Want More Instagram Followers? 9 Easy Growth Strategies

Do you want hundreds of active Instagram followers every day? I’m sorry to inform you that this article is not for you. Don’t waste your precious time on this.

I have seen that some “Instagram Strategists” promise to give you hundreds of real Instagram followers if you follow their tricks.

My experience is most of those tricks do not work.

Because as a beginner, I have tried almost all the tricks they offered me to grow my personal Instagram followers rapidly.

I have to say; some tricks really worked before 2018 until Instagram took a huge step forward to eliminate inauthentic followers, likes, and comments.

Their vision is clear. People browse through Instagram to have authentic experiences. Instagram said they should not let third-party bots or spam methods disrupt the genuine user experience.

Instagram statistics

Instagram is a must-use channel today, especially for businesses, because it is one of the most popular social media platforms and has the highest per-post engagement rates.

Instagram now has more than 1 billion monthly active users. It is more than three times Twitter’s monthly active users.

It is huge, right?

See these jaw-dropping Instagram stats too.

  • 500 million+ users are active every single day
  • 4.2 billion likes per day
  • 400 million Instagram stories every day

Buy Instagram followers

fake IG followers ad

Buying Instagram followers is the worst trick of all. My advice is, even if you could find 10K followers for 5$, don’t even think about that.

Those followers are fake. Fake followers don’t care about you or your business. Fake followers do not like or comment on your photos. They do not buy your products.

So, what is the point of buying those fake followers?

Fewer followers with better engagement might be the best than many fake followers. You don’t need a ton of followers on your profile to promote your business or earn money because the number is not an influential factor anymore.

Engagement matters. That is why we should grow Instagram followers organically.

The other thing is, violating Instagram community guidelines is not good for your Instagram profile’s health because they don’t think twice about suspending your account.

Instagram does not care how big you are. They have already done that to several huge accounts. So, don’t put your account in a dangerous position.

Work hard to gain Instagram followers

Growing your Instagram followers organically and rapidly is not an easy task. I know that because I spent months and tried a ton of different tricks to figure things out.

Now, I have 20K+ real Instagram followers on my personal profile. You can do that too.

No need to spend a tremendous amount of money to get thousands of followers on Instagram. You don’t have to be an Instagram model or a professional photographer because I am not.

And I’m not here to recommend any pro tools like cameras, expensive lenses, pro photo/video editing tools, and microphones.

You probably need those tools to make actual living money from Instagram. But I’m going to show you the best Instagram growth strategies here.

You should practice these methods and work hard even before buying expensive stuff and growing your business around Instagram.

Like all the other social media platforms, you have to practice fundamental growth strategies such as,

  • Liking others’ photos/videos
  • Commenting regularly on your niche
  • Following followers back
  • Answering questions
  • Sending DMs
  • Responding to DMs as much as possible
  • Contests
  • Giveaways

Recommended numbers

According to the experts in the market, recommended numbers for rapid and organic growth are different from what we are going to do here because you and I both know we can’t create one live video, 1-30 Instagram stories, and beautiful pictures each day.

See Neil Patel’s recommendation.

Neil Patel's instagram recommendations

It is immense work. I think that doesn’t work for small businesses or personal profiles. Most of us don’t have enough resources for that, right?

So, we must optimize our growth strategy to sync with our resources and workload. If you are on the right track, you’ll be able to enjoy working on Instagram. If not, you’ll become bored quickly.

I didn’t stick to experts’ numbers always. I do my research and optimize my strategy. This is how I grew my Instagram followers organically from 0 to 20K+.

You’ll find basic but important tricks and some tools here. You should not stick to these strategies only. Do your own research and find new ways to grow real Instagram followers.

1. Find your niche

health and yoga niche

Even if I don’t have much to explain here, I put this as No.1 because most people do not understand this properly or don’t care about the niche.

Every action you take, including every hashtag you use, every account you follow, every people you engage with, every post you share, every tool you use, and almost everything you do on Instagram depends on your niche.

That is why I put this at the top of everything.

Photography, travel, animals, food, health, fitness, lifestyle, business, and beauty are some significant and profitable niches on Instagram, but it does not matter what niche you pick. It is OK if your niche is not noted on Instagram.

You must stick to your niche and work hard to grow your Instagram followers. Instagram is not an overnight success. You have to accept that.

However, you have to make sure of one thing about your niche. It must be something you are passionate about because you should be able to create quality content daily.

2. Strong content strategy

If you want to grow Instagram followers quickly, a strong content strategy is a must.

Compelling visual content is the king on Instagram. Don’t focus on quantity. Make sure you always share quality content.

Take better photos. I use Halide Camera App for that. It is much better than the iOS default camera app. Use the right Instagram filters and write the best caption.

Merely asking the audience to click the link in the bio does not work anymore. Give them a good reason to click the link.

Before you design your content strategy, you should study your competitors and the best in the market (IG accounts run by major brands/ famous influencers) and track their performance.

