Whether you’re on Instagram for either personal or business use, you’re typically driven to succeed on the platform in some manner. Being successful on Instagram can cost quite a bit of money if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re on a shoestring budget, this can be disheartening.
It doesn’t have to be like this for you. The truth is that you can grow your Instagram account without paying for any services. In this article, I’m going to show you some tips on how to get Instagram followers for free.
Using hashtags to get free followers
Hashtags can be useful when used to help you widen your reach on Instagram. Hashtags are words, or combinations on words, preceded by the “#” symbol. Every hashtag belongs to a group about a particular topic that can be searched on Instagram through the “Explore” feature.
Anyone that is interested in a particular hashtag will be able to see your posts if you decide to use that hashtag. Instagram also now makes it possible for users to follow their favorite hashtags and have posts from those hashtags appear on their feed, giving you one more reason why you should focus on creating a hashtag strategy:
- Popular hashtags: There are many mainstream hashtags that Instagram users refer to. Hashtags like #instagood, #follow4follow, #motivationmonday, #throwbackthursday, #photooftheday; and many more are considered some of the most popular hashtags on Instagram.
- Niche hashtags: If you want to target your specific audience, use hashtags that are closely related to your niche. It is useless for your posts to be visible in front of the wrong audience. It is better to have your posts show up to a targeted audience, instead of being visible to a larger crowd that probably won’t interact with your posts.
- Branded hashtags: Creating your own hashtag shows creativity and improves your brand identity. If you manage to make these hashtags go viral, your account will become more popular and have stronger social proof.
You can choose to put the hashtags in the caption of the post, in the comments; or in both. There is no evidence to show whether one technique is better than the other, but people have been placing their hashtags in the comments right after they upload the post lately. It is believed that the Instagram algorithm will improve the visibility of the post if the hashtags are placed in the comments, but no one has solid evidence yet.
If you can’t choose where to place your hashtags, just divide them and place them strategically in both the caption and comments. I would suggest that you place your most important hashtags in the caption, and the rest in the comments. This will make your posts more visually appealing as you won’t bombard your followers with a lot of hashtags placed in the caption.
Hashtags that are placed in the comments won’t automatically be displayed to your followers. They have to click on the comments and really dig deep in order to find them. This makes it a good place for hashtags you’re using to get more exposure, but aren’t that important to the photo itself, or your branding.
Collaborate with top creators
A very effective way to boost your Instagram following without spending any money is to rely on quality collaborations. Collaborations on social media are win-win situations where every side of the collaboration benefits from the experience. Here’s how you can create a quality collaboration:
- Experiment: Cross-promote each other’s posts or Instagram Stories; run a contest together; do a takeover; create a video together; give shout outs by commenting and tagging each other on posts. There are many ways to collaborate on Instagram. Make the most out of your creativity and try new ways to collaborate with fellow creators.
- Seek them out: It is up to you to take the initiative for a collaboration to happen. Take matters into your own hands and seek out influencers, top creators in your niche, and brands that are willing to collaborate. If you have a large following you may be getting offers for a collaboration yourself. Either way, don’t sleep on the chance to boost your following when an opportunity presents itself.
For a collaboration to work, you need to find people that have a following which is on par with yours. If you have 500 followers, and the other account has 15,000 followers, there will be little incentive for them to work with you because you will be the only one gaining anything significant from the collaboration.
Create a reliable content calendar
People who you follow you on Instagram follow you because they expect you to be active and post consistently. Whatever your posting pace is, whether you post once a day or once a week, you should keep it up in order to have consistent organic growth. With that being said, steady follower growth comes from creating a posting schedule and sticking to it. Find out the optimal posting times for your account and use the ones that work best for engagement.
Posting consistently will help you establish yourself as an authority in your niche. However, you should never post just to keep up with your posting schedule. Always make sure your posts are quality before you decide to post.
Share your story
Your Instagram profile should convey originality. Don’t turn to cliche tactics, instead you need to do things in your own unique, quirky way. When crafting your bio, think about your identity, who you are, and what kind of vibe you want to give to your audience. Optimize your profile by using the bio section to show the world who you are.
In your bio, make it abundantly clear what you are about and why you do what you do. Whatever it is your bio says you do, you should continue the narrative in your posts. There is no need to say that you are a travel enthusiast if you only post travel photos once a year. Your bio should be a reflection of who you are, not who you aspire to be. People will appreciate the transparency.
Reach out to the cool kids
It’s like high school all over again. If you want to make a lot of followers fast, you should follow the best Instagram users and engage their posts. The users that have a ton of followers can share some of that popularity with you if you interact with them. If you can succeed at landing a collaboration with a top influencer in your niche, you’re golden. Your following will skyrocket, and it will accelerate the overall organic growth of your account almost instantly.
Build relationships with top creators in your niche and engage with them. Encourage them to give you shoutouts in their posts. This will put you in front of their followers.
Actively engage with other users
In order to grow your Instagram account, you need to constantly be active and engage with other Instagram users. Here’s how you can make the best out of your efforts to engage:
- Find users who are interested in your niche and follow them.
- Comment on their posts and like their photos.
- Reply to comments and engage in their Instagram Stories.
This will make them notice you and will drive them to check out your profile. If they like what they see on your profile, they will follow you.
Bonus tip: Buy followers to jumpstart growth
This last technique is not free, but it works! Buying Instagram followers from reputable providers will allow you to get more free followers in a shorter amount of time. Here are the benefits of buying Instagram followers:
- Social proof: Instagram success is measured by the main metrics of followers and likes. When you buy followers on Instagram, your account will appear to be more successful and suddenly gain more credibility.
- Organic growth: The bigger your following is, the better impression you will leave to neutral followers. Once you buy followers, your account will appear to be more popular, and as a result, more people will be willing to follow you organically.
- Better engagement: The effect of social proof will also impact your engagement levels. When followers see that you have a lot of followers, they will be more likely to be interested in checking out your content and engaging with your posts.
Buying followers is one of the best ways to boost your following on Instagram. The more followers you have, the easier it will be to get even more followers.
Choose quality providers only
I should note that the benefits listed above only come if you purchase Instagram followers from reputable providers that won’t hurt your reputation. High-quality providers who will get you real, active accounts. Low-quality providers, on the other hand, will only get you fake followers. You could even get scammed. Do the following to avoid such an unpleasant experience:
- Read the reviews for the company from previous clients.
- Go to their website and check their price and turnaround time.
- Check their customer policies and the kind of customer support they provide.
Don’t get fooled by those providers that offer a lot of followers for a cheap price. They are usually fake and can do you more harm than good. We’ve tested and written about many Instagram follower providers, don’t miss our reviews!