As a brand, beginning fresh on Instagram can be tricky. The very first thing you should do? Gain more Instagram followers fast.
The only valuable Instagram followers are real people who are interested in and engage with your brand. A false follower count might boost your ego, however, it won’t help your Instagram strategy.
Keep scrolling for the complete list of how to gain extra followers on Instagram.
How to get more Instagram followers for free
1. Have a thoughtful Instagram marketing strategy
To use any social network successfully, you need a clear strategy.
Getting more Instagram followers is a great goal to start with. However, followers alone won’t provide you with a successful Instagram account. Gaining followers needs to be part of a bigger plan that connects to your business strategy and social marketing objectives.
Think about the reasons why you need more Instagram followers. What do you actually hope to accomplish? Maybe you need to:
- increase brand awareness
- enhance product sales
- drive traffic to your website.
Staying focused on these business-oriented objectives will help keep your Instagram account consistent. It will help you tell a compelling brand story that appeals to new profile visitors and helps engage (and keep) a loyal following.
2. Define your target audience
Ask yourself some questions about who you are trying to engage:
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What do they do for work?
- When and how do they use Instagram?
- What are their pain points and challenges?
Answering these questions will help you craft the right kind of Instagram content to succeed in the people on Instagram who are most likely to give you a follow. It will also keep you targeted on the needs of your target audience so you can consistently deliver the kind of content that makes them want to keep following you for the long run.
3. Create a consistent brand story and aesthetic
Maybe you need to satisfy curiosity by showing off how your product is made. Or share an employee’s perspective to humanize your brand. If you want to position your brand in an aspirational way, you could attempt showcasing the lifestyle or achievements of your customers.
It doesn’t matter what you want to achieve, it’s essential to keep up a consistent brand personality and look.
Consider your Instagram grid as one cohesive unit. You can always use Instagram Stories to share content that doesn’t quite fit with the aesthetic of your main feed.
Even if your products don’t all look the same, you should use consistent styling to give your grid a consistent appearance and feel, like @themillerswifecustomcookies does:
Source: @themillerswifecustomcookies on Instagram
4. Use keywords to appear in searches
Before people can follow you on Instagram, they have to explore you. Not a lot of the text on Instagram is searchable. Actually, only two fields on Instagram contribute to search results: name and username.
Your username is a good suggestion to make it consistent with the handle you use on other social networks since this also makes it simpler for people to search out you. Use your brand name or a variation of your name that people are likely to use when looking for your brand.
Your name can be anything you want, up to 30 characters. Keyword stuffing is never a good idea, but it can be useful to include your most relevant keyword in the name field to enhance discoverability based on the search.
For instance, journey writer Claudia Laroye (@thetravellingmom) consists of the keyphrase “travel writer” in her Instagram name, upping the chance she’ll be discovered by those searching for travel content in general and travel writers in particular.
Source: @thetravellingmom on Instagram
We just said that not a lot of the Instagram text is searchable. However, hashtags do appear in Instagram searches. That means using hashtags thoughtfully could be a good way to get followers on Instagram at no cost.
Including related hashtags can help people discover your content after a search, or after clicking on a hashtag from another relevant post. Instagram users may also follow hashtags, so your hashtagged content may appear in the feeds of people who do not yet follow your account.
You’ll be able to include up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post, however, hashtags are sometimes more effective based on quality rather than quantity. Do some experimenting to learn how many hashtags work effectively for your particular account.
Concentrate on using highly targeted hashtags specific to your photo, product, or business, like stylist Dee Campling does in this #wfh shot.
6. Optimize your Instagram bio and profile
Two-thirds of Instagram business profile visits are from non-followers. These new visitors are all potential new free Instagram followers—however, only if your bio and profile convince them to click the follow button. They won’t do so if your profile is unclear, incomplete, or unappealing.
Along with the name and username fields mentioned above, your profile contains your website (a clickable link) and your bio.
Take advantage of the 150 characters in your bio to express your brand identity and tell new visitors why they should follow you. What kind of content can they expect?
This bio from @abstractaerialart sums up the account’s goal and promise in a quick, easy-to-digest way:
Source: @abstractaerialart on Instagram
If you have a professional account (business or Creator), you may also include additional details in your profile, like your contact information, type of business, and location. Make use of all of the fields that are related to your business to provide new visitors with all the information they need to decide to follow.
Although Instagram is a visual platform, writing great Instagram captions plays an enormous role in helping you get more reach and engagement. As you’ve already seen, reach and engagement are key elements in attracting free Instagram followers.
Here are some key strategies to remember:
- Put the most important words upfront. If the caption is greater than 125 characters long, users will have to tap “more” to see the whole thing. Take advantage of those first words to inspire that extra tap.
- Ask a question. This makes it simple for your audience to write a comment. That engagement will help make your account visible to more users.
- Try emoji. Emojis may help draw the reader’s eye and are appropriate for most types of accounts on this visual social network.
- Try different caption lengths. Instagram allows long-form captions up to 2,200 characters, so you’ll be able to check out some in-depth storytelling if your post warrants it. Extremely short captions can also be very effective when the visuals speak for themselves. However, our data show that long captions are more likely to enhance engagement.
Will Tang of Going Awesome Places posts great photos with detailed captions that tell the story behind the shot. Because his Insta bio describes him as a “creator of ridiculously detailed itineraries and guides,” this caption approach is very on-brand.
8. Pin your best comments
One of Instagram’s effective features is the ability to pin up to three comments for each post.
There are a few ways you should use this new feature as part of your plan to how to get more followers on Instagram.
One choice is to use pinned comments to increase your caption beyond the maximum of 2,200 characters by continuing the story within the comments. This lets you to take on more detailed and in-depth storytelling, that may be a fit for some accounts.
Another option is to pin your favorite comments from other users, especially if they are getting a lot of engagement.
Whichever way you use this new feature, it could help you manage the conversation on your posts, creating more opportunities for engagement and connection.
9. Promote your Instagram account on other networks
The most effective way to gain more Instagram followers for free is to make it easy for people to find you.
Your Instagram profile should be easily discoverable. If you’ve already gain Instagram followers on another social network, let those fans know about your Instagram account.
Share a link to your Instagram profile and give your existing social followers a reason to check it out. (Like an Instagram-exclusive coupon code, event, or contest.)
You could also highlight some of the best Instagram posts on your other social media channels. Think about boosting these posts with paid advertising to make sure that more of your Facebook, Twitter, and other social followers find and follow you on Instagram.
10. Use the Instagram nametag
Your Instagram nametag is a scannable code that allows others to follow you immediately. We said earlier that even offline communications materials provide an opportunity to promote your Instagram account. The Instagram nametag is an effective way to introduce your account on offline materials like packing slips, signage, and product packaging.
Your nametag can also be a good way to gain more Instagram followers in real-time at networking events and conferences. People you connect with in-person can scan your code to follow you without having to type out the username.
Find your Instagram nametag by tapping on the three lines icon at the top right of your Instagram profile and choosing Nametag.