How to Get More Followers on Instagram: 22 Expert-Tested Tactics with Real-World Examples

Learn how to get more followers on Instagram with 10 free, simple, and organic tips that actually work.

get instagram followers

Instagram helps brands to generate traffic for landing pages, Increase conversion rates and cultivate an engaged audience.

By getting organic followers, you have more chances to interact with people and provide them with distinctive experiences as your audience expands. Paying for likes and followers will likely alarm the Instagram algorithm to flag you and give you less presence on the user’s home pages.

Moreover, many followers don’t mean anything if you’re not engaging with them meaningfully.

With these tips on increasing your number of followers, you can begin to set your Instagram account for success.

1. Optimize your Instagram profile

If your Instagram Reels are reaching the discovery page, or some influencers are advertising your profile, many people who don’t follow you probably come to your Instagram profile daily.

All of those new visitors have the opportunity to become brand-new, unpaid Instagram followers. But only if the first glimpse of your profile persuades them to do so. If your profile is vague, lacking, or unattractive, they won’t do it.

Let’s take a look at this profile:

Instagram profile page

What you can learn from here is:

  • Profile Name: It’s clear that this is a skincare brand; they even added it in their profile name.
  • Slogan: A clear, short slogan that communicates the benefits of their products. This part should contain some keywords about your brand.
  • About info: A short sentence showing that the brand is from Croatia and explaining what they do.
  • Link in bio: A link in the Instagram bio to a shop if you want to purchase their products or learn more about the brand.
  • Branded hashtag: Using relevant hashtags in the profile is a great way to attract potential followers.

You may add further information to your profile, such as your contact details, the nature of your organization, and your location if you have a professional account (business or UGC content creator).

Take leverage of all the sections that are important to your industry to provide potential customers with the details they require to decide whether to follow.

Another important aspect of your profile optimization is the visual element of your story. Instagram demands special attention to the profile appearance to ensure your own brand style. Strong brand associations should be present in all your visual assets.

2. Provide unique content for your niche

Producing unique content is really hard. But sometimes, the content can be right there in front of you, and you just need to add your magic to it. So don’t overthink it.

If you have zero inspiration, just start posting. Here are some ideas on how to start:

  • Start with a holiday calendar, and build content themes for the upcoming month. Combine this calendar with content that is specific to your niche and add a look at what is unique for you and try to add it to the themes.
  • Behind the scenes content: showcase videos of how you build your product, make the food or prepare for an event.
  • Showcase customers: Either you interview your customers or take photos of how they use your product or service – both will instantly engage with your audience genuinely.
  • Feature employees: Showcasing photos of the atmosphere in your office or the employees who make sure your brand runs smoothly brings the human touch to your overall appeal.

Once you define your calendar, schedule Instagram posts for your first week and see what will resonate the most.

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3. Be consistent with your content

Posting content at irregular, odd times is the worst thing you can do while attempting to gain followers on Instagram. If you’re fortunate enough to have users follow you initially, you don’t want to do anything to make them regret it.

Follow a regular publishing schedule to avoid this. Companies shouldn’t post more than a few times daily to prevent spam. However, whatever your rhythm, make it constant.

Maintaining a routine can help you give your followers a unified view and keep them informed about your business. If you want to make the most of your content calendar, post various content. Here are the types of content you should cover:

  • Informative. Share news about your company, product, or the industry with great Instagram captions.
  • Helpful. How-tos, advice, explanation about your products, or other industry-related topics.
  • Engaging. Encourage comments, tags, and shares. Competition is the best example of this type of content.
  • Entertaining. Funny and attention-capturing videos or posts that make your audience laugh.

Check NYX Professional Makeup’s Instagram profile to see what different types of content they have:

Instagram profile content calendar

Source: @nyxcosmetics

4. Find advocates for your brand

Being visible and being in front of people is the greatest approach to attract them to follow you. Being active on both your own and other Instagram accounts is essential. To get your brand in consumers’ feeds, consider sponsoring user-generated content.

You can also run Instagram competitions to spread the word about your company to more people. These kinds of marketing increase social proof by demonstrating that your audience care enough about you to share your content or produce original content.

Make sure all content is valuable. Making just another sales pitch is something you really want to avoid. To increase your Instagram audience, look for marketing partnerships and strategies with other companies that operate in your industry.

See how Asos is cooperating with stylists to get more user-generated content:

Asos Instagram stories examples

5. Embed your Instagram feed to your blog

When you embed an Instagram post to your blog, you encourage people who visited your blog organically to visit your Instagram profile and become followers.

