Compared to other social networks, it’s definitely hard to get Instagram followers. While it might be an easy matter to increase your Twitter followers, Instagram is another thing altogether. Even when you look at the same brand on Twitter or Facebook, and then compare their number of followers to Instagram, you’ll most likely find that the number of Instagram followers is less.
You've probably noticed that it can be easy to find people’s photos (especially recent photos) by use of hashtags. So when you post a photo, you can look at other photos with the same or similar hashtags to find people with similar interests to follow. This is a good way to get people to follow back. However, you might also find that relatively few people follow you back.
Whether this is a problem due to Instagram itself or to its audience is not clear. If a software developer created a website that was as hard to navigate as it was to get followers on Instagram, then the website would be considered a failure. So, if you are having trouble getting followers on Instagram, don’t feel like this is your fault. If it’s so difficult that it requires you to post at a certain specific time of day, and post frequently, just to get a few more followers, then that’s not really your fault (assuming your content is good, of course).
Instead, consider whether you really want or need to be on Instagram. If it’s too much trouble than it’s worth, why be on it at all? If you don’t really feel appreciated there or if it’s not that easy to get followers on Instagram, why even bother? You can quit! Life is too short to have extra stress or hassle. Consider all the time you’ll save by quitting Instagram. You’ll probably be a lot happier as well.
There is way, way more to life out there than Instagram.
Of course, if you represent a brand or have some other reason to be on Instagram, then you might want to push ahead. Instagram definitely is good as a free tool to provide some sort of social validation of your business or brand. But if all you are doing is just that – social validation – then you don’t need to be quite so worried about how many followers you have. If your aim is just to have a presence on there (and if you already have some pics), then great! – you’ve achieved your aim. Don’t get so wound up about how many followers you have. If it’s so hard to get followers, then that’s Instagram’s problem, not yours.
You shouldn’t have to spend time jumping through hoops and trying to optimize everything. So long as you have a profile there, that’s all that counts. You’re still you, whether you have 1 follower on Instagram, 10 followers or 500 followers. If it’s too hard, you don’t have to keep going with it. Save your stick-to-it-ness for stuff that actually matters long-term, not Instagram.