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on May 11, 2023 (last modified on May 6, 2023) • 23 minute read
A large following on Instagram is more than just an ego boost. More followers mean a stronger digital presence which ultimately leads to greater revenue.
But what’s the average number of Instagram followers you need to meet and surpass to be on the top of your social media game?
This article explores the average Instagram followers of B2C and B2B companies, along with a few best practices to increase your following.
Here’s what exactly we’ll be covering in this article:
So, how many followers does the average Instagram account have? To find this out, we turned to Databox Benchmark Groups for original and latest data.
According to Databox Benchmark Groups, the median value for average Instagram followers was 2,240 in April (source: Instagram Business Page Benchmarks for All Companies).
We also decided to break down the data by B2B and B2C. According to the Instagram Business Page Benchmarks for B2C Companies group, the median number of Instagram followers for B2C companies was 5,210 in April 2023, while for B2B companies, it was only 1,420 (as per data provided by Instagram Business Page Benchmarks for B2B Companies).
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To get more details regarding the average amount of IG followers companies have, along with factors that affect follower count and more, we interviewed 41 companies with Instagram business pages.
Here’s the breakdown of who we interviewed:
One thing is for sure, and that is our respondents are not Instagram newbies. More than half of them have had an Instagram business page for at least 4 years. This makes this group a highly experienced one, which is why you should stick around till the end for their unmatched insights.
We then asked them the uber-important question – how many followers they had on their Instagram page? Since B2C and B2B companies approach Instagram differently, we’ll be looking at their following count separately.
The majority of our B2C respondents (29.17%) have just 1,000 or fewer Instagram followers. The runners-up (25%) have 1,000-5,000 followers, whereas companies with more than 100,000 followers make up 20.83% of our B2C respondents.
Alternatively, for B2B companies/agencies, the greatest share (30.77%) has a following of 1,000 or fewer. This is followed by 23.08% of our respondents having 1,000-5,000 followers, 23.08% having 5,000-10,000 followers and another 23.08% having a following of 10,000-50,000.
Interestingly, no B2B company/agency we surveyed has a following of more than 50,000.
All in all, Instagram is definitely used by B2C companies more than B2B, and these numbers prove that.
Related: 24 Examples of Stellar Instagram Business Profiles for Marketers on Any Budget
When understanding the average amount of Instagram followers companies have, it’s important to know how frequently they witness an increase in new followers.
The higher the average number of new followers, the greater the indicator that your content is engaging and resonates with your target audience. But what is the average number of new Instagram followers?
A quick look at Databox Benchmarks data shows the information we’re looking for. According to Databox benchmark groups, the average number of new followers for all companies is 12. (source: Instagram Business Page Benchmarks for All Companies)
Data for B2B and B2C is quite different from the median value. According to the Instagram Business Page Benchmarks for B2C Companies, the median number of new followers for B2C companies in April 2023 was 22. Additionally, Instagram Business Page Benchmarks for B2B Companies show that the average number of new followers for B2B companies in April 2023 was just 7.
If you want to compare your own data and see where you stand, you are free to join any of the Benchmark groups we listed for free.
Viewing benchmark data can be enlightening, but seeing where your company’s efforts rank against those benchmarks can be game-changing.
Browse Databox’s open Benchmark Groups and join ones relevant to your business to get free and instant performance benchmarks.
We asked our respondents about the average number of new followers they get on Instagram monthly, and following the previous pattern, B2C and B2B companies have different responses.
For B2C companies/agencies, a quarter of them witness 5 to 10 new followers per month, whereas another quarter stated they get over 100 new followers per month.
For B2B companies/agencies, the largest share of respondents gets 20 new followers or fewer monthly on their Instagram business page.
Before you viciously start adopting strategies to increase your Instagram following, it’s important to know if the number of followers even matters in the first place.
Well, the quick answer to this question is yes and no.
We turned to our respondents for their insights, and it’s safe to say they have varying answers.
The B2C companies/agencies from our survey had different opinions with respect to the number of Instagram followers affecting marketing results. Let’s check out their responses.
This is something that all marketers want, and if a large following on Instagram can make that happen, the more the merrier!