Users can click on any embedded post to go straight to it on Instagram or to your Instagram profile. Because of this, displaying your own Instagram material and directing visitors to your Instagram profile are both made simple by tools that allow you to do this in just a few clicks.

EmbedFeed is one of them. Once you integrate with your Instagram business profile, it automatically syncs all your Instagram posts with your website. Setting it up can’t be easier:

  1. Create your EmbedSocial account
  2. Connect your Instagram account
  3. Customize and embed your Instagram widget

Here are the benefits of embedding your Instagram feed into your blog:

  • Save time by automatically directing content. Professional social media aggregator software may save resources by seamlessly synchronizing various social channels and social media material with your website without human editing.
  • Increase Instagram following and potential customers. You may expand the reach of your marketing campaigns and open up a new UGC channel for attracting new followers by embedding social media feeds on your website. Additionally, this will boost brand image and attractiveness.
  • Showcase user-generated content to earn trust. Display a social wall with a genuine widget that continuously changes with stuff posted by actual users. Increase conversions and make your aggregated feed your new sales partner.

Remember, you can include an Instagram post in place of any visual material you provide on your blogs, such as images, graphs, or infographics. Explore Instagram widget templates to pick yours and embed it today:

Browse 30+ Instagram widgets & Instagram templates

6. Take advantage of various Instagram content formats

Your Instagram profile may include a variety of content formats. This social media platform offers all of the tools necessary to produce captivating images, always enhancing them.

If the Instagram algorithm favors your posts, it will promote them to the top of the Feed or Suggested Posts, where they will be visible to potential users.

Types of Instagram posts and content formats you could use:

  • Feed posts. These are the regular photos and videos you see on your feed daily.
  • Reels. Reels are probably the most popular content format on Instagram right now. Similar to TikTok, they are 15-30 seconds videos that amuse viewers. You may use them to promote your products, establish yourself as an authority brand, or take part in a viral challenge, which often happens these days!
  • Instagram Guides. Instagram Guides resemble blog posts directly on Instagram. Similar to a blog article, they let viewers navigate through a stream of material that has been carefully selected and annotated. They are now used for gift guides, product spotlights, summaries of bigger blog posts, FAQs, travel advice, customer reviews, and many other things.
  • Live sessions. A great real-time video format for online conferences, lectures, or panel discussions. You could ask relevant influencers to serve as hosts to increase interaction, reach, and followers. It’s a fantastic chance to draw a large audience’s attention right away to a local influencer, interesting local event, or occurrence that should be televised as it happens.
  • Long caption reads. You have a maximum of 2,200 characters to construct an engaging tale sprinkled with pertinent keywords for rapid search. It is ideal for captions to be between 1000 and 2000 characters long. Some studies discovered that these kinds of posts receive the greatest engagement.
  • Instagram stories: Capture what’s in the moment and share stories enhanced with music and stickers. Stories are a perfect format to share authentic content that is fun and creative and that usually doesn’t take much time to produce.

Additionally, you can post memes, infographics, and contests for users to enter and share with their friends via DMs, comments that tag their accounts, or Instagram Stories.

Make sure to take advantage of Instagram analytics tools to track your progress and decide which formats would work best for your company objectives.

7. Organize Instagram contests & giveaways

If your entry requirements include asking people to follow you and leave a comment on one of your photographs or tagging a friend, contests on Instagram can help you gain more followers.

The people you’ve tagged will also see your post and could decide to follow you back.

You may expand your audience by encouraging user-generated material as a component of your competition. People will find out about your giveaway through postings that their friends make. This is a powerful strategy for gaining the confidence of new fans and increasing page views.

8. Encourage interactions

Having followers on Instagram doesn’t mean much if they don’t interact with your content.

Here are some ways how to post content that drives audience engagement:

  • Look at your Instagram insights to see if you can find a pattern in which content drives comments, likes, or saves.
  • Tag relevant users: When posting thoughts and opinions about certain issues, try to tag users with expertise in the matter. In many cases, they will engage and share their comment.
  • Use Instagram Stories stickers: Add interactive Instagram story stickers such as a poll, questions, and chat stickers to keep viewers interested.

90% of Instagram’s test campaigns for this feature saw an increase in the number of views for three-second videos thanks to polling stickers.

Source: @starbucks

If consumers find your Story through a branded hashtag or location page, the chance to communicate with them right away is a wonderful way to get them to follow you so they can learn more about your business.

9. Use design tools for better-looking posts

To make your posts visually appealing, Instagram has its own collection of filters, stickers, and special effects. However, external design and editing tools might help you get your desired style.

You may also use templates to maintain uniformity and produce better-quality material. Canva is one of the easiest tools to use, you can also explore other tools like Afterlight and Snapseed.

