With 1 billion monthly active users, it’s not hard to work out why Instagram has become a cornerstone of many brand’s social media presence.

And as more brands are jumping on the Insta bandwagon – more people are asking the question ‘how I can I get more followers?’ then ever before!

You might be wondering why is it so desirable to have a large following on Instagram… the simple answer is followers serve as potential customers.

So essentially, more followers mean more customers.

Followers also help your brand to look more trustworthy and credible – which is an important factor in whether someone new chooses to follow you on Instagram and more crucially, purchase from you.

Now of course you can grow your following organically alone but did you know that you can also boost your following legitimately with paid ads? Here’s how you can do just that!

Campaign Level

First things first, there’s no actual campaign template for the purpose of growing Instagram followers on Ads Manager. Meaning you have to be a little creative with how you go about this… Start by choosing to create a new campaign. Go ahead and name the campaign whatever you like and leave the Buying type as ‘Auction’.

Then you’ll want to choose ‘Traffic’ as the objective. The idea is to drive as many people to your Instagram profile as possible, in the hope that some of these will choose to follow your account!


Choose a campaign budget that you’re comfortable with – if it’s your first time trying this method you may want to start off with a smaller daily budget of £5-£10.

Campaign Budget Ads manager

Ad Set Level

Here is where the magic happens…

First scroll down to the Audience section. Now you could create an audience to target here based on your ideal customers interests & demographics…

But an even better method is to target new people who are most similar to those who already follow and interact with your brand on Instagram.

So to do this, go ahead and create a ‘custom audience’.

Create Custom Audience

Then select ‘Instagram account’, click ‘Next’, and choose ‘everyone who engaged with your professional account’ in the past 365 days.

You want to keep this part as broad as possible so that you create a large custom audience which you can build the best lookalike audience from.

Name your audience and click ‘Create Audience’.

Create Custom Audience

Now that you have created your custom audience you should see an option to ‘create a lookahead audience’, go ahead and click this!

Create a lookalike audience

Select the custom audience you just made (everyone that interacted with your professional Instagram account in the last 365 days) and choose 1% Lookalike audience size.

Then click ‘Create Audience’.

Lookalike Audience Size

Now you need to choose your audience location which is found in the ‘Audience’ section of the ad-set level.

For most businesses you will want to target the whole of the UK, but if you only trade locally you may only want followers from your local region.

Bear in mind, it can also depend on the reason you’re trying to grow your Instagram following…. If you are looking to build a profile and you want a lot of credibility in having a large Instagram following then it’s important that you go head and broaden it out. If you are looking for potential customers then it’s better to keep it in the areas where you do business.

Don’t touch any of the other audience options here – it’s best to let the lookalike audience do it’s thing.

Audience Level Ads Manager

The last part of this stage is to choose your advert placements. Don’t skip this as it’s CRUCIAL to making this strategy work!

Click ‘manual placements’ so that you can choose where you want your ad to be shown.

Then you only want to choose Instagram – keeping people in the Instagram app means people are more likely to click your account and is therefore the cheapest way to get followers. Stick to choosing ‘feeds’ and ‘stories’ for best results.

Manual Placements Ads Manager

And there you have it.

You’ve just created a Lookalike audience of new people who are most similar to those who have interacted with your Instagram account – the perfect people to target with ads encouraging them to follow your brand on Instagram!

Ad Level

Finally you’ve reached the fun bit – making your ad!

First things first, check that your Instagram account is connected to your ad.

Create Ad Ads Manager

Then move onto the creative – add your primary text and your media.

Try to keep this engaging but short and sweet. Users’ attention span on Instagram is very short so you don’t have a lot of time to win them over! Make sure you tell them exactly what it is you do and why they should follow you.

Most importantly, make sure you include the website URL to your Instagram Profile. This way when users click on the ad they will be taken through to your Instagram profile and hopefully they’ll give you a follow!

Example Ad

Bottom Line

And there you have it!

Unfortunately, there’s no super quick and easy way to get new followers on Instagram endless you try to buy them, which can be a bad idea for a number of reasons – read our blog on this here!

But using this method is probably the best way to give your Instagram numbers a boost and ensures that the new followers you get are real and legitimately interested in your product/service.

So give it a go and let us know what you think!

For more paid social media advice our Birmingham social media experts are here to help!