How To Grow Instagram Followers: Top Tips and Strategies

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | Jul 09, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Instagram is the fourth most popular platform after other social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp. This presents a significant opportunity for brands, marketers, and influencers to reach a vast user base.

However, gaining followers and building a strong Instagram presence is increasingly challenging and time-consuming. But with the right assistance, you can expedite the results.

Instagram followers are valuable members of your community. Therefore, knowing how to grow your followers to drive traffic and enhance sales is important. 

This article will walk you through tried-and-tested tips and tactics on how to grow Instagram followers.

An influencer taking a picture of an art installation for his Instagram account.

Why Is It Important To Know How To Grow Instagram Followers Organically?

Believe it or not, organic growth strategies help establish a strong presence for you or your clients over time. Knowing the best way to grow Instagram followers organically ensures long-term engagement and builds a loyal, authentic audience.

Although growing Instagram followers organically can be challenging, it leads to substantial and sustainable rewards without draining the funds. 

Unlike running costly Instagram ads or purchasing followers that end up being fake, organic growth happens naturally. You only need dedication, patience, and tried-and-tested Instagram marketing strategies to attract more genuine followers.

Without further ado, here are a few benefits you should know for how to grow followers on Instagram organically:

  • Authentic Recurring Engagement: One of the most obvious benefits of organic growth is that organic Instagram followers are genuine individuals. Realf followers can provide real engagement through shares, likes, and comments.
  • Word-of-mouth Marketing: Shares from organic IG followers are similar to digital endorsements (votes of confidence), enhancing your brand reach and authority.
  • Increased Conversions: Real Instagram followers, unlike fake ones, can help achieve brand goals, from email signups to sales and more. 
  • Reduce The Risks Of Being Restricted Or Banned: Interacting with your genuine followers ensures Instagram won’t detect suspicious behavior, avoiding potential bans or restrictions. Keeping it real keeps your account clean and secure.

A person going through his Instagram to see how many followers he has.

Understanding the Various Types of Followers

Understanding how to grow Instagram organically helps create a genuine connection with your audience and fosters long-term loyalty. Here are the types of Instagram followers you’ll encounter:

Fake Followers

Fake IG followers are typically fake Instagram accounts or bots that artificially increase your follower count. However, they don’t engage with your content and posts. 

Engagement plays a significant role in IG’s algorithm. Having fake social media accounts following you can hurt your chances of reaching new users.

Ghost Followers

“Ghost” followers are inactive IG users who don’t interact with your posts. Having too many ghost followers can skew engagement metrics and affect your growth. 

Consider removing these inactive accounts from your follower list to foster genuine growth.

Organic Followers

You want to aim for these followers—the active audience genuinely interested in your content. Let’s look at some sub-groups within your organic followers that you should pay attention to:

  • Customers: These followers frequently purchase from your business and follow your Instagram profile/account for product sales, discounts, and updates. To get more followers, include your products/services in your Instagram content and give exclusive promotions on the platform.
  • Competitors: Some of your organic followers may also follow your competitors. Engage with them by drawing inspiration from competitor content while creating your posts. Use specific, relevant hashtags and location tags to enhance visibility among this group.
  • Influencers: Nano and micro-influencers are Instagram users with 10 to 75K followers. Collaborating with these influencers often leads to increased sales and valuable partnerships. To attract influencers, consistently produce fresh content tailored to a specific audience.

Now that you know the different types of followers, let’s discuss how to get more Instagram followers. 

A black iPhone with an influencer's Instagram account on a pink surface.

How to Grow Instagram Followers for Beginners

If you just started using Instagram for your business and want to gain followers, first get your IG presence in order.

To grow your Instagram account, you’ll want to post high-quality content and engage with your followers consistently. Here are four key things to nail before moving on to more advanced practices:

1. Don’t Buy Fake Followers 

Believe it or not, Instagram growth doesn’t happen overnight unless Taylor Swift mentions you in one of her songs. No matter what, avoid shortcuts like buying bots or fake followers since it goes against Instagram’s rules. 

While you may see a sudden increase in engagement and followers, it will harm you in the long term. That’s because the algorithm for an Instagram feed is smart and detects fake engagements and accounts. Instead of buying followers, focus on engaging with influential users to grow your audience organically.

It’s always better to grow your audience organically, even though it may take a while. Attracting genuine followers who engage with your Instagram posts and content and stay loyal will be worth the patience and effort.