10. Level up your hashtag game

Using hashtags is one of the best methods for growing your Instagram following. Hashtags have long been a vital discovery tool and a way for us to reach a wider audience on almost all social networks, especially Instagram. Hashtags are great for getting more reach, engagement, and followers. 

To achieve this, you need to choose targeted hashtags that the people you want to follow find relevant. Be consistent, specific, and niche-oriented to get followers that are really interested in the topics you’re posting. 

11. Create Exclusive Content and Promotions

Offering unique and valuable content available only on your Instagram account will turn your profile into a must-follow destination. Let’s take a look at the popular fitness influencer Kayla Itsines (@kayla_itsines), who enjoys a following of over 15 million people. Kayla offers her followers exclusive access to her “Sweat Challenge, ” a paid program app that includes workout routines and nutrition tips with one tap on the clickable link in her Instagram bio.

Similar sneak-peak content is available on her Instagram page and her program page @sweat for free, enticing fitness enthusiasts to follow her brand and keep coming back for more updated information about their pregnancy fitness programs and the benefits from them. Additionally, her Instagram feed includes exclusive Instagram Live workout sessions that encourage her followers to stay active, engaged, and connected to her brand.

Instagram exclusive content

12. Post at optimal times

To maximize your Instagram reach and engagement, it’s crucial to post when your target audience is most active. By doing so, your content is more likely to be seen, liked, and shared, which can lead the brand to gain Instagram followers in more frequent waves.

Brands, influencers, and marketers often tend to schedule Instagram posts, automate the whole publishing process, and easily increase followers.

While Instagram does not directly show the best times to post within the app, you can access this information by switching your account to a Business or Creator account. These account types provide access to Instagram Insights, which offers valuable data about your audience and the performance of your posts.

To have access to the Instagram Insights, make sure your account is either a Business or Creator account.

To switch, go to your profile, tap the menu icon (three horizontal lines) in the top-right corner, and select “Settings.” Then, tap “Account” and choose “Switch to Professional Account.” Follow the prompts to complete the process.

13. Post User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful way to connect with your audience, build trust among Instagram users in general, and encourage engagement on your profile. By posting content created by your followers, you not only demonstrate that you value their input but also give others clear proof of how it looks like to follow and engage with your profile in hopes of being featured in your Instagram posts.

As an example, we can take GoPro (@gopro), the popular action camera brand, which has built an Instagram following of over 20 million by leveraging UGC. They regularly share stunning photos and Instagram reels captured by their customers using GoPro cameras.

This approach is so powerful for showcasing the products’ capabilities to their new followers and building a sense of community with relevant hashtags. It encourages more Instagram followers to share their own GoPro adventures using the branded hashtag #GoPro, as well as similar branded hashtags like #GoProFamily, #GoProAthlete, #GoProHERO11, etc.

More instagram followers with UGC

14: Design Your Feed to Look Clean and Professional

First impressions matter; having a clean, professional-looking Instagram page is crucial to attracting new followers. Optimizing your Instagram business profile with different photo editing apps will make it easier for users to understand who you are, what you do, and why they should follow you.

Let’s take Canva (@canva) as a real-life example of it. Canva, the most popular graphic design platform, enjoys an audience of 1,4 million followers on Instagram. Their profile is a prime example of a clean and cohesive aesthetic.

Canva’s feed is filled with high-quality images and videos that showcase their design tools and templates, as well as inspirational quotes and user-generated content. They maintain a gorgeous Instagram grid by consistently using vibrant colors, clean lines, and an organized layout.

To get more Instagram followers and get noticed by the Instagram algorithm, their bio is concise and highlights their mission to empower everyone to design and be featured using their own branded hashtag #DesignedWithCanva.

They have a link in the Instagram bio to redirect their followers to a page where they can take certain actions depending on their needs.

Professional instagram feed

15. Create Powerful Instagram Captions

While visuals are the main attraction on Instagram, the importance of well-crafted captions should not be skipped in your Instagram growth strategy. Post captions that are engaging, informative, and valuable can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level, increase your engagement rate, and ultimately attract new Instagram followers. Here is a concrete example how to get more followers on Instagram with creative captions on your Instagram post.

Humans of New York (@humansofny), a popular photography project by Brandon Stanton, has gained nearly 12,5 million followers on Instagram. This Instagram page is all about portraits of different people and representing their life, including captivating and deeply personal stories shared by the subjects themselves.

Instagram captions for storytelling

These long captions allow followers to dive into the lives and emotions of the featured people, creating a real sense of connection and empathy.

By using the power of storytelling in their captions, @humansofny has built a loyal and engaged fan base on their Instagram profile that eagerly awaits new life stories from random people in New York.

