How to Gain Followers on Instagram for Free (the Real Way)

Aug 27, 2021

Influencer News

How to Gain Followers on Instagram for Free (the Real Way)

Instagram has become a go-to for many brands looking to grow their online presence and connect with new audiences. Instagram can help brands drive relevant traffic, increase conversions and build a loyal community. 

While some social media accounts have opted to gain followers on Instagram by buying followers, this is one of the worst things you can do for yourself. You are filling your audience with inactive accounts, meaning your engagement rate will be significantly lower than it will actually be. The only followers you need to worry about are the ones who really care about our brand and the content you post.

 If you’re asking yourself “How can I gain followers on Instagram?” and looking into how to gain followers on Instagram quickly, you’ve come to the right blog.

How to gain followers on Instagram

So, how do you gain followers on Instagram? We’ve pulled together our top 10 tips to help you gain followers on Instagram naturally. 

Define your audience

Before you start figuring out the logistics of how to gain followers on Instagram, you need to know who your followers will be. Ask yourself:

  1. How old are your target audience?
  2. Where do they live?
  3. What do they do for work? How much disposable income do they have?
  4. When and how do they use Instagram?

By answering these questions you will give yourself a good starting point of the types of content you need to make and when you should be posting. 

Create a consistent brand story and theme

Consumers crave authenticity. By showing your brand story through your Instagram posts, you are being transparent with your potential audience. Sharing your brand story can help humanise your brand, helping your followers connect with you on a deeper level. 

While offering transparency to your audience, you should maintain a branded theme that is instantly recognizable as your brand. You should consider your Instagram grid as a cohesive unit; posts shouldn’t be competing against each other. 

Having a consistent theme makes your content more recognisable to audiences when seen outside of your profile. If your content makes it onto the Explore page, you want viewers to know it is from your brand. 

Use relevant hashtags

Using relevant and considered hashtags can help you gain followers on Instagram quickly and for free. Hashtags have served as an essential discovery tool for years and allow brands to expand their reach. 

You should use hashtags that aren’t over populated with content. Using an overused hashtag will just result in your content getting lost in the crowd. Using hashtags that your audience are more likely to check will result in audiences making a connection and following your account. 

You could even make a branded hashtag to group your posts together around hyper relevant content to your brand and campaigns. 

Pin top comments

Pinning comments is one of Instagram’s lesser-known features; you can pin up to three comments on each post. This option is really helpful if your Instagram caption goes over the 2,200 word limit. By pinning the rest of your caption in the comments, you can offer users an in-depth story. 

Pin top comments - how to gain followers on Instagram

Another option is to help increase engagement. By pinning the best performing or funniest comments, you are encouraging more Instagram users to comment on your posts in hopes of getting pinned. This helps develop your Instagram community. 

Post re-shareable content

When thinking about which content to create, consider making content that other people will want to share. This might be an insightful Instagram carousel, a mini infographic or a weekly news roundup. This is the type of content users will want to reshare to their own Instagram Stories. 

Engage with existing communities

There are many hyper-active communities available on Instagram; it’s highly likely that there is already a community relevant to your industry on the platform. You can engage with these communities by liking, commenting on and sharing content created by members. 

This not only makes you discoverable through comment sections, but gives users notifications that you have interacted with their content.

Work with influencers in your niche

Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways of gaining new followers; over 60% of consumers say they would follow a brand on Instagram after seeing it promoted by an influencer they trust. 

Using micro and nano influencers is a great way to gain hyper-engaged and relevant followers. Smaller influencers have very high engagement rates and incredibly engaged audiences. These audiences trust smaller influencers and will be likely to support brands they recommend.

Make interactive Stories

Over 500 million Instagram users create and watch Stories everyday, so it’s in your best interest to use them too. People that use Instagram Stories are highly engaged; one in three Stories result in a direct message. 

Make interactive Stories - how to gain followers on instagram

Instagram Stories offer interactive features that can get users engaged including polls, questions and chat stickers. If an Instagram user has found your Story through a hashtag or location page, you are giving them the chance to immediately engage with you, increasing the likelihood of a follow. 

Use Instagram Reels

Instagram has announced it is going to be focusing on promoting video content over static content. Reels are Instagram’s answer to TikTok’s short-form video content and have become increasingly popular on the platform. Reels are easy to make and post, and can make a brand discoverable through the dedicated Reels tab and through a user’s main Instagram feed. 

Reels allow brands to show their personality in a digestible and engaging way. In addition, since Instagram is moving to focus on video content, you are more likely to reach the Instagram Explore page. 

Be consistent 

Consistency is key when posting on Instagram, especially if you’re just starting out. Find the best time to post on Instagram for your audience and stick to it. Keeping a consistent posting schedule will remind your followers why they followed you in the first place. 

When growing your account, it’s a good idea to post everyday. Through trial and error you can find out which types of content perform best on which days. Once you have analysed the Instagram analytics for these posts, you will be able to create a varied content calendar that will always provide value to your audience.


How can I get 1000 followers on Instagram?

The best way to gain followers on Instagram is by doing so organically. The majority of large Instagram accounts have taken a while to generate their followers, unless they purchased fake followers or scored a viral post. 

To generate your first 1000 followers, you should begin by interacting with accounts that post similar content by leaving thoughtful comments. This will make people who are interested in your content aware of your growing Instagram account. In addition, this will also help you figure out the types of posts your target audience are most interested in. 

To make your content easy to find, use relevant and popular hashtags within your niche. Use slightly different hashtags for each post to ensure you are reaching every corner of your niche.

How do I grow my Instagram following naturally?

The best ways to gain followers on Instagram include ensuring your Instagram profile page is complete and optimised, keeping a consistent content schedule and engaging with audiences. 

A finished Instagram profile will give users a better first impression and understanding of who your brand is; a complete account is much more appealing than a half-finished one. 

A consistent content schedule gives potential audience members something to look forward to. If you have a weekly round up of the best news events for that week posted every Friday, Instagram users will know to follow you for updates. A content schedule allows you to keep track of the topics you are posting to ensure variety. 

Engaging with your audience will keep them coming back for more. By being active in conversations, you are helping develop an emotional connection between your brand and audience. This increases brand loyalty.

How do I grow my Instagram 2021?

If you’re wondering how to gain followers on Instagram fast, a top tip is to make sure you use as many content features Instagram offers. Instagram Reels are rising in popularity with Instagram users, so creating Reels content will introduce you to new followers. 

You could also create an IGTV series. IGTV content is becoming more popular on the platform and gives users a different style of content to consume. You can go into more detail about a trending topic within your industry to position yourself as an industry expert. 

How do you attract followers?

One of the best ways to gain followers on Instagram is to work with influencers. Working with influencers increases your reach drastically and also positions you as an industry leader. Influencers already have a trusting relationship with their audiences, so by working with an influencer, you are tapping into this trust. 

How do Instagrams go viral?

Viral content on Instagram gets significantly more engagement than average posts. A viral Instagram post will have 100K+ likes and views and thousands of comments. Going viral isn’t easy, and there’s no real formula to achieving a viral post. 

One way to achieve a viral post is to put your twist onto a previously viral post. Recreating a viral post is relatively easy as you don’t have to spend time coming up with an idea from scratch. If the viral post is relating to a particular social media trend, you will also help yourself appear culturally relevant. 

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our Influencer Marketing & Social Media blog.

@ Socially Powerful



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James Hacking


Socially Powerful, founded in 2017, stood as pioneers of the influencer marketing industry. Today we are a global social marketing agency and technology company.

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