Instagram rocks. It’s incredible. It revolutionized the way brands do business and how people communicate. No one knew that a tool could hold so much power. But it does!
So, how can we utilize that power in our interest?
It all comes down to how many Instagram followers you have! The more followers you have, the more popular you get. We all know this, I am sure- you (reading the blog) know this. But do you know how to get free Instagram followers on your own?
There is no step-by-step guide, but some best practices can help you expand your account reach and get new followers.
If you want to increase followers on Instagram; here is list of well-researched and blended tips to try on your account:
Come Up with a Realistic Marketing Strategy
You need to start from scratch- believe me there is no shortcut, even if there is it’s not going to act fruitfully. Before embarking on the journey to get free Instagram followers, you need to create a strategy that will “actually” work.
A well-planned digital marketing strategy can keep you on your toes in the long run. Certain ideas and things should be sorted such as what would be your brand personality, theme, vision, motto, unique selling point.
To get kick off, you can ask the below-mentioned questions before building a strategy:
- What do I aim to achieve with this strategy?
- What are my business goals?
- How can I measure the results?
Stick to the strategy, be consistent and authentic- all these things will help you gain loyal Instagram followers.
Define Your Target Audience
Most people skip this part and this is where they make their first mistake.
A business gets identified by its target audience; for example– a beauty products manufacturing company’s prime target would be women worldwide, so it makes sense to target the prime consumers first.
The same goes for any other business. Before you begin work, the target audience needs to be defined. You probably won’t understand its benefit right now, but later it will be a blessing in disguise.
Ask below questions to create target audience profile;
- What age group do they belong to?
- Where do they live?
- What products do they probably use?
- How much time do they consume on Instagram?
- What issues are surrounding, and is there any solution for the same?
Invest in a Social Content Calendar
A social content calendar is essential for a business’s upward growth. A maintained calendar also shows your hard work and time-consumed brainstorming sessions. You can note down ideas and keep track of what has been posted and how previous posts had performed.
Go for Business Profile
A business profile is better than a regular account. An Instagram business profile provides in-depth analytics that shows who your followers are, what time they are most active, what age group they belong to, whether you are losing or gaining them, etc.
Work on Your Instagram Bio
Before I share tips on how to optimize your bio to get more Instagram followers; I need you to analyze the following reference:
The Anatomy of Instagram Bio
Your Instagram bio is the ‘face’ of your business; treat it like gold to get more free Instagram followers.
Every brand attaches massive importance to it and so should you. One-third of Instagram profile visitors are new potential followers. They’ll not follow you if your profile is unclear, confusing and unappealing.
Make sure your Instagram bio answers the following;
Answer the ‘Why’
Give people a reason to follow you. Instead of blabbing about your services or product, try to mention your USPs, such as; a) follow for more recipes, b) your go-top digital marketing tips, or c) follow to learn kathak.
Choose the Correct Handle
Make sure your Instagram handle is close to your “actual” business. This will help people remember what you offer or what you do quickly. Practice this on every social media account.
Change Bio-Link Often
The best Instagram accounts often change their bio link. I get it; promotion of a website is essential, but not changing the link may reflect negatively.
You can share a new blog or a landing page link with your followers. Sharing the developments within your business or company makes users feel that they are a part of overall growth.
Optimize Your Instagram Account
People need to find you- to follow you. Simple. And you NEED to do whatever you can to make the “search process” easier for your potential users.
You need to work on your SEO to get more free Instagram followers. Social media platforms are also search engines with huge data records- keyword searches come in handy. Be sure to;
- Include a keyword in your caption and bio
- Make sure to add the location
- And alt text
Build a Brand Story
What would you watch? A fiction movie or a documentary?
Most people would choose a documentary, and why’s that? Because it’s based on actual events and periods.
The same goes for brands, you need to develop a story surrounding your brand to connect with your audience.
People crave to see rare, never seen stuff. Many brands use real human struggle stories to keep viewers intrigued. You could share the backstory of a product or one of your employee’s success journeys.