Elina Furman from Kahlmi (270,000+ Instagram followers) says, “Most of my sales are generated from organic traffic on Instagram, so I spent a lot of time posting reels and stories to engage my community.”
Jake Robitaille from Casa Media is also an advocate of a sizeable Instagram following. Robitaille says:
“There is definitely a factor of correlation in the realm of Instagram following and audience growth. Initial efforts are based in devotion and optimism, the goal is to grow, ideally as fast as possible. There is this subconscious tendency to associate a high following account to quality and legitimacy, that’s why a high following is always the objective.”
CMO at Casa Media
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However, Robitaille believes how much the number of Instagram followers matters largely on the maturity of the account. For a young account, the quantity of followers matters, but for mature ones, the quality weighs more.
Related: Master Social Commerce: 12 Tips for Your E-Commerce Businesses
While a large following on Instagram can be one of the many indicators that your strategy is working, it can also act as social proof.
When people see an account with a sizeable following, it instantly adds credibility. For Aristide Basque from K6 Agency, this added social proof leads to well-performing ads.
Basque says, “We don’t get new clients through Instagram, but it does affect our clients a lot. We manage pages that have followers between 1K and 200K, and we see our ads are performing much better when the brand has that kind of social proof.”
What happens when an Instagram account with 100,000+ followers gets a mere 1,000 likes on a post? Not only does this mean a disengaged audience, but there might be a possibility that followers were bought.
An engaged audience will always be worth more than a large one since they’re more likely to act and convert. Matthew Martinez from Diamond Real Estate Group shares a similar opinion.
“While having a higher number of Instagram followers allows my business to show authority over other accounts, it doesn’t seem to help much with the most important Instagram metric, which is engagement. Having more followers only allows our Instagram activity to be seen by more of our followers but doesn’t necessarily affect our growth. The most important factor for increased engagement and growth is to post quality, educational, and niche-relevant content.”
Related: How Often Should Your Small Business Post on Social Media in 2023?
Our B2B respondents believe a large following on Instagram positively affects your overall marketing efforts. Here’s what they have to say.
On most occasions, a high number of followers on Instagram means your content is engaging and worth following. The more people engage with your posts, the greater the chances you’ll appear on the coveted Explore page and are suggested to people who don’t currently follow you. Hence, increasing your reach.
Aviva Sonenreich from Ware House Hot Line reinforces this, “Personally, I’ve found that the number of followers does make a difference in my overall Instagram efforts and results. When I first started out on Instagram, I had very few followers, and it was difficult to get much engagement on my posts.”
“As I built up my following, I started to see more likes, comments, and shares on my posts, which helped me to reach a wider audience. Now that I have a sizable following, I find that my posts tend to perform better, and I’m able to reach more people with my content.”
How many followers you get on Instagram can affect the number of conversions you make from the platform. Generally, more eyes on your posts will increase the likelihood of people taking the desired action you seek.
Kacper Rafalski from Netguru is a strong believer of this. Rafalski says, “The number of followers is an important factor in our overall Instagram efforts and results because it helps us to reach a larger audience. Our follower count provides us with the opportunity to connect with a broad range of potential customers, collaborators, and influencers.”
Rafalski further says, “Having a large following also allows us to gain more visibility and credibility online, which can help increase engagement on our posts. This increased engagement can lead to more conversions as people become aware of our products or services.”
One thing Rafalski recommends is never to compromise on quality, even if you succeed in having a sizeable following. The last thing you want is to disconnect from your audience, and in such a case, the follower count becomes a mere vanity metric.
Related: 6 Examples of Highly Converting Social Media Copy + 10 Tactical Writing Tips
One thing is certain: increasing your follower base on Instagram is not an easy task. Multiple factors contribute to your follower count, and mastering them will result in a sizeable audience.
On the journey of increasing your Instagram followers, there is one thing that you wholeheartedly want to avoid. And that is – drumroll – a shadow ban.
If one is shadowbanned, Instagram will restrict their content without informing them. Their content will not appear on hashtag results and the Explore page. What’s more, their content won’t be visible to anyone who doesn’t follow them. Hence, reducing reach, engagement, and followers.