2. Embed Keywords in Your Name and Username

Instagram algorithm gives more importance to search results, including keywords in your Instagram handle and username. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Username Is The Instagram Handle (Your Profile’s @Name): Keep it similar to your brand’s name or consistent with your usernames on various other social platforms. This will make it easier for potential followers to find you.
  • Your Name Also Helps Improve Your Visibility: You can use relevant keywords to describe your brand and improve visibility. This way, potential customers can quickly know who you are and what you offer when they visit your profile. After all, it’s the first thing they see, so make it count!

Note: Include only one or two relevant keywords in your name. If you stuff it with keywords, it can seem spammy. 

3. Optimize Your Instagram Bio to Grow Your Followers

Your Instagram bio is crucial for making a strong first impression on new visitors. It’s one of the perfect opportunities to immediately convey your identity (or brand) and offerings.

However, you only have a 150 Instagram characters limit to do it effectively, so keep your bio short and sweet. You can also use targeted keywords to connect directly with your audience, enhancing your search visibility and reaching more users. 

Since you can only have a single external link in your bio, be strategic about its use. To keep your audience engaged, you can link to your brand’s website or update it regularly with your latest posts.

4. Find the Best Time to Post Your Content on IG

If you want to know how to grow followers on Instagram, know when to post. The best time to post content on Instagram depends on when your niche audience is most active. Once you know the optimal times, go ahead and schedule Instagram posts so you don’t miss out. A regular posting schedule is crucial to maintaining visibility and engagement.

Setting a posting schedule is relevant for Instagram stories or anything on your Instagram feed.

Instead of a universal best time, focus on finding the ideal posting time for your Instagram followers. Wondering how to know when users are online?

Instagram can easily provide you with this information through its insights. Here’s how to do it:

  • Tap ‘Insights’ on the profile.
  • Scroll to ‘Your Audience.’
  • Tap ‘See all’ to find users’ most active times.

Note: The feature is available only on the IG mobile app, not on a desktop.

An influencer writing SEO-friendly captions for Instagram posts.

How to Grow Instagram Following for Intermediate Content Creators

You can move to advanced practices once you set up an Instagram account and follow the basic strategies to grow followers. How to grow an Instagram following involves creating engaging content, utilizing relevant hashtags, and interacting regularly with your audience.

Here are four ways intermediate content creators can achieve growth on Instagram:

Write Captions for IG SEO

Until now, users could only search Instagram Explore page using location tags, hashtags, profile names, and usernames. However, you can use keywords for search now. Writing descriptive, relevant captions using selective keywords can impact your post’s visibility.

While some keywords appear from the account’s usernames, bios, and names, many come from users’ captions. Using descriptive, relevant keywords in captions can increase your chance of appearing on the Explore page and attracting more viewers. 

Create a Reliable Posting Schedule To Grow Instagram Followers

Want to know how to grow your Instagram following? Be consistent! Posting regularly with Reels and using effective hashtags and keywords can help you reach new audiences. However, create fresh content that adds value to your audience instead of focusing on quantity. You can also use social media schedulers to plan and share content and maintain a consistent schedule.

Collaborate With Other Creators, Influencers, and Brands—A Proven Tactic

Collaborating with like-minded brands and influencers is a growth hack that brings brand association and access to new followers. The best part? Partnerships don’t need to be expensive; some effective collaborations are mutually beneficial and increasingly simple. 

Moreover, you don’t need supersized macro influencers. Micro and nano influencers offer higher engagement and lower sponsored post rates. However, reaching a similar audience size may require working with more nano or micro-influencers, depending on your budget and bandwidth.

A woman recording a reel for her Instagram account.

How to Grow Your Instagram Followers Like The Pros 

Not seeing an increase in Instagram followers despite your efforts? Or are you stuck in a follower limbo after a surge? To learn how to grow Instagram followers organically, focus on creating authentic content and building meaningful interactions with your audience. Here are some effective ways to get your groove back and elevate your follower count:

Experiment With a Range of IG Posts

This popular social media platform no longer works as a photo app only. It offers various formats like Instagram Reels, Story Highlights, carousels, and pinned posts.

Which kind of content or post will help increase IG engagements? Studies suggest that Instagram carousels tend to perform best. Although, you may find that you get the most responses from your Instagram stories. It’s not always straightforward. Your target audience may prefer Reels for fun, bite-sized content and carousel posts for informative content.

If your account doesn’t grow, experiment with various post formats. The best approach is to combine all these different formats to keep your content fresh and engaging.

Pro Tip: Experiment with various content types, such as Instagram stories, reels, memes, and trending audio. 

Lean Into UGC for How To Grow Your Instagram

Encourage users to share user-generated content (UGC) to boost brand recognition and grow your Instagram following. It’s simple to find UGC—your IG followers can use your “branded hashtag” or directly tag you. However, seek permission from the original content creators. It’s a useful strategy for how to grow your Instagram followers.

