Instagram is the third most popular social network platform with over 40 billion photos shared since its inception and 3.5 billion likes daily.

That’s not all:

Over 60% of Instagram users log in daily, making it the most engaging social media site after Facebook.

That’s approximately 600 million active users that the platform gives you access to daily. This means you have a huge opportunity to gain 20,000 dedicated followers and more!

And the great thing is that Instagram doesn’t discriminate.

If you do the right things, entertain your audience, post relevant and epic content your follower count will grow.

But to expedite this growth, you need to establish a tactical routine that works. So here are proven and tested steps that will help you gain 20,000 Instagram followers:

Step 1: Define the Overall Objective of Your Instagram Account

If you’re on Instagram solely for social reasons, you may want to skip this step. But if you’re trying to build a personal or business brand then you need to identify what the overall objective of your account is.

Considering the fact that over 50% of people on Instagram follow their favorite brands, it would only make sense to connect to that and set specific objectives as to what your account should project.

How To Gain 20k Instagram Followers: Here Are The Steps for 2019Source

This goal identification exercise aims to:

Help you know who exactly you want to attract. This way, you can know what type of content to create and what would be relevant to your audience.

Help you know your true results as fake followers would most likely be irrelevant to the overall purpose of your account. You’ll be able to identify them quickly and measure your growth results effectively.

Step 2: Develop a Content Strategy

Once you’ve determined what you want your Instagram account to be about, it’s time to craft content. Content is the way you express your message through videos, photos, text or whatever method Instagram permits.

If you develop generic content, you’ll attract generic users who probably won’t care about you or want to engage with your posts and they’ll most likely unfollow you over time.

On the flip side, if you craft tactical and targeted content, you will attract followers who engage with your content and remain followers, because they find your posts relevant.

You need to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time or your content will fall flat.

But how do you achieve that balance?

By employing the 5Ws of content creation:

How To Gain 20k Instagram Followers: Here Are The Steps for 2019Source

When you follow the 5W’s pattern, your content creation process because effortless.

In the first stage, you defined the goal of your Instagram account and in this second step; you determine the kind of content you want to create based on the overall objective of your page.

Here are some of the options you’ve got:

People-Based Content

On Instagram, human faces are a big deal and it’s impossible to succeed on the platform without humanizing your personal or organizational brand.

Data even shows that pictures with people’s faces get 38% more likes than those without.

People-based content is powerful if you want to show off your brand’s work culture. Taking users on a behind-the-scenes tour of your work processes, the staff and how they interact with one another is pure gold.

It commands an emotional response from your followers and creates a feeling of personal connection to your business. And if you’re gunning for 20,000 followers, you need to establish loyalty from your current followers first and this is the way to do it.

A great example of this is Hubspot’s #hubspotemployeetakeover hashtag:

How To Gain 20k Instagram Followers: Here Are The Steps for 2019


Using the hashtag the brand told its story to its target audience through the eyes of employees creating a personal connection with followers.

Text Centric Content

It’s no news that quotes are loved on Instagram. Regardless of the niche, you’re in, inspiration and motivation will always be impactful. If you are just starting-out on Instagram or don’t have a lot of spare time on your hands, quotes are a great way to go.

You can easily create them using certain apps and they are almost 100% sure to generate engagements.

Here are some great ideas on what kind of quotes to post:

  • Post quotes from thought leaders or influencers in your niche.
  • Post quotes from customers raving about your company
  • Intriguing data or statistics that aren’t commonly known
  • Share quotes that echo your brand’s message
  • How-to posts of common tasks relevant to your niche

User-Generated Content

User-generated content is one that’s crafted by other users. These users could be your brand advocates, your followers, customers, site visitors or influencers.

But how do you get other users to create your content?

Here’s how:

  • Be clear about what exactly you want people to create. However, while you’d want users to have ample creative space, you wouldn’t want them to develop content that’s totally off your brand’s message.
  • Determine the goals of your user-generated content campaign. What outcome are you looking for by initiating the campaign? Let this guide the whole process.
  • Give credit to the creators of any content you decide to use. This is an excellent way to generate positive relationships with your following.
  • Place incentives on campaigns to motivate users to create quality content. You can start up a contest that offers a gift of something relating to your brand, to the best content creator.

User-generated content is so powerful that the brand Buffer saw a 400% follower increase after they began user-generated content campaigns. Their account grew from 4250 to 21,000 followers, all linked to UGC.

Still not convinced?

Here’s some user-generated content from REI:

How To Gain 20k Instagram Followers: Here Are The Steps for 2019


These pictures are all UGC and were able to pull in 21,000 likes for the brand. Why does it happen?

This is why:

Over 50% of Millennials and other generations trust user-generated content more than any other type.

And there’s more:

How To Gain 20k Instagram Followers: Here Are The Steps for 2019


The benefits of UGC are immense and have been proven to work so take advantage of it to reach your goal of 20,000 followers!

Step 3: Run User Action Campaigns

One of the best ways to retain old followers and attract new ones is to boost engagement. That’s why any kind of campaign that’ll encourage people to be active on the platform yields amazing results.

With the user action strategy, you can include captions to your posts or questions that move them to action.

Take a look at some niche-specific examples:

  • A flower company could post a photo of multiple flower arrangements and ask followers “Which arrangement do you like: Lillies or Roses?”
  • Landscape photographers may put a picture of a beautiful place and ask followers to tag whom they want to go there with.
  • Fashion bloggers could post a photo of their latest collection and ask, “Who do you think can pull this look off?”

How To Gain 20k Instagram Followers: Here Are The Steps for 2019

Those are just some ideas on the type of content that you could use to generate action from your followers.

Step 4: Optimize Your Account for Engagement

Your profile matters. A hashtag, shared content, or a recommendation may send people to your page but what makes them want to click the follow button?

Your profile.

Users will most likely scroll through your page the first time they’re on it and if there’s nothing that quickly points out to why you’re relevant to them, they may not decide to follow.

This means your account picture, name, personal name (if it’s a personal account), and description are promoting factors on Instagram, as people will view them, go through your pictures and even visit your website.

So if you’re just starting-out ensure that you choose profile details that are relevant to your target audience. Aside from this you need to make your profile visible to people and here’s how:

  • Take advantage of your email list by placing your Instagram account link at the bottom of your newsletters or as a signature to your business emails.
  • Put your account handle or link on your business cards, brand memorabilia or anything related to your business.
  • Ask your dedicated followers on other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to connect to you on Instagram. You could also sync your Facebook account to your Instagram, so whenever you make a post on Instagram it appears on your Facebook page.


Acquiring 20,000 followers on Instagram is no easy task, but with the right steps, it becomes a seamless process.

Just ensure you optimize your profile for engagements, utilize user-generated content and fit your content to the needs of your audience. With these steps, you’ll be able to hit your decided follower count and even cross it regardless of your current account following.

If you have any additional suggestions that worked for you, feel free to comment below!


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