The best example I can give is “Humans of Bombay” (check the post below). Their social media marketing revolves around sharing different people’s struggles and life stories.
Source : ED Times
Keep your brand story consistent and develop it as your account grows. Practice this in the most creative way possible so that people recognize your brand just by the visuals.
Woosper Pro Tip: You can use the same styling, such as the same color combination, frames, etc.
Build an Amazing Grid
People love to see creative and attractive grids. It’s refreshing to the eyes and a great source of inspiration. In short, it keeps you hooked.
A gorgeous, bright, and colorful grid can work as an effective stimulator, lifting one’s mood. Every image that goes on your account needs to be the “best” and of highest-quality.
Source : Grid Examples to Creatively Level-up Your Feed
This is quite obvious, but not everyone fully commits to it. When a person visits and scans your account, they should feel the urge to stick around for more to look.
Find the Content- That’s Right for You
This part is going to take an ample amount of time and thought. You first need to understand Instagram mechanics to get free followers. You not only need to generate content that is specifically written and created for Instagram but also is “the right fit” for your target audience.
Discovering your profile’s right style is imperative because that’s how your brand will be perceived. According to MIT research done by neuroscientists; the human brain can identify images in 13 milliseconds.
Find More: Guide to Align Your Brand and Content Strategy
So, buddy you only get 13 milliseconds to impress your profile visitors. Consider this thought whenever you sit down to write content or create an image.
Once you figure out your brand style, it becomes crucial that you stick to that only. Consistency is the key. Take Starbucks, for example; people come back repeatedly to buy the same coffee they purchased the previous day.
It matters a great deal. A common problem businesses or people face when they start posting on Instagram is- uncertainty. They are not entirely sure about “who they are” and “what they represent”. In such times, you need to be calm and follow the strategy you created. If that’s not working out well for you, re-strategize.
To get free Instagram followers, you need to clear out the basics of branding- only then can there be a solution. Priority should be offering the best of what you have initially.
Keep these three b’s in mind initially, and later, when you get the zest, come up with your Instagram mantra.
Woosper Pro Tip: Think of your business as a person and build a personality around it. Find answers to questions such as-
- what makes my brand different,
- what is my brand favorite food,
- what is my brand vision,
- what are my brand values, etc.
Spend Time on the Content Creation Process
Once you figure out what kind of content is best for your brand, the next move would be creating the content and images. I know this is quite obvious, but companies often do not assign enough time to the content creation process.
Content creation is a process in itself. It would be best if you gave it plenty of time.
Woosper Pro Tip: Make sure to perform thorough research before starting the entire content creation process.
Try All Formats
- Feed Posts
You can use all these formats to showcase different aspects of your brand or business. Whether your business is new or a decade-old, it does not matter. It would help if you still reminded consumers- why they should buy your products.
Post Sharable Content or Images
Why will someone share your post? Probably because they loved what they saw or read, right? As marketers, we need to get to the in-depths of why people share posts, what drive motivation behind the sharing?
Sure, it feels good when someone shares our work. Sometimes you can get lucky, but not every time. To keep the momentum going, you need to work hard and think smartly. Before telling your audience what services you deliver, take a step back and think about “what people want to see.”
People love seeing other people, reading about other people’s journeys, quotes, travel photos, gorgeous food plates, cool clothes, fun facts, memes, infographics- all these can be great options. Do in-depth research and discover what keeps your target audience on edge, on which posts they like- sending hearts and commenting with glee.
Woosper Pro Tip: Be active. You never know; inspiration can strike anywhere.
Add Call to Action (CTAs)
You need to add CTAs to every post to get more Instagram followers. A CTA can be anything from a simple “swipe to see more” to “like our picture.” Many influencers use this tactic to attract attention.
CTA raises the chances of someone liking or commenting on your post by almost 25%. You can add a hidden CTA in your caption if you do not wish to direct it.
The following are some examples;
- You can request people to like your post,
- Share your content, or
- Visit your profile or website.
