What Effective Tactics Can UK Thrift Stores Implement to Increase Instagram Followers?

11 June 2024

As Instagram continues to grow in popularity and influence, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to establish a strong presence on the platform. This is particularly true for thrift stores. Instagram provides a unique opportunity to showcase the eclectic mix of products these stores offer, and to connect with potential customers. In this article, we will explore effective tactics UK thrift stores can use to increase their Instagram followers, thereby expanding their online presence and customer base.

1. Collaborate with Influencers

In the world of Instagram, influencers hold a significant amount of power. An influencer is a user who can leverage their high follower count and engagement rate to sway public opinion and promote brands, products, or services.

Many influencers are always on the hunt for unique, vintage items, and partnering with them could provide thrift stores with the perfect opportunity to reach a wider audience. By sending influencers select pieces to style and showcase on their feeds, the stores can gain exposure to a varied audience that already has a demonstrated interest in thrifted items.

Moreover, influencers often tag the brands they collaborate with, which makes it easy for their followers to find and follow the store's Instagram profile. This collaboration is, therefore, a powerful way to increase Instagram followers.

2. Share Unique, High-Quality Content

Instagram is a visual platform. Hence, the quality and appeal of the images and videos shared on it play a significant role in attracting followers. Thrift stores have the advantage of stocking a diverse range of unique products.

Showcasing these items in high-quality, well-composed photographs can intrigue potential followers and encourage them to follow the store's profile. Additionally, engaging captions that tell the story behind the items can help create an emotional connection with the audience, increasing the likelihood of them becoming followers.

Further, stores can share ‘behind-the-scenes’ content to give followers an exclusive look at the thrift shopping experience. This will not only increase engagement but also inspire followers to regularly check the store's profile for updates.

3. Utilise Instagram's Shopping Features

Instagram's shopping features are a game-changer for businesses. They allow stores to tag products directly in their posts, making it easy for users to find more details about the product and even make a purchase without leaving the app.

When thrift stores utilise these features, their posts become more than just images – they become interactive shopping experiences. This adds value for users and can help attract a following of people interested in buying thrift items.

Furthermore, Instagram's algorithm tends to favour content that utilises its features, which means these posts are more likely to be seen by potential followers in the Explore page.

4. Engage with the Instagram Community

Instagram is, above all else, a social platform. Engaging with the community is crucial to gaining and retaining followers. Thrift stores can encourage engagement by responding to comments, asking questions in captions, and hosting giveaways or contests.

Additionally, they can engage with other Instagram users by following, liking, posting comments, and sharing content from profiles that align with their brand. This not only helps build relationships with potential customers but also increases the store's visibility, making it easier for new followers to discover them.

5. Leverage Instagram Marketing Tools

Instagram offers various marketing tools that businesses can use to increase their reach and attract more followers. For instance, Instagram ads allow thrift stores to target specific demographics and display their posts to users who don't already follow them.

Instagram Insights is another valuable tool that provides information about the store's follower demographics, post engagement, and the performance of Instagram Stories. Using this data, thrift stores can refine their content strategy to better attract and retain followers.

Remember, the key to successful Instagram growth is not just gaining followers, but also retaining them with consistent, engaging content. With these tactics, thrift stores can build a loyal following that appreciates the unique products they offer.

6. Consistently Post and Engage at Peak Times

Just like any other business, thrift stores need to understand the best times to connect with their audience on social media. Posting on Instagram during peak engagement times can significantly improve visibility and attract new followers.

Several studies indicate that the best times to post on Instagram tend to be during lunchtime (11am-1pm) and in the evening (7pm-9pm). These are the times when users are most likely to be scrolling through their feeds, and therefore more likely to see, engage with, and follow new accounts. However, these times can vary depending on the target audience, and it is essential for each thrift store to determine its followers' peak activity times.

Instagram Insights, available to business accounts, is a tool that can help in determining when followers are most active. It provides valuable information such as the days and hours when the followers are most engaged.

Moreover, thrift stores should aim to respond quickly to comments and direct messages, especially during these peak times, to foster a sense of community and keep their followers engaged. Interactive features such as polls, questions, and quizzes in Instagram Stories can also be used during these times to enhance engagement and attract more followers.

7. Utilize User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) can prove to be a powerful method to boost the follower count for thrift stores. UGC is any form of content, such as images, videos, text, and audio, that has been posted by users on online platforms such as Instagram.

UGC can be as simple as a customer posting a photo of a recently purchased second-hand item from the thrift store, or a lifestyle blogger sharing a thrifted outfit. By reposting such content (with permission), thrift stores can highlight real-life uses of their products, which can resonate more with potential followers than traditional marketing images.

This strategy not only gives the original poster a sense of validation but also shows potential followers that the thrift store values its customer community. This can foster a stronger connection with the audience and encourage more people to follow the account.

Thrift stores can encourage more user-generated content by running contests with hashtags, where users are asked to share photos featuring the store's products. This not only generates more content for the store's Instagram account but also increases visibility as more people share posts related to the thrift store.


In conclusion, thrift stores can significantly increase their Instagram followers by implementing these effective tactics. Collaborating with influencers, sharing quality content, utilizing Instagram's shopping features, engaging with the community, leveraging Instagram marketing tools, posting consistently during peak times, and encouraging user-generated content can all immensely contribute to gaining more followers.

However, it is important to remember that gaining followers is not a one-time effort. It requires continuous work in creating engaging content, interacting with followers, and staying updated with Instagram's latest features and algorithm changes.

With a well-planned strategy and consistent effort, thrift stores can maximise their presence on Instagram, attract a loyal following, and ultimately increase their sales and customer base. As Instagram continues to evolve, so should the tactics used by thrift stores to remain relevant and engaging to their target audience. Happy thrifting and posting!

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