Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms with over 1 billion monthly active users. Gaining a large following on Instagram can help promote your personal brand, business, or creative endeavors. While buying followers is an option, getting them organically is free and likely to generate more real engagement. Here are some tips and tricks to get more Instagram followers for free:
Optimize Your Profile
Your profile is the first thing potential followers see, so ensure it is optimized to attract the type of followers you want.
- Profile Photo– Use a high-quality, recognizable photo of yourself. Don’t use a logo or graphic.
- Bio– Write an interesting, concise bio describing who you are and what you do. Include relevant keywords.
- Link– Add a link to your website or online store to drive traffic. Use a link shortening tool to keep your bio tidy.
- Highlights– Curate highlights that give viewers a snapshot of your best content.
Post Quality Content Consistently
Posting engaging, relevant, high-quality content consistently is key to being discovered on Instagram and building followers.
- Post Frequently– Post at least 1-2 times per day to stay top of mind. Schedule posts in advance for convenience.
- Post at Optimal Times– Analyze when your followers are most active and post during those high traffic times.
- Use Relevant Hashtags– Include a mix of popular and niche hashtags so your content is discoverable.
- Post Variety– Post a mix of content types like photos, videos, carousels, and Stories.
- Analyze Performance– Check Instagram’s analytics to see what types of posts get the most traction.
Engage With Your Audience
Building relationships with your audience helps convert followers into engaged, loyal followers.
- Like and Comment– Actively like and comment on your followers’ posts. This promotes engagement.
- Reply to Comments– Respond when someone comments on your posts. This shows you value their feedback.
- Ask Questions– Increase engagement on your posts by asking questions in the caption.
- Run Contests/Giveaways– Offer prizes to followers for more likes, comments, and shares.
- Go Live– Broadcast live videos which followers can comment on in real-time.
Collaborate With Others
Strategic collaborations help tap into a new audience and gain new followers.
- Influencer Marketing– Partner with influencers in your niche to tap into their follower base.
- Takeovers– Allow influencers or brand partners to “takeover” your Instagram Story.
- Co-marketing– Partner with a complementary brand on a co-branded campaign.
- Cross-promote– Share others’ content if they share yours.
- Paid Partnerships– Sponsor influential accounts to promote your brand to their followers.
Use Hashtags Strategically
Using relevant hashtags makes it easier for users interested in those topics to find and follow you.
- Research Popular Niche Hashtags– Identify the top hashtags in your industry.
- Use Branded Hashtags– Create your own branded hashtags to build a community.
- Mix General and Niche Hashtags– Use a mix of popular and niche hashtags in posts.
- Limit Hashtags Per Post– Use 5-10 well-selected hashtags per post for optimal results.
- Leverage Location Tags– Tagging your location can help you connect locally.
Run Contests and Giveaways
Contests are an extremely effective tactic for increasing followers, engagement, shares, and brand awareness.
- Require Follows to Enter– Ask entrants to follow you to enter and gain new followers.
- Offer Valuable Prizes– Give away products/services your target audience wants.
- Promote Extensively– Promote the giveaway via Stories, posts, hashtags, etc.
- Keep it Short– Run contests for 1-2 weeks for a targeted boost in followers.
- Pick a Winner Publicly– Announce and tag the winner on your feed when it’s over.
Leverage Instagram Ads
Instagram ads allow you to target your promotions to reach your ideal audience.
- Promote Posts– Boost posts likely to go viral so they reach more users’ feeds.
- Run a Follow Campaign– Set up a campaign aimed specifically at getting more Instagram followers.
- Retarget Website Visitors– Upload your website visitors and target ads to them.
- Partner With Micro-Influencers– Pay smaller influencers with lower costs to promote your brand.
- Analyze Performance– Track conversion metrics to identify which strategies work best.
Gaining Instagram followers organically takes time and effort, but using these proven tips and tricks can help accelerate your results. Analyze what engages your audience and consistently provide them with relevant, high-quality content. With the right Instagram marketing strategy, you can build an audience of real, authentic followers.