CTAs such as “tag your friend and don’t say anything” or “tag someone and let them know you are thinking of them”- are amazing ways to initiate the first step to building community among your users. (FIND A POST)
Write Compelling and Empathetic Captions
Captions play a huge role in getting Instagram followers’ attention. A good caption helps you get more reach, engagement, and recognition. More and more users are posting creative captions to get more Instagram followers.
o, what makes a caption ‘great’?
We have gathered some qualities that might come in handy;
- Try to include wit or humor in your captions,
- Add inspirational examples,
- Motivating stories,
- Make captions relatable,
- Use storytelling technique,
- Insert emoji mindfully,
- Ask questions, and
- keep important information in front always.
Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment
It would help if you focused on the “entertainment” factor to get free Instagram followers. At the end of 2021, Instagram revealed that the algorithm’s attention was shifting to “full screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video” content.
Entertaining content does not necessarily need to be action-filled; it only needs to be
– authentic, and
Do Not Forget to Pin Best Comments
On Instagram, you can pin three comments for every post. Most celebrities and influencers use this feature. There are several ways you can utilize this feature to get more followers on Instagram.
You can pin your best or funny comments, You can pin comments that display other people’s regard for you, or you to share some vital information.
Learn How the Instagram Algorithm Works
The Instagram algorithm is as important and complicated as any other social network algorithm. It goes through a group of factors that help the platform decide which content should be given priority.
Most marketers fear constant updates in the Instagram algorithm. Instead of adjusting to the algorithm now and then, think about using the platform to your advantage.
Note: This year (2022), Instagram re-launched the ability to see feed chronologically, along with a curated list of recent posts from favorite accounts. For more information on the Instagram feed options, here.
How the Instagram Algorithm Works
The Instagram algorithm is a set of rules that help the platform determine which posts to keep on the top and bottom feed.
In a 2021 blog titled “Shedding More Light on How Instagram Works,” CEO Adam Mosseri said, “We use a variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each with its own purpose.”
Each time a visitor uses the app, the algorithm instantly scans available content and utilizes the following information to finalize the order:
- Which posts will go on the top, and in what sequence
- Which posts are to be featured on the explore tab
- And in which order Stories, Live videos, and Reels will show up.
- All this happens every single time a user opens the Instagram app.
And not only this, but the app also considers a user’s relationship with the followers, the relevance of the content, and the post’s timeliness. Let this all sink in, and thoroughly study the tool to understand it better and get more free Instagram users.
Add Alt Text to Images
Do not take alt text for granted. Alt texts are essential to SEO and contribute to the search ranking factor. They describe what the image is about, guide search engine crawlers and help them to index images.
Inserting alt text to every image is- why some images appear on top when searching for a particular phrase. It hardly takes a minute. Just do it.
Add Alt Text to Images
Instagram is all about images. Explore other creative accounts to see what they are posting; some of the best images are posted by travelers, food bloggers and fashion designers, and beauty products companies.
Some of the accounts I refer to for creative inspiration:
Source : Accounts That Will Supercharge Your Creativity
You can share backstage pictures, your morning routine (if you are an influencer), and how you chop vegetables (if you are a famous chef)- to make users curious.
Some celebrities share their fitness regime or vacation photos to hook their followers. Here I can think of famous celebs such as Selena Gomez and Kim Kardashian. Selena keeps her followers interested by frequently sharing photoshoot campaign pictures for her make-up line, ‘Rare Beauty’.
You can learn a lot by following big celebrities’ accounts- things like how to run a gigantic and successful business or to keep followers interested.
Any post can go viral, Give it a shot, and try to create images or reels with the potential of going viral.
Get ideas by researching famous accounts or analyzing videos/reels that went viral some time ago. Create similar posts/images and ask your friends and followers to share and tag others.
How to Find Hashtags
To know the top and trending hashtags, go with Tags For Likes (tool). And to discover relevant hashtags, explore TagFire and Grama. You can search your biggest competition and see what hashtags they are using to get an idea. Use this trick to get more free Instagram followers.
