The 20 Instagram Accounts With the Most Followers in 2024 (And Proven Tactics to Boost Your Own)

Instagram has solidified itself as THE place to be for individuals and brands looking to build an engaged community. And the competition for attention has never been fiercer.

To stand out in 2024, you can‘t just post pretty pictures and hashtag your way to success. You need a strategic, multi-pronged approach that cuts through the noise and convinces users that your content deserves their precious time.

But where do you start? By learning from Instagram‘s elite – the accounts that have cracked the code and amassed followings that eclipse the population of entire countries.

We‘ve done the heavy lifting for you and compiled the definitive list of the top 20 most-followed Instagram accounts right now. More importantly, we‘ve dissected exactly what they‘re doing to capture and hold the interest of hundreds of millions of users.

Whether you‘re a solopreneur, small business, or major brand, you can adapt these proven tactics to grow your own following and transform your Instagram presence. Let‘s dive in!

The 20 Most-Followed Instagram Accounts in 2024

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) – 562M followers
  2. Kylie Jenner (@kyliejenner) – 487M followers
  3. Lionel Messi (@leomessi) – 453M followers
  4. Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) – 427M followers
  5. Dwayne Johnson (@therock) – 413M followers
  6. Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) – 405M followers
  7. Kim Kardashian (@kimkardashian) – 395M followers
  8. Beyoncé (@beyonce) – 371M followers
  9. Khloé Kardashian (@khloekardashian) – 359M followers
  10. Kendall Jenner (@kendalljenner) – 348M followers
  11. National Geographic (@natgeo) – 335M followers
  12. Nike (@nike) – 317M followers
  13. Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) – 309M followers
  14. Neymar Jr. (@neymarjr) – 301M followers
  15. Virat Kohli (@virat.kohli) – 295M followers
  16. Jennifer Lopez (@jlo) – 284M followers
  17. Kourtney Kardashian (@kourtneykardash) – 276M followers
  18. Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) – 269M followers
  19. Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) – 265M followers
  20. Zendaya (@zendaya) – 257M followers

Notice a trend? This list is dominated by celebrities, athletes, and mega-brands with huge pre-existing audiences. But that doesn‘t mean there aren‘t valuable lessons here for accounts of all sizes.

Let‘s unpack some of the strategies these top dogs are using and how you can make them your own.

Post Quality Over Quantity

One pattern that emerges when analyzing these accounts is a relentless focus on quality. Each and every post is thoughtfully crafted to stop scrollers in their tracks with stunning visuals and compelling captions.

Take Kylie Jenner for example. While she could easily snap a few selfies, toss on a filter, and call it a day, her grid looks more like the portfolio of a top fashion photographer. Every shot is meticulously styled and staged to project the perfect mix of aspiration and accessibility that defines her brand.

The takeaway? Prioritize quality, always. Audit your feed with a ruthless eye. If a post doesn‘t meet your standards or doesn‘t add value for your audience, don‘t publish it. Period.

Remember, on Instagram you‘re not just competing with other accounts in your space – you‘re competing with every single piece of content in a user‘s feed. Make yours worth their while.

Build a Consistent, Cohesive Aesthetic

Consistency is king on Instagram. Top accounts understand the importance of establishing a distinct and instantly recognizable visual identity.

Beyoncé is the master of this. Her feed is a study in cohesion, with a tightly curated color palette and unmistakable visual style. You know a Beyoncé post the second it pops up in your feed, without even seeing the username.

The lesson? Develop a consistent look and feel that aligns with your brand and stick to it. Use the same set of filters, fonts, and colors to create a cohesive aesthetic that becomes synonymous with your account.

This extends to your captions and hashtags too. Establish a brand voice and tone and keep it consistent across every post. Don‘t try to be everything to everyone. Lean into what makes you unique.

Get Vulnerable and Real

In the age of curated perfection, authenticity is the most valuable currency on Instagram. Users crave realness and that means showing your human side, flaws and all.

Dwayne Johnson is a pro at this. He balances his larger-than-life movie star image with intimate, behind-the-scenes glimpses into his life as a dad, husband, and friend. He‘s not afraid to show his goofball sense of humor or share his struggles and failures along with his triumphs.

Takeaway: Don‘t be afraid to pull back the curtain and get a little vulnerable with your audience. Share your journey, not just your highlight reel. Users want to feel like they‘re seeing the real you, not just a carefully crafted persona.

That said, keep it appropriate for your brand. You don‘t need to overshare or post anything that doesn‘t feel authentic to you. Find your sweet spot between aspirational and relatable.

Collaborate and Cross-Promote

No account is an island on Instagram. The platform is all about community and connection. The most successful accounts leverage the power of collaboration and cross-promotion to expand their reach and audience.

Ariana Grande is a master collaborator, frequently teaming up with other musicians, brands, and influencers for posts and takeovers. These collaborations introduce her to new audiences and keep her feed fresh and exciting for existing fans.

Actionable advice: Seek out strategic partnerships with complementary accounts in your space. Tag relevant accounts in your posts. Join or host Instagram challenges and campaigns. Guest post on each other‘s feeds or Stories.

The key is finding collaborators that share your values and whose audiences would be genuinely interested in your content. Don‘t just partner for the sake of partnership. Make sure it‘s a win-win that adds real value for everyone involved.

Leverage Every Instagram Feature

Instagram is so much more than just a grid of pretty pictures these days. To really maximize your impact, you need to take full advantage of every feature and functionality the platform has to offer.

National Geographic is a great example of this. In addition to posting stunning photos and videos in their feed, they make excellent use of Stories, Reels, IGTV, guides and more to keep users engaged and coming back for more.

Your move? Commit to mastering and using all of Instagram‘s features. Experiment with different content formats to see what resonates with your audience. Consistently post to Stories and Reels. Create longer-form content for IGTV. Curate your best posts into thematic guides.

The more touchpoints you have with your audience, the more opportunities you have to build real relationships and keep them invested in your brand.

Engage, Engage, Engage

If there‘s one thing all of these top accounts have in common, it‘s that they don‘t just broadcast – they engage. They recognize that Instagram is a two-way conversation and they put in the effort to nurture those relationships with their followers.

Selena Gomez isn‘t just posting and ghosting. She‘s responding to comments, reposting fan content, and making her followers feel seen and heard. That kind of personal touch is what turns casual fans into fierce brand advocates.

Bottom line? Engagement isn‘t optional – it‘s essential. Commit to spending just as much time engaging with your audience as you do creating content for them. Respond to every comment and DM. Like and comment on your followers‘ posts. Make them feel like they‘re part of your community, not just passive observers.

Remember, the algorithm prioritizes accounts that spark meaningful interactions. The more you engage, the more your content will be shown to both current and potential followers. Engagement breeds more engagement.

Putting It All Into Practice

We‘ve covered a lot of ground here, but remember – you don‘t have to implement every single tactic overnight. Pick one or two to focus on at first and gradually level up your strategy as you start seeing results.

The most important thing is committing to showing up consistently and giving your Instagram real time and attention. All the hashtags in the world won‘t make a difference if you‘re only logging in once a week.

Think of your Instagram as a daily practice. Set aside dedicated time to create content, engage with your audience, and connect with other accounts. The more you put into it, the more you‘ll get out of it.

And if you ever feel stuck or overwhelmed, come back to this list for inspiration and guidance. These accounts are crushing it for a reason – let their success be your roadmap.

Keep learning, keep experimenting, and above all, keep showing up. Your dream following is within reach. Now go out there and make it happen!