Now, powerful IGTV is here for your long-form streaming video content. Videos can be up to an hour long. Yes, it is a vertical video format. You can’t blame them for making IGTV vertical only. You have to adapt and use it to grow your profile/ business.

And, try other content types like live videos and Instagram stories too. Still, if you doubt what your audience wants to see from you, just ask them. Ask through other social media platforms. It works.

Featuring others’ content is another trick to growing Instagram followers fast. Because you’ll be able to share some high-quality content from professionals, increase your profile’s exposure, and keep your account alive with a continuous supply of free content.

I usually use Repost iOS App for that. My app is unavailable on App Store, but you can use a few similar apps.

Disclaimer: Like other social media platforms, Instagram does not want us to reproduce others’ content. So, according to their Terms of Use, you should obtain written permission from whose content you wanna repost. I usually send a DM and ask their permission.

People love to be featured on others’ profiles. It is like free advertising. So, just ask permission. Nobody had rejected my request yet.

Sometimes, I create posts with Inspirational quotes. I use WordSwag, QuotesCreator, and Canva iOS apps for that. I have explained those apps before.

Find it here: 6 Best Tools to Gain More Twitter Followers.

Finally, I want to say don’t be afraid of the changes and regular updates of social media. Don’t waste time discussing how good or bad those features are. Learn how to get the maximum exposure and grow followers even from the tiniest element.

3. Frequency is not crucial as consistency

This is a valid point for Instagram and all social media platforms.

As mentioned above, posting new content every hour is not for us. Large businesses with enough resources can do that.

Avoid overwhelming your audience and yourself by trying to achieve unrealistic goals like that. Three new quality posts with a good caption per day are enough. We all can afford that, right?

However, you should do that every single day. I don’t know how the Instagram algorithm works, but I’m pretty sure they remove inactive profiles or profiles not posting daily from the search results.

So, if you want to grow your Instagram followers quickly, consistency matters most than quantity.

4. Instagram post automation

Do you know why social media management and scheduling tools are top-rated these days? Because people plan ahead and schedule posts for the whole week or month.

Then they have enough time to do their research, create new quality content, have more time to respond to comments, and engage with their followers.

If you rely on last-minute work, you probably compromise the quality of your content. Don’t do that. I usually create my Instagram posts on the weekends and schedule for the whole week on Buffer and Hootsuite.

Related: Social Media Best Practices Every Brand Should Follow.

5. Get the timing right

Don’t let your valuable content be lost in empty space.

So, when to post on Instagram to get the highest exposure?

The answer is no universal best time to post on Instagram. You have to do your own digging and find the running times of your audience.

How to find the best time to post on Instagram according to your niche? I usually try posting at different times and preparing the necessary analytics report for my own account.

You can see your Analytics through “Instagram Insights.” but this Instagram native analytics tool is available only for business accounts. Do it now if you have not converted yours to a business profile.

Daglega Instagram insights

Don’t rely on others’ research because their times may or may not work for you. So, never stop experimenting.

See if Oberlo’s posting times work for you. According to their extensive research,

  • The best time to post on Instagram on Saturday is 5 p.m.
  • During lunch (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
  • The evening after work (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.)
  • The best days are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  • Sunday is the worst day to post.
  • Wednesdays get the highest level of engagement.
The best times to post on Instagram

6. Following targeted Instagram users regularly

Some argue that following and unfollowing is not a real strategy to gain new Instagram followers. Sometimes, I even feel that it is not, but I still do that, and it still works for me.

That is all I want.

Don’t try to test Instagram’s limits when you follow new accounts. Even if they let you follow 150+ per hour, I recommend following 50-60 new accounts per day.

Aggressive actions might put your profile at a huge risk. If they catch you doing something wrong, the profile will be suspended right away, and you won’t be able to recover your account ever again.

I usually follow my competitors’ followers. That is the easiest method to find Instagram accounts in my niche.

But, when I find my competitors in my niche or related (I maintain an excel sheet with all the detail such as username, website, followers, followings, etc.), I consider those who have at least 10K followers particularly.

The other method I practice is, searching for keywords. For example, search #socialmedia or #blogging, then pick one or two great photos from the top of the search results and see who posted those. Follow their followers and like their photos.

It takes 10 minutes per day for me.

I don’t hate non-followers, but I must maintain the following-to-follower ratio. So, I unfollow non-followers only on weekends.

I use my Cleaner App to unfollow in bulk with one click. I don’t recommend unfollowing aggressively, either.

7. Hacking hashtag strategy

hashtags in the first comment IG

#Hashtags make your content discoverable. We all know that, and we all use hashtags, but the problem is finding the relevant hashtags and the right combination. That is what we call using hashtags smartly.

You can use up to 30 hashtags on any Instagram post but don’t even think of using 30 extremely popular or generic hashtags. Those hashtags are already saturated with millions of posts.

Therefore, you might not get a chance to come to the top of the results.

So, if you want to make your content/profile discoverable to a whole new group of people who are not targeted before, use particular such as location-specific, product-specific, and brand-specific hashtags.

