← Back to Blog

5 New Ways to Get Instagram Followers in 2017

How do I get Instagram followers? It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one point or another. And with good reason, too! Getting more Instagram followers should be a top priority for any business that uses Instagram for marketing, but it’s not as easy as it once was.

To help you get more Instagram followers in 2017, we’re sharing 5 new and creative ideas that will help you get Instagram followers for free:

how to get instagram followers

1. How to Get Followers for Instagram: Be Strategic With Your Instagram Comments

It might seem obvious, but a surefire way of growing your Instagram following is by commenting on other users’ posts—but not in the way that you’re used to.

Many of us are familiar with the “follow, like, comment” system for getting new followers for Instagram. You follow an account, like one of their posts, and leave a comment. But while this might get you a followback, it’s tedious and time-consuming. If you really want to grow your Instagram following, you need to be a little more strategic with your commenting.

In a recent blog post, Sue B. Zimmerman gives the low-down on how to get followers for Instagram by commenting “strategically.” “Start off by listing 10 to 20 people or brands who have a similar audience as you. Keep that list in your phone somewhere to refer back to,” she says. “When you have time to actively engage, go to each of these accounts and leave genuine comments on their most recent posts.”

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 5.15.51 PM

The idea is to be the last person to comment on the post. That way, anyone else who comes to that post in the future will see your comment. And if your comment was interesting enough, they might just click over to your account to have a look!

By “interesting enough” we mean that you should avoid leaving generic comments, like “cool pic” or “nice.” Instead, you should make an effort to leave a genuine comment that other users will find funny, interesting, or useful. You can even throw in a few emojis to show off your personality.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 5.09.32 PM

Writing good comments is a bit like writing a good Instagram caption. They should be engaging, have personality, and inspire others to take action.

2. Use Instagram Stories to Get Instagram Followers

Instagram Stories has been a huge hit since you could first create your own Story back in August of last year. They’re fun, versatile, and a great way to foster meaningful connections with your audience! But as Zimmerman mentions, they also give you the chance to be recommended on Instagram.

Take a moment and head to the Explore page on Instagram. Notice the row of Instagram Stories at the top of the page? The reason those Stories appear is because Instagram selected them based on the accounts you follow and the posts you like. Instagram may also show you Stories that accounts you follow have liked, or were liked by a large number of people.

Untitled design (8)

If you want to get on the Instagram Explore page, you need to create ultra-engaging, super-targeted content. “The better your Stories are, and the more they speak to a specific audience, the higher the chance that Instagram will add your account to the recommended Stories at the top of the Explore tab,” Zimmerman says.

get instagram followers

So what does this have to do with getting new Instagram followers? Well, the Explore page is a crazy powerful feature on Instagram, and having one of your Stories featured can set off a viral effect that gets you a ton of likes, comments, and, course, new followers for Instagram who choose to see more of your content!

3. Get Instagram Followers by Sharing Engaging Videos

Did you know that 52% of marketing professionals rank video as the type of content with the best ROI? Or that video content accounts for 65% of all ad impressions on Instagram? Video can be a powerful tool for brands looking to build trust with their followers and reach new audiences.

As we mentioned in our post about the best time to post on Instagram, the new Instagram algorithm gives priority to posts with higher engagement, which means the more likes and comments your post receives, the more people will see your post. In other words, if you’re able to generate a lot of engagement on your Instagram posts shortly after posting, this signals to Instagram that your post is quality, engaging content and your post will move to the top of your followers feeds and be shown to more users.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 9.30.56 PM

Since videos generally receive a good amount of engagement, it makes sense to use the format in your marketing mix. There’s also the fact that Instagram, with the recent release of Instagram Stories, Video Channels on Explore, and Live Video, appears to be investing heavily in video content.

Untitled design (9)

Not only does video boast higher engagement rates than static images, it’s also one of the best tools out there to increase conversions and generate leads. Plus, if you drive enough engagement on your video, you might even end up on the Explore page, which is great for attracting new followers for Instagram.

Schedule Instagram Videos!

4. How to Get More Instagram Followers: Run an Instagram Contest

Running an Instagram contest is a fun and easy way to promote your business on Instagram, and it’s also one of the easiest way to gain exposure, which will help you get Instagram followers.

If you’re looking for a super effective Instagram contest idea, try partnering with another business or influencer. It’s a great way to promote your Instagram contest to both of your audiences, and also share each other’s followers. Start by looking for a cool business to partner with, and then organize a 3-5 day giveaway where Instagram users are rewarded with prizes for following both accounts, and tagging their friends in the comments.

A great example comes from Local Wanderer, which recently ran an Instagram contest with The Burrard, a hip, retro hotel in downtown Vancouver. The contest involved a giveaway in which Instagram users could win a 2-night stay at the hotel by following both Instagram accounts, and tagging three friends in a comment. By the end of the contest, The Burrard gained a whopping 500 new followers for Instagram!

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 3.35.58 PM

By getting Instagram users to tag their friends (or three) in the comments, you can draw more attention to the contest, and gain even more followers than you would otherwise!

5. Create an Instagram Hashtag Strategy to Get More Instagram Followers

Having a solid Instagram hashtag strategy is an essential component for any Instagram marketing campaign, but it should also be a top priority for businesses that want to get followers for Instagram.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 4.47.37 PM

Instagram hashtags are one of the most useful tools in a social media marketer’s tool belt. Using the right hashtag (or combination of hashtags) can help you expose your brand to large and targeted audiences. In fact, your chances of attracting new followers for Instagram, getting more likes, and increasing engagement are vastly increased by the use of hashtags.

Find out which hashtags your audience uses most actively, and then search for posts that use that hashtag. Once you’ve found some winners, like and comment on those posts to engage with your community. An easy way to do this is with Later’s Search by Hashtag feature, which lets you search for Instagram posts by hashtags. You can also use Search by Hashtag to comment on Instagram posts within the Later app!

 Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 4.39.13 PM

Another great strategy is to search for hashtags that have an active and involved community behind them, and then post and engage with those hashtags. It’s an effective way to interact with like-minded users, while at the same time raising awareness about your brand! A good example of this is #morningslikethese, an Instagram hashtag community that shares images and videos of their morning rituals. By using that hashtag on your posts, you can help other Instagram users discover, follow, and engage with your Instagram account!

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 4.42.10 PM

With high engagement rates and over 600 million active monthly users, it’s no surprise that getting more Instagram followers is a big priority for most businesses. We hope that these 5 ideas are a helpful start for anyone hoping to get Instagram followers in 2017! Let us know if you have any other strategies for getting Instagram followers in the comments!

Ready to blow up on Instagram? Later makes it easy for you to plan, manage, and schedule your Instagram posts! 

Free Instagram Scheduler

Written By

Benjamin Chacon

Benjamin is a Content Marketing Strategist at Later and recent transplant from Toronto. You can follow his day-to-day on Instagram @benjaminchacs.

Schedule Instagram Posts Easily schedule photos, videos & carousel posts with a few clicks Create Free Account
Instagram Analytics Get the insights you know and love from the Instagram app, plus additional analytics for calculating engagement rates, best times to post, and more. Learn More
Linkin.bio Add Your Link in Bio & Drive Traffic from Instagram Create Free Account
User-Generated Content Find photos and videos that’ll resonate with your fans right from your desktop, then share to your social channels in just a few clicks. Learn More
Schedule Instagram Stories Save time and get more views on stories by planning, optimizing, and scheduling Instagram stories right from your desktop! Start Scheduling Stories
Instagram Hashtag Tools Extend your reach, get more engagement on your posts, and save a ton of time while managing your profile. Get Started For Free