16: Share Cross-Promoted Content

Cross-promotion is an effective way to reach new audiences and increase your visibility on Instagram. You can drive traffic to your Instagram page and increase your follower count by resharing your content on other social media channels and collaborating with like-minded individuals or brands. Check the following example of how to get more followers on Instagram with this approach:

Tasty (@buzzfeedtasty), a food network known for its short, easy-to-follow recipe videos, has over 44 million followers on Instagram. They effectively cross-promote their content by sharing it across multiple social media platforms, such as Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, etc. Additionally, they collaborate and tag relevant users such as food influencers, chefs, and other related brands to create and share content that exposes their social media profiles with potentially interested followers that come outside of Instagram.

Here is a picture of their YouTube channel as an example where all social media platforms are linked and cross-promoted between each other with the same content in different formats:

Example of cross social feed platform links

17: Redirect Potential Followers to Your Profile from Everywhere

Increase your Instagram visibility by making it easy for people to find and follow your account from different online sources. By linking to your Instagram from various places, such as your website and email signature, and tagging people in other social media profiles, you can drive traffic to your account and attract more followers.

This Instagram growth strategy is used by the popular company Airbnb (@airbnb). It is a popular rental platform with over 5 million followers on Instagram. They make it simple for users to find their Instagram account by including a link on their official website, blog, and other social media profiles.

They also showcase user-generated content and stunning property images on their website, encouraging visitors to follow their Instagram account for more travel and rental ideas. You can find the link to their Instagram profile in the footer menu and other social media platforms.

Link your Instagram profile everywhere

18: Engage with your Followers in Different Ways

Building a strong and loyal community on Instagram is essential for attracting new followers and increasing brand awareness. By actively engaging with your audience, responding to comments, and joining relevant conversations, you demonstrate that you value your audience and invest in quality connections. This can help you build trust, strengthen relationships, and ultimately attract more followers with this social media strategy.

Lego (@lego), a well-known toy company, effectively engages with its audience of 9 million people by responding to comments, asking questions, and sharing user-generated content. Lego also hosts regular building challenges and interviews with the customers, which encourages people to express their opinions and creativity about the Lego products.

Engage with your instagram followers

Participating in conversations and showing genuine interest in their followers, Lego has built a loyal and engaged community that attracts new Instagram audiences and potentially gains followers on a daily basis.

19: Collaborate with Relevant Instagram Influencers

Doing sponsored posts with influencers and brands within your niche is a powerful way to expand your reach, tap into new audiences, and ultimately gain more followers on Instagram. Through creating content for giveaways, sponsorships, Instagram ads, and other takeovers, you can showcase your content to a wider audience and create opportunities for cross-promotion.

Nike (@nike), the global sportswear giant, has over 280 million followers on Instagram. They often collaborate with top athletes and celebrities, using the perfect influencer marketing approach that resonates with their target audience. One notable example is their collaboration with Lebron James (@kingjames), one of the most popular NBA players in the world, who boasts over 150 million followers on Instagram.

By partnering with Lebron James, Nike not only taps into his massive fan base but also strengthens its connection to the world of sports and its association with high-performance athletes. As a result, they attract more followers who appreciate their innovative sportswear and the inspiring stories of athletes like Ronaldo, Haaland, Rashford, and many others.

Influencer marketing for more followers

20: Post High-Quality Images and Videos

High-quality visuals are the key elements of a successful Instagram account. Ensuring that your photos and videos are visually appealing will help your content stand out in users’ feeds and create a polished and professional image for your brand. Following photography and editing best practices can elevate your content and attract more followers.

National Geographic (@natgeo), one of the most iconic brands in photography and videography, has over 270 million followers on Instagram. They consistently share stunning, high-quality images captured by talented photographers from around the world.

By following photography’s best practices, such as using proper lighting, composition, and storytelling, they create a visually immersive experience that amazes their audience and attracts new landscape and wildlife lovers.

publish and create high-quality instagram posts

22: Tag Relevant Accounts on Your Posts

Tagging relevant users, brands, and influencers in your posts is a fantastic way to increase visibility and engagement. By including other users in your content, you can foster connections, draw attention to your account, and even encourage the tagged users to share your post with their followers, further expanding your reach.

Here is an example of how to get more Instagram followers with this growth strategy:

GQ (@gq), a leading men’s fashion and lifestyle magazine, frequently tags celebrities, designers, photographers, and brands on their Instagram posts. With over 6 million followers, GQ leverages these tags to engage with the tagged individuals, showcase their collaborations, and generate interest in their content. By tagging relevant users, they create opportunities for reposts, mentions, and increased exposure to their target audience.