This specificity brings the right audience and gains new Instagram followers.

Using 1-2 popular tags on every post is enough. You would find many tools to gather the most popular and engaging hashtags, but the Focalmark app and Top-HashTags.com are the best. Use those wisely.

Sometimes, sharing content with weekly-themed hashtags works well too. #MotivationMonday #WisdomWednesday #TBT or #ThrowbackThursday

Use all 30 hashtags if you want but not in the caption. It is gruesome. I don’t want to read the captions stuffed with hashtags. You can use your hashtags as the first comment. That will fix the deformity.

8. Influencer marketing strategy

Cristiano Ronaldo popular Instagram influencer

Instagram influencer marketing is a bit more advanced strategy than the other strategies we discussed, and it is the fastest way to gain new Instagram followers.

Who is an Instagram influencer? We have to start from there.

Instagram influencers are also normal Instagram users like you and me. The only difference is they have established a particular and engaging audience.

And because of their trustworthiness, they can generate a lot of sales or generate new likes, video views, and followers just by featuring your post/product on their profile in a relatively short period.

So, now you understand that influencers run Instagram. Collaborating with them can open your profile/product to a new audience.

Before you start your influencer marketing campaign, here’s what you need to know.

Your influencer should still be active and engaging with their audience. If the last post was about a month old, it is not a good sign. Even if he/she has millions of followers, probably doesn’t have enough engagement by now.

He/she should not share only the sponsored posts; you have to ensure that selected Instagram influencers share only their genuine opinions.

Beware of fake influencers. Spend some time going through their profiles and reviewing the success of their previous sponsored projects before you throw your money.

If the influencer has millions of followers, it does not guarantee massive engagement because, unfortunately, the spam or fake followers are still available for a meager price. So, you must evaluate the engagement rate of your influencer.

See if your competitors have used the influencer before analyzing their success and decide whether you want to work with the influencer or not.

You can quickly source the right influencers in a related niche using influencer platforms such as NinjaOutreach and Upfluence.

ninja outreach find Instagram influencers

Don’t just jump in and ask for a shout-out; observe their work sometimes, build a relationship and take step by step approach.

You can also become an influencer and make actual living money from Instagram by advertising brands, endorsements, video views, shoutouts, selling your own products, and countless other money-making methods.

And you don’t have to have millions of followers to become an influencer. A few thousand engaging followers are enough to earn real money on Instagram.

9. Promote your profile outside of Instagram

We should not isolate our social media profiles from one another. Cross-promoting social profiles gain new followers and appear your profile in front of a new audience.

Instagram is no different from that. You have a high probability of gaining new Instagram followers by promoting your Instagram profile outside Instagram.

These are some places where you could promote and link back to Instagram.

If you have a website or a blog, that would be the best place. You should put your Instagram profile at least on the homepage (header/footer/sidebar), author bio, about me page, and contact us page.

You might gain at least a few interested Instagram followers by putting it on your email signature or in email campaigns.

I have a client who creates daily podcasts. At the end of each podcast, he asks his listeners to follow him on Instagram, and he even has it printed on his business cards.

Be creative and find new ways to gain new Instagram followers.

Tools to grow Instagram followers

Here you’ll find all the necessary Instagram tools mentioned above and a few extra. I usually use iOS versions of these apps. Most apps have Android versions, but not sure about the Cleaner App.

But you might find a similar app with similar functions on the Google Play Store. Make sure you download only trusted and authorized apps.

  • Kicksta – Get real Instagram followers
  • Buffer/ Hootsuite – post scheduling
  • Repost – repost others’ content
  • Cleaner – clean your Instagram profile
  • WordSwag/ QuotesCreator/ Canva – create beautiful quotes
  • Halide Camera – better camera app with advanced features (iOS only)
  • Focalmark – find trending hashtags
  • PS Express – photo editing
  • Captiona – captions for Instagram post
  • Layout – photo-collage tool

Note: Don’t forget to PIN the image below.

Instagram followers growth strategies Pinterest pin

Wrapping up

It is easy to teach people what to do, but I always wanted to highlight what not to do because, when I started working on social media, I tried so many wrong tricks to grow fast and was suspended several times.

I don’t want anything wrong to happen to my readers. That is why I always tell you what I usually do and what you should avoid.

I’m repeatedly emphasizing these “overnight success” and “work hard” things because some people/businesses have asked me if I could grow their Instagram followers from 0 to 10K within a few months.

The funniest part is I can only work about 30 minutes per day.

We can’t blame them. They have heard that working less than 30 minutes daily on Instagram is enough for rapid and organic growth.

It is not a realistic goal. I think it does not exist, especially today.

Finally, even though you have mastered all the above strategies, you will not grow your Instagram followers as expected if you forget the Social Part. This is social media.

You must engage with your audience.

What other methods have you used to grow your Instagram followers organically and safely? I hope you’ll share those new methods in the comment section below.

Featured photo by Jordan McQueen

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