular content on the platform that’s interesting and engaging. Your ads should look like they belong in your regular feed or Stories.
34. Include Actionable CTAs
Brands can write a clickable CTA to add to a button on their Instagram ads. As a default, Instagram uses ‘Learn more’ on the ad button. However, you have the power to encourage your audience to click with a relevant CTA, depending on your ad’s goals. For example, some ads might be better suited for CTAs like ‘Book now’ or ‘Sign up.’
35. Advertise with Instagram Stories
Don’t forget that your Instagram Stories can also host ads. Stories are dynamic and eye-catching, so they might even perform better for your brand than in-feed ads. Take a closer look at best practices for Instagram Story ads.
36. Make the First 3 Seconds Count
If using video in your ads, make sure the first three seconds are your most interesting. This timeframe is typically how long it takes someone to determine whether they want to keep watching, so it’s crucial to grab attention quickly.
Instagram Hacks That Improve Brand Awareness
Screenshot from @glowthedesignerclub via Instagram
37. Switch to a Business Account
Business accounts on Instagram are designed to meet the needs of growing and well-developed businesses. Only business accounts have access to Instagram Insights and can list important information like an email address and phone number. Business accounts can also sell directly on Instagram.
38. Make Your Profile Speak for Itself
Your profile and bio should clearly show what you want people to know about your brand from the moment they land on your Instagram page. Add a tagline or a quick description of your brand and key contact information for customers to get a hold of you. There should be no confusion about what business the page represents when an Instagram user navigates to it.
39. Add a Link Hub to Your Profile
Instagram leaves space for just one link on your profile, so businesses should make it count. Link hubs help showcase several important links in one spot, letting you keep just one link in your profile. Lnk.bio and Campsite are two examples of popular link hubs. Build your database of links with promotions, product pages, and other pertinent information that you can direct your followers to in your posts.
40. Tell Your Backstory
Use your Instagram account to tell your brand’s story through engaging photos, videos, Stories, and captions. Give your audience a sneak peek of how a product was born with Reels or create a weekly post with a little-known fact about your business, for example.
41. Post Behind-the-Scenes Content
Show your followers what happens behind the scenes of your company in videos and photos. Stories are also a great way to post occasional ‘Day in the Life’ posts of your company, which can be highly entertaining and engaging for your audience.
42. Scope Out Competitors
Keep an eye on what your biggest competitors are doing on Instagram and what’s working for them. Then, do it better! Keep consistent with practices that work the best to keep growing your reach and audience.
43. Build a Cohesive Feed
Audiences on Instagram love seeing cohesive feeds that look planned out and organized. Images and Reels that have a consistent aesthetic look like they belong together and can have a significant impact on your brand’s recognizability and popularity on the platform. Use an Instagram layout planner, such as Previagram or Preview, to see how your content will look on your feed before it goes live.
44. Offer Useful Information
In your captions or Carousel posts, give your audience advice, tips, or information that is helpful to them. You’ll position your brand as an authority in your niche, and others will want to start following you for more.
45. Ask Followers to Tag Others
Occasionally, ask followers to tag their friends in a comment on your posts. This can work well for information-heavy posts that someone might want to share with another person who can find it helpful. You could end up with some new followers who know your current followers without any extra work on your part.
46. Create Branded Hashtags
A branded hashtag is a custom hashtag for your business that’s relevant to what you do. These hashtags can help boost your brand awareness and visibility on Instagram when users see them and click on them to learn more about the hashtag and what it relates to. Request that your followers also use the hashtag when posting any content about your business.
47. Partner with Influencers
Influencers are powerful presences on Instagram, and they can help you grow your brand’s visibility on the platform. Choose a few influencers relevant to your niche to work on partnered posts, giving you access to their audience, too.
48. Cross-Promote Your Posts on Other Channels
Instagram isn’t the most shareable platform, but you can still cross-promote your Instagram content on other social networks to grow your audience. Use the share button on your Stories and posts to share your brand’s content to your other accounts.
49. Share Your Handle Everywhere
Create a cohesive network for your brand by adding your Instagram and other social media handles to emails, your website, and printed materials. You can also add follow buttons to your website’s content for people to follow you on Instagram with the click of a button.
50. Embed Your Instagram Feed and Posts
Embed your Instagram posts into relevant blog posts on your website. In WordPress, you can do this by copying and pasting the link to your Instagram post into a blog post. Or, use a plugin to embed your Instagram feed into your sidebar or footer of your website as extra promotion for your account.
Boosting your visibility and growing your followers on Instagram requires a carefully planned strategy that leverages best practices like creating Instagram Reels and using Instagram Live video to engage your audience, building interaction into your day-to-day strategy, collaborating with influencers and other Instagram creators, and other tactics like those discussed above. Some of these Instagram hacks require some planning and effort, while others are simple to implement, such as installing the Instagram follow button on your blog or website. With an Instagram follow button, your visitors can follow you on Instagram with a single click. It’s an effortless way to grow your audience that continues to pay off over time.