When we asked our respondents if they’d ever been shadowbanned, the vast majority reported that they hadn’t. Only 3 of them have been shadowbanned before and explained what triggered Instagram was using third-party apps or witnessing many followers coming and going (usually due to using unconventional, non-organic tactics).
With that out of the way, let’s explore the factors below that affect your follower count.
No one likes a one-time wonder.
Posting consistently is key in engaging your audience, which ultimately leads to an increase in following. The more frequently you post on Instagram, the greater the chances that you’ll appear on the Explore page and get your content reposted by popular profiles on Instagram.
Even Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, stated the importance of posting consistently on the platform. When asked how one should grow their account, Adam said, “A couple of feeds a week, a couple of Stories per day.”
If this advice is coming from the person who runs Instagram, you know it’s worth following.
Related: Ideal Post Frequency on Instagram: 20+ Expert Tips on How to Generate Engagement and Growth
Apart from friends and family, would you follow someone on Instagram for no apparent reason? You’ll only follow them if they post valuable content or are of interest to you – gone are the days of the follow-for-follow strategy.
If someone is a makeup enthusiast, they’ll follow the brands they love or profiles that create amazing makeup posts. Now would they follow everyone who creates makeup-related content? No. Only those who create content worth keeping up with.
What quality content is depends on your industry and target audience. A fashion house would ideally create catchy transition reels, whereas a law firm would create educational content.
Kathryn Schwab from Make It Count Creative Solutions LLC agrees, “Posting content that is educational/informative has had the biggest impact. Providing value to my followers and using hashtags so that people can find me has had the biggest impact.”
Speaking of hashtags, using the right ones for your industry is a game-changer.
Many people follow hashtags on Instagram that help them discover new content from different creators. If you include the right hashtags, you’re increasing your profile’s reach. Hence, increasing the number of followers you have.
Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post. However, you shouldn’t use them all, as they can appear spammy and desperate for attention. You’re better off using fewer, relevant hashtags to grow your audience.
One unspoken consensus amongst Instagram content creators is that reels get more reach and engagement than traditional posts. It makes sense when you realize reels have a similar format to TikTok, and Instagram would reward such content in hopes of convincing people to stay on the platform for longer.
Creating reels helps you reach more people and, ultimately, increases the number of followers you have. These 90-second videos give a teaser of the kind of content people can expect from your account, and if they find your reels interesting, they’ll definitely click on the follow button.
Creating Instagram reels worked tremendously for Custom Neon®, which has more than 130,000 Instagram followers. Nicole Rossi from their team says, “Reels have also been our biggest growth opportunity, allowing us to reach such a wider new audience than our static posts are able to, and this has also really impacted our follower count.”
Related: Best Short Video Apps: When to Choose TikTok, Instagram Reels or YouTube Shorts
Having your employees engage and repost your content on Instagram brings more benefits than you may realize.
For starters, employee advocacy exposes your content to your employees’ networks. They may give you a follow if they find your content relevant and engaging. Secondly, engagement (likes, comments, shares, and saves) from your employees is engagement, after all, and all kinds of engagement are welcome. Lastly, employee advocacy humanizes your brand, making you appear more credible.
Sarah Moonje from Six & Flow shares three factors that impact follower count; reels, employees’ eagerness to repost content, and creating content relevant to their partners.
For the latter, Moonje says, “We also create content that is relevant to our partners. So, if we create an Instagram story or post that tags our partners and the content is relevant to them, they are more likely to engage, comment, and re-share the Instagram post.”
There are many factors that affect the follower count, not just one. If you’re looking to increase your Instagram following, you need to account for different factors and experiment with which ones work for your business, industry type, and target audience.
For Abhishek Joshi from Dog with Blog, the number of Instagram followers depends on the following factors:
“Based on my experience, I’d say that it is a cocktail of content quality, the right time to schedule posts, engagement/reach, use of hashtags (relevant ones), and networking.”
Curator at Dog with Blog
So, how do you go about increasing the number of followers on Instagram?
We asked our respondents the same question and will be discussing their tips in detail below. But here’s an overview of what worked for the companies/agencies we interviewed.
Let’s explore the following best practices in more detail.
