Instagram remains one of the most popular social media platforms with over 1 billion monthly active users (See Instagram statistics), which means there is plenty of competition and at the same time plenty of followers to go around.
Gaining the attention of new potential followers can seem like quite a challenge at times, so, how many does the average Instagram user have, anyway?
It’s hard to define an ‘average’ on Instagram since there are so many varieties of users— influencers, brands, businesses, creators, artists, public figures, and so on; for that reason, the average number of followers can vary depending on what type of profile you’re running. In order to know your true standing in your particular niche, it’s best to compare similar users like yourself to see where they stand.
Even still, we can still analyze the follower and following ratio, as well as some general truths about Instagram followers and what the number ends up signifying.
Follower and Following Ratio
You may have heard the term “follower to engagement ratio” tossed around a bit, but what exactly does this mean? It’s actually one of the most important metrics on Instagram and it is the key indicator of whether or not you have a healthy account.
You are able to have an infinite number of followers on Instagram, so there’s no limit as to how many users can follow you. There is a limit to how many users you yourself can follow, and Instagram allows you to follow up to 7,500 users.
If you really want to fortify your Instagram growth, you’re probably never going to reach even a number close to the limit. The number of accounts you follow matters most when you’re around 1,000 to 1,500 followers because that’s when you’re at the cusp of growing to new levels.
It’s pretty simple— if you’re just using Instagram for personal reasons or to connect with friends and family, the average number of Instagram followers is 150, which is ultimately pretty low. If that’s the purpose behind your account, the following ratio doesn’t matter because your friends and family aren’t looking at how many people you follow.
Once you hit over 1k followers, this is when you start to reach the micro-influencer status, so you can expect to gain more notoriety for your profile. If your goal is to attract marketing partners or sponsors, it’s important that you pay attention to how many accounts you’re following.
If you’ve got around 1k-1.5k followers and you’re following well over that number, it can look like you’re trying to use follow/unfollow method to gain more followers, which makes you look desperate to grow your Instagram account. Marketers and potential partners will notice this number.
After you hit the mark of roughly 12,000-15,000 followers, you’ll be considered to have reached a beginning influencer status, and people will be less likely to notice the number of people you are following, although it’s still best to keep the number low. Content will then likely determine if someone follows you or not.
Tip: If you want to follow accounts for their content and for leisure, it’s best to open a separate Instagram to follow a bunch of accounts that you really enjoy, if there are a lot of them, keeping it personal and not linked to your business or creator account.
Ratio Meanings: What do the Numbers Signify?
When you have between 1,000 to 1,500 followers, you should take the following ratios into consideration so you can understand what the different follower counts mean and how your number of followed accounts impacts your account in the eyes of potential partners.
These numbers describe the percentage ratio of followers to the number of your followed accounts.
Less than 0.5% followers: Spammer. If you have a really high number of followed accounts in contrast to those that follow you, you can be considered a spammer that tries to follow accounts in order to get them to follow you back. It can also signal an account to be a bot or fake account, so be careful.
0.5-1% followers: Suspicious. When you are almost at a 1:1 follower ratio, it shows that you may not know how to grow your Instagram effectively or that your content isn’t performing well enough to drive more follower growth. It can also show that you lose followers quickly since your ratio isn’t improving.
1-2%: Normal. If you have a 1:1 or 2:1 follower ratio, it shows that you are gaining some traction on Instagram and you should continue working to become more competitive.
2-10%: Micro-Influencer. When you reach a higher follower to following ratio, you are showing your true potential and it also shows that your content is excelling in order to gain and retain more followers.
10+%: Influencer. A 10+:1 ratio shows that your account is very successful and it demonstrates that you are a popular account that has strong content and enough value to hold an audience’s attention.
If you want to check out where you sit in terms of the follower ratio, take the number of accounts that you follow and divide it by your total number of followers.
3 Factors That Affect Your Follower Count
There are plenty of factors that can affect how many followers you have, so now that we understand a bit about the relationship between followers and followed accounts, let’s see what factors have an impact on your total follower count.
You can use some of these elements to help you balance your ratio and make it more favorable for your account’s success.
A big determiner of how many followers you have can depend upon your age as well as the age of your target audience. It’s common that young people have more followers than older people, typically, because younger people are more active on Instagram.
It’s also not uncommon for adults to even create accounts that feature their children or toddlers; it’s also popular to create pet Instagram accounts, and these types of accounts are typically a separate account managed by adults. They are popular among all audiences, so they can gain more followers overall.
The manager or parent accounts are typically separate and they have much fewer followers.
Your main content niche also has a big impact on how many followers you’re likely to have. For instance, there are many fitness accounts that feature virtually perfect bodies, workouts, and diets, and these have lots of followers.
There are also Instagram accounts that feature people on their fitness journey trying to lose weight, and although they are not as fit as those influencers, their accounts are also widely popular and they can gain the status of micro-influencer or even influencer.
You’ve got to check out accounts that are thriving in your specific content area to see what the average number of followers is, that way you can see how you compare and whether or not you’re competitive in your niche.
Some people are just more popular in real life, and this can be reflected in terms of Instagram followers. If you know a lot of supportive people and they know a lot of supportive people and so on, your network might grow more quickly than if you are starting out with a relatively small circle.
This is true in any aspect of life, so don’t let it frustrate or discourage you. It’s totally possible to gain a lot of followers that have no idea who you are on a personal level, it just takes some time and strategizing.
Most Popular Instagram Accounts
All of the top Instagram accounts are celebrities, and they all have hundreds of millions of followers. This isn’t surprising, and it’s not an accurate comparison to weigh yourself against these megastars.
While it would be incredible to have this size of a following on Instagram, to hit the top follower count you’ve got to have a big name behind you or some reputable ventures in the real world to help fortify your platform.
That’s not to say it’s not a goal to work towards, but if you are dead set on gaining over 250 million followers like Cristiano Ronaldo, you might end up disappointed.
Set reasonable goals for yourself and your niche and look for milestones along the way that can help to show your success. Create strategies like effective hashtag use, content posting schedules, as well as excellent content with engaging captions to help get your Instagram gaining more followers on a consistent basis.
There are plenty of ways to gain more followers without breaking a healthy follower ratio.