Tag relevant users for more instagram followers

To achieve more with this type of collaborative post, learn how to find brand collaborations on Instagram.

23. Make a save-able content into Instagram collections

Using the “Save to Collections” feature as a unique strategy to increase your follower base requires creating content that resonates with your target audience and encourages them to save and engage with your posts. This is especially now valuable due to the new feature for collaborative collections.

Here is an example of a post series that you can create in order to inspire people to save and share in collections:

Fitness and Health Collection

  • A series of workout routines targeting different muscle groups
  • Healthy meal prep ideas for a week
  • A list of nutritious and delicious smoothie recipes
  • Tips for staying motivated and setting achievable fitness goals

Post Idea: Create a carousel post showcasing a 7-day workout plan with each slide featuring a different workout for each day. Encourage users to save the post and create their own “Workout Plans” collection.

Finally: Always Analyze Your Instagram Profile

Monitoring and analyzing your Instagram performance is essential for understanding which strategies are working and which need improvement. By regularly tracking your account’s growth, engagement, and content performance, you can fine-tune your approach to gain more followers and enhance the overall effectiveness of your Instagram presence.

Switch to an Instagram Business or Creator account to check your Instagram analytics. If you haven’t already, switch your account type by going to your profile settings and selecting “Account,” then “Switch to Professional Account.” Now, you are ready to access your profile insights.

Instagram Insights is a built-in analytics tool that offers valuable information about your account’s performance.

Go to your profile, and tap the three horizontal lines icon in the top right corner. Then, select “Insights.” and here you can find metrics about the success of your posts and account:

Instagram posts insights

Some of the most important metrics to track from here are:

  • Follower growth: The number of new followers gained over a specific period.
  • Engagement rate: The ratio of likes, comments, Instagram stories, views and shares on your content compared to your total number of followers.
  • Accounts reach: The number of unique users who saw your content.
  • Impressions: The total number of times your content was displayed.
  • Saves: The number of times users saved your content.
  • Reached audience: Demographics such as age groups and locations of the reached accounts.

Having these analytics in mind, test different posting times and always tend to post consistently to determine when your audience is most active and engaged. Use this information to optimize your posting schedule and include related Instagram hashtags with your niche on all Instagram photos and reels.

Bonus: Consider Advertising on Instagram

This obviously isn’t a free way to get Instagram followers. However, Instagram ads may be an effective approach to quickly gain new followers by putting your posts directly to the users’ attention.

Unlike the popular practice of buying followers, employing Instagram ads is a completely legal and efficient approach to increasing your Instagram follower count for a minimal outlay swiftly.

Use demography, location, and even common habits and hobbies to target your audience. You may also establish a lookalike audience based on the people who already interact with your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I boost my Instagram followers for free?

How do I get from 0 to 1000 Instagram followers?

To get your first followers on Instagram, make sure you:
– Post original content
– Post authentic content
– Collaborate with micro-influencers
Embed your Instagram feed to your website
– Use targeted hashtags
– Interact with relevant accounts from your niche

Why shouldn’t you buy fake followers?

Even though buying Instagram followers could appear attractive, the negative effects outweigh the advantages of organic follower development.

There are several problems with fake Instagram followers. First of all, the credibility of your account will be lowered if consumers visit an inactive Instagram feed with tens of thousands of followers. Deceiving people into following you is unethical. Develop enduring connections based on trust to increase interactions.

Next, although paying followers can appear more convenient, neither your purchased bot nor your unmanned new followers will be making any purchases. People follow companies on Instagram because they enjoy the content you share or your business in general. These customers really spend money and add financial value to your company.

Finally, your engagement rates will be very low. If you buy 15k false followers, how many of them will really comment and share? Instagram will eventually deactivate these bots or false accounts, making your posts appear completely unengaging.

Wrapping up

Here are some free ways to get more Instagram followers:

  • Optimize your Instagram profile
  • Be consistent with your content
  • Find advocates for your brand
  • Embed your Instagram feed to your blog
  • Take advantage of various Instagram content formats
  • Organize Instagram contests
  • Encourage interactions
  • Don’t use fake followers
  • Use design tools for better-looking posts
  • Level up your hashtag game

Using these strategies to gain followers can help you expand your reach as Instagram’s popularity among users continues to grow. However, the most important thing you know is that it takes time, so you need to be patient.

Good luck!

FYI: You can automatically embed an Instagram widget with a social media aggregator, bringing your website to life with fresh content.


Display your Instagram feed on your website automatically!

Generate and embed Instagram widget with your feed, mentions, or hashtags directly to your website.

Start 7-day free trial