You can also search the day’s hashtag and use the same if it matches your post. Such hashtags can be #smallbusiness or #lazywednesday.
Mix Hashtags for Better Reach
Just like keywords help Google determine top-ranking content, hashtags work similarly for Instagram. They can be divided as-.
- High or low volume
- Some examples are;
- Long-tail: #friends4forever
- Local: #friendsinchandigarh
- Trending: #friendshipday
- Evergreen: #friendship
Create and Promote Your Brand Hashtag
A brand-specific hashtag is a great way to promote your social media campaigns and more importantly, online presence. An intriguing, engaging, relatable hashtag encourages users to use it with their content.
Whether you run a small business or a multinational brand does not matter. A hashtag can help with the following;
- Increase brand visibility
- Create brand awareness
- Help to get more post reach
- Make the audience curious to get involved
- Promote events in a creative way
E.g : Lay’s used the hashtag- #DoUsAFlavor to promote their campaign.
The secret is out of the shell! Crispy Taco is your winner! Congrats, Ellen Sarem! #DoUsAFlavor #Lays pic.twitter.com/d56F8IpwUR— LAY’S (@LAYS) October 11, 2017
Through this hashtag, they managed to involve their audience by letting them vote for their favorite chips (Lay’s) flavor on Instagram and other social media platforms.
Follow Relevant Accounts
When you follow people on Instagram, the chances are that they will check out your Insta feed. The possibility of follow-back increases if your content is relevant to them or gets their attention.
Instagram “Suggested for You” is an easy way to find relevant accounts. This usually appears on your profile when you follow an account, so keep a close eye. Don’t follow too many accounts in one go. Make sure your “followers” number is higher than “following.”
Woosper Pro Tip: Do not practice the “follow for follow back” thing- it’s terrible for your brand reputation.
Avoid Fake Followers
I know having a long list of followers is tempting, but if you want to get free Instagram followers- this is undoubtedly the practice you DO NOT want to be a part of.
There is a gigantic gap between fake followers and legitimate ones. Having counterfeit followers can damage your Instagram account in ways you can’t imagine. Fake Instagram followers can;
- No ROI: Fake followers would not purchase anything, leading to low ROI. Real people follow your account for a reason; they like your content and might buy your products in the future. Focus on getting organic followers.
- No Activity Whatsoever: If you get, let’s assume, 10,000 fake followers, how many of them are going to comment, like, or share your content? None. More likely, Instagram would block or clear all the fake bots pretending to be real people.
Real people are gems. A real person would like, comment, or possibly share your reels, content, or videos they want. Gain followers in genuine and authentic ways instead of getting involved in fake scenarios.
Also be proactive and respond within the expected time frame with a suitable reply.
Comment on Followers’ Posts to Show Care
Commenting is a sweet gesture and can initiate a friendly conversation, eventually leading to a mutually respectful relationship. It shows you care and you see what your followers are posting, plus it also helps raise reach and engagement levels.
Participate in Popular Conversations
Take part in ongoing comment conversations to be in the eyes of active followers. This way, you can promote your vision or profile, but make sure the reply is relevant and catchy.
Engage with Existing Communities- Treat Them as Gold
It takes time to build communities within an integrated social time. And Instagram is all about creating and investing in communities. You have no idea how powerful community influence can be on an individual.
Also Read : Engagement Tactics You Can Steal
Get involved by liking or commenting on a community member’s post; make sure not to post generic comments such as “Like this” or “Wow, love it!”, Offer a different insight and make your comment stand out from the rest.
This helps in two ways:
- People get notifications when you like or comment on their posts and may return the favor by doing the same.
- Other participants may see your comment and visit your profile.
Ask Partners or Clients to Share Content
On your journey to learn marketing strategy for how to get more followers on instagram, you’ll know the literal value of your audience. The more people follow you organically; naturally, you’ll have more customers interested in your products or services.