To measure the performance of your Instagram marketing strategy, you may rely on Instagram Analytics to learn which posts receive the most impressions and reach, and overall, which posts are the most popular with your followers. Now you can quickly assess the performance of your Instagram content in a single dashboard that monitors fundamental metrics, including:
Now you can benefit from the experience of our Instagram experts, who have put together a plug-and-play Databox template showing the most important metrics for monitoring and growing your Instagram Business account. It’s simple to implement and start using as a standalone dashboard or in social media reports, and best of all, it’s free!
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your Instagram account with Databox.
Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.
As we saw earlier, creating Instagram reels is crucial for increasing your following on the platform. To make the most of this, record reels inspired by the latest trends to capitalize on the recent influx of traffic. Also, try out different angles, transitions, and editing techniques to stand out.
Content cross-promotion deals with sharing one content piece on another post or platform. You can share your new reel on your stories or share your Instagram profile in your monthly newsletter. Doing so will ensure you get more eyes on your content and reach an already engaged audience who might not know about your Instagram presence.
A well-planned and organized grid design can increase your follower count as it shows you post consistently, and the visual appeal may convince people to stick around. Plus, a consistent grid design reinforces your brand identity. This helps users easily identify your content and potentially engage with it.
Brand ambassadors are people with great influence, and if you collaborate with them, you’re expanding your profile’s reach to their network. This also acts as a kind of social proof, ultimately resulting in more followers coming your way.
The right hashtags will increase your visibility, but the wrong ones can appear spammy. Use a mix of niche-relevant and branded hashtags to stand out. A hashtag research tool can help you find appropriate and in-demand hashtags.
Posting at the appropriate time maximizes your visibility. When you post at a time when your target audience is most active, they’re more like to engage, and this can bring in more followers.
Use Instagram’s built-in analytics to find when your audience is most active and experiment with different times until you find the right one.
There are a few ethical ways of gaining your competitors’ followers, including using their hashtags, taking inspiration from the content they create, and engaging with their brand ambassadors/collaborators. All of this will only work if you identify the right competitors – let go of any who have an inactive Instagram account or don’t have many followers.
Influencer marketing is all the rage these days, and rightly so, as it can promote your account (and content) to influencers with massive followings. You can increase the likelihood of getting even more followers with sponsored posts if you rope in a promotion/discount for the influencer’s network.
Geotargeting can help increase followers if you’re a local business or target niche audiences. You can also use it when promoting a location-specific event or generally if you’re looking to build a tight-knit community. You can benefit from geotargeting by using geotags, location stickers, and location-relevant hashtags.
Related: How Can Small Business Owners Leverage Location-Based Marketing? 10 Tips and Examples
Instagram highlights are more important than you may realize. When someone lands on your profile, having highlights related to your products/services, Q&As, past collaborations, etc., can convince them to press the follow button.
A giveaway is probably the easiest (and quickest way) to gain tons of followers, especially if one of the giveaway rules is to follow your account. The prize should be something of value that attracts users to interact with your account.
However, one note of caution, followers gained through giveaways might not engage in the long run or even unfollow you once the giveaway ends.
Instagram Live is great for engaging your audience as it welcomes real-time interactions. You can use it to boost followers if you share exclusive content on Live, which might convince people to follow you. You can also use Live for collaborating with influencers, and as we saw earlier, that rakes in tons of followers.
Tagging followers, in moderation, can help you in a couple of ways. Firstly, tagging someone is like inviting them to engage with your posts. Secondly, it encourages them to create user-generated content that will bring in more followers once shared with their networks.
Exceeding the average Instagram followers is one step toward the path to success.
There are a number of factors that play into making you successful on the platform. While you should follow general best practices to consistently optimize them, a better approach is to compare your performance with that of your competitors.
However, this doesn’t have to be an expensive or time-consuming process. With Databox Benchmark Groups, you get access to exclusive industry data completely free of cost.
You can compare the performance of important metrics, like total followers, new followers, impressions, reach, etc., with companies in your niche. This data is updated in real time and is completely anonymized.
With such exclusive data on your hands, you can make data-driven decisions, iterate on your Instagram strategy, and prioritize your activities.
Ready to witness how your Instagram performance stacks up against your competition? Sign up for Benchmarks today and unlock the power of valuable industry insights like never before.
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