How To Get Your First 1,000 Followers on Instagram

In the age of 2016 it’s unlikely you haven’t heard of Instagram, in fact it’s probably unlikely you haven’t got an account & have many on the social media site. However many accounts sit with little daily activity and have considerable unused potential to grow their account. For the last three years I have held an Instagram account with no posted photos, follows or followers attached (I got it to view a friends account), however after reading several blogs regarding using Instagram for promotional purposes I have discovered it’s usefulness. 
Around a month ago I began playing with Instagram for the first time – posting a picture or two, following accounts I liked, liking beautiful photos etc. However, I began to sit in the threshold of accounts with low activity. In the last two weeks, my account grew from 23 to 1001 followers and each image has upwards of 250 likes.
The following strategies I will outline are best for people looking to grow their accounts from nothing to something. I would like to state that I do not believe 1000 followers is particularly impressive, however with the techniques I have been using I will be able to grow that number into a much more impressive account.


Instagram has four social currencies, following, reposting, commenting and liking. Liking is one of the best currencies available for those who have time, in instagram your past likes cannot be seen on your account, intrisincally making your like much more valuable than in Twitter & Soundcloud (where you can be seen liking thousands of Tweets & Sounds).
So with no downside, like as many photos as possible under a variety of hashtags, however Instagram does have a limit on your phone account – so use a computer to like.
Here are some great hashtags for liking photos:
  • #likeforlike & its variations (#like4like, #l4l, #lforl)
  • #likeforfollow & its variations (#lff #like4follow #l4f)
  • #photography, #sun, #beach, #selfie (#selfy etc)
  • Choose a variety of cities (#newyork, #tokyo, #sydney, #melbourne, #auckland etc)
Most importantly like photos of accounts who will match yours, you will get a much higher like activity if accounts are genuinely interested. For example I posted a photo regarding web design & had much higher response when I liked photos under web design or IT related hashtags.


Instagrams are like hungry, and much like you in step 1 will be trying to attract followers by “liking like crazy”. You need them to be able to find you, so they can view your account. When posting a photo regardless of the content use a mixture of high activity & low activity hashes. You’re probably wondering what the hell I’m talking about right now?
Well some hashes will be frequently posted to (these hashes will have over a million photos already connected to) – these are referred to as high activity hashes, the opposite are low activity hashes (these hashes will have a couple of thousand photos attached to them). High activity hashes will guarantee you lots of likes in the first few minutes of posting from crazy likers, meanwhile low activity hashes will give your photo longevity.
Here are a list of hashes I usually use on my photos:
High Activity:
  • #l4l
  • #likeforlike
  • #like4like
  • #like4follow
  • #likeforfollow
  • #gainpost
  • #gaintrain
  • #followers
  • #sun
  • #beach
  • #photography
  • #newyork
  • #usa
  • #australia
  • #selfie
  • #people
  • #instagramers 
  • #colour
I won’t list any Low Activity hashes because truly they are best to be specific to your photo. Even better tag local businesses who are connected to the photo, they may retweet the photo. For example if your photo features a crane tag #crane, you’ll most likely get crane enthusiasts to like your photo.


Your comments, much as likes cannot be seen in totality, so they are again a valuable currency. Comments in Instagram are a lot more rare than other social media platform, increasing it’s value to the account you comment on.
However do not think that people respond to superfluous words such as ‘cool’ & ’nice’, most people see through this. If you want that account to take notice of you, make sure to say something worthy of the photo, i.e. “I absolutely love the way you’ve captured the light in this photo, the darkness adds so much beauty” or “you look so good in that selfy! Beautiful conturing” etc. Those example are probably the maximum length you need.
I am aware that commenting takes longer than liking, but you will gain loyal followers, lots of likes, comments on your post & sometimes reposts (perhaps the most valuable instagram currency).


This is actually the last step in growing your instagram account, but is by far the most important. Every hour I like 5 or 10 gaintrains, commenting on a single one, I receive anywhere between 5 – 25 followers on the spot. Gain trains are designed to help Instagrams gain followers by creating groups where everyone likes everyone else.
If you type in the hash #followtrain, #gaintrain or #gainpost, you should see lots of photos with text saying “gain with…” or “gain post”, liking those photos and participating in whatever activity they state in the description will guarantee you real followers fast.
Unlike the previous steps, you will need to follow these people in order to keep their loyalty, or at least like several of their photos, however in a matter of a few hours you will expand your followers a hundred fold. 
For the next week, try out these techniques and see how they do for your account.
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