You can ask previous clients or buyers to share your previous content. When users who have used your products or services post good reviews or share your content, potential consumers can notice the same.
Tag Relevant Users
Tagging someone in your post is easy-peasy.
Just mention the person you wish to tag with an @person’s name in your caption or by using the Instagram tagging feature on an image. Either way, the tagged person will receive a notification.
When you tag someone, the person is obliged to react, plus their followers will also see the post. In addition, your post will be reflected in your profile’s Tagged tab.
You can also tag users in your Instagram reel, making it easier to reach the target audience and also enabling them to re-share the reel. If they re-share, everyone who sees their reel will see your user’s name and can visit your profile. Tag someone in your post or related to it; they can be your co-workers, existing clients, other relevant businesses, regular followers, or suppliers.
Encourage Users to Tag You
Be open to tagging. Practice this whenever possible. Tagging is a great way to get free Instagram followers. When someone tags you, reply in the best creative way possible.
Monitor Tagged Posts
A good reputation is crucial to keep for a brand. One way to maintain tabs is to regularly notice what kind of posts your brand is getting tagged in. As I told you before, your followers can see the posts you are tagged in. So, keep an eye on who’s posting and in what type of posts.
Share User-Generated Content
User-generated content, short for UGC, is any content- a text, image, video, reel, post, etc.- created by people.
Post-user-generated content whenever you get a chance. This will help gain your followers’ trust and build social proof. But also assist in creating a community within your followers. Add this to your Instagram marketing strategy.
Ask people to share their best content with you in exchange for an award such as a collaboration, etc.
Promote Your Account on Other Platforms
This is the easiest way to get free followers on Instagram.
If people follow you on other social media networks, then make sure they know about your Instagram handle. Share a link to your Instagram account and offer a reason to follow you.
This is just an example. Many brands practice this for maximum reach.
Free followers on Instagram is not a myth. Spreading information now and then works like magic sometimes. Add a link to your account via email, and place it on your website, below the blog main page- everywhere you get a chance.
And if you are opening a new Instagram account, make sure to post a minimum of 10 posts before you start your promotion.
Work with Influencers
Getting mentioned by an influencer can significantly impact your number of followers- this we all know! But how can we get someone with expertise to listen to us?
You need a strategy. And you need to follow it with the highest level of sincerity. You’ll need to do the following;
- Research: The word holds gigantic significance. After careful and thorough research. Create a list of influencers in your niche or relevant to your account.
- Invest in Equal Influencers: Initially, target small accounts and build a genuine relationship eventually with time.
- Be Real and Honest: Work with one influencer and get to know them thoroughly. Set a time limit- it can be a week or two. Act like an obsessive person (not literally), turn on notifications for their posts, like their content, comment in between, etc. In short, engage with them.
Ask for Shoutouts
After the necessary introduction and trust-building, do anything to get an influencer attention, comment on their post (it should be meaningful), and re-share their content. And when the time is right, get direct and with confidence- ask for an S4S deal or request to share content with your major influencer.
Utilize Instagram Stories
According to a study by Instagram, more than 500 million people watch stories every day- this is huge.
People who utilize stories get far more engagement than those who don’t. Try to post a story every other day. On special occasions, you can post more. This is an uncomplicated way to get free Instagram followers.
The primary purpose is to be active and valuable to your followers. Plus, it’s a great way to interact and is easy to share with your followers. Ensure to use meaningful and relevant hashtags, and don’t forget to add location.
Make Use of Stories Highlight
Stories highlight gives an insight into your business if utilized properly- it’s the first thing you see after the bio. Include information regarding services to show visitors your USPs and capabilities.
Have you seen a boost in your reach after posting a reel? Sadly, you are not the only one.
Instagram reels are an easy yet challenging tool to get free Instagram followers. At Woosper, we have experienced several instances where our account engagement levels increase after posting a reel.
Reels not only boost engagement but can also have a solid effect on your conversion rate. In short, go big with reels.
