If you are running an Instagram account in the Fitness niche, or more specifically in the running niche then you’ll need to be following a certain amount of accounts similar to yours.

This will help immerse you into the Instagram community you are hoping to tap into.

Engaging with your target audience and friendly competitors is a great way to boost your presence and get more followers.

Here are five accounts worth following:

Alexi Pappas

This Olympic runner is also a writer and filmmaker.

This unique combination gives her a really interesting edge and outlook on running that most Instagram accounts in the fitness and running niches lack.

She combines running and fitness with motivation and inspiration in a philosophical way, rather than the usual shallow (“You can do it!”) or often aggressive nature (“Just do it!”) some fitness accounts possess.

She’s a good account to follow because she has a substantial amount of followers (over 42,000 and counting) but not so many you’re just one in a million.

Her posts receive a good amount of comments, but not so many you’ll go unnoticed.

Her posts usually get a few thousand likes, but under 100 comments.

This gives you a great opportunity to engage with her and her followers.

Adding meaningful comments will encourage Alexi and others to start a conversation with you, and the more you interact, the more likely these users are going to be to check out your profile and follow you.

Shalene Flanagan

This Olympic Medalist has over 331,000 followers, an endorsement deal with Nike and her own cookbook.

She is a perfect example of combining two niches together in an Instagram account.

She’s taken the running aspect of the Fitness niche, and the healthy eating aspect of the Food niche, and uses them to promote a healthy lifestyle.

As the first woman to ever win the New York City Marathon, she also has a bit of feminism thrown in there.

Follow her account to see how she flawlessly combines all of these aspects of her life, and has successfully transformed all of this into monetary value through her Nike deal and New York Times best-selling cookbook.

Interacting with her posts will also get you noticed by people who value the same ideals as you and your running account – a healthy, active and fit lifestyle.

By attracting the sort of users who have similar interests, you’re attracting people to your account that will not only be likely to follow you but loyally follow you for a long time.

Runners Be Like…

This is a wonderful account for a change of pace. So often it seems like marathon runners just run a marathon so they can talk about running a marathon, and this account lets runners relax and laugh at themselves.

The bio encourages users to tag their friends and racing rivals in their posts, a great way to encourage people to engage with their content.

They would be a great account to tag in any of the less serious or funny posts you are making about a runner’s life.

Following and tagging accounts within the same niche as yours is a great way to get their attention – it could then it could lead to a shout out from them or them following you back.

All of this increases your visibility to their fans and will help get more followers for your page.

Dorothy Beal

Dorothy has completed 33 marathons as well as being a writer and mother of three.

Oh and a running coach in all that spare time she must have.

She shows you how to love your body even when you don’t want to, and how to make time to train and run when you have a crazily busy schedule.

Her account is inspiring and popular because of how relatable it is.

This kind of account brings about a certain sisterhood mentality, so it’s a good one to follow because it’ll likely get you a bunch more followers.

Once you start engaging with the posts and active users, they’ll want to know more about you and so will probably check out your profile to find out more.

DC Dog Runner

You’ll notice a lot of these accounts are combining running with another niche – motherhood, feminism, healthy eating – and this account manages to combine running with photos of dogs.

How does he manage to tap into both the fitness world and the dog-loving world? Well, he is a marathon runner who offers his ‘dog running’ (as opposed to dog walking) services, and posts photos of himself and various dogs at different locations in DC.

He introduces every dog he runs with, so people can follow their journey and get to know both the DC area and the dogs.

At over 2,000 followers he is a good account to follow because you are likely to get responses to your comments, and entice people over to your profile to find out more about you, immersing you further into the Instagram community as well as gaining more followers.

These five accounts are a great way to get more followers in your niche area.

Be mindful of the fact they won’t just automatically follow you back, they (and their followers) will head over to your profile page first to see who you are, what you’re about and decide whether they want to follow you.

So your profile needs to be immaculate in order to secure these extra followers.