8 years ago I started a couponing and deal blog Full Lives, Flat Broke. Being completely new to the blogging world I dove into every social media platform there was. Instagram was one of the first platforms that really started to take off quickly.  This was before Instagram business accounts, or stories were even around. I started sharing content that I was passionate about and grew my audience to now over 37,000 followers.

I’ve learned a lot over the years. In this post I will share with you all of my tips to growing an engaged community using Instagram.

How to build a community on Instagram for brands and bloggers

Instagram is a wonderful platform for connecting with your audience, but before you can grow your brand you first have to create content that you are passionate about. 

You can build a community on Instagram by using Hashtags


Hashtags are a way to categorize content. If you aren’t using hashtags and you want to build a community or grow your following, now is the time to start! 

Using hashtags doesn’t have to be confusing. Keep reading to find out the top tricks to hack the algorithm and boost your content into the stratosphere. 

  1. Do your research- 

There are several ways to do hashtag research. I will screen record below so you can follow along.

  • The first thing you can do is start by searching a descriptive tag in the search bar.
  • From here Instagram gives you a selection of related tags. Choose one that’s between 50k-300k
  • Instagram will then give you another selection of related tags, go through them and select 10-15 that are between 50k-300k
  • Add then to a notes section in your phone, make 4 sets and swap them out as you post.
  • Start by searching a descriptive tag in the search  bar.
  • Select the top posts and see what tags they used.
  • Add those tags into your notes along with the related tags.
  • Swap these out as you are posting.
How to build an Instagram community being authentic

Be Authentic

Share your truth. Share things that you’re afraid of, your hopes and aspirations. Share when you royally F up, and how you fixed it. 

People what to connect, that’s why they use social media. Your tribe will find you when you open up and share your truth. 



Building a community 101, engage with your audience. This only happens through true, authentic engagement and there’s no way to create a robot to do this. Here are my favorite ways to engage with my community.

  • Search relevant tags and comment on posts that you love. Leave 1-2 comments, follow the person and like 3-5 posts.
  • Create polls on your story and share your results.
  • Ask questions with a strong CTA on your posts, respond to their questions with more questions and start conversations with your audience.
  • Do a Q&A on your stories
  • Share content created by your community that you love
  • Respond to every comment/ story interaction
How to build an Instagram community using giveaways and contests


Giving back to your audience is a great way to increase engagement and grow your followers. This might not be the first route to take, especially if you are start up company or new blogger with limited funds. Below are some fun ways to give back to your audience without breaking the bank.

  • Team up with other bloggers to do a group giveaway
  • Connect with a local/ handmade brand and ask them to sponsor the giveaway
  • Create something you could give away.
  • Give away your time if you are a coach
  • You could give away a service as well, creating graphics/ blog posts etc.
Build an Instagram Community using Influencers


Whether you are a brand or blogger influencer marketing still has the greatest ROI, so we had to add it to the list. There are a few things to know to get the biggest bang for your buck. One of which is if you have money to compensate the influencer, you will get better results. 

The influencers who have been around for years and know how to engage with their community will get better results. That being said there are some ways that you can still get results even if you don’t have money to invest in marketing your brand just yet.

  • Find a smaller, niche influencer and ask them to do a shoutout for shoutout
  • Offer your coaching/ service/ products in return for a shoutout (PLEASE do not ask an influencer to do several posts in exchange for a very cheap product, it’s disrespectful for all of their time and hard work)
  • Reach out to a brand to sponsor a group shoutout
  • Network, interact and just ask! If there is an influencer you have followed and engaged with, reach out and ask. 

Follow me on Instagram!