Talk to Your Audience in Stories and Comments

Connect with your IG followers to grasp their issues, provide solutions to their inquiries, and gather content inspiration. Wondering how to communicate with the relevant users you want to reach? Reply to the messages and comments you receive, especially if they come from potential customers with questions.

In addition to that, you should also embrace Instagram Stories. There’s a wealth of features that can spark fantastic content ideas. You can use question stickers, countdowns, interactive polls, and even add links to engage your audience in various exciting ways.

An influencer getting ready to collaborate with another IG creator.

Gain Followers Organically

Want to know how to grow your following organically? From posting high-quality, unique content to using relevant hashtags, there are various ways to grow your reach and followers organically.

Here are four easy and proven organic strategies to expand your IG followers:

1. Optimize Your IG Profile for Visibility

One good Instagram strategy for growing your followers is to choose an SEO-friendly username and Instagram bio. 

Consider what people on Instagram might search for and include relevant keywords. It’s highly unlikely that users will search for your name unless you’re very famous. 

Instead, they’ll likely look for keywords like marketing, fitness coach, etc., to find relevant accounts. So, incorporate a business-related keyword into your name for better visibility.

2. Leverage Trending Hashtags To Grow Instagram Followers

Increase your content’s searchability by including trending Instagram hashtags. Hashtags are essential for users to find relevant content on Instagram. Determine how many hashtags to use by experimenting with different numbers and track which gives the best engagement.

Trending hashtags indicate a surge in users searching for them. However, using such hashtags with millions of posts means your content will quickly disappear in the sea of posts. To increase traffic to an Instagram post, conduct hashtag research. Opt for hashtags with fewer posts to stand out. Use small and medium-sized hashtags as they offer great niches and better exposure.

You should utilize a few hashtags with 100,000 to 1,000,000 and 1,000 to 10,000 posts. This approach helps maximize exposure, boosting followers and likes. 

Moreover, it’s important to maintain a document with relevant hashtags for your business and add them to your posts consistently. Doing so can garner more likes, comments, shares, and followers. But remember, avoid using the same set of hashtags for every post to keep your content fresh and appealing.

3. Utilize Trending Audio for Better Engagement

Use trending audio on Instagram to boost visibility and engagement. Audio tracks make IG video posts, stories, and reels catchier, more entertaining, and likely to appear on the Explore page. It also attracts users who seek to use similar audio. 

Remember, you must gain your target user’s attention before turning them into potential followers. Trending sounds increase visibility on the Instagram app which currently has over 2.35 Billion active monthly users.

A girl typing on the cell phone.

4. Publish Content Users Love

To turn users into followers organically, consistently publishing content that genuinely appeals to them is crucial. To optimize your Instagram page, ensure your post content aligns with Instagram’s algorithm and includes visually appealing Instagram reels.

Design a cohesive Instagram grid with a mix of reels, posts, and story highlights to make your Instagram page more attractive.

A helpful approach is to “draw inspiration” from your best competitors on the platform. Check out their profiles and focus on posts and Instagram content with high engagement to get ideas.

Here are some proven tips for creating engaging content on Instagram:

  • Use Various Content Formats: Blend your content strategy by incorporating stories, carousels, reels, and other formats, particularly if your competitors succeed. Choose a content format that perfectly suits your message and style.
  • Craft Brilliant Captions: No matter the content format, a well-written caption can significantly improve your chances of gaining followers. Research online or analyze your competitors’ captions for reels, photo dumps, and stories that resonate with your content.
  • Jump On Trends: Keep an eye on trending challenges or video formats and use them to catch the attention of your targeted audience. For example, if users create “reel” videos with photos to outsmart the Instagram algorithm, try it.
  • Include A “Like And Follow” Call-To-Action (CTA): Encourage users to like and follow your IG page if they enjoyed your post. Employ this call-to-action in captions, voiceovers, and videos (as a text overlay or sticker), whichever fits best.

To get the attention of followers, ensure you set up a social media content calendar. This will help you post consistently and tag relevant users from your existing followers to help spread your content.

Now That You Know All About How To Grow Your Followers…

Want to boost your Instagram presence and know how to grow Instagram followers? Follow these tips to the T to have a strong presence and increase brand awareness as a content creator. 

Remember, gaining more followers is an ongoing process. Post high-quality content and stay on top of your social media strategy to maintain growth.

Looking to elevate your Instagram presence and gain more followers? Choose Path Social. We focus on organic growth and provide other valuable services to support your Instagram goals. Our platform can seamlessly connect you with real influencers and utilize advanced targeting algorithms to reach your target audience effectively. Join us to create a genuine, engaged Instagram community, and start increasing your follower count today.