Be Insta Live Once in a While
Instagram Live lets you feature live stream to your Instagram followers in real-time. Your live feed remains in front, you can see it which means you get many chances to get users attention without any interruption from algorithm.
It’s a perfect opportunity. You can ask and answer questions, interact with your fans- all at the same time.
You can also go for the “Go Live with a Friend” option to get views from a different audience. Ask the person to host a live video and ask you to come on as a guest. Screen would be shared by both of you and followers can interact.
During the pandemic, this feature was mostly used for interviews, product launches, to deliver news as transportation was banned. Popular tv show hosts also used live collaboration to take interviews or to launch movie trailers, some of these were televised as well.
Invest in IGTV
You can also try IGTV to get free Instagram followers. IGTV covers more space than posts or videos, encouraging viewers to visit your profile and these videos can be up to an hour-long, offering enough time to explain any topic in focus.
Analyze Your Competitors
A little social media competitive analysis can go a long way. Every business has a rival that keeps the competition always on edge. Find out what they post, at what time, how often, and in which formats.
Please keep a close tab on every competition for one week, catch any proper digital strategy, and shape it according to your purpose. You can also figure out how and when to post content to get more followers.
Discover Your Best Time to Post
Do you remember the classic “Home Alone”- every scene in that movie still gets recognition just only because of perfect timing. The best time to post on Instagram is just like that. Timing matters a lot.
You must find the “best time” to post content. Make it a priority. Every account is unique, and many factors determine how a post will perform.
Other two great platforms that I can share that displays best information are Later, and Sprout Social. According to Later (August 2021 report) best time to get Instagram followers is;
- Best time of day: 3am-6am
- Best day: Sunday
- Best day and time: Sunday 6am
- Worst day: Weds and Thurs
Schedule Post in Advance
It’s wise to schedule your posts in advance. Many advanced scheduling tools are available such as Hootsuite, Later, Sprout Social, Buffer, etc, for any technical issue can happen, or the content can take time to upload, so better schedule posts early. Why is this important?
Posting content at the same time daily can create a consistent flow. Plus, it saves time.
Post Great Content
Content is paramount to your entire Instagram marketing strategy. Publish the most fantastic content you can create every single time. And post consistently. Without interesting content, it becomes tough to get free Instagram followers. Most accounts, after a while, start posting casually, don’t do that.
Post with the same enthusiasm you started. But what makes content great? Below are suggestions that might help;
- Useful Content: Come up with content that is beneficial for the majority of followers. It can be tips, facts, news, health advice, historical events, etc.
- Thoughtful: Content that sheds light on life values, family importance, career importance, lifestyle, etc.
- Engaging: Post polls, contests, go live, etc.
- Entertaining: As I described earlier, try to include entertaining content.
Host an Instagram Giveaway
Hosting an Instagram giveaway can help get new followers and expand reach. It’s a fun and exciting tactic that many brands use.
With correct planning, you can reach new Instagram followers at distant locations, also just make sure the price is appalling and gets people interested in one-go.
- Set clear requirements
- Tag a friend in the comment section
- Try to host with a partner
Create an Instagram Challenge
Instagram challenges have always been a popular way to engage with followers. Remember the Dalogona coffee challenge or the ice-bucket one?
You can try (at least) to come up with a challenge. Make sure the participation is manageable, and create a branded hashtag to keep track. Take inspiration from famous old challenges.
Create an AR Filter
The beloved puppy ear filter, remember? Yes, it was an AR (Augmented Reality) filter. Those are fun; right to try with friends?
How does creating an AR filter enhance your brand? Your name will appear whenever someone uses your created filter and thus taking the user to your profile. The filter can raise curiosity and push visitors to check out your profile.
How Do You Manage Your Instagram Marketing?
Is it working out well? Are you getting the expected results?
Gaining new followers is not an easy task. We sincerely hope you learned a great deal through this blog!
Instagram popularity is ever-growing. Follow and take advantage of these tips to get new and FREE Instagram